by Jen Hatmaker on August 5th, 2014

So this is a big week. Tra la la. We have a little program on the television airing this Thursday. And my odometer rolls over to 40 that day, too. Tra la la. Nothing to see here. I thought it might be fun to break the tension by giving away free books! What is better than free stuff?

Lots of you read "7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" already. For you precious lambs who haven't, this was our seven-month experiment in which we tackled seven areas of excess and acted like crazy people. Like, we ate the same seven foods for a month and wore the same seven pieces of clothes for a month and other delightful eccentricities. (Get an idea of it here so this blog will make sense to you.)

by Jen Hatmaker on July 31st, 2014

Our show airs one week from today.
Please excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag.
Before it comes out and things get weird, I wanted to make sure I told you a few things. Mainly, we had a blast filming this thing. We really sincerely did. For some reason I need you to know this because TV often (deservedly) gets a bad rap and I want you to know another side. Like I told our crew during the wrap party: “This whole experience was 83% awesome!” The other 17% was reserved for such delightful moments like the video clip below when I lost my mind over green paint like a psycho:

by Jen Hatmaker on July 18th, 2014

It was just a few short years ago that I dipped my pinkie toe into the waters of international community development. (I didn’t know a hill of beans about it at the time…that was back when I was still giving a conference talk entitled, “How To Be A Woman of Confidence,” God bless us each and every one.) But Jesus had sufficiently interrupted my life and there was no going back.
It was then I ripped through a giant mountain of books to help educate my sweet little dumb-dumb mind about issues of systemic oppression, economic empowerment, justice structures, and a whole bunch of other stuff I was happily in the dark about, including Countries Other Than America. Bless my heart.
Among my reading material was “Half the Sky.” For you who’ve read it, you just inhaled a big breath. This was a Pulitzer prize winning book written by journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn. The title comes from the Chinese proverb:
Women hold up half the sky.

by Jen Hatmaker on July 17th, 2014

Pull up a chair and grab some coffee. I’m going to tell you a story. It is a story about systems, but please don’t let that stop you from reading, because it is ultimately a story about the dignity of human life. It is an important story and you matter in it.

Because we aren’t trained to appreciate systems, I will bold them when mentioned. It goes without saying that our western systems are terribly imperfect; there are holes, weak spots, gaps, catastrophic failures. People fall through them, absolutely. I know this, dear reader. I realize our structures have failed some of you, and that grieves me. Hear me say that. But this story isn’t the moment to cry foul on our systems (we can have that important conversation later), because though our structures are imperfect, THEY EXIST. Though the following progression is the way our systems are designed, it doesn't mean they always work. Yet...they exist.

by Jen Hatmaker on July 9th, 2014

I have never had an office. I had a desk for awhile, but my children used it as an art table. I've written all of my books in very glamorous places like the corner of the couch, my unmade bed, the kitchen table, and my bathroom floor.

When we moved to the farmhouse, there was this extremely nasty outbuilding off the patio. We used it for a kitchen and Holding Cell For Garbage And Vermin during the renovation (I'm playing fast and loose with the term "kitchen" here). But now that we have a real kitchen inside, I started eyeballing this crappy little room for an office. Apologies to the ants and mice. It looked something like this:

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