Hattie Kauffman made history as the first Native American journalist to ever file a report on a national network evening news broadcast and has over two decades of experience as an on-camera correspondent and news anchor. A speaker and writer, Hattie is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho and lives in Seattle, Washington. I’m honored to welcome her to my blog today, to share her story and give away her new memoir, Falling Into Place. If you liked Jeanette Walls’ Glass Castle, you’ll love Hattie’s new memoir. It’s The Glass Castle of Christian memoir. Here’s Hattie.

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“We live in the housing projects. And usually, we are hungry.”

Those are my words at 4 years old. Today, in my mid-50’s with those little girl statements now public in my book Falling into Place, I am fretting… first, that my siblings will disapprove of my pulling back the curtain on our empty stomach years. And second, what will my colleagues think? After a career in television news with its attendant glamour that lures people to work from Manhattan apartments (people who obviously didn’t need the job), I am exposing myself as someone who was driven by need: the hunger that propelled me from the earliest age.
“One afternoon, Mom comes home, which alone is a big event. But this time it’s tremendous. She has bags of groceries. We swarm her, all seven kids jumping, talking, laughing, trying to hug her and grab something to eat at the same time. I snatch a loaf of bread and run upstairs to hide it in a closet.”
Why reveal such things? Well, because something happened to me in my fifth decade of life. God happened. Of course, God was there all the time but I didn’t know it, feel it, or trust it until one day in 2007 when my eyes were opened. Since then, as I look back on my life, I see that all my clawing, striving, climbing was not only an attempt to fill the hunger of the human body… that of the skinny child… but also the hallow vacuum in my soul. I was trying to fill with achievement what could only be filled by God.

As Exodus 14:14 says: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” NIV

For most of my life I was the opposite of still. Through two failed marriages, and in a career that took me from coast to coast in countless high adrenaline assignments in network news, I was the over-achieving, insecure, nothing-is-ever-good-enough driven one, unconsciously trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. Not surprising really, since self-preservation got its start at such a young age.
“…when Mom finishes putting away the canned vegetables, milk and butter, she notices the bread is missing.
“‘For Pete’s sake, did the clerk not put it in the bag?’
“I don’t say a word. I sit on the couch, staring at my curled up toes. Food is more crucial than honesty. I am learning that my survival is up to me.”
It took half a century to erase those early lessons. Today, I thank God that I no longer feel my survival is up to me. And yet, didn’t I begin this post by fretting about how others might judge my story? If I can hand over my survival, certainly I can hand over that as well.

Hattie Kauffman has interviewed presidents, Oscar winners, astronauts, and Olympians. She’s covered wildfires and murder trials and delved into personal interest stories. But while she uncovered the stories behind big personalities and events, her own story remained untold.

In this beautifully written memoir, you’ll get an inside look into the events that shaped this remarkable woman who thought she’d left the ghosts of childhood behind her. But when her world came crashing down one autumn day, she was forced to face all that she had been running from. What she learned about herself surprised her.

She was never alone in her flight and, indeed, had never needed to run in the first place.

Great news…today Hattie is giving away TWO copies of ‘Falling Into Place.’ Leave a comment in the box below telling us why you’d like to read this book and we’ll choose a winner within a week.