Important Information about SAD {Seasonal Affective Disorder}

This post is sponsored by the Yellowbrick Treatment Center. Mental illness is a very important topic to me, and I am honored to partner with them in increasing knowledge and awareness.

Millions of people suffer SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), yet there is a lot of misinformation out there about it, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Therefore, Dr. Jesse Viner of the Yellowbrick Treatment Center has put together this informative guide and graphic that covers what Seasonal Affective Disorder is, and what it is not.

PS–if you don’t have SAD, but are suffering from “Winter Blues,” my friend Beth has some great tips for you!



Thriving Thursday 11/20

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

First of all, my dear friend Beth came for a visit this week, and shared how she stays stress-free while preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. And, she shared her awesome Thanksgiving Planner & Cookbook–go download your copy for free.

I also shared a bunch of $.99 books, free books, and other freebies that you won’t want to miss.

Amazing Deals you Don’t Want to Miss!

I shared here some amazing deals from Dayspring that you do not want to miss! If you’re seeing this on Wednesday night, be sure to check out the amazing $5 deals they have going on right now! And use code THANKYOU15.

You can see my full list of other early Black Friday specials from them here.

dayspring 5 jesus stocking

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.


Black Friday Comes Early to Dayspring!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

This is not a deals blog, but this girl sure does love a good bargain! And, I love Dayspring. So when those two things are combined–Dayspring bargains…I get super excited!

Dayspring has started the deals early by marking down some of their most popular items–some with 75% (and greater) discounts! Some of my favorites:


Use code THANKYOU15 to get an additional 15% off your entire order!

$5 Deals!!

These items are originally $16.99-$29.99, but TODAY ONLY 11/19, you can get any of them for just $5 each!!! Click on any image to get that item :)

Dayspring 5 chalkboard countdown


Countdown to Christmas chalkboard, $9.99 (was $19.99)

Dayspring 5 joy necklace


Other Deals

Dayspring abide in Him

Abide in Him Wall art. $15.99 (regularly $39.99)

I’ve been wanting this because my husband loves the passage beginning in John 15:5. And, it’s just a good reminder!

dayspring bless this home

Lord, Bless this Home wall art, $17.99 (Regularly $44.99)

Dayspring cookie jar

Redeemed & Blessed cookie jar $14.99 (regularly $59.99)

Dayspring felt advent

Peanuts felt Advent Calendar $11.99 (regularly $39.99).

The Charlie Brown Christmas story is a MUST for us, so I’m excited to have this felt advent calendar to go along with it.


Dayspring Lord is My Light Lantern

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation lantern, $14.99 (regularly $29.99)

dayspring wooden caddy

Give Thanks Wooden Caddy, $9.99 (Regularly $22.99)

Happy Shopping!

And, don’t forget, if you purchase $50 by 11/19, you can get a FREE advent calendar with your order, with code prepare50.

Dayspring free advent calendar


How to have a No-Stress Thanksgiving {A FREE Thanksgiving Planner & Cookbook}

I am delighted to introduce you to my dear friend Beth from Eat Better, Spend Less. She is such a beautiful person, inside and out and I’m especially excited because she has come bearing gifts today! Be sure you visit her site and check out her eBooks as well (one of them is FREE).


Oh how I wish Autumn was the longest season of all. It’s by far my favorite. Warm blankets, sweet scented candles, and cozy soups and stews for dinner. It rejuvenates and relaxes my soul all at the same time.

A Lovely Thanksgiving: Free E-Book

As if I needed another reason to love fall, it also brings with it my favorite holiday; Thanksgiving. Yes. Thanksgiving. I feel almost guilty saying that because I feel like Christmas should be my favorite. I do love Christmas, oh-so much. But Christmas comes with a lot of hustle and bustle, horrible traffic, and let’s admit it, some stress! I love the Christmas season; the music, the lights, the desserts I shouldn’t be eating, and the wonderful church and community events that bring us together in the celebration of the birth of our savior.

But Thanksgiving. I love its simplicity. You cook. People eat. We have a quiet day at home. And we begin to ponder that which we are thankful for. We reminisce about days gone by, and we review the year we’re about to bring to a close. It’s a wonderful time to reflect, and to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

And that’s why I decided a few years ago that I was going to change the way we do Thanksgiving. It occurred to me after looking at pictures of my husband and kids playing outside, romping around in the woods, taking pictures with our Sheltie, that I had missed the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love making Thanksgiving dinner. I break out the Christmas music and make an event of it. But I didn’t like missing the adventures, the free time, and the memories that were being made while I was chopping onions.

It was out of this frustration that my new Thanksgiving Meal Planner was created. Now, instead of making everything fresh on Thanksgiving day, I begin cooking on the Monday of that week. I cook a few things each day, according to the plan, leaving me very little to do once the big day arrives. I love how it has freed me up to do something else, like watch a Christmas movie, or play a game with the kids.

If you’ve been reading Crystal’s blog very long, you know how much she loves to bless her readers. And because I think she’s so awesome, I want to bless her readers too (that’s you!) So I’m offering you each a copy of my Thanksgiving Planner and Cookbook. No strings.  Just a gift, to set the mood for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. From my heart to yours.

Click here to get your free Thanksgiving Planner and Cookbook, or click the image below.

 A Lovely Thanksgiving: Free e-Book Start cooking on Monday so you can thoroughly enjoy Thursday!
The first page will be the menu. Feel free to make whatever changes you want to make. See a dish you don’t want to make? That’s OK, just pencil in what you’d rather make and decide when is the best time to make it. Can you freeze it? Then do it toward the beginning of the week. Even if you don’t use the menu exactly, I hope the plan will help you have a simpler, easier holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you!

Beth-profile-Humbled Homemaker

Beth Cranford is a homemaking, homeschooling, blogging wife and mom. She’s been married to her best friend for 23 years, and together they enjoy raising their two children and working on this crazy blogging thing.

Beth is a child of God and knows that it’s only by His abundant and personal grace that she can be what she’s called to be. She’s the author of several e-books, including “Emergency Meals”, “Is Homeschooling Really For Us?”and “16 Strategies To Eat Better and Spend Less” (That one’s free, so go on over and get your copy).

 In this season of life, she’s on a mission to help moms experience smoother dinner times, provide healthy and delicious meals for their families, and stick to a food budget! Come on over for some  recipes, meal plans, freezer- cooking tips, and more at EatBetterSpendLess.com.


Are you hosting or visiting this Thanksgiving?

Photo Credits


Fiction Friday–Interview with Dawn Crandall

I am so excited to start a new series of sorts here at the blog. When I went to the ACFW conference back in September, I was blessed to meet several amazing authors. I want to introduce them to you, along with others that I know only through online friendships or reading their books. I also want to use their stories to inspire and encourage you. No more fear.

Today is the first interview, and I would like to introduce you to Dawn Crandall. She is an author with Whitaker House. Her first series is going strong, with the second book The Bound Heart just releasing this month.

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Dawn Crandall

Dawn, I am thrilled to have you joining me at Serving Joyfully, and I’d like to ask you some questions about your journey as a writer.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Ever since I was in 4th grade, the idea of writing a book has appealed to me. I remember my teacher had us choose some contact paper for the “cover” and then bound papers together for us—I thought that was so cool!! And I couldn’t wait to fill it with a story!! Don’t ask me what I ever wrote in that little book, but I do know that from then on my favorite time in school was when we were supposed to write something. :) I never thought of “being a writer” until I was in high school and (finally!) came across the kinds of books that thrilled me to read—Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott… and then later in college, books by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters.

What was your specific journey to publication?

I didn’t write for a very long time… pretty much not at all until I was thirty-two. This was mostly because I didn’t believe I could create anything worthwhile. I really didn’t even read anything beyond my favorite classics (over and over) for a very long time either. When I married my husband in 2005 we lived in a city where I didn’t know anyone, so I ended up at the library a lot. That was where I picked up a book on creating characters; my husband found it and discovered the hidden dream of my heart and encouraged me 110%. I started reading any Christian fiction I could get my hands on in order to figure out where the kinds of books I wanted to write would fit. I still didn’t write anything, but I started thinking up what I might eventually write about.  Long story short, I didn’t start writing The Hesitant Heiress until January 2010. In July 2011 I joined ACFW, went to national conference that September, met with two agents and sent them the partial proposals they requested within the month. Within the week I was offered representation by both agents. In January 2012 I finished revising the ending of The Hesitant Heiress. My agent submitted it to publishers for a year a half (which is pretty common) when I was finally offered the three-book contract from Whitaker House last winter (while six months pregnant!).

Wow! While pregnant, how fun! I love how your husband encouraged you in your dream! Did you have any other notable rejections or encouragements you received along the way?

I had some really encouraging ones that said they could tell my book would definitely be published someday, but because it was so different than what the CBA industry usually publishes—historical romantic suspense from first person point of view (similar to only a very small percentage of all CBA published books)—they didn’t have a place for it in their specific line up.

What is one tip you would offer to aspiring writers?

I would encourage them to join ACFW! And definitely connect with other writers. I didn’t know many other aspiring authors in the short time I was a writer without an agent. I feel like I missed out on a part of the journey that a lot of others form really lasting friendships and bonds in by being supportive through those ever-lasting ups and downs of the submissions and rejections part of the publishing industry.

Dawn’s Books

The Bound Heart and more

Aren’t those covers gorgeous?? The Hesitant Heiress is available right now, as is The Bound Heart.


One accidental kiss. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt’s world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn’t have the time or the desire to fall for her friend Lawry Hampton. However, with Vance out of the country and Lawry constantly at her side, Meredyth can’t help but wonder if what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from their unfortunate past.

When Vance comes home to stake his claim on Meredyth, will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves? Or will she find the strength to accept that God’s plan for her life could include redemption… and quite possibly the love of her best-friend?

Connect with Dawn

Facebook: facebook.com/DawnCrandallWritesFirst
Book Review Blog: www.APassionforPages.blogspot.com
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/dawnwritesfirst
Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst / www.twitter.com/dawnwritesfirst

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