It’s TIME, guys. I don’t know how long you’ve been hanging around here, but for those of us who’ve been here a while, we’ve been waiting for the conclusion of The Green Ember series with a mix of hope, delight, and that sweet sadness that comes when you know something you love is going to be done. Wait no longer. Amazon may not release Ember’s End until next month, but preorders from S.D. Smith’s store will ship March 2. Check it out! (And while you’re at it, check out our interview with the author, linked below!)
Around the Web
Five Family-Friendly Resources for Lent
On Thursday, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t thought about what I planned to do in observation of Lent. But then I remembered that Jesus takes me as I am, ragged and worn, and that’s the beauty of Lent anyway. If you’re still figuring out how to observe Lent as a family, here are some resources to consider.
- It’s one thing to observe Lent solo. It’s another thing to try to practice Lent with a family, especially if your family includes fussy babies, grumpy middle schoolers, or fantastically busy teenagers. For some parents, every day feels like Lent. You’re often laying down your life or giving up things that you love. When Ash Wednesday comes around, what can you give up when you already feel utterly spent?
The Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide
Another great resource out there is a reading plan through our friend Sally Lloyd-Jones’ Jesus Story Book Bible.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide is back! And this year it is even better than ever.
From the intro to the JSB Lent Guide:
“’Lent’ is the time we remember God’s Secret Rescue Plan. And we make room for time with our Heavenly Father, too. As we read the stories of God’s Great Rescue we remember important things. We remember why we needed Jesus to come. That we can’t rescue ourselves. How much he loves us.”
How Ramona Quimby Taught a Generation of Girls to Embrace Brashness
I’ve always been a lot. And for much of my life, I believed the lie that I could be too much. If you’ve got a girl who finds herself there, perhaps Ramona could be her friend.
- Plucky heroines abound across Anglo and American children’s literature, yet their own struggles with gendered strictures and the trajectories of their comings-of-age often present conflicting narratives. Perhaps one of the most uncompromising—and uncompromised—children’s heroines from the twentieth century is Pippi Longstocking, literary creation of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. Disgusted by the ways in which adults “browbeat” and “trampled on” their children, she dreamed up Pippi, “the strongest girl in the world,” in the winter of 1941. Her daughter, Karin, seven years old at the time, was confined to her bed with pneumonia, and yearning for entertainment.
Parents, Your Kids Need Big Theology
It’s hard to figure out how to introduce some of the big ideas of God’s Word to the kids in our lives, but this article challenges us to do so.
- Before our daughter was born, my husband and I made a long list of “musts” and “nevers” like any ambitious parent. As you can imagine, most of those fell by the wayside in the days and months after she was born, but one tradition was born from that list that has turned into one of my favorite parenting victories. We vowed to teach our children classic hymns. We carefully picked out which song would be our daughter’s bedtime hymn and faithfully taught it to her as we sang it to her day after day. She’s three now and could sing you all of the words to some of our favorite hymns including “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” “It Is Well With My Soul,” and “There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood.”
Around the Warren
Using Our Imaginations: The Cross as Tuning Fork
Alan Howell points us to the pitch-setter of holy imagination.
- A few months ago, during worship, as the congregation was standing and singing together, I noticed something. My friend, Alan Nesbitt, a music teacher who often leads singing for our church, had his tuning fork stuck in his belt. He wasn’t leading singing that day, but he still had his tuning fork with him. My first thought was gratitude at seeing his commitment to his craft and willingness to use his gifts to bless the church. My friend is a gifted musician and he could probably lead singing without his tuning fork, but he was prepared. A second thought was this: could the tuning fork be a lens for considering the cross and how we carry it as Christ’s disciples?
Ember’s End: An Interview with S. D. Smith
James Witmer interviews S.D. Smith in light of the publication of Ember’s End.
- SW: This is a big Spring for you, and—without exaggerating—for thousands of kids and families around the world. That’s because you’re releasing the fourth and final book in your Green Ember series: Ember’s End. Are the cliff-hangers over? Will we finally get all our questions answered?
SD: I am thrilled to be sharing this story with those families. I have been hoping and (literally) praying to be able to write The Green Ember Series to its conclusion.
Something to Do with Your Kids
It might come in like a lion and go out like a lamb–or it might be lionish the whole time–but March is one of those turning months in the year no matter where you are. Here’s a great list of family activities to celebrate the turn.
Something to Watch
A glorious choral rendition of Enya’s “May it Be” from the Lord of the Rings films.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team