I’ve had a busy week, and I realized early on that I don’t see much in the way of breaks before the end of the year. As you head into these last two months of the year, what do you see on your horizon?
Around the Web
Coming Soon: The River Fox
Pete Peterson tells us what he loves about working with Jonny Jimison and introduces a new edition of The River Fox.
- Five or six years ago, I joined Jonny Jimison’s Patreon page. If I remember correctly, he’d committed to redrawing his Dragon Lord Saga in color (having published books one and two in black and white), and the patreon was a way of inviting his readers into the process.
I was already a fan of Jonny’s comic strips and had backed the Kickstarter campaigns for his books, but it wasn’t until I became a Patreon supporter that I really understood how dedicated Jonny is to his work, and it’s that dedication of Jonny’s that’s really impressed me over the years.
Family Advent Devotional List
Betsy at Redeemed Reader introduces several Advent Devotionals.
- Do you have a favorite family Advent tradition? Perhaps your family does a Jesse Tree together. Or maybe you have an Advent wreath on your dining room table. Do you wait until the day after Thanksgiving before turning on Christmas music?
We have a great lineup of recommended family Advent devotional guides for you, no matter what ages your kids are. If you’ve never read an Advent family devotional together before, this is a good year to start! If you have, perhaps you’ll find a new resource below that can expand on an existing tradition. If you are a classroom or Sunday school teacher, you can adapt several of these for classroom use.
When Gratitude and Thanksgiving Seem Too Hard Because Life is Hard and Grief is Real
Ann Voskamp considers how difficult thanksgiving and gratitude can be in seasons of grief.
- “What if that November 2nd hadn’t been part of our story ?” I hardly dared ask my Mama when I remembered & sat with her today.
What if little Aimee hadn’t toddled out across the farmyard after our cat, what if the oblivious truck driver had seen her before he struck her, what if Mama and I hadn’t been standing at the kitchen sink, right there at the window, witnessing, helpless, when her little body fell under the wheel?
I will never forget how Mama screamed that long ago morning, or how Mama whispered it to me this morning:
“Everything, our whole lives, would have been different…
But God’s kindness to us, our whole lives, has always been the same.”
Loving the God of Little Things
It might seem strange to include an article about contentment in singleness in a newsletter for families, but not only are Gina’s words full of wisdom about contentment in every area of life, but they’re also a good reminder that we’re entering a season when those without families can feel lonely. I encourage you to look around in your circles and consider inviting someone into your family’s life.
- It’s late at night, and I’m reading in bed—Charles Dickens’s The Uncommercial Traveller, which is so good that I’ve been staving off sleep much longer than I should have. I come to a particular passage—nothing wonderful or magnificent, just a couple of sentences in a silly little story he’s telling about sailing from England to France. But it’s so funny, in that nonchalantly over-the-top Dickens way, that I laugh out loud.
Around the Warren
The Value of Happily Ever After
Liz Cottrill reminds us of the importance of fairy tales.
- One of the most wonderful gifts I was ever given as a child was a box full of long-play vinyl records of dozens of the world’s favorite fairy tales. I cannot possibly estimate the number of hours they spun out perils and predicaments, fairies and fiends, wishes and wonders to me, but I am certain that an enormous quantity of ideas plentifully furnished the storehouse of my imagination and fertilized my impressionable mind for the true riches of life that lay before me.
Picture Books that Flip the Script
Laura Peterson digs into picture books that don’t follow all the normal patterns.
- How would you describe a picture book in its most basic form? If you’ve read enough of them, you’ve probably picked up on the standard 32-page format; usually full-page illustrations, sometimes a double page spread with the picture spread out across the middle fold. You start at the beginning, turn the pages from right to left, and then you reach the end. Right? Ha—fooled ya!
Something to Do with Your Kids
We’re in November, so it’s time for a list of family activities for the month!
Something to Watch
The Bible Project’s video on generosity is a good reminder for this season.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team