• inspiring quote

    stop quitting

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    We all have the tendency to be quitters. We quit when things get hard, quit when we don’t feel like it, quit when there’s opposition, and quit because it’s Tuesday. But why do we quit? Sometimes it’s because we allow people’s words to make us feel like we don’t have what it takes. Like we’re […]

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  • woman in mirror

    big thighs, blue dresses, and self-love

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    Under the bright dressing-room lights at Target, I try on countless outfits. I am seven months pregnant. My body looks different now with new curves and indentions and a belly that swells each day. “I am really pregnant” I think and put on long blue dress, hoping it won’t look as bad as the others. I turn […]

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  • girl with a map

    What do you really want?

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    What do you really want? It is a husband? A job? A group of friends? A healthy baby? A certain life path? It’s a simple question, but one I think we avoid asking because we’re afraid of speaking aloud the answer. Because when we don’t want anything, then we can’t get our hopes up, which in […]

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  • Real Men Don't Text

    Real Men Don’t Text Book Club

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    I’ve received several emails from people saying how great Real Men Don’t Text is to talk through as a group. One group even invited me to join them for their last study. How fun! If you are in a book club, at a college, in a Bible study, a youth leader, a mom in a […]

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  • man giving flowers

    Forgiveness Won’t Fix Your Toxic Relationship

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    I recently had coffee with a victim of an emotionally abusive relationship. Every time she was ready to leave him after an outburst, he would return the next day and apologize profusely, sometimes with flowers or big displays of affection, begging her for forgiveness. After her somewhat unemotional description of his violent behavior, she asked […]

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  • couple on a bench

    16 Things Every Woman Should Know How to Say to a Man

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    The worst thing a woman can be in a relationship? Silent. But the art of expressing ourselves in living words, not typed ones, proves increasingly challenging. Here are 16 things I, like many of you, wish I learned to say to a man right as I came of age instead of a decade too late. […]

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  • Texting

    Are You Wearing Text Goggles?

    Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    As a millennial, I understand the appeal of the text message. It’s easy, convenient, non-threatening, and can be ignored. I have texted guys to suggest a hang out when I hadn’t heard from them in a while; I have received tweets, texts, and emails from men for last-minute ‘dates’ that never seemed to work out […]

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  • Bride and bridesmaid

    When God gives her a husband and you’re still single

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Her email landed in my inbox just after 2am. “How could God give her a husband and not me?  I’ve gone home alone a million times when she went home with a guy. I’ve waited and saved myself for my husband and she hasn’t. She’s cleaned up her act recently but she’s only spent 6 […]

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  • sexy selfie

    A Letter to Sexy-Instagram Posters

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

      (This letter is in response to this controversial letter to a teenage girl from a mom who blocks sexy-posters her from her sons’ social media feeds. Dear Sexy-Instagram Poster, I see you. That feels like a good place to start. I see how you long to be beautiful, to be told you are beautiful. […]

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  • © 1978 ABC

    Men: This is How You Ask Her Out

    Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    Real Men Don’t Text is officially available today everywhere books are sold! Michael wrote this post for the men out there who want to date differently, but don’t know where to start.  Spoiler alert: it will start with a plan and a phone call. When I was in high school and college, the easiest (read: […]

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Sep
19

Strength and Brokenness

“Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in having never been broken…but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places.” Are you broken? Or had pain at some point in your life that felt like too much to bare? We’ve all been hurt — broken — at some point, in some way in our lives, […]

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Sep
14

Life As a MRS | Sunday Emails and Coffee Shops

This week started off perfectly. My friend Natalie who I wrote about here is staying with us for a week or so until she moves.  On Sunday night, we called some friends in China for the “Moon Festival” and I got to talk to my dear friend Doris. Nothing like starting off the week with […]

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Sep
11

Remembering 9/11 | Freedom is Not Free

What were you doing on September 11, 2001? Today, I don’t want to add any commentary to the noise surrounding the tragic day–but I wanted to briefly express my condolences to the families who lost loved ones 10 years ago. May you find peace amidst the horrible tragedy of terror filling our skies and taking […]

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Sep
8

Ruthie vs. Airplane: On Overcoming Fear

Overcome your fear. I hear people use this phrase, but what does it really mean? My dad used to tell me I needed to overcome my fear of heights by going on a roller coaster. To date, I have only allowed roller coasters to take complete control of my body twice. Once, at Six Flags with my dad and […]

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Sep
6

Did I screw up God’s plans for me?

 Did Mr. Right pass me by? Do my past sins exclude me from God’s best? I have several friends and acquaintances in their late twenties or early thirties who are asking these questions. Many of whom have just broken off relationships with the wrong guy, because they are following God and waiting for the right guy. […]

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SONY DSC
Sep
2

Stolen Phones and Finding Hope

“Thanks to my Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ for calling me His daughter, leading me out of darkness into his wonderful light, protecting me, and never leaving my side. Without Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, my life would be void of the richest gifts and relationships — and I would never have […]

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Aug
30

An American Dream

From the Sandstorms of Inner Mongolia to a Vanderbilt Ph.D–A Story of Genius, Triumph over the Impossible, and Perseverance Zhaoying Han, ‘Natalie’, received her Ph.D in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University yesterday– an impressive feat in itself – but what separates her from the rest is her unmatched perseverance and determination despite the impossible odds […]

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how-to-write-a-formal-letter
Aug
25

A Letter to My Freshman “conch-shell-necklace-wearing-midriff-showing” Self

On my drive home last week, a wave of nostalgia overtook my car and I swung by my old Alma Mater. From the chaos, I knew it could only be freshman move-in day. Oh joy! I remember my first day freshman year at Vanderbilt almost too vividly. My entire family –all six of us–made the […]

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Aug
22

A Stolen Life | A Story of Rescue and Life After Tragedy

A Stolen Life is the story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, victim of child abduction, rape, and imprisonment for 18 years before she is reunited with her family. (The one imprisioned in the backyard…remember?) To watch the full story with Diane Sawyer click here. This was hands-down the hardest book I have ever read. Why would anyone continue reading something about […]

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Aug
18

The Story Behind The Help [And Why You Should Never Give Up]

“You is kiiind. You is smaaart. You is important.” Aibilene, The Help The Help is one of the best fiction books I have read in years. And the movie made my list of Top 10 favorites. The story is incredibly moving, but today I want to write about the backstory — the story of the author, […]

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