Volume 10. Did you know that we change “volumes” each year for The Warren & the World? When I took over preparation of this newsletter we were on Volume 3—it’s, uh, been a while. We’re coming up on 10 years of Story Warren goodness out in the world, and we’re grateful for every single one of them. We’re grateful for you, too—for the way you foster holy imagination in the kids in your life. Thanks for being part of the journey with us.
Around the Web
Hope for Forgetful Moms
A coworker asked me for one of our standard website logins today. Another needed to be reminded of a password. As we re-enter daily life after the holidays, we often find ourselves forgetful. But Brianna Lambert reminds us that there’s hope, even on our forgetful days.
- Mom, what are you forgetting right now? Your brain may be circulating a checklist of information to remember. Change the baby. Defrost the roast for dinner. Pay the electric bill. Take the kids to soccer at 4. Switch out laundry in an hour. Answer emails. The list goes on and on. Scientists say our working memory can hold about seven items at a time, but most days we feel like we’re juggling seven hundred.
The Light that Shines in Darkness
Lanier Ivester has a beautiful meditation on light in the darkness.
- It was the 26th of December, the second day of Christmas by the traditional reckoning, and I’d spent the balance of it on the couch, nursing the cold I’d sustained thanks to late nights and early mornings and running out barefoot onto the frost-touched grass for just one more branch of holly. But I couldn’t have been happier—behind me, a glad and golden Christmas Day crowned with laughter and the faces of those I love; before, a long week of indolence punctuated by last-minute gatherings with friends and small flurries of merrymaking.
Kids Books: New Year’s Reads
Over at the Square Halo Blog, Leslie Bustard shares some great recommendations for reading in the New Year.
- Although I have switched my planner from 2021 to 2022, and although the calendar pages look clean and pristine, January 1 still feels more like a continuation of whatever was happening pre-Christmas holiday than an actual new beginning.
Since I’ve never been very good at keeping up with New Year’s resolutions, I’ve recently been thinking of the first of the year as a way to re-orient where I have gone off track or to strengthen what I have let grow weak. And as I try to reset, I need my imagination to be sparked and my heart encouraged to keep going on the path that’s been set before me.
Awe might be our most undervalued emotion. Here’s how to help children find it.
Deborah Farmer Kris helps us remember awe.
- When my dad shook me awake at 2 a.m., I grumbled my way out to the backyard and onto the quilt he had spread out for me and my four siblings. Moments later, a streak of light sliced the sky. And then another. For hours, until the sun lit the horizon, we watched the cosmic dance of the Perseid meteor shower.
My 9-year-old self would have described the night as “awesome.” That’s a good word choice, because awesome has a powerful emotional correlate: awe.
Around the Warren
Deux ex Machina
J. E. Kestner rolls her eyes, and then sits in the truth of God from the machine.
- I can feel my eyes beginning to roll before they actually do. The story, so engrossing mere moments ago, has just overreached what even my imagination deems realistic. I’m too close to the end now to simply give up, but I do so with a skeptical eyebrow raised.
Deux ex machina, or “God from the machine” for those of us not fluent in Latin. The dictionary definition is “an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.”
Esther and the Very Brave Plan | Tim Thornborough
Théa Rosenburg ponders plans and recommends a retelling in picture book form of one of the bravest in the Bible.
- It rained for days. Not the drizzly, misty rain we’re known for in the Pacific Northwest, but fat, cold, splashy drops that fell and fell and fell. We could hear them, hammering the roof. We could see them, coursing down the windows. We watched the backyard spring puddles like leaks in places there had never been puddles before.
Something to Do with Your Kids
There have been a few big snowfalls in various parts of the US this week, so maybe you have some and can try out these Swedish Snowball Lanterns!
Something to Watch
Maybe it’s just because I’m on my third cup of the day, but I found this history of tea to be fascinating.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team