Front porch of the Hatmaker house!
Maybe you watched them renovate it on “My Big Family Renovation” on HGTV. I know I did. I watched and laughed and cheered them on. Jen Hatmaker and her family are fun and real and hilarious and Jesus lovin’ Texas Rock stars in my book.
Here’s the thing. The house. The family. As good as they looked on TV, they are a million times better in person.
I had a chance to go to their house for the launch party for the book, “For The Love” because I was on the launch team. (See earlier posts and millions of Facebook updates.) This team not only launched a successful book – hello number 1!! But also connected women (and 4 men #bandoffour) across the globe who love Jesus and writing and books! This launch team ended up raising money for all kinds of things and supporting each other in prayer. It would take months to tell you all the details but to sum it up…this group was kind and generous and supportive and helpful and holy. Jen brought us together to help launch her book and then we ended up launching each other and ourselves. That’s what good leaders do. They remind you who you are in Christ…worthy, called, redeemed, ready…and then they launch you off to do your thing. To play your note. To shine your light.
I tried to take some good pictures for y’all but I was also trying to be in the moment. There were people taking pics and Periscoping and Tweeting and Facebooking all night. I posted several on Facebook with friends so if you want more, tune in there. Here is a picture of the farmhouse. This is me and my friend, Erin, over to the left. Isn’t the house so cute!
Jen took time to talk to EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. THERE. She has to be absolutely exhausted. She is darling. She would not say that. She would say she is SPICY. I say she is warm and kind and comfortable and doing her thing like a boss.
Can I just explain?
Her whole entire family was there. Husband and kids and brother and mom and dad and more! And do you see the TV behind us on the porch? The UT game was on. There were actually two TV areas outside. This is Austin friends. This is how they do things. Faith, Family, Friends, Football. It felt like we literally were just her friends invited over to hang on a Saturday night. Her kids are adorable and her mom. I can’t. You know I love my mom. Moms are so amazing. I was talking to her mom and I said, “You did good”. And she said, “Yeah, she’s pretty great.” And I pictured my mom, always thinking I’m great no matter what. LOVE THAT. As a mom, you just would be so proud. Or maybe one day someone saying sweet things to me about my daughter (s) (please God). I pictured how it feels to have someone tell you your daughter has inspired them and led them closer to Jesus. I can’t even.
Of course, I told my mom about this…”Jen’s mom is so cute, she reminded me of you…” and she said, “Of course her mom would be great. You wonderful daughters didn’t fall of a tree.” So…just giving credit where credit is due. Thanks to all the moms out there.
Here are some fun pictures. Isn’t she so cute? I’m so happy for her and her success. But honestly, the book and the book tour and the TV show appearances and the speaking gigs…all of it is just the icing on the cake. The real stuff…Jesus, her family, her home, her marriage, her children…that’s what real success is and she knows it. Being there was so fun because it was cozy and authentic and relaxed. This isn’t fake, friends. She is the real deal.
She has a chapter in her book called “Porches as Altars” and I have to say, on this night, her porch, her lawn…all of it…was holy. Offered up in friendship and neighborly love. So I took the opportunity to do some yoga on her porch. Of course. Duh.
All of this “launching” is over now. At least for Jen. She is successfully “launched”. But this “team” thing is here to stay. Let’s keep cheering each other on. Let’s live well together. All of us. For the LOVE.
© 2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes, All rights reserved™