Happy November from Sarah Sundin in California! Since the Christmas season is rapidly approaching—or is already here for those of you who put up your trees in July—it’s appropriate to feature Dena Dyer. Dena is the popular author of hundreds of articles and anthology contributions, and her latest book is a devotional to help us reflect during this holiday season.
Dena, please tell us about your book, The Colors of Christmas: A Devotional Prayer Journal.
With this unique prayer journal, readers can experience the power of a vibrant prayer life—through the colors of Christmas. Each themed section of this journal—love, joy, peace, and hope—includes faith-building devotions, Scripture, and writing prompts.
What a lovely idea! What inspired you to write this book?
The journal is actually a compilation of devotionals I wrote (along with those of another author) for a previous project, “25 Christmas Blessings.” I was sad when that little holiday devotional went out of print, so I was thrilled when Barbour Publishing decided to resurrect some of it in this unique way.
What is the primary focus of your book?
The book helps readers slow down and really savor the season of Christmas. We can get so rushed (I know I can!) during the holidays that spiritual disciplines fall by the wayside. I hope readers enjoy the format of the book, because it doesn’t take much time to sit down, read a few scriptural thoughts, and write a prayer. Plus, it can become a beautiful keepsake.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I keep returning to grace, healing, humor, and hope. God has been very gracious to me and has healed me from a traumatic past. I love to share His healing with readers, in various ways. And humor has always helped me cope with life. It’s a true gift from God (as is the fact that. I married a guy, and have two sons, who is/are hilarious).
How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
It always seems like God has me write on things I end up grappling with during the writing process. So I’ll be writing about waiting, and circumstances conspire to make me wait. But in the meantime, I’m immersing myself in Scripture and literature which helps me in that struggle. Each book has been a maturing and learning process, and I’ve grown considerably during my years as an author by reading other godly writers’ work and digging into scripture on the themes He leads me to.
God has me live out my themes as well! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I sing on our worship team at church where my husband is Worship Pastor (he and I met in a singing group and toured together for two years before getting married). I love to act—my spouse and I also performed professionally for several years in two different theaters—and I’m good at organizing and implementing events and communication/marketing projects at work.
What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I read mostly fiction for pleasure. Because my job at a crisis pregnancy center is often challenging emotionally, I’m currently drawn to light, funny, and romantic books…although I also love historical fiction and a well-written memoir. Right now, I’m starting the Maisie Dobbs series. It’s a book series that combines a bunch of my favorite literary things: British culture, women protagonists, mysteries, and WWI/WWII time periods.
This novelist is happy to hear that! What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I enjoy cooking, watching British movies and T.V., decorating (I would have studied interior design if English and music weren’t my majors in college), shopping at thrift and vintage stores for bargains, and spending quality time with my friends and family.
Tell us about your next project.
I am not currently working on one—for the first time in about twenty years. I have a new job as a Development and Communications Director with a Pregnancy Resource Center, and that is keeping me busy. Although it can be challenging (it’s funny because the rejections that came with writing prepared me for hearing “no” in fundraising), I love it! I’ve actually enjoyed the break from writing I’ve had since taking the job a year and a half ago, although I still keep my chops by writing a humor column once a quarter for a print magazine. Of course, in my mind, I’m always thinking of new book ideas and so I hope to begin one or more in the future, as time allows and God leads.
Thank you for sharing with us, Dena! And may God bless your new endeavors.
To learn more about Dena, please visit her on Dena’s Facebook author page.
Writing for Him,