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!
Welcome Back! I’ve got a thing for clean slates and new starts, so seeing “Issue 1” in the subject line of this email makes me smile. We’re happy to be back at Story Warren and looking forward to what 2016 has for us all.
Around the Web
Words of Wisdom from Jimmy Dougan
- Our family watched A League of Their Own the other night (still a good movie, by the way) and there’s this moment where Tom Hanks tells Geena Davis that baseball is “supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. The ‘hard’ is what makes it great.”At the end of every Christmas tour we all sit around and play “Highs and Lows,” naming the high points and low points of the month. The highs are easy to come up with; the lows are tricky because the real lows (for me, anyway) aren’t the sorts of things you can just blab about in a group of people. But in 2014, everybody had the same low.
Tolkien Reads from The Hobbit
- In August of 1952, having just finished the manuscript of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien took a vacation in Worcestershire, where he stayed with his friend George Sayer, an English Master at the local college. To entertain his guest one evening, Sayer pulled out an early portable tape recorder. Although the technology had been around for some time, it was only just becoming commercially available and Tolkien hadn’t seen one before. Intrigued by how it worked, he joked that he “ought to cast out any devil that might be in it” by recording himself reading the Lord’s Prayer in his beloved ancient Gothic language. The result delighted him, and he went on to read from his own work.
To the Invisible Feeling Mom
- I remember once, a week after giving birth, going to Target (of course – it’s like the sanctuary for us moms) and walking to the back of the store feeling exhausted and not knowing how to get to the front again. I kind of wanted to wear a sign that said just given birth have mercy. But no one knew that inner part of my story. The no sleep worn out part. The part where my eyes welled up with tears because I bumped into someone in that tired state and they got irritated. I just wanted them to know the deep parts of me, the parts that were struggling, and so on – I wanted them to understand that sometimes the outside doesn’t mirror the inside.I felt invisible.I know you understand me right now.
My friend Natalie and her husband Mike are waiting…they’ve been waiting for a few years now. They’ve been seeking to adopt and had the door shut twice well into the process of international adoptions. Now the Lord has led them to adopt out of the foster system and they once again wait–for paperwork, for training, for red tape. Natalie’s words at the beginning of this new year are an encouragement to anyone who has ever waited.
- I have seen people picking words for 2016…a theme for the year, or something they want to discover or become. One of my friends has picked the word “Held” for the year, another “Hope”, and I have seen words like “Pray”, “Believe”, and “Become” pop up on my Facebook newsfeed. My friends, “Held” and “Hope”, encouraged me to pick a word for the year. As I thought about what my word should be, I asked God to let me know what it is He wants me to know in my heart and in my soul this year. The word He gave me is “Immanuel”. “Immanuel” is normally heard around Christmas time and means “God with us”. How perfect of a word for me.
Around the Warren
Having Your Own Epiphany
S.D. Smith welcomes us back here at the tail end of the Christmas season and reminds us that the Story is true.
- I hope you all had a wonderful Advent and Christmas season. It’s a time of year when it’s somehow easiest for me to believe that the stories are true. The Story is true.All true.Mary’s impossible conception. Joseph’s dreams. King David’s descendent, born humbly in Herod the Great’s shadow. The shepherds’ unbelievable tale. Angels. Anna. Simeon. The songs.It’s a boy. God incarnate.But the boy grew, and wizards visited him. They brought gifts. It’s possible these were Jewish magicians, heirs of Daniel Dreamseer. But from the East, they came, and Christians have long marked their visit during Epiphany as confirmation that Jesus would not only be the glory of his people, Israel, but a light for the nations.
SW Shorts Get Shorter & Revisiting A Bear of a Dog Poem
S.D. Smith gives a little bit of baddish news and a poem to sweeten it.
- For those of you who have enjoyed our Friday Shorts segment, I have some baddish news. Please, both of you, have a seat. We’re going to be doing it a bit less. Maybe a lot less…We will still sometimes post a story, poem, or song. We won’t be doing it every week. At least not for a while.
Something to Do with Your Kids
It’s hard sometimes to find fun the the dreary winter months. Whether there’s snow on your ground or not, you may be feeling that the world has gone a little monochromatic. I bet, though, that there’s still color out there. Bundle up, put on some boots for the puddles if they haven’t yet frozen over, and take the family out for a color hunt with this handy-dandy sheet to help you.
And Something to Watch
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.