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
Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt
Glennon Melton writes at Momastery about having a perspective shift toward gratitude.
- Recently I posted a picture of myself in my kitchen, and I immediately started receiving generous messages from people wanting to help me “update” it. Along with their messages came pictures of how my kitchen could look, if I’d just put some effort and money into it.
I’ve always loved my kitchen, but after seeing those pictures I found myself looking at it through new, critical eyes. Maybe it was all wrong. Maybe the 80’s counters, laminate cabinets, mismatched appliances and clutter really were mistakes I should try to fix. I stood and stared and suddenly my kitchen looked shabby and lazy to me. I wondered if that meant I was shabby and lazy, too. Because our kitchens are nothing if not reflections of us, right? I decided I’d talk to Craig and make some calls about updates.
When You Want to Prove You Deserve a Rest
- There was a chance, a small, tiny, slim chance that I might be pregnant. And I hoped it was true.
There was part of me that had the best of intentions. I really did want a sibling for our daughter and for our family to grow. But that particular day, my desire was more selfish than that. And even though I knew my motives weren’t all good, I couldn’t deny that they were there.
I wanted to be pregnant so that I could prove I had a right to be so tired and empty.
I wanted to be pregnant so that I felt like it was “more okay” to be a stay-at-home mom. Two kids felt better than one in this proving game.
I wanted to be pregnant so that I had a card to pull that said, “Okay, this girl deserves to feel this tired because she’s handling all this ON TOP OF being pregnant.”
Kerri Walsh Jennings, the anti-Hope Solo in 1st Olympic defeat
- After 26 straight victories in Olympic beach volleyball, the 38-year-old American sports icon lost a match, to Brazil’s Agatha and Barbara in the semifinals on Tuesday night. After an unprecedented run of three straight gold medals, she will play for a bronze.
How does it feel?
“It’s a terrible feeling,” she said.
“Good answer,” assured her partner, April Ross.
This is also a new feeling for the millions of fans Walsh Jennings has helped cultivate in the last 12 years while becoming one of the most successful American Olympians of all-time: Seeing her discuss a loss. Hearing her criticize her own efforts in defeat.
How did that sound?
Well, she didn’t call her opponents “cowards,” if that’s what you’re asking.
Should Children Sit Through “Big Church”?
In this piece at Desiring God Blog, John Piper shares the ways that keeping kids in “big church” can be a value to them and to the church as a whole. These choices are for every church and family to make themselves, but Piper’s words are helpful in thinking through the question.
- The first and most important job of a parent is to fall in love with the worship of God. Any sense of being there out of duty or being forced to or some other reason besides I love being here, kids know that and they will hate it just like you do, deep down. You can’t impart what you don’t possess. And this is what you want your children to catch. You want them to catch authentic worship. Authentic, heartfelt worship is the most valuable thing in human experience. Think of it. The cumulative effect of 650 worship services spent with mom and dad in authentic communion with God and his people between the ages of 4 and 17 is utterly incalculable.
Around the Warren
The Benefits of Competition
Guest Jake Nuckolls helps us see how families can help children understand the benefits of competition.
- I am not a naturally competitive person. Keep this in mind.
I learned how to play H-O-R-S-E on our back patio where the basketball hoop was bolted into the roof of the garage. We’d alternate easy shots with ridiculous trick shots to try to get the other person to miss. We’d play one on one, two on two, around the world, bump, bounce-ball, and so on.
I learned how to play all racquet sports on our back patio where the siding on the garage provided an inconsistent return to all tennis balls. The plexi-glass window broke only once, and that was when we were playing tennis with rocks. We’d set the ping-pong table up on the concrete and epic matches were played, singles and doubles.
“Summer” Escapes to More Temperate Times
Loren Eaton recommends Taryn Souder’s How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer.
- Summer seems sundered a little sooner each and every year. I remember wandering through an Ohio Valley August that burnt brown, the fields around my Lexington, Kentucky, home so blasted and brittle it was as if they’d been baked in an oven, the sky a shining sheet every bit as flat and hot as an industrial griddle. By the time Labor Day rolled around, I was ready to deal with pens and pencils, friends and fire alarms, hard-backed desks and barely remembered lessons. Things are different now. My children troupe back to school during high summer, and such an abbreviated break makes me a little sad. Still, I’m glad there are books like Taryn Souders’ How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer that can fetch them away to warm haunts even as the leaves start to fall.
Something to Do with Your Kids
My grandma’s back porch was wide and long, a patio covered with a roof and open on all sides. It was the perfect jail for games of Kick the Can with my cousins on warm summer nights–or cold winter ones. I was thinking about the game recently and remembered how fun it was. So as you wrap up your summer, consider gathering the family for a game some evening–or invite the neighbors and make it even larger. Here’s a reminder of how to play!
And Something to Watch