Lent began this week. Whether you come from a church tradition that observes Lent or not, it can be helpful to take these weeks leading up to Easter to consider our hearts and confess our sin. As the prophet Joel reminds us, “he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish” (Joel 2:13, NLT).
Around the Web
Unburying the Dream
Megan Saben considers creativity in an era of motherhood at Redeemed Reader.
- How do you practice creativity, having been made in the image of God? What talents do you have in your hand?
I have aspired to be a writer since the day I typed my first story in all caps on my mother’s typewriter. I was eight years old. I consumed fairy tales and wrote stories and poems all through high school. I attended every writing workshop taught by local authors in our public library, and tried submitting manuscripts for publication. I labored over literary fiction, a cumulative tale, and narrative poetry in graduate school…then married my best friend and traded writing aspirations for motherhood. Authorial ambitions were abandoned.
15 Fun Children’s Books About Shapes
Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a book list for those teaching their little ones about shapes.
- These board books and picture books will help your preschool child learn about shapes including circles, squares, triangles, and other geometric figures. Plus, these math children’s books are tons of fun to read. Sometimes are even hilarious or heartwarming.
Understanding shapes is a foundational math skill as well as an important visual identification skill.
Encouraging Family Worship
Scott James lays out the value of worship together as a family.
- When I was a new father, I had grand intentions of faithfully shepherding my family toward Jesus but no real plan for how to actually do it. I seemed to be surrounded by books and resources promising the best methods and the best results, but I wasn’t sure what would work for my family. I’d heard a story about a dad who installed a pulpit in his home so he could preach to his wife and children every night, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be doing that, but otherwise, I was wide open. Along with being uncertain about the best way to proceed, I was also a bit paralyzed because of the monumental significance of the task. What could be more important than discipling the family God had entrusted to me? I’d better not mess this up!
My Hope as a Parent Is Something I Share with My Birth Mother
This piece by Michael Wear is a beautiful meditation on the hopes of parenthood that transcend experience.
- When I was very young, I believed it was possible that Mariah Carey was my mother. This was the result of relatively straightforward deduction: I am adopted. I have always loved R&B music. So maybe my birth mother was an R&B singer.
Of course I knew, even as a little boy, that this was unlikely. On the other hand, did it make any more sense that the woman who gave birth to me was someone I had never heard of and would never know?
Around the Warren
Consider the Birds
Helena Sorensen watches the days zoom past and pauses to consider the birds.
- January has come and gone, and it looks as if February will do the same, rushing by without a thought for the lists of things I planned to tackle in 2019. Time is heartless that way. I make a month’s lesson plans and bask in the glory for three heartbeats before another month comes along and asks for more. It’s the same in every part of my life. Am I losing my mind? Running out of steam? Or does each new year arrive with a longer list of demands and a fraction of the days in which to accomplish them?
Pictures of Paul
Laura Peterson reviews a new picture book by illustrator Chris Raschka.
- I’ve been aware of the work of author and illustrator Chris Raschka for some years, so when I saw that he had just published a picture book based on the New Testament letters of Paul, I knew I had to check it out. I’ve had it in my home for a few weeks, occasionally picking it up and mulling over it and thinking about the art, the story, how it works together, and how it helps me think about Paul. The book is called Paul Writes (a Letter), published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers in 2018.
Something to Do with Your Kids
LEGO prints? Yes. Of course we want to stamp with LEGO!
Something to Watch
In “Nature By Numbers,” Cristóbal Vila explores the mathematic patterns we see over and over in nature–the Fibonacci sequence, the golden mean, and more. Using gorgeous animation, this short film introduces these concepts.