Please join us in celebrating Nina Herndon who has been part of The Magdalen House team for two years!
For years, Nina had been one of our most active volunteers, producing beautiful graphics and communications for our agency. When the time came that we needed a full-time Communications Director, my first thought (and prayer) was that Nina would join our team. She joined the staff full time in 2019 and in two short years has completely changed the way we communicate as an agency – both internally and externally. Her talented gifts have contributed to our explosive growth and the ability to reach thousands more women and their families. We are so grateful to have Nina on our team!
– Lisa Kroencke, Executive Director
1. What do you do at The Magdalen House, and what does a “typical” day look like for you?
I like to think of myself as a storyteller. I use different types of media – think social, website, emails, graphics, videos, etc. – to make sure that the 1 in 11 alcoholic women who are suffering know that they’re not alone, that we’re here for them. And to make sure that our supporters see first-hand the life-saving impact they are making on alcoholic women and their families.
This means that, typically, I have about 20 Chrome tabs open, anywhere from 2 – 5 Word documents I am working on, a graphic in Adobe InDesign that I started and got sidetracked from, and about a million thoughts I am working on getting out of my head and on paper before I forget what they are.
2. What is your favorite line in the Big Book, and why?
“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone— even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” (Page 84-85)
Hands down, the bottom of 84 and top of 85 where we’re given the 10th step promises. When you’re a sick alcoholic, it is almost impossible to comprehend life without alcohol – and especially life without thinking about alcohol. Because that’s what life was for me, a constant stream of thoughts that were about alcohol. These pages promise a recovered alcoholic freedom from that obsession, “We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally and we will find that this has happened automatically.”
But it is followed by an imperative disclaimer, “That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” The sentences that follow provide a warning of how easy it is to fall out of our fit spiritual condition that the program gives us. It is something that is just as important to me today, at six years into my recovery, as it was when I first began.
3. What’s something you’ve witnessed at The Magdalen House that inspires or moves you?
Day in and day out, we have the joy of witnessing alcoholic women find something that they were convinced doesn’t exist – a solution to their alcoholism. Watching women find hope, experience freedom, come alive, and pass on what they’ve found to others who are drinking themselves to death, skeptical of such promises, is truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing. And it’s not just one woman’s story. It’s this story that is passed from woman to woman here at The Magdalen House. (I encourage you to check out the post, One Woman at a Time, which is one of my favorite projects to date).
4. How has working at The Magdalen House impacted your life?
It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. When I was offered the position, I was in a corporate job with people that I loved, a great salary, and great perks but I wasn’t passionate about the work that I was doing. Receiving that call from Lisa asking if I would come and work for The Magdalen House felt like an answered prayer that I didn’t even realize I was praying.
The Magdalen House has given me the opportunity to combine work and passion, a huge blessing that I feel very fortunate to experience in my life. It also allowed me to meet and work with some truly incredible and passionate women.
5. What are some of your hobbies, or things that you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Snuggling my three chihuahua mixes, Abby, Tanner, and Ruth, and spending quality time with my fiancée and favorite human, Spencer (all of whom are pictured with me above); cooking, especially for people that I love; reading books in bed; sitting outside and writing; long walks through my neighborhood; hand lettering cheesy phrases; and trying to figure out how to practice and create artwork that I am passionate about.
6. What’s something that we may not know about you?
I grew up spending summers on my Gram’s flower farm in Ohio. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories, and I have dreams of opening a business in her honor someday.
Read More from Nina:5 Years is Nothing Like I Expected
About Nina Herndon
Nina graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Entrepreneurship and a dream of building an organization that would help women. Today, she is grateful to live that dream through her work with The Magdalen House. Her background in communications and marketing, combined with her experience as a woman in recovery, allows Nina to uniquely tell the story of The Magdalen House in hopes of reaching more alcoholic women seeking freedom.
In early 2015 Nina reluctantly visited The Magdalen House to attend a meeting and talk to the women in the house, only to find herself feeling entirely at home. Visits became more and more frequent, and in 2016 she began volunteering with The Magdalen House, serving as the Communications Chair of Maggie’s Women’s Group for two years. Through Maggie’s, she has witnessed countless women find freedom from alcohol and new meaning in their lives – including her own.