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How to Squeeze Hope into a Life Ridden by Fear

by Kaitlin Wernet *** Dear 16-Year-Old Kaitlin, We’re going to Sea World! Younger self, if we could cross paths at the same time, that’s exactly where I’d take you. We’d sit on the hot bleachers, watching seals wave hello as we welcomed memories of your first time there. You were four and it was the…

When You Trust God with Some Things, But Not Everything

by Hanna Seymour *** Dear Hanna, Last night was a big night for you. It’s taken years for you to get to this point and it finally happened. You love God. You genuinely desire to seek His will for your life. You try to obey Him, you want to be more like His Son, Jesus. You’re doing all the…

The Devastating Effects of People-Pleasing

  by Sharon R. Hoover *** “Sure, I can be there.” Ugh, I did it again. With my undiagnosed-people-pleasing nod, I agreed to help with another event on campus. It’s not that the outreach was wrong but the screams of an overbooked schedule reminded me of my limitations. Although college was three decades ago, I…

Introducing: Notes to Your Younger Self

What is an aspect of your faith that you struggled with in your past? Was it doubt, people-pleasing, trust? If you could go back to your younger self who struggled with those things, what would you tell her? What have you learned since then? What has God taught you? What have others taught you? What has experience taught you…

English Lessons: A Birth Story (and a Giveaway)

Today is the official release day for English Lessons. I found it hard to think of what to write to mark this momentous occasion on my blog, where the origins of this book can be traced to. So I decided to tell the chronological story of how English Lessons was born. Today is its birthday after all. Why not celebrate…

The Book. The Product

Well it’s here. It’s a real life, bound beauty of a thing isn’t it? I would like to talk about how this all got started. This whole book thing. I want you to know, and I need to remind myself because lately English Lessons has felt less like a book and more like something else. More like…

Should You Pre-order English Lessons? Probably. Here’s Why.

So the process of releasing a book is in full swing. This time last year I was hardly able to tell you what the book was about. Now, I can tell you everything! It’s so great. I don’t know if you’re into pre-ordering books or not. I am, but only for special books. For example, as…

English Lessons Launch Team: How You Could Be On It

I tell a story in the book about this time in Oxford when somebody stole a battery from me. I rode a bike everywhere in Oxford. I didn’t have a car, so I depended on that bike to get me from here to there, rain or shine. It was illegal to ride a bike in Oxford without a headlight…

“At the Well”

It’s Friday night. I’ve been working and what I really want to do is lie down and binge watch West Wing. But instead I am here, typing. I just listened straight through Bethany Barnard’s new album three times in a row. The fifth song is called “At the Well.” It has a sort of haunting sound to…

English Lessons: The Book Cover and How Writing Makes You Crazy

Around this exact moment on this day last year, I hit SEND on my manuscript. I had spent the previous nine days in a bit of a frenzied state. I did not speak to other people. I holed up in a garage apartment in the country for a couple of days. My physical appearance got scary. All I did was…