New Here?
     
Family


“Ad Astra” and Dad

Usually I disdain movies. But aesthetics can seduce, and I am a sucker for dystopia, and, well, last night I was beat. So we went to see “Ad Astra.” I had heard of the sublime art direction and the contrast between the full-on space travel and the intimate subplot of the father/son relationship. You may […]

When the World Calls Them Otherwise, God Calls Them Good

It is a scary time to be raising children. But boys come with their own narrative of misbehaviors. Boys are deemed too intense, too loud, too active. They misbehave earlier and more demonstrably than most girls. They have a much higher rate of diagnosis for challenges like ADHD and mood disorders. They spend more time […]

Lessons in Love from the Nursing Home Lobby

The following was written by Grace Leuenberger. This summer, we threw a party to celebrate my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary. They were college sweethearts who married on June 11, 1949, a few weeks after my grandma’s 20th birthday. My grandpa proposed in the living room of my grandma’s parents’ house in Erie, Pennsylvania. “It happened […]

What You Learned on Your Summer Vacation

You will be thankful for a small beautiful church in Carlsbad, New Mexico, playing “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” as you head back out into your smelly minivan with your chicken butt children. You will also regret not accepting their invitation to a Green Chili Potluck. But you are Southern and so you do not […]

The Terrible Distance Between “Not” and “Yet”: On Family, Long-Distance

The following excerpt was taken from the new book by Mockingbird contributor Andrew Taylor-Troutman. The book is “Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems,” available this month from Torchflame Books.  There are, of course, many ways to be healthy, happy, and whole. As adults, my brother and I have made different choices about careers and […]

NOW AVAILABLE: StoryMakers – Adventure Two: The Flood!

Big news: we are pleased to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through the online shop! After the adventure of Creation, children will now explore the biblical Flood with prompts, striking visuals, shadow puppets, and more.

When we give kids stories that spark the imagination, we aren’t giving them distractions to tide them over until they can handle “the big stuff.” Stories are the entry into God’s ultimate account of love and mercy. StoryMakers offers kids a fresh approach: helping them to discover God’s redemptive narrative within their own story.

“Spiritual formation” can feel like the heaviest responsibility we carry as parents or church leaders. For generations, the church has confused the role of savior, and often grown-ups are left feeling they are completely responsible for their children’s salvation. When we take on this burden, the most impossible task, we leave no room for fun, freedom, and creativity. Grown-ups are left with the expectation of “getting it right,” which perpetuates worry, measurement, and, in the worst scenarios, disconnection from the children we are hoping to form.

StoryMakers recognizes that kids and grown-ups need GRACE first, recognizing our role as creatures, not creator. In that recognition, freedom, love, and discovery can begin to take root in our lives. So, how do we help young people connect to God’s grace? We tell them the stories of the Bible, even the hard ones. Our job simply becomes guide, one who points our children to a person, not moralism or a list of rules.

Through our zines, we are inviting ninos to delve into the stories of the Bible, even the hard and dark stories, using their imaginations, play, and creativity. We guide them to connect to the ultimate StoryMaker, our Creator. So, as they grow and encounter their own Flood accounts, they can know for certain God is there in the midst of every storm we encounter.

Jump into Adventure Two and discover how God is active, just, and merciful in the midst of the Flood. Ninos will discover that God covered Noah in an arc, just as he covers us in Jesus. They will also learn that God’s promises are ones we can count on, and he is actively reaching down to us.

  • Zine Two explores the story of the Bible over 12 weeks and includes art, fun facts, shadow puppets, and social-emotional connectors. There are plenty of fun details to dig deep. You can also order 5+ zines at a discount of 75% off!
  • The Guide helps grown-ups navigate the deep waters of the Flood. Sometimes it feels impossible to know where to begin. Our guide is here to support parents and church leaders. The Guide include: Field Notes, Thoughts to Ponder, History, and Activity instruction.
  • The Memory Cards are visual prompts to turn memorization into a fun game. Scripture is meant to encourage us and carry us through the challenging moments of life. Order this set of memory cards and get to know the Flood account and the visuals that prompt hope in the midst of chaos. Each card is visually compelling with cues to help your StoryMakers internalize God’s story.
  • The Playbook is tailored to help children enjoy Adventure Two by playing all the characters in the story. You can use your puppets, or jump into costumes and play all the parts to get to know this old story in a new way.
  • Adventure Two can be purchased in a set. Each kit includes a zine, a guide, memory cards, and a playbook. Every pieces enhances the StoryMaker experience and will bring Genesis to life.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ORDER YOUR CHILD’S NEXT ADVENTURE TODAY!

Super-Moms, Über-Dads, and Other People Who Don’t Exist

Another peek into the Family Issue, which is available now. If you’d like more to sample, there’s Ethan’s Opener here, and the special episode of The Mockingcast, here.  This article was adapted from Chad Bird’s newest book, Upside-Down Spirituality, available wherever books are sold.  Gathering dust in the far western portion of Texas is a […]

I Am Only as Happy as My Childhood Allows Me to Be

The 21st century has been a time of revelation. The buried reality of abuse is now being unearthed in our culture and through our laws. Child abuse by the Boy Scouts or any number of church organizations is increasingly acknowledged as the hideous outrage it is. #MeToo has exploded the wall of acceptance of disgusting […]

Right: An Unspoken Sermon

This one comes to us from Alan Jacobs. Anthony Trollope’s novel He Knew He Was Right is, like Shakespeare’s Othello, a story of jealousy. But not really. Its true subject is something far worse, and far more common, than jealousy. And if we understand the real point of the story, we’ll understand something about Christian […]

The Art of a Good Apology: Our Q&A with Harriet Lerner

Another glimpse into the newest magazine. Order up: they’re going quick!  Rare is the 6-year-old kid who, if asked what job they’d like to have when they’re older, would answer “psychologist.” Astronaut or movie star perhaps, but headshrinker? Very few kids even know what the word means! Dr. Harriet Lerner is not your average bear. […]

Pressing the Mute Button Underwater

I’m just old enough to remember Greg Louganis’ dive in the 1988 Olympics, when he cracked his head on the diving platform and suffered a concussion. I’m too chicken to google it, but, given the speed that divers exit the platform and the proximity of their skulls to the hard surface, Greg Louganis can’t be […]

The Handmaid’s Tale Is Not Here for Your Baby Dedication

In many churches across this country, when a child is born there is a short ceremony called a Baby Dedication. The child and his or her parents are processed in front of the congregation and they make promises to raise the baby in the way of faith. These ceremonies have always fallen a bit flat […]