WELCOME

IMG_0811Welcome to Jean Matthew Hall’s home on the web.

By clicking on the Menu tabs above I hope you’ll find bushels of useful information.

Whether you are a fellow writer, a fellow parent or grandparent, or a fellow teacher there’s something here for you. Please let me know if you would like to see other information here. Take a tour, please.

My blog will keep you updated about

  • My Bountiful Blessings picture book series published by Little Lamb Books.
  • Writing friends (old and new) and writing conferences
  • School and Homeschool visits
  • Publication news
  • Stuff for writers

The Blessings of Fall (the first book) is scheduled for release in September, 2019.littlelamb_final_logo1-e1437675387523 I’m scheduling school visits and book signings at this time. If you would like for me to share with your school or store (near Louisville, KY or Charlotte, NC) please email me. Just click on the CONTACT tab above.

I relish your input so, please, leave comments on my blog posts or email me.

Rich blessings to you all!

Picture Books-Love

These titles are linked to Jean’s reviews of the picture books.

If I Didn’t Have You
Loved to Bits
LOVE
Daddy Depot
You Nest Here With Me
Josie Jo’s Got to Know
Love is Kind

P.S Are you remembering your ABCs of Gratitude? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter F?

Family, of course! God first, Family second.

Friends. There have been several times in my life when my friends kept me afloat emotionally, spiritually, even physically. I am so grateful for the friends God brought into my life over these past 70 years.

The ABCs of Gratitude

I’m setting a challenge for myself this November. Want to join in?

Each day (beginning November 1, 2019) I’m going to list and thank God for one or two meaningful things in my life that begin with a certain letter of the alphabet.

I’ll begin with A (naturally.)

Today I thank God for:

Aunt Ginny. She’s 95 (I believe) and the last of my Daddy’s siblings to remain alive on this earth. She probably doesn’t know it, but Aunt Ginny had a powerful influence on my life. She’s one of the biggest reasons I became a schoolteacher. As a kid I “helped” her prepare for her kindergarten students. I spent hours in her empty classroom pretending to teach my own classes.

And, she’s a godly woman. Aunt Ginny taught her ladies’ Sunday School Class for more than 50 years until she recently decided she just isn’t quite up to it anymore.

Plus, she is responsible for telling me many family stories—memories of her childhood. Fodder for my books.

Thank you, Lord, for Aunt Ginny.

Next, I thank God for aromas. I am mad about the luscious aromas of spices when I cook. In my family I’m known as the spice-lady. The heavenly smells of basil and rosemary. Yum! And what can beat the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg in the oven. That luscious smell of chili and oregano, cumin, and turmeric, onion and garlic woo me into the kitchen. Who can possibly resist the fragrance of yeast bread in the oven? Or coriander, ginger and cardamom sprinkled over meat? Lord, I’m getting hungry thinking about it!

I love other aromas, too. Lavender and vanilla. And that fresh smell of just washed sheets! What about the delightful smell of a clean baby snuggled in the crook of my neck?

Thank you, God, for the gift of aromas.

I dabble in poetry. This piece I wrote years ago during one of my quiet times with God. I hope it draws you into God’s presence.

A Fragrance Sweet              

Grasses, grains, golds and greens

That grew on paths below,

Fragrance sweet that grew at His feet,

Now lingers on His robes.

Though He left this world behind

Though now we are apart

The perfume of the earth He made

Still hovers in His heart.

Enfolded in His arms, I’m wrapped

In flowers, humus, rain,

A sweet reminder of the earth

His fragrant robes contain.

Won’t you share YOUR “A” words of gratitude in the comments? I’d appreciate it.

Winner of Book Giveaway

TA-DA!

We have a winner of a free copy of my debut picture book God’s Blessings of Fall.

Congratulations to    JOYCE MCCULLOUGH!!!

Please email me your mailing address at jean@jeanmatthewhall.com.

Thank you all for participating. I pray you and your children enjoy my little book. And, that it becomes a part of your family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

Go, help your children find some colorful leaves and press them in a book!

Make some autumn memories.

Interview at BlogZone

Please pay Nancy I. Sanders a visit to read her interview with me.

And, please leave a comment! Thanks, ya’ll.

YUUUMMM!

Book Give Away

It’s here! It’s finally here! After more than 10 years of waiting. God’s Blessings of Fall is finally made of paper and ink. I can finally hold it in my hands. I can at last see something tangible I will leave behind on this earth after I fly off to heaven.

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW OR ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE (JEAN MATTHEW HALL AUTHOR) FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF God’s Blessings of Fall.

Wow! That sound like a long time. But I look back and see that God took that long to get my writing skills to this point. He took that long to get my personal life prioritized for this journey. He took that long to find the right publisher and illustrator to make this a lovely book.

It took that long for me to come to peace with the snail-paced journey that is traditional publication.

God’s Blessings of Fall was one of the first book manuscripts I worked on. The idea came from “Write what you know.” A popular bit of advice for new writers. It also came from watching my four-year old grandson playing in the back yard with fallen twigs and amber leaves. He was wrapped in fleece from head to toe and delirious with joy at the changing colors of the season.

After many revisions and much time hibernating on my hard drive God’s Blessings of Fall finally came to life thanks to editor Rachel Pellegrino of Little Lamb Books and illustrator Olya Badulina.

God’s Blessings of Fall is a lyric celebration of God’s creativity expressed each fall, and a celebration of nature’s signs and symbols of the season in field and woodland. The musical language encourages young children in language development, and in expressing gratitude to God for His gifts of fall.

Critters who fly, climb or creep.

Food to gather. Warm nests to keep.

All are getting ready for a good night’s sleep.

God’s blessings of fall.”

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW OR ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE (JEAN MATTHEW HALL AUTHOR) BY MIDNIGHT EST OCTOBER 29, 2019 FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF God’s Blessings of Fall.

I’ll print them out, shake them up, and have my grand daughter pluck one name out of the bag on Wednesday morning October 30.

LEAVE A COMMENT IN BOTH PLACES FOR TWO CHANCES TO WIN!

Guest Post Little Big Prayers

Today I have a guest post “Readying our Wee Ones Ready for a Life of Prayer” on Little Big Prayers the blogging home of my buddy Sally Cressman.

Please drop in to read pre-steps to prepare our children to communicate freely with God. And would you leave a comment and/or share? Thanks!

SCBWI-Carolinas Conference Recap

A week ago I attended the SCBWI-Carolinas Writers Conference in Charlotte, NC. I learned a few key things that I believe will improve my writing. That makes the conference a success for me–well worth the investment of time and money.

My daughter lives nearby, so I didn’t need to spend money on the hotel. That’s always a plus.

I made some new writing friends like Andrew Barton, Tami Boyce, Dena McMurdie, Sarah Meade, Carrie Brown and Christine Boatwright. Great to me meet all of you!

But probably the best part of the conference for me was reconnecting with old friends like Samantha Bell, Teresa Fannin, Donna Earnhardt, Kelly Dyksterhouse, Meghan Hoyt, Debbie Allmand, Linda Phillips, Carol Baldwin, Vijaya Bodach and Joan Edwards.

It recharges me to sync with old friends. I’ve made some writing friends in my new home in Louisville, KY. But I think it will take a while to build a tribe like I had in NC. A tribe of people who love me, pray for me, and help me to become a better writer. Thanks, ya’ll.

Jean’s Blog Tour

Many people have helped to make God’s Blessings of Fall a real, live book. I am truly grateful to them and to God. Some of those folks are blogging about God’s Blessings of Fall and about my process of bringing it to life. Special thanks to them. They are listed below.

Please visit their blogs and thank them for helping to make God’s Blessings of Fall a success in the world of books.

And could you share? Thanks.

Happy fall, ya’ll! Blessings to all,

Jean

Joyce McCullough Tues. Oct. 1 joycemccullough.com

Amberly Clowe    Wed. Oct. 2                  http://amberlykristenclowe.com/blog/

Write2Ignite Mon. Oct. 14 http://write2ignite.com

Sally Cressman     Fri. Oct. 18                   http://www.sallycressman.com/

Laura Sassi          Mon. Oct. 21               https://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/ 

My blog               Wed. Oct. 23                 Announce my Book Giveaway

Nancy Sanders     Thu. Oct. 24                  http://nancyisanders.com/blogzone/

Sally Matheny     Fri. Oct. 25                   https://www.sallymatheny.com/blog/

CCA Blog            Sat. Oct. 26                   https://christianchildrensauthors.com/

Kay Alonso        Mon. Oct. 28                https://babydevotions.com/

My blog              Wed. Oct. 29                Giveaway my Book

Carol Baldwin    Mon. Nov. 4                 http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/

Linda Ray Center   Fri. Nov. 15                  https://www.lindaraycenter.com

Blessings, Gratitude and Prayer

There are several reasons I wrote my Bountiful Blessings series of picture books (God’s Blessings of Fall will be available this week!). One of those is the importance of prayer in young children’s lives. Prayer is usually a natural consequence of gratitude. Seeing God as our Creator and Giver of blessings, I hope, will point young children to prayer.

I also hope it will become a part of your family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions—pausing to bless God for creating the beauty of the season of fall.

Once young children learn that they CAN converse with God they just assume that it happens any time, any place, under any circumstance.

In Luke 18:17 Jesus says, “I assure you: Whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” I say we need to pray like little children pray.

I don’t think we need to teach little children to pray. But we do need to get them ready to trust God and pray to Him.

  • We need to teach our children that they are loved.

God has wired the human brain to make connections. When young children feel that we love and value them they will connect those same feelings to God, their Heavenly Father.

  • We need to teach our children that they are safe and secure with us.

We teach babies and toddlers this by holding them close to our bodies, by making sure they are fed, warm, clean. By keeping them in safe places, by protecting them and helping them meet each new challenge. If they feel safe with us they will connect it to feeling safe with God.

  • We need to teach our children that we are listening when they speak.

When a conversation is going on with your little one, stop what you are doing and look into their face. Pay attention. Look at them while you answer their question. You are teaching your little one two critical life skills: how to listen and pay attention when other people speak, and the knowledge that God stops and listens when we go to Him in prayer.

  • We need to teach our children gratitude.

Say “thank you” to them often. As soon as they can sit in a highchair fold their little hands together and recite a simple “Thank you, God, for our food. Amen.” Teach them that all the things in our lives are gifts from God.

When we gently and lovingly teach these things to our toddlers and preschoolers it will be second nature for them to talk to God, to assume He is listening, and to expect Him to answer.

That is prayer in its purest sense.

Fall Picture Books

Four Seasons Make a Year by Anne Rockwell

The Reasons for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger

Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro

Fall Leaves Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Runstad

Fall Leaves Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Look What I Did with a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaves Fall Down by Lisa Marie Bullard

Apples and Pumpkins by Julia Rawlinson

Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert

Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow

How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro

Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum

Apples by Gail Gibbons

Apples, Apples Everywhere Learning about Apple Harvest by Robin Koontz

Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum

Little Boo by Steven Wunderli

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

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