No One Cares if You Write…

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A few months ago I joined a gym for one reason: accountability. I was tired of falling asleep—my day's step count at a dismal low—and vowing to myself that I WOULD work out the next day. Only to discover that the next day was like the one before it—filled with good intentions, but not much of me pulling on my running shoes and hitting the trails. I needed more than just guilt and flabby … [Read more...]

Fred Tonn Taught Us to Ask Three Questions

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Fred Tonn (who we called "Uncle Fred") has been a big part of my whole life. For all the really big moments in our family--and the millions of tiny moments--Uncle Fred has been there. He has sat with us, laughing, singing, telling stories and jokes, and always (always) praying for us. I can't find words to say how important Uncle Fred has been in my life, or in the lives of my kids and husband. … [Read more...]

Family Gift Guide for Christmas

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Here are some gifts that our family loves. My hope is that these gifts might help fill in the gaps for your Christmas list.  Fuji Instax camera… This seems to be the gift all the cool kids want. I can’t even wrap my head around wanting to print out pictures. I remember when we were so amazed that we could keep ALL OUR PICTURES on our phone. “Wow!” we marveled. “Never again would we have to … [Read more...]

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...]