The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web:
Walking in the Ordinary
Nate shares about the power of the ordinary hero—the honestly cheerful cashier, the smiling stranger on a sidewalk, the complimentary child. No one wants to be forgotten, he reminds us, so we’ve taken to striving for the extraordinary, when the ordinary may be the better path.
- I see it in friends pushing through the motions. It may not seem like it, but how often do we walk through everyday – same job, same gas station, same house – and feel so isolated? With the common question of “If I leave would anyone care?”None of us want to be forgotten.
And so, as an alternative, we fight to become over-eccentric, life of the party & the talk of the town. Maybe, if we become this, we won’t be forgotten.
We’ve forgotten that an impact in the ordinary.
What Everyone Who Secretly Feels Like a Loser Really Needs
Ann Voskamp writes at A Holy Experience about feeling like a loser. It starts with an argument with her daughter and turns into a reflection on the Lenten journey of Christ.
- She says she didn’t. I say she did. I don’t know how it suddenly got so loud and we both lost.
I do know there are parenting days when the terms of endearment can get confusing and it all feels more like the terms of endurement.
Our arguing, it can go in circles. I don’t like it. What I like even less somedays is me.
It’s there in the center of the kitchen table, the wooden Lenten wreath — Christ encircling round everything on His way to Calvary.
Encircle our crazy circles, Lord?
Everything blurs and spills.
Ann teaches us to turn the “loser” sign on our foreheads to a sign that marks the amazing grace of Jesus. Read more.
What True Humility Looks Like
Justin Taylor shares a valuable reminder from C.S. Lewis at the Gospel Coalition blog.
- Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.
Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.
Music Makes You a Better Reader
Looking for a good reason to play music more? Need to boost your reading? We’ve now got science backing us up when we want to be musicians and readers. Kayt Sukel writes at Good Magazine about the studies of Nina Kraus, who is exploring the power of music to assist disadvantaged students.
- The “musician’s advantage,” traditionally, has been difficult to study. Often, musical training is obtained privately in one-on-one instruction—something available only to kids of higher socio-economic status. This meant that researchers couldn’t say for certain whether music was responsible for the better academic outcomes observed or whether some unrelated factor, linked to living in a home in a higher income bracket, was behind any observed difference. After all, more affluent parents are often better educated themselves—and have more time and resources to help children with their reading and school work. Perhaps music wasn’t the true differentiator. But Kraus remained certain that there was something special about musical instruction. While the brain can change in positive ways in response to any meaningful activity, she believes music offers unique benefits.
“Music and language skills rely upon auditory processing. Although reading may not be thought of as a primarily auditory activity, its foundation rests on a child making sense of incoming auditory input in order to map speech sounds correctly on to orthographic representations,” says Kraus.
Around the Warren:
Things Worth Grieving
Helena Sorensen writes about the value of grieving, even when it would be easier not to feel so deeply.
- If I’m honest, I have to admit that I don’t quite have the courage for grief. (“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” –C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed ) If I sat down to weep over all the little losses, I might never get up again. And what of the big ones? It’s too much, and I’m inclined to harden my son to the world, to try to make less of his small griefs so that he can endure the big ones when they come. But is this wisdom?
“The more that you read…”
Words from the great Dr. Seuss. Art by the exceptional Paul Boekell.
The Joy of Being Awake
David Kern of the Circe Institute shares with us his review of Gregory and Suzanne Wolfe’s book, Bless This House: Prayers For Families And Children.
- Gregory and Suzanne Wolfe write about how “mornings seem to be the special province of young children”, about how it’s hard for parents to keep up with the incredible energies of a child freshly awake. Bethany and I know this first hand. Coulter has more energy than any creature I’ve ever seen from the moment he wakes up to moment he finally falls asleep, his stuffed animals gathered around him like a pack of friends. We spend more time than I could ever track asking one another “how does he have the energy to do that!?”.And in the mornings, when I’m dug out of my burrow by the smiling face of my newly two-year-old and my almost one-year-old, the sleep soggy in my eye sockets and my shoulders weary from what always feels like too little rest, I’m always amazed by the joy and excitement with which Coulter and his little brother meet a new day.
Reader’s Theater: “Anansi’s Feast”
Something to Do with Your Kids:
I loved “science experiments” as a kid—whether I understood the science behind them was debatable. Making oobleck and learning about surface tension with water and pepper and dish soap in the kitchen sink were lots of fun. Here’s a chance to try out the science of color-changing milk—or just create a work of milk art!
And Something to Watch
I discovered this week the “A Poem Is” series of videos released by Disney Junior a few years back. There are some great videos with classic poems, like this one: “The Months” by Sara Coleridge, read by Kenneth Branagh.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.