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
The Least Likely Canvas | Pollution and Art and Why You Are Here
I think the running narrative of my Facebook feed of friends posts is “stuck inside because we’re sick or the weather is bad.” I’ve seen it from friends all over the US and beyond. My friend Christine lives in East Asia and wrote an excellent piece reframing that “stuck inside” feeling when her family returned to their city after a visit to North America this past Christmas.
- Coming back to our Chinese city from any time spent out of country is usually a good-old-time-game of mind tricks. It’s not just dealing with jet-lag and a body all messed up in its biorhythms and sleep patterns, but dealing with, what I call, Life-Lag. Let just say those first days back after weeks in another land where there is usually an abundance of All Good Things is not a great time to try and make any major life decisions, especially decisions about whether or not to stay put.
This week was another one of those Life-Lag weeks. Fresh off the plane from a winter respite of snow-scapes and air so clear it tickled your lungs like magic sprinkles, we descended into a city with pollution levels rising to some of the highest, most hazardous numbers we’ve ever seen. Outside access was restricted, school was threatened with possible cancellation, and the walls felt like they were closing in tighter with each passing day, like a one of those claustrophobic scenes from Indiana Jones.
Shalom at Home
- One late night coming home from Awana, my two oldest got into a fight. One blocked the door from the other which resulted in shouting and physical action. I yelled at them, sent to their rooms, and they lost their screen time for the next day.
After they were in their rooms for a bit, I realized, “Wait! I never really had them resolve their conflict!”
Declutter with Less Drama – Free Printable
- I will confess that I naively thought that more space would automatically translate into less clutter, more room, and more organization. (Look at that photo above when we first moved in! Doesn’t it look tidy?)
In our case, more space has meant more places for clutter to grow. And grow. And GROW.
I am not a perfect housekeeper. Never will be. It’s a losing battle to have an immaculate, stain- and clutter-free home with actual humans in the house. However, our family (especially our kiddo with sensory issues) struggles with too much visual input, at times contributing to a lot of distraction and/or anxiety. Having visually “quiet” spaces in our home is essential for us to function well.
Slugs & Bugs Kickstarter
Our friends over at Slugs & Bugs have launched a Kickstarter for their next TWO CDs. TWO, guys. This year. TWO. How fun is that? Here’s a bit about the project and a link to support the Kickstarter.
- Welcome to the Slugs & Bugs Kickstarter page where we’re making TWO CDs – all about Jesus. Here’s the link to share with friends… http://bit.ly/STBVol3
The response to our Sing the Bible CDs has been overwhelming, because…
1. Singing Scripture is probably the best way to get it to stick in your brain.
2. Our Sing the Bible CDs make memorizing Scripture easy and surprisingly fun.
3. There are many, many families that want the Bible to be the foundation of their home.
They (you!) often ask for more songs to help remember God’s Word, so with this Kickstarter campaign, we are getting ahead of the question.
With your help, we will make TWO CDs – Sing the Bible Volume 3 AND Sing the Bible Christmas at the same time. That’s right. TWO CDs, all word-for-word Scripture, all about Jesus, BOTH to release later this year!
Around the Warren
When the Darkness Wins
Ethan Smith explores how we respond when we see the darkness win, and what we can learn from literary characters who have faced the same dilemma.
- A leaden and snow-flecked sky drifts by outside my window tonight, as I ponder a question I feel compelled to put to you. It may be simple, but profoundly so: What will you do when the darkness wins? This question resides in all of us, but does the answer? Trust me, times will come, and have already, when the darkness will win. The forces of wrong that amass themselves against us will claim victories along the road of life. Light has vowed the last victory, but evil has it’s golden age now, and there are times in life when we feel it’s breath down our necks. When hope dwindles and our eyes grow dim because of the turmoil, within and without. What will be our response? What will be your response?
Look! A Cat!
Laura Peterson shares with us the Caldecott Honor book, Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat.
- One of the things I enjoy most about hanging out with kids is their sense of wonder, the way they are constantly reminding me to see the world through fresh eyes. Little things, like a small bug or leaf, or the magic of a Christmas tree, become much more profound and nuanced when you’re watching a little one see and understand them for the first time. It can be so instructive and helpful to see through someone else’s eyes—and it is this quality that I also love about Brendan Wenzel’s award-winning picture book, They All Saw a Cat.
Something to Do with Your Kids
If the commercials for appliance store and car dealership sales haven’t tipped you off, let me remind you that President’s Day is on Monday, February 20. On the National Education Association website, there are tons of resources for learning about and having fun with President’s Day.
And Something to Watch
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.