When God Does That One Thing…

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"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the … [Read more...]

What I’ve Learned from Book Birthdays…Celebrate!

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A few years ago, Anne Lamott wrote a funny essay about book releases. In it, she describes looking forward to her Release Day with the anticipation most of us have for a birthday or New Years Eve. Another author friend had a book coming out on the same day, and they talked endlessly about how the actual day would feel. On her big Pub Date, Anne Lamott wakes up so hopeful for what this glorious day … [Read more...]

The Book That Almost Wasn’t….

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This week our family went to dinner to celebrate my new book, Family Trees and Olive Branches. Holding this book—one that had been such a struggle to write—felt like an actual miracle. The idea for Family Trees & Olive Branches came from hearing about so many painful family stories: parents who are heartbroken because of terrible fights with their kids, siblings who had completely lost … [Read more...]

How did YOUR Family Celebrate the World Series?

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When the Astros WON THE WORLD SERIES, our city went crazy with joy and relief. Thanks to Hurricane Harvey, the past two months had been about loss in our city. After so many days of only soggy carpet and demolished homes, Houston now had trophies and homeruns. We were ready to party. So, we did what people always do when the monumental, the emotional, the historical happens. We sought out our … [Read more...]

The Problem with the World Series

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The World Series is high drama here in Houston. With the pressure of Game 7 comes a million different perspectives: Astros vs Dodgers, West Coast vs South, and Kershaw vs Keuchel. But in our house, here’s the battle raging: Late & Long Games vs Reasonable Bedtime for Kids. The struggle is real for moms this month. Our kids are in the sweet (rough?) spot of childhood where there’s not a … [Read more...]

Hergenrader’s Hurricane Harvey Timeline

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  Thursday, August 24 We first paid attention to Harvey on Tuesday this week, as more and more models had it hitting Houston with tons of rain. On Thursday, we bought cases of bottled water and started to pray. With each news report, the hurricane was getting stronger so I drove down to Galveston to button down the beach house. The Gulf was choppy and the beach was so windy. The … [Read more...]

A Fangirl of Mary Karr Learns Grace for Herself

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For so long, I have admired writers and musicians from far away. Very far, in fact. Even though their art has inspired me, I’ve never had the guts to really tell them that. I've never written a single one of them a fan letter. Actually, I’ve also never posted a review of a book or an album—not even for those songs and stories that I’ve committed to memory. I'm a sensitive over thinker, and my … [Read more...]

Not Just Stuff

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As I’m writing this, a bright yellow trash crane is making its way down our neighborhood. It’s finally hauling away the Harvey Heaps from the front of the flooded homes on the other side of our subdivision. The insides of our neighbors’ beautiful homes have been gutted. All of their stuff—the broken cabinets, the bloated books, the waterlogged Christmas wreathes, the crumbling sheetrock—has … [Read more...]

Flooded With Love

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When Hurricane Harvey dumped 50 inches of rain on our Houston suburb of Katy, everything I had secretly feared happened. We didn’t sleep night after night because of tornadoes; we watched with terror as the homes of many (many!) dear friends flooded . . .  and with no flood insurance; our home was in a mandatory evacuation area—yet we were trapped inside by rising water. But in the face of … [Read more...]

Dear Catie…(on your first day of school)

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Dear Catie…. Today starts the end of middle school for you. As everyone said they would, the past three years have gone faster than Reece's in your lunch bag. (Very fast.) You are unique, sweetheart. Your effervescence and joy make you so fun. Yes, you have ALL THE ENERGY ALL THE TIME, which makes you seem so much younger than 13. This also makes you different than the eye-rolling, … [Read more...]