Jenna Bush Hager has revealed that her father, former President George W. Bush, texts her Bible verses every morning — a tradition that started when her twin sister, Barbara, was going through a ‘bad breakup.’
The Today host, 41, was talking about faith with Savannah Guthrie, 51, and Hoda Kotb, 58, on Thursday morning’s show when she opened up about her dad’s sweet daily ritual.
‘I actually wake up every morning to a text from my dad that’s a different Bible verse. I think I’ve forwarded them on to both of you,’ she told her co-hosts.
Bush Hager admitted that she wasn’t initially on the text chain, but it later evolved to include her.
Jenna Bush Hager, 41, opened up about a heartwarming family tradition started by her father, former President George W. Bush, while talking about faith on the Today show Thursday
The Today host (pictured on the show with her dad) shared that her father texts her and her twin sister, Barbara Bush, Bible verses every morning
‘It started when my sister had a bad breakup, and my dad just started texting her every morning,’ she explained. ‘It was something really small, but something very steady that she’d look [forward] to.’
Barbara went on to marry her husband, Craig Coyne, in October 2018, and together, they have a one-year-old daughter, Cora Georgia, named after her maternal grandfather.
Kotb agreed that an inspiring text from a loved one can sometimes make all the difference during a difficult time.
The mother of two recently missed two weeks of work while her three-year-old daughter, Haley, was battling a health issue in the hospital, where she spent several days in the intensive care unit.
‘Life is so about timing,’ Kotb told her costars. ‘You guys have each texted me something full of faith and meaning at a time when I needed it the most.’
Speaking with DailyMail.com last week, Bush Hager and Guthrie opened up about their close bond with Kotb and her absence from the show.
‘It started when my sister had a bad breakup, and my dad just started texting her every morning,’ Bush Hager explained
Bush Hager admitted she wasn’t initially on the text chain, but it later evolved to include her
‘I know how much I adore her; I already knew it every day,’ Bush Hager said. ‘But when someone is not at work unexpectedly for a period of time, you realize how important they are to you
‘And I have three little babes just like her, so my heart completely empathizes with her. Hoda taking that time off shows how lucky we are that we work in a place where we can take that time off work. Also, I’m so happy she heard how beloved she is.’
Guthrie shared similar sentiments about how they came together to support their friend, saying, ‘As a team, we all lift each other up and that’s the way it should be.
‘We are working these crazy hours that can be high stress and also high fun. We have a special bond and it shows in times like this,’ she added.
‘I love our show and NBC because there is never a question about being off work for family. It’s always been, “How can we support you? Just take all the time you need.”‘
The Today stars often share parenting advice with each other, and later, on the fourth hour of Thursday’s show, Bush Hager and Kotb discussed how they console their daughters when they feel left out.
Bush Hager noted that she has forwarded the Bible verses to her costars Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, who share her faith
Bush Hager later opened up about how her middle child, Poppy, recently felt left out after catching her watching a movie with her oldest daughter, Mila. She and her husband, Henry Hager, also have a son, Hal
Bush Hager explained their her middle child, Poppy, seven, recently got upset after she caught her watching the Netflix movie Enola Holmes with her oldest daughter, Mila, nine.
The mom, who also has a three-year-old son, Hal, with her husband, Henry Hager, explained that she didn’t let Poppy watch the PG-13 movie because it was a ‘little inappropriate’ for her.
‘Poppy ran in and said, “Why would you do this? Why does she get to watch it?” And her heart was broken and I did not know what to do,’ she recalled.
When Bush Hager gave in and told Poppy she could watch the movie with them, Mila got upset, saying, ‘No, Mom! It’s PG-13 and in first grade I wasn’t allowed that!’
She ended up turning off the TV, which made Mila angry, and went to lie down with Poppy and console her because she remembered what it was like to feel left out.
‘I said, “Poppy, I know that hurt your feelings.” And she just said, “I wish I was older. Why did I have to be the baby sister? Why can’t I ever get the love? Why can’t I ever be seen?”‘ the former first daughter shared.
Kotb shared that she could relate to Bush Hager’s plight as a mom, saying her older daughter, Haley, has been feeling less seen while she has been caring for her youngest, Hope, who was recently hospitalized
Kotb missed two weeks of work while Haley spent several days in the ICU battling a health issue. ‘All the attention is on Hope, and Haley wonders too, like, “I’m here,”‘ she explained
Bush Hager was heartbroken that she made her ‘precious’ daughter Poppy ‘feel like she wasn’t enough.
‘I just wonder, how do moms do it all? How do they give everyone the attention they need?’ she asked her costar, who could relate to feeling like she has fallen short as a mother.
Kotb explained that her six-year-old daughter, Haley, hasn’t been feeling as seen since she’s been busy caring for her younger sister, who ‘hasn’t been feeling great.’
‘All the attention is on Hope, and Haley wonders too, like, “I’m here. Here I am. See me. I need someone to carry me. Do what you’re doing for Hope, you know?” I feel like there is a lot of that,’ she said.
Kotb added that there have been times in her own life when she didn’t feel like anyone was paying attention to her, but she believes they have made her stronger.
“It’s weird,’ she said, ‘but I feel like I got most of my resilience in life because of that. You didn’t expect to always be seen and heard.’