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Letters to My Kids

Dear Catie… (on your first day of 11th grade)

Dear Catie-  Wait. Hold on What is happening here?  You—my oldest daughter, young woman, sixteen-year-old—are changing right now more than you ever have before. I did not see this coming.  You, who has always been so exceptionally sweet and laid-back—and a certified black belt at relating to other people—are becoming something even more.   Just when I thought I knew you completely,...
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Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of Seventh Grade)…

Dear Elisabeth… My dear El, you are a devourer of books. You are a voracious teller and reader of all the stories. For most people, this year—Seventh Grade—is an epic chapter of dramatic proportions in their life stories. It’s the awkwardness of sudden growth spurts (or the lack of those spurts). It’s the hormones and the crushing peer...
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Dear Elisabeth… (on your first day of middle school)

Dear El… Thank you for making me laugh every single day. I don’t know where you got this sarcasm from (ha—that’s total sarcasm) but it’s just the best. You may only be 12, but you’re sly wit is way beyond that. Here’s another delight that you might not even know is happening: you’re learning to...
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Dear Catie… (on your sophomore year of high school)

Dear Catie… It’s a little hard to believe you’re starting over again. We moved houses. You moved schools. Sophomore year and you’re having to deal with #freshmanproblems again. It’s a bit scary—for me, at least. There’s so much at risk here. The years of high school feel like stair steps to the grand goal of...
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Dear Elisabeth… on your first day of Fifth Grade

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;...
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Dear Catie (on your first day of High School)

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....
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Dear Sam (on your first day of Fifth Grade)

Dear Sam…. Yesterday, when I was worrying about some detail about your school year, a friend said to me, “I think this will be Sam’s best year yet.” Just like that, I knew what she said could be true for you, Sam. So, what do you say we just claim this as a promise for this year? Let’s...
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Dear Nate… (on your first day of Third Grade)

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...
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Hergenrader’s Hurricane Harvey Timeline

  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...
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Dear Catie…(on your first day of school)

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...
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