I sat last night with a group of women over a meal, each telling parts of her story to the others. There were dramatic parts, there were sad parts, there were beautiful parts. And every single story–long and short–led the woman to the table where we all sat. It’s a powerful thing, telling our stories to each other. May you find a place to tell your story, and may you partake in the stories of others.
Around the Web
Kitchen Table Discipleship
Stacy Reaoch encourages parents in the daily work of raising those in their care.
- A few years ago we had some friends over for dinner and they announced they were expecting their (surprise) fifth child. As we rejoiced with them over the exciting news, my friend made an interesting comment, “You know, early on in our marriage we talked about how we might change the world by writing a book or getting on the cover of Time, but now we’re realizing our best shot at changing the world is through raising the kids God has given us.” Looking out the window and seeing our small army of children running around in circles made me smile. So often we think our greatest accomplishments will come from outside the four walls of our house, but the discipleship we do right at the “kitchen table” has eternal impact as we raise little ones to love and follow Jesus.
Let Children Get Bored Again
Pamela Paul writes of the value in boredom.
- “I’m bored.” It’s a puny little phrase, yet it has the power to fill parents with a cascade of dread, annoyance and guilt. If someone around here is bored, someone else must have failed to enlighten or enrich or divert. And how can anyone — child or adult — claim boredom when there’s so much that can and should be done? Immediately.
But boredom is something to experience rather than hastily swipe away.
Why you should surround yourself with more books than you’ll ever have time to read
Jessica Stillman encourages the ownership of an “anti-library.”
- But life is busy, and intentions are one thing, actions another. Soon you find your shelves (or e-reader) overflowing with titles you intend to read one day, or books you flipped through once but then abandoned. Is this a disaster for your project to become a smarter, wiser person?
If you never actually get around to reading any books, then yes. You might want to read up on tricks to squeeze more reading into your hectic life and why it pays to commit a few hours every week to learning. But if it’s simply that your book reading in no way keeps pace with your book buying, I have good news for you (and for me; I definitely fall into this category): Your overstuffed library isn’t a sign of failure or ignorance, it’s a badge of honor.
How to Fight Anger in Motherhood
Emily Jensen navigates the challenge of anger as a mother.
- My twin sons scooted close to one another at the breakfast table as I poured milk over their cereal. Bouncing off of each other, they bumped arms and laughed. My toddler banged her hands on the table, screaming for her sippy cup, while my older son demanded I locate his drawing from yesterday. One of my twins erupted, “Hey! Stop touching me! Stop sitting close to me! Mooomm!”
My anger boiled over into a yell before we’d even finished the first bites of breakfast: “Guys, knock it off!” Guilt set in immediately. I’d done it again.
Around the Warren
Clay Clarkson turns “disruption” on its head.
- “It’s just that if you’re not disruptive everything seems to be repeated endlessly.” Robert Adamson, Australian poet
“Disruptive” sounds like something that needs to be disciplined. It’s not a very attractive term, but there may be a redeemable quality to it for parents. And since I really like the title of this post, I intend to find it.
You’ve probably heard the term “disruptive technology” before–those very cool game-changing innovations that completely transform how we do things. In the last few decades, some major DTs would be the personal computer, mobile phones, digital music, digital photography, the touch interface, and of course the Internet.
Anne of Green Gables: Boys Allowed
Ian Anderson tells of his own introduction to Anne, and of introducing his sons to her adventures.
- It is fitting that we begin on the roof. Long ago, when my parents first taught me to enjoy stories, I desired adventure and often found it on the top of our house. Yes, the somewhat dizzying height and challenge of walking upright on slanted asphalt shingles was an adventure. Yes, it felt daring to pick kumquats from the topmost branches that reached over the garage, leaning just far enough so my toes didn’t slip from the edge. However, there were other adventures, too.
My mother was brave enough to climb with me on certain days, probably when I didn’t really want to read, so that we could recline on the roof side by side. Then she read aloud while I stared at the sky or rolled twigs down into the backyard.
Words of Life
Glenn McCarty reminds us of the power of the words we speak.
- I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye as I made my way through the crowd milling about in the children’s Sunday school pickup area. She beelined toward me, auburn ponytail bobbing behind her, a bright smile on her face. It was the 11-year old daughter of a friend, who had previously informed me proudly that she was working on a book, and would love to show it to me sometime. Of course, I had told her, I would love to see her story.
“Hello, author!” she chirped.
Without thinking, I blurted the first reply that popped into my head.
“Hello, future author!”
Review: A Year in the Big Old Garden
Josh Bishop reviews our own James D. Witmer’s A Year in the Big Old Garden.
- My love of stories with characters who are animals probably started with Beatrix Potter and Winnie-the-Pooh when I was too young to remember. As I got older I found Brian Jacques’s Redwall series and Watership Down and The Book of the Dun Cow and S.D. Smith’s Green Ember series and others.
Towering above all these books, though, is the Old Mother West Wind series by Thorton W. Burgess. I suppose my ceaseless reading about anthropomorphic animals has been a quest to regain the childhood wonder and delight of traipsing through the Green Forest with Bobby Raccoon, Peter Rabbit, Chatterer the Red Squirrel, and the rest of Burgess’s characters. But I’ve never found quite the same magic — until I read A Year in the Big Old Garden by James D. Witmer.
Something to Do with Your Kids
The folks over at the Artful Parent have a great activity for families using feathers to understand patters.
Something to Watch
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.