Dear Sam… (on your first day of Third Grade)

Dear Sam…. Your letter is hard to write because there is so much I want to tell you. This summer you have grown up so much. Because of all the ways you’ve matured, I think Third Grade will be your best year yet. Sam, as I’ve prayed for you over the years, I’ve asked God to help you see yourself the way He sees you. God created you to be so imaginative. He gave you a great sense of humor. … Continue...


Dear Catie…(on your first day of seventh grade)

Dear Catie.... When you were younger and you didn't understand something, it seemed harmless. Look at you trying to type! One day we will laugh about how hard this was for you. You hate to comb … Continue...


Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of third grade)

Dear Elisabeth….. Welcome to Third Grade, sweetheart. Lately, you seem more like 39 than 9. Every morning, when you walk down the stairs (with your hair combed, your shoes tied, and your game … Continue...


Dear Nate (on your first day of school)

Dear Nate.... It's a little shocking to see you in your hipster glasses and big First Grade desk, ready to tackle a year of spelling tests and fast facts. You're the baby of our family, and we … Continue...


The Screaming Toddler of Book Releases

If you’ve held a toddler having a temper tantrum, you know they pass through phases, like a speeding train through stations. The kid begins with feral screams of anger. These might go on for a while, … Continue...



You Can’t Overthink VBS

Here's a riddle for you: An introvert walks into VBS. What happens next? If you're a deep thinker like me, you know the answer. Walking into a rocking sanctuary with 200 people is like stepping on to Super Loud Planet Extrovert. We shut down a little bit. Everyone is yelling. Us introverts would … [Read More...]


Three Reasons We Need a Puppy Right Now

No one really needs a puppy. In fact, it’s probably a good life strategy to assume you will be most productive if you never adopt a puppy. Unless you have four kids under the age of twelve and a long summer right around the corner. First Reason We Need a Puppy Right Now Our dog is a Greyhound … [Read More...]


The Hard Lessons of Rainy Days

Yesterday’s historic flooding in Houston showed a lot about our city—that we have too much concrete and not enough ditches, that Houstonians are the most fantastic helpers, and that weather can still paralyze our beehive highway system. For our family, the day off revealed something about us. It … [Read More...]


Writers and Loneliness

This week I talked to elementary school kids about my job as an author. They were sweet and silly and asked great questions (“How much money did you make last year?”) After my talk, a few Fifth Graders lingered to tell me about the books they wanted to write. As one girl stared at her Converse, … [Read More...]

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