I read an article one time that noted that one reason England’s landscape is so picturesque is because it’s been cultivated for nearly a thousand years. The article pointed out the difference between wild, natural beauty and cultivated beauty. I’m headed to visit the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Parkway this weekend and that article’s been on my mind as I expect to see both. I love the idea that God gives us a chance to participate in his creation by cultivating beauty. Whether you’re cultivating a garden or the hearts of the children in your life, may you be renewed this week in your good work.
Around the Web
Rabbit Room Road Trip Playlist
Our friends over at the Rabbit Room have begun pulling together some awesome playlists over on Spotify. If you’re a Spotify family, I recommend checking them out–especially this summer road trip playlist!
- If I were to pursue a blue collar career, I think I’d enjoy truck driving. It’s probably more stressful work than it seems, but the idea of having hours out on the road alone with my thoughts and music sounds like a dream to my introverted mind. There’s something about the road that invites a sense of wonder about infinite things.
As Bilbo Baggins sings, “The road goes ever on and on / Down from the door where it began / Now far ahead the road has gone / And I must follow, if I can.”
Like to Laugh? Check Out These Humorous Picture Books, Summer 2019
Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a picture book list to get us laughing this summer.
- If you’re like me, you open your library browser and put a passel of new books on hold every time you read good book reviews. Well, here’s a passel of funny picture books you’ll want to add to your holds list!
You Are Not Too Old for Lullabies
Kaitlin Miller reminds us that our God rejoices over us with singing.
- You are not too old for lullabies. But you may have forgotten how good they are for your soul.
C. S. Lewis believed a children’s story that could only be enjoyed by children is not actually a good children’s story at all. For proof of his success in defying such a trend, I can readily confirm that his heart-gripping Narnia series moved me more deeply as an adult than it ever did as a child.
Kids’ Author Mo Willems Has A New Creative Challenge (And So Should You)
I heard part of this interview with Mo Willems in the car last week and a couple of days later Jennifer Trafton shared the full interview on her Facebook page. It’ a great conversation about creativity from one of the excellent picture book writers of our day.
- Mo Willems feels like he’s going back to second grade. The acclaimed children’s author is the first ever Education Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and even with all his awards and bestsellers, he says it’s pretty scary.
“I get to be really, really terrified in all kinds of new different ways,” Willems says — but that doesn’t mean he’s not having fun. “There are all these sandboxes that I don’t usually get to play in.”
Around the Warren
John Sommer tells of creating the last homely house east of the sea wherever we may live.
- Ten cardboard boxes, two stuffed backpacks, and a whole lot of enthusiasm was all my pregnant wife and I had when we walked through the front door. Sounds like a moving story, and it was. We had moved halfway across the world.
Review: We Are The Gardeners
Jessi Smith introduces us to a book that inspires us to cultivate–and to fail at cultivating–and to cultivate again.
- “My ‘a’ looks terrible,” my six-year-old mumbled during our handwriting lesson. Failure. It’s something none of us enjoys. But it’s something we all experience often, especially when we are learning a new skill. How do our children respond to failure?
Something to Do with Your Kids
At Raising Memories, they’ve got a list of 8 ideas for summer fun at home with your kids that’s worth checking out.
Something to Watch
Speaking of gardeners, one of the more fascinating characters I’ve encountered in my study of history if Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who designed Central Park, the Biltmore gardens, the Chicago World’s Fair, and so many more parks and places you know. This documentary on Olmsted from PBS is worth an hour of your time.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.