We’re turning the corner fully into “the holidays” next week, and it’s probably going to be a strange year for most of us. Whether your traditions are interrupted or adjusted, may you still find joy and gratitude in this coming season.
Around the Web
Wisdom for Parents
Shea Patrick reminds us where to look for wisdom.
- We moved to our new house three years ago. It is a two-story house, a first for our family. Soon after we moved, our oldest son threw his brother’s teddy bear over the stair railing, hitting my favorite lamp below. It shattered into a million pieces. I remember lecturing my son on the foolishness of his choices (and mourning my lamp).
This same son turns 13 at the end of the year, and the stakes related to wisdom and foolishness are much higher now. I honestly wish I could use one of those Magic 8 Balls to help my son make wise decisions—and to make them myself! Should my son have a smart phone? Shake, shake.
Picture Books about the Middle Ages for Middle School
Betsy at Redeemed Reader points us to picture books that are good resources for your older kids.
- Picture books aren’t just for little kids! Picture books are every bit as enjoyable—and beneficial—for middle school kids. Use one (or all) of the books below to bring the Middle Ages to life for your middle schoolers. Check your local library for titles; you might need to get some of the older titles through inter-library loan, but all should be available in some form.
Ah! Bright Wings
As we enter into a season of busyness and noise, Tag Green shares about finding focus for communion with the Lord.
- It is so nice to sit in the quiet. I started a reflection time in my office, and as soon as I got still and tried to focus my thoughts on the Lord, I began to be distracted by the voices all around me. The walls of my office are apparently thin, as I could detect even subtle nuances to the conversations happening in other offices…and I had to escape. So here I sit in a room that many on our campus don’t even know about, and though I can hear the routine movement of cars outside, the quietness brings peace.
Stories of Grief Redeemed: An Interview with Janna Barber
Whether we’ve faced personal loss this year or just watched so much of it go on around us, 2020 has for most of us been a year of grief. Janna Barber is releasing a book that is so encouraging to those who have experienced grief and loss, and points us to hope.
- We like to say around here that “community nourishes art,” and there is no joy like watching a piece of art grow from the seeds of friendship into a finished work. We’re excited to let you know our friend and contributor Janna Barber is about to release her debut memoir Hidden in Shadow. I met Janna at Hutchmoot 2011, and over the years have found in her a kindred writer spirit, someone who desires to grow in her craft and offer hope through her words.
Around the Warren
How Reading Grows Knowledge and Protects Innocence
John Sommer points us beyond pictures to the power of words.
- As I thought over my favorite book/illustrator combos, stories and images came to my mind. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White, was the first. What more could you want for a cover than the cobweb bedecked title, with little Charlotte hanging from it? There is Wilbur clutched in the protective arms of Fern, looking timid, sweet, and vulnerable. Then there is Fern. She has a calm face and messy hair pulled back in a playful ponytail. Without a doubt, Garth Williams’s illustrations have a way of opening up the heart of a book and revealing its soul with pen and ink on paper.
The King Has Arrived
Kristen Usher introduces Michael Tinker’s new Christmas album.
- I adore Christmas. I love everything about the Christmas season – the anticipation of Advent, the smells of holiday baking, the twinkle lights cutting through the darkness, and the music; oh the music! In a year devoid of many traditional markers, I’m already mourning the loss of many of my favorite Christmas activities. But there will still be music. I’ve queued up Spotify playlists, dug old cds out of the corners of my car, and dusted off some of my grandfather’s old Christmas classics to play on our record player.
Something to Do with Your Kids
This awesome how to for printing leaves onto cloth napkins might be just what you need to make your Thanksgiving table special this year.
Something to Watch
The dads in our lives do a ton for us, and sometimes they could use a night out with the boys—but usually they’re willing to do a little bit more!