This week’s big news is that Archer’s Cup is officially released into the world! Book III of S. D. Smith’s Green Ember Archer series is worth the wait. If you haven’t grabbed your copy from S. D. Smith’s site yet, go order it now, or listen to the audiobook available in all the places!
Around the Web
Picture Books About Balloons
Carolyn Leiloglou has a great list of picture books for us.
- Balloons are happy, right? They just make you smile, especially if you are a kid. So you might be surprised to learn that many of these picture books about balloons deal with hard topics like negative thoughts, Alzheimers, or depression. But don’t worry. There are plenty of imaginative books and even a few non-fiction on this list as well.
New Prayers for New Circumstances
David and Phaedra Taylor have been working on really cool collaborative projects lately, and this set of prayer cards is no exception.
- I began writing Collect Prayers the second week of March 2020, around the time that the CDC recommended that no more than 50 people gather at a time on account of the coronavirus. At the time, I wrote these prayers in response to specific requests, from both personal friends and strangers on social media, who asked for words that might help them to cope with their fears and to make sense of the senseless.
Parenting Is Gardening
Kelly Keller muses on growing children.
- One of my parenting heroes likes to talk about our lives as a garden. She encourages us to think through the process of planting, tending, weeding, and harvesting as a lifelong process. What do you wish to reap? This is what you ought to be sowing. How you spend your time, what you prioritize, what you read, and how you’re influenced—these are the ways you decide what you’ll harvest in the end. In the same way, when you don’t address bad habits, wrong thought patterns, or general carelessness in the way that you speak or spend your time, you’ll harvest weeds.
Mommy Guilt: The Robber of Joy
Stacy Reaoch reminds us that we do not need to be supermom.
- “Maybe we shouldn’t go out tonight.”
I could see the look of surprise and disappointment on my husband’s face. Mom guilt was pressing in. I was battling in my mind whether we should go on a date or have a family night at home. Are we devoting enough time to the kids? Do they feel like we’re leaving them too much?
My husband responded with some wise words: “One of the best things we can do as parents is show them that we really like each other. Dating each other is a good model for the kids to see.”
That was just the reminder I needed to push aside my false guilt. So we got them some ice cream for dessert, let them pick a movie to watch together, and off we went (the joys of having older kids). Everyone was happy, and Ben and I enjoyed a fun evening of kayaking.
Around the Warren
Making Time to Make Things
Jonathan Rogers shares a word of encouragement to those who can’t find time for creative work.
- In my job as proprietor of The Habit Membership, I hear from a lot of mothers who find it exceedingly hard to get creative work done. This is a letter of encouragement to those mothers. (If you aren’t a mother, feel free to read anyway; you might even pass this letter on to a mother in your life.) I don’t wish to mansplain or make assumptions about other people’s assumptions. I’m just saying that I know of mothers who want to write or paint or do other creative work, but feel guilty about taking time away from domestic duties to pursue such “self-focused” interests. If you are among those mothers, this letter is for you.
James D. Witmer recommends Bill Peet’s work.
- I have often heard that stories affect us more like experience than fact, working their way down into our unconscious beliefs. This held true in my childhood reading, and Bill Peet’s picturebook, Cowardly Clyde, is a great example of how. Allow me first a quick outline of the story, why I still love it, then a few comments about how it affected me.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Are you preparing for Thanksgiving festivities? Need some activity pages to keep your young ones busy while you work? Check out these printables!
Something to Watch
My sister was able to attend a socially distanced, etc., performance of Mozart’s Requiem this week, and her report on it reminded me how much I miss live music. For now, YouTube will have to do. So here—not Mozart, but my favorite—Beethoven’s 9th, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Riccardo Muti.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team