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Update: The Hatmaker family's HGTV series, now titled My Big Family Renovation, premieres August 7.
Even in Austin, Texas, a city proud of "keeping it weird," Jen Hatmaker and her family of seven live a distinctly weird life. The writer and speaker calls their weekends a "crazy chaotic show, from Friday to Monday," as she flies between Christian conferences before joining her husband, Brandon, at their Free Methodist church plant for worship each Sunday.
Amid quippy asides and Instagram photos of everyone smiling wide, Hatmaker chronicles her family—three kids "the old-fashioned way" and two adopted from Ethiopia in 2011—on her popular blog. Her 2012 book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (B&H Publishing), remains a bestseller as it follows her family's 30-day fasts to combat excessive consumption.
"Jen is not merely a writer or a speaker. She makes readers laugh, but she also makes them uncomfortable in their complacency," said Jennifer Lyell, trade book publisher at B&H. "She leads them to conviction, but she also reminds them of the grace that binds."
This summer, the Hatmakers' family, faith, and 105-year-old farmhouse will debut on cable TV. HGTV reached out to Hatmaker last June, after she appeared on the Today show to discuss her blog post confessing to being the "worst end-of-school-year-mom ever."
"We told HGTV, 'Listen, we are super-Christian, you guys. This is not gray. We're all the way. Brandon's a pastor, I'm a Christian author and speaker—this is who we are,' " she said. "They said, 'Yes. All of it.' That's how they're portraying us on the show, which is lovely."
The eight-episode series, Family Under Construction, is scheduled to air this July, following the success of faith-friendly reality shows such as A&E's Duck Dynasty and TLC's 19 Kids and Counting.