I caught up with a friend today on an unexpected phone call. The weather has been cool and lovely this week. I painted a room in my house and rearranged the furniture. Oh, and last night I found a snake in my kitchen cupboard.
Sometimes the days feel all the same, but sometimes I remember that each one is a jeweled bead, threaded on the curtain of my life by the hand of a loving Creator who loves to give us surprises–even when we’d maybe rather not have some of them in our kitchen cupboards. (FYI, amidst my screams, I was brave and compassionate and the snake–he was just a baby–was rehomed to the great outdoors.)
Around the Web
With God, Nothing is Wasted
Simone Griffin reminds us that no matter our circumstances or what we do, our identity is rooted in one person.
- I took a deep breath and opened my office door for the last time. With a son just five months shy of his first birthday, I had already struggled my way through surviving the school year, since returning from maternity leave. Rushed arrivals to work after daycare drop off, rushed departures from work for daycare pickup, and rushed pumping sessions in between meetings left me feeling weary and depleted.
So, with the news that our family would be growing by one, in addition to immense joy and gratitude, I felt burdened by the thought of balancing my demanding job with mothering two small children. Prayerful consideration and hard conversations led me to leave my job as a counselor to serve full-time in my home.
The Molehill Podcast: Pandemic Poetry (feat. Malcolm Guite & Andrew Roycroft)
The Rabbit Room has recently begun a new podcast of readings of work that’s been presented in writing elsewhere. Malcolm Guite and Andrew Roycroft are both poets I’ve come to love over the past couple of years, and their work from this season of the pandemic is transcendent. I hope it encourages you.
- Malcolm has spent his quarantine in Cambridge, England, while Andrew has been hunkering down in Millisle, Northern Ireland. Both Malcolm and Andrew reference the idea of “distance,” of a “gap” that has stranded us from one another—yet at the same time, what they are offering us is precisely their voices, their breath, and in a way, their presence.
The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley
Janie at Redeemed Reader recommends this middle grade book
- Ranch girl Pearl discovers the brand-new technology of moving pictures in this fun read for early middle-graders.
Matthew Cyr explores our current culture’s challenges with othering through the lens of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
- He liked comfort, the story goes. He wanted leisure, and quiet; he craved peace and plenty. He liked to sit and smoke his pipe, and to take his meals lavishly and frequently. He liked his days to be predictable, and for nothing unexpected to break in on them. Unforeseen demands and obligations especially he avoided when possible. He kept things easy and unentangled and comfortable.
Around the Warren
Of Girl Guides and Gramophone Grooves
Kelly Keller considers the patterns she’s teaching her children as she learns of the experience of the children in the Weihsen concentration camp in Chefoo, China during WWII. Don’t miss this one!
- Last year we attempted to be cool and hipster and made an effort to return to vinyl. My husband and I are old enough to have had records as children, progressed through cassettes and CDs, streaming, and now we’re back to owning records, and occasionally raiding our parents’ amazing collections. When we first set up our new turntable, we had to coach the kids: this is a needle, and these are the grooves in the record. When they’re in sync, beautiful music happens. When the needle can’t find the groove, some damage can occur, and at the very least, it sounds awful.
Journeying Through Middle Earth in 2020
Kathryn Butler tells how their family’s voyage through Middle Earth has shaped this year.
- Recent events threaten our grasp of the true and the lovely, and with it, our encouragement of our kids. Riots seethe on the streets. Some of us grieve loved ones lost; others, the crumbling of dreams we’ve spent decades nurturing. Our hands ache to pass the peace, but connect only with alcohol-based sanitizers. In such moments, we can forget that God’s steadfast love and faithfulness endure forever (Exod. 34:6), and that Christ is with us even now (Matt. 28:20).
Something to Do with Your Kids
Many of us did not get to travel this summer, and feel the lack as we begin to turn to the quieter “home” months. If your family finds itself in need of an adventure, I recommend one of these virtual field trips.
Something to Watch
Our friends at The Cultivating Project put out a gorgeous quarterly online magazine full of thoughtful pieces and beautiful things, like this video.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team