We’ve got another Kickstarter for you to consider supporting this week! Our own Managing Editor, James D. Witmer, is coming out with a new book of stories from the Old Garden, Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story! Scroll on down to click through to the announcement—and get a sneak peek! And then head right over to the Kickstarter page to back it!
Around the Web
God’s Story Never Ends with Ashes
Kristen Welch reminds us of God’s faithfulness even in tragedy.
- The Transition Home is on fire.
The message appeared on my phone and I froze. No. No. No. I silently screamed. I typed frantically back and forth with Maureen, our Director in Kenya, who was in route to the burning home.
I only had one question, “Did everyone get out?! Are the babies and toddlers, teen moms, staff—are they okay? Please just tell me everyone is okay,” I begged.
I held my breath.
My phone rang and our precious Kenyan family appeared on the screen proving they were safe, untouched by the flames and smoke. Maureen held the phone up and we cried together and watched the beautiful home burn down.
Picture Books about Librarians and Libraries Around the World
Our friend Carolyn Leiloglou is into stories about libraries—which makes sense, since she’s the author of Library’s Most Wanted!
- Ever since I wrote Library’s Most Wanted, picture books about librarians and libraries have been on my radar. These books tell the stories of librarians and their often unconventional libraries both in America and around the world. Some of them are biographies specific people, but others are inspired by a group of librarians bringing books to people in unique ways.
How Forgiveness Displays the Gospel to Our Kids
Hayley Satrom looks at living out the gospel at home.
- My daughter spilled a big glass of water all over the kitchen table. Again. That girl is my ever-fidgeting, often-daydreaming, rather-clumsy gal. “Here we go again,” I moaned, “I’m toweling up another mess because you don’t listen to me and stay in your chair!” My tone seethed with frustration. She lowered her eyes and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
Five minutes later, guess who spilled her cup of tea? This time it was me. Not watching what I was doing, I splattered hot tea onto the couch, the floor, and even our poor pup, Penny. In that moment, as I eyed the tea stain I dreaded to remove, I felt a shift happen in my heart. “Accidents happen,” I thought to myself. “I’ll be able to get that out,” I reassured myself.
And then it hit me. Only minutes before, I’d shown such little grace to my own daughter, but here I was showing mercy to myself for the very same mistake.
The Month I Hated Music
Chris Thiessen writes about reordering his loves.
- I knew my priorities in life were out of order. I knew it was making me anxious. I knew I needed a weekend away to go and sort out myself. I didn’t know that doing so would cause me to hate one of my greatest loves, music, as a result.
About a month ago, I got away to Chattanooga with the purpose of assessing my life—how I spend my time, brain energy, love. On the first night there, over a personal-sized pizza (another of my greatest loves), I began reading James K. A. Smith’s On the Road with St. Augustine for no other reason than I wanted something thoughtful to read, and it was sitting in my Kindle app already. There in chapter one, I was met by a North African theologian who lived 1,700 years away from this pizza-indulging writer, yet who knew exactly what I longed for—a reordering of loves, a conversion from my anxious, unsettled self into a newly-liberated person.
Around the Warren
Wings Out of the Dark
Kathryn Butler walks through a hard story with her daughter’s childlike faith to guide her.
- Lucy Pevensie scans the deck of the Dawn Treader in panic. A gloom like a rolling fog pressses upon the ship as the prow slices through a black sea. Sweat beads Drinian’s brow as he clutches the tiller. Caspian, the noble prince who freed the company from captivity and vanquished a sea serpent, twitches in response to sinister voices no one else can hear. As their dreams come alive off the shores of the Dark Island, doom hovers over the Narnians like a brooding stormcloud.
Announcing Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story
James D. Witmer introduces us to his new tale. Click through to read a chapter and support the Kickstarter.
- As a boy, I loved stories by Thornton Burgess, A. A. Milne, and Beatrix Potter. I think they helped me to discover the adventure, the personality, and the dignity in the natural world around me. Since the release of my first book, A Year in the Big Old Garden, I’ve been honored and delighted to hear that it has in some small way continued that tradition for young readers.
Now I’m excited to say there is an active Kickstarter campaign to fund publication of a sequel: Beside the Pond: A Big Old Garden Story.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Have some aspiring artists in your home that need a little guidance and how-to? Check out these printable how-to drawing sheets!
Something to Watch
A few weeks (months? what is time?) back, we reviewed Robert Macfarlane’s wonderful book The Lost Words. Here, Malcolm Guite spends a spell in the library reading from it.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team