Dying on the Inside

MaddieDyingOnTheInside

This is a reprint of a story I shared in Love Rules. It's about how God loves us and redeems the most dead parts of us. Ultimately, this is a story about Good Friday.   No one is ever really ready for a dog. You think you are, but you can’t imagine the bolt-upright-in-bed terror you’ll feel when your new puppy enthusiastically guards against the evil snow at three in the morning. You … [Read more...]

50 Reasons You Should Work at Camp This Summer

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Summers at camp are unlike anything else. If you don't have plans for this summer, try it. Apply with the nearest camp....or look for one across the country. I'm reposting this in honor of Last Summer at Eden's Birthday. Here's the book trailer, which talks about a few of these. Enjoy! You should work at camp this summer because.... 1. So many hours of sunshine! 2. If you live, work, and … [Read more...]

Galveston Oak Trees (& Olive Branches)

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If you're on the island for Spring Break or to visit the beach this summer, check out the Hurricane Ike Tree Tour. Our family loves driving (or, in nice weather, walking) around and spotting the beautiful creations these artists have made from dead oak trees. I write about this tour in my book, Family Trees & Olive Branches... From the book-- "THE OAK TREES OF GALVESTON AND HURRICANE … [Read more...]

Last Summer at Eden for #NLSW

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Let's celebrate National Lutheran Schools Week with some Last Summer at Eden love. My Young Adult novel tells the story of Poppi, who wants to save Camp Eden, a beautiful place with a mysterious problem that might close it down. Check out what people are saying about Last Summer at Eden here. Or watch the (30-second) book video below. You'll love it. Here are three ways I can connect with … [Read more...]

Christmas Gift Guide #2 (What to Buy the Boys)

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  It's cold outside and if you live in Houston it's crazy wet too. No problem. This weekend is the perfect time to knock out the hardest kids on your Christmas list. In our family, that's the boys. We have a little (8 years old) and a tween (11) and I've searched for gifts that will keep them off electronics (the battle raging in our house all the time). Here are my best ideas for the … [Read more...]

5 Lessons from 20 Years as a Writer

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So, all this has happened at once: this is my 1,000th blog entry, at the same time I'm working on my tenth book (Shine). Also, 20 years ago I began classes for my Masters degree in Creative Writing and also began writing professionally. The fact all these multiples of ten coincided felt significant--and the right time to think about what I've learned as an author. Loneliness is a Job … [Read more...]

Dear Elisabeth… on your first day of Fifth Grade

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Dear Elisabeth… Fifth Grade will be like none of your other school years. You, my dear Elisabeth, have changed. Your self-confidence has grown and you are shining.  This inner sparkle comes from your security that Jesus loves you. It also comes from your love to imagine and create. God’s love for you will never change; the creativity will be trickier. There will be times that your gigantic … [Read more...]

Dear Catie (on your first day of High School)

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Oh, my sweet Catie. Today feels the most significant of all your first days of school. All those other first days—in Pre-K, and elementary, and middle school—seem like they were all leading up to today. The first day of high school feels like the first day of the rest of your life. Grades “count” now. The new friends you make this week will see you through some thrilling adventures and … [Read more...]

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

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Dear Nate, Today is your first day of Third Grade! Your older brother and sisters are so excited to tell everything you’ll need to know. They want to teach you everything—from how to earn a multiplication sundae to how to make your teacher like you to the secret of being popular. The truth is you don’t really need their lessons, Nate. You’ve already figured most of this out on your … [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...]