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!
The Green Ember Book II: Ember Falls
If you’re a fan of our S. D. Smith’s New Stories with an Old Soul and want to help with the launch of Ember Falls (The Green Ember Book II), then check out this invitation to the official launch group.
I somehow managed to miss scheduling this email last week, so the launch group has already gotten under way, but there’s still plenty of time to jump in! Also, below, you’ll see last week and this week’s posts from around the Warren.
Around the Web
Family: Beautiful Gift, Insufficient Savior
- Family is the chief biblical metaphor to describe how God relates to us. God is our Father and we are his children. Jesus is husband and we are his Bride, the Church. We are our Beloved’s, and our Beloved is ours, says Solomon’s Song. The marriage between a man and a woman, in the purest sense, is a pointer to and picture of the love between Christ and the Church. In our shared union with Christ, we are also sisters and brothers to each other.At its best, the nuclear family can serve as a pointer to the love between God and his people.
But like any good and beautiful thing, when family becomes our ultimate thing, it does more damage than good.
To my girls, on your baptism
- To my beautiful daughters,
Last night in our church, surrounded by so many of the people we love, I watched you stand up together and publicly share your faith in Christ. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I cried. Not just last night but countless times over the past week. I cried again this morning as the reality of it hit me.You know that I cry easily and often. It’s been that way for a long time. Happy things. Sad things. Beautiful things. They all make me cry. You’ve been around me for long enough to know that. However, as I reflect on what took place last night, I want to take a moment to explain why the emotion that has overwhelmed me this week has a deeper root than I suspect you fully understand.
Charlotte’s Web – A Passage to Reading
- Every journey has a beginning. Sometimes you can begin a journey without even knowing something very special is about to start. That’s how it was when I discovered the joy of reading chapter books as a child.When I was young, we had a two level bookshelf that my dad built with a pull out drawer underneath. It was coated with a deep mahogany wood stain. We kept all our kids books on that shelf for years. Little Golden books like The Little Tugboat, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, The Poky Little Puppy or Eloise Wilkin stories. These delighted me as a child and I enjoyed the sweet illustrations…I loved books as a young child and there were ones I treasured and now read to my little ones. But there came a day in my childhood, when I found a passageway into reading and imagination that went so much deeper and took on a whole new world of imagination. That passageway came in the form of a beloved story, Charlotte’s Web.
The Long Goodbye
If you joined us at Inkwell 2015, you may have met our friend Lynn Holloway as he helped with merch there. Lynn recently wrote a meditation on the grief of a long goodbye to his mother as his family lost her to dementia before her death. It is never easy to lose our loved ones, but Lynn’s words are words of faith and beauty.
- I’ve never been a good one for saying goodbye. When I do, I prefer a quick summation of parting thoughts and a warm but simple “Goodbye”.I’ve been wondering for the last few days why Mom’s departure from our lives and from this place hasn’t felt more seismic. Past losses have taught me that unexpected emotions might sneak up and tap you on the back when you least expect it, so perhaps grief is lurking in the shadows, ready to catch in my throat or inflame the ache.
Ten years ago Mom was forgetting things occasionally. We all forget so it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. Looking back, I realize those were the first awkward exchanges in what became a very long goodbye.
Around the Warren
The Gift of an Unscheduled Summer
Guest poster Carolyn Leiloglou, joined us from her site, A Houseful of Bookworms, to share a piece on the gift of unscheduled summer days.
- I remember loving summer as a child, despite the intense Texas heat. It wasn’t that I didn’t love school. I did. But there was something magical about that long period of freedom that nourished my soul.But summers back then were a little different. Oh, we went to VBS and maybe camp for a week, but the rest of our days were fairly free. We swam and rode bikes. We read and played Nintendo. We climbed trees and caught lizards.
And we rested.
Free Like Eagles
Liz Cottrill recommends Rosemary Sutcliff’s Free Like Eagles trilogy.
- “Oh, I love that series,” exclaims my 17-year-old son, when I mention my writing about it. “I could read those books over and over and over again.” If you knew his struggles with reading, this spontaneous endorsement would carry even more weight. Full of danger, risky flights and bloody battles, Rosemary Sutcliff’s trilogy captured his imagination and encouraged him further down the reading road.Most parents are relieved when they can get a boy reading for pleasure. Recent articles and books deplore the reading void of American youth and hypothesize about the reasons, though agreeing on this: most books do not appeal to boys because they are too nice, too safe, too fluffy, too ordinary. This is not true of Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical fiction.
Death and Cartwheels
Guest Scott James reminds us of the right response in the journey from death to life.
- Brimming with energy, the little girl bounded out of the room. She cartwheeled into the hallway with an unmistakable air of vitality but the flapping of her hospital gown betrayed the scene. Seeing her level of activity, the doctor’s first impulse was to send her home. Not to get too technical, but patients feeling well enough to execute a gymnastics routine don’t usually need to be admitted.
Outlaws of Time: N.D. Wilson, Master of American Magic
Sam Smith brings us a review of N.D. Wilson’s newest book, Outlaws of Time.
- N. D. Wilson is the Master of American Magic. There is no other middle-grade author who writes such powerful fantasy with an American accent. And I don’t mean Wilson’s own accent, though he does go in for hard Rs. I mean the stories themselves. They are the kinds of tales you can’t imagine being narrated by one of our cousins from across the pond. How many fantasy stories do you know like that? His stories are wide open and wild, full of fastballs and six-shooters. The settings are Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, and (best of all) West Virginia.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I don’t know of a single soul who has a blue-lidded honey bear like the ones in the pictures on this blog, but that doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of what they’re recommending in this post: a rice bin (or, as they put it to sound educational-ish, a “rice sensory bin.” I’m fairly sure I’ve never again had the fun that I had in our rice bin in my Kindergarten classroom–except perhaps when I take a moment to play with the scooper in my little rice holder when I make dinner in my kitchen. I think that might indicate that the rice bin concept appeals to a range of ages.
And Something to Watch
Kinetic Wind Sculptures–they look even cooler than they sound.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.