Dear Sam… (on your first day of school)

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Dear Sam.... It's crazy I'm writing your first-day-of-school letter at almost the end of September. This has been such a chaotic start to this school year. Hurricane Harvey has made everything later and backwards and awkward and different. Actually, this might be the perfect way for you to start Fourth Grade. Because, Sam, you love the crazy and chaotic. You are fine with backwards or awkward … [Read more...]

Family Project: Upcycle Old Jars

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Over the past year, our family has collected two years of empty jars in our pantry. Blame it on our love of salsa, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and pickles. Blame it on our German heritage and absolute inability to throw away something we could use again. Blame it on the kids' new understanding of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This is the same reason I have over 200 toilet paper cores in our attic. … [Read more...]

Second Camp Counselor Care Package Giveaway!

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How To Enter the Giveaway: 1. Click here to enter your favorite camp counselor to win this week’s care package. 2. I’ll select  random WINNERS Monday, June 19. (Entries close at midnight) 3. If your counselor is selected, I’ll send them a care package stuffed with homemade cookies, notes, glow sticks, Bible verses, and SO MANY other goodies! (If your counselor doesn’t win this giveaway, don’t … [Read more...]

Why Writers Really Hate Book Releases

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If I could, I would skip book release day all together. It's like birthdays when you're young or New Years Eve in your twenties. Too many expectations. Too much fear of rejection. Plus, there's my control freak's worry about sharing my words with the world.  Have I done enough? Will the world be friendly? What did I get wrong? It reminds me of my oldest child’s first day of preschool, so many … [Read more...]

It Only Takes A Spark….

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A friend who just finished Last Summer at Eden mentioned she was surprised by all the romance in the book. She wrote this note across the top: "Isn't it unlikely that hooking up would happen so much at a Christian camp?" I was confused. Because, of course. Camp love stories are as common as the chigger bites and buttered corn. Right? Then I learned that my dear friend had never been to camp, … [Read more...]

Dying on the Inside

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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 can’t prepare yourself for how much your dog will stink when he finds a dead rat and covers his fur in its stink. But these are nothing compared with the two hardest parts of … [Read more...]

Love Rules Third Giveaway!

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Love Rules is 40 stories about real women and also 75 discussion questions to help you think about your own story. Most importantly, Love Rules is the study of how crazy much God loves you. Here are some of my favorite Bible verses from the book that share that message... Matthew 22:38-39....This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as … [Read more...]

Second Fall Friday Giveaway!

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Wow. What a week. Are you feeling a little bruised, a little strung-out from social media? Here's the best news in the world...God loves you more than you can imagine. You already have everything you need: your identity, your hope, your true security, and real peace. God's love is the message of Love Rules, and it's the message I want to share through this week’s giveaway. I would love to … [Read more...]

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

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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. … [Read more...]

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

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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 your hair. You'll look back on pictures of this and cringe. But now that you're in Middle School, it feels like everything you do is who you are. Suddenly, you're not just passing through different … [Read more...]