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 Beauty and Brokenness of Foster Care
I saw my friends’ daughter for the first time today. We live far apart, and I’ve still not met her or her brother in person. But for three years now, I’ve watched them grow as part of my friends’ family. I’ve read the posts on Facebook and heard the stories of their lives. But I’ve never gotten to see their faces until today, when their adoption was finalized. This piece on the beauty and brokenness of foster care highlights how the system brings hope out of tragedy.
- It was a Wednesday. We received our first call from our foster care agency at 3:30 in the afternoon – a newborn baby girl had been taken into custody by Child Protective Services at the hospital and was in need of placement. “Are you interested?”, they asked. Of course.
By 7:30 that evening they were at our front door, holding a tragically fragile little girl who needed a home to live in and a family to love her.
It was the best and worst day of her life.
4 Ways Parents Can Raise Up Sons to Be Godly Men
- When my wife and I had our first son, I was determined that he enter manhood better prepared for it than I was when I took off on my own. I didn’t really know how I’d go about it, but I was determined to craft something—anything—that would give me some measure of a plan.
I do not want my sons to enter into manhood unprepared. So I must sow, before my sons can reap. Make sure you didn’t miss that: I must sow, before my sons can reap.
Important Slice-of-Life Picture Books
Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup points us to books which give a glimpse into the lives of those around us.
- The best books give us a glimpse into other people’s lives. Books like these. Richly illustrated and told with simplicity, these picture books will transport readers. When we expose children to a wide variety of experiences in a story they can see themselves in books, travel the world, talk with strangers, and develop deeper empathy. Talk about what you notice. Talk about what might be similar or different to your own life.
When You’re Wrestling with How to Be Brave
- At vacation Bible school a few weeks ago, my four-year-old spontaneously marched on stage and joined the worship team in leading 150 adult volunteers and 100 children in worship.
Having no practice, no idea what the motions were, and zero clue what he was singing, he led with bravado, much to my seven-year-old’s chagrin.
Each evening that week, his generous teachers let him sneak up on stage and lead. He was proud of himself for his courage, and his dad and I were proud of him too (despite our chuckles and apologies).
When our family gathers to reflect on each day’s events, I regularly ask our kids, “How were you brave today?”
Around the Warren
Our Worshipful Lament
Sarah Hohner shares a glimpse of how her family sought to find God’s goodness in their story of miscarriage. If this is also part of your story, we pray that Sarah’s words would be a comfort and encouragement to you.
- A weighty prologue:
Our baby died in July, when I was only about ten weeks pregnant with him. My husband and I earnestly sought God’s help in figuring out how to explain this loss to our four young children, and we discovered that once again God ministered to our hearts through our attempts to minister to our children’s. As we crafted a frame narrative big enough to contain the scope of death and redemption and small enough to hold our lost family member, we found our own souls growing in a hopeful faith in our Great Author and Creator. I share this in the hope that our joyous lament will help another parent, as well.
Too Many Pickles (and a Few Great Books)
John Sommer clears the way through the pickles to some favorite books.
- One of funny things about this modern world of ours is all its options. There are so many choices that at times one doesn’t know what to choose. As a person that has lived between two different countries most of my adult life I can really understand the problem with being overwhelmed.
I remember the first time my wife and I entered a grocery store in America after living for three years in West Africa. Here was the plan: drive to the store, go into the store, find the pickles, hamburger buns, and a few other things needed for a cook out, buy it all, and go home. Sounds simple, right? Yeah.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Looking for weekend fun? Try one of these 20 activities to do with your family this weekend.
And Something to Watch
When I was in high school, my US government teacher had us play a March Madness tournament pitting the nation’s presidents against one another. Each group had three or four presidents to research and compete head to head with another president. As he distributed the lists, he said to my group, “I tried to get one really strong president for each group, but this bunch are all a little middle of the road. I think you can do it, though.” We looked at our list of middle-of-the-road presidents and started our research. Of them all, the one who had any major accomplishments was John Tyler, so we put our eggs in the John Tyler basket, asked our old US History teacher for some dirt on our opponent presidents, played our facts right, and managed to get Tyler to beat George Washington in a head to head where we set up Tyler’s annexation of Texas against Washington’s failure with the Whiskey Rebellion. It’s truly one of the proudest moments of my life. And it’s left me with a continuing interest in John Tyler, so I found this video about his still-living grandson fascinating.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.