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
- As I read her words and let her stories soak into my heart, I was reminded that while our specifics may be different, choosing joy that goes beyond circumstances is something we all face. Following Jesus through our fears and into the unknown is the battle of every Christian. I loved what Stephanie shares how she defined joy in that season of singleness.“Somewhere along the way I’d gotten the idea that joy was a conditional state–something that ebbed and flowed with the tide of circumstances.
Joy equals being loved by a good man and having someone to live life with.
Joy equals snuggling a chubby, pink-cheeked baby in my arms.
Joy equals dreams come true.” (235)
My specifics may be different than Stephanie’s on this particular day but I know I’m the same. I define joy as something conditional, not something I can choose. I see joy as something that can only happen if and when [fill in the blank.]
The Meteorology of Little House on the Prairie
- I’d never had a real clear idea of what “the train can’t get through” really meant, not being totally clear on how to adjust snow-clearing expectations from today back to the 1880s. But, as it turns out, when the train company said they couldn’t get the trains through, they were not messing around. The above image, from the Minnesota Historical Society, shows you the kind of snowfall we’re talking about.
The Benefits of Art for Kids
- Educators tell us that art encourages fine motor skills, neural development, and problem-solving abilities and that it can be used effectively to teach and understand other key subjects such as reading, writing, math, and science. Therapists tell us that art is valuable because it allows children to process their world, to deal with sometimes scary emotions in a safe way, and because it gives them critical sensory input. Artists tell us that art is important for its own sake—as a source of beauty and expression, as well as simply for the process of creating. Kids tell us that art is fun, an activity they enjoy. Parents tell us that art is vital to their families because it keeps everyone engaged and happy and helps with the sometimes difficult transitions of the day. Art is naturally linked to creativity, an attribute that is increasingly being touted as one of the most important factors for the success of individuals, organizations, and cultures.
Count the Stars: Mike and Rachel’s Story
My friend Rachel and her husband Mike tell their story of watching God’s faithfulness in infertility in this video interview. I was struck by their reminder of finding hope even when you’re facing hopelessness.
- I remember really clearly thinking that the miracle kind of stories that hurt the worst, because God didn’t owe us a miracle. His goodness doesn’t have to just give us exactly what we want when we want it.
Around the Warren
Signs of Life
Helena Sorensen reminds us of the value of signs of life in a world—or a home.
- It took movies like Star Wars to draw us into a world that looked as if it had been lived in, as if it had been used. Luke Skywalker had scuffs on his helmet. By all appearances, the Millenium Falcon was a battered old piece of junk. C-3PO was torn to pieces and reassembled. How long did he hobble around waving his still-detached body parts at the other characters? R2-D2 was either crusted with dust or coated with slime (depending on whether he’d just rolled through the desert or been spat from the mouth of a mysterious swamp creature). Equipment jammed. Blasters malfunctioned. Hyper drives failed at crucial moments.The people at my house can relate.
“When we read books with our children…”
Words from the our own Julie Silander; art by Paul Boekell.
Gary D. Schmidt’s Orbiting Jupiter
Laura Peterson reviews Gary D. Schmidt’s recent book, Orbiting Jupiter.
- One of the things I love about discovering a new favorite contemporary author is the gift of waiting with eager anticipation for their next book to come out. I’ve been enjoying that anticipation over the past few months since I heard about the October publication date for Gary D. Schmidt’s new book, Orbiting Jupiter. I got myself on the library waiting list and happily picked it up last week. I’m a big fan of Schmidt’s other novels, especially The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now (and I heartily recommend both for middle-school-age readers). At first glance, Orbiting Jupiter is simpler than some of Schmidt’s other titles; it’s less than 200 pages, with wide page margins and generous spacing between lines. But don’t let the simple design fool you into thinking this is a story for younger readers; this tale is complex and heart-wrenching and deals with tough stuff, and it’s oh-so-beautiful.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Try making this Laughing Cup. It sounds so fun! And if you do, can you record it and tell me how it really sounds, because I want to hear a cup guffaw.
And Something to Watch
This video of Paul Smith’s story is lovely and sweet—and a good reminder that God’s glory often shines through unlikely vessels. Paul Smith suffers from cerebral palsy. No one believed that he would survive long enough to learn anything as a child. It took 16 years until he could speak and another 16 years until he could finally walk. He has spent the majority of his life in a nursing home. He does not read or write, but he uses a typewriter to create small masterpieces.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.