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Posts tagged "children"


Monsters of Hope: Parenting in a Pandemic

We are entering week two of quarantinacation with our two young children, and it is hard. Initially I over-functioned. I spent an obscene amount of money on books and art kits. I set up a printer so we could have actual math worksheets. I yelled the “F” word while trying to set up the printer. […]

If You Sat in Front of Me at Church, I Apologize

If you sat in front of me at church this past week, I apologize. The song we were singing was “Hope Has a Name,” by River Valley Worship, but my version sounded more like this: Hope has a name, His name is Je… shhh, I’m trying to sing the song My Savior’s cross has set […]

Vacations, Adventures, and Restless Hearts

As I am writing this, I am back on my break. You know, the one where the kids are at school and the house is peaceful and quiet. My family and I had a blessed Christmas and New Year, but I have to admit (with some feelings of guilt) that I consider the breaks from […]

Mr. Archie and Waiting in Advent

Every month, we pay a certain sum of money for music lessons. In theory, this is so that our children will learn how to read music, perform in front of a crowd, and take direction. In reality, they learn so much more than that, and that music tuition is worth every penny. Our youngest, Ben, […]

Shooting Blanks: Baby-Making in an Age of Anxiety – Ben Maddison

From our Spring conference in NYC, the following video features Mockingbird contributor Ben Maddison, in a talk about fatherhood and fertility in the 21st century. For more, see his previous work The Weight of Masculinity and Mary Definitely Knew.

Shooting Blanks: Baby-Making in an Age of Anxiety – Ben Maddison from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

The Quiet Dances and Grace in Jojo Rabbit

Loud and rambunctious: a couple words that might describe the trailer for Taika Waititi’s satirical new film Jojo Rabbit. We might also add to those: crass, audacious, daring. After the release of Joker a couple weeks prior, the world needed a film that would be a little more light-hearted and encouraging. This is where I […]

Lie Down and Die: The History of Miserable Motherhood (and an Unmapped Plug)

“I declare if I tho’t I was to be thus occupied for the rest of my life, I would — I was going to say — lie down & die.” So wrote a new nursing mother Laura Wirt Randall in 1828, as quoted in the book Scarlett’s Sisters by historian Anya Jabour. To which we reply, […]

NOW AVAILABLE! StoryMakers – Advent

Thrilled to announce that StoryMakers’ next kidzine has arrived and is available through the online shop! In addition to Creation and the Flood, children can now journey through Advent with comics, striking visuals, plays, and more. Activities are recommended for ages 6-12.

Advent Comic Series: Joy to the world…! Advent is here and so is our Comic Series. Order one Comic per child and discover the true meaning of the season. This 4-week series takes you through the epic arrival of Jesus. Kids will discover the incredible events that led up to the birth of our Savior. This illustrated comic brings the season of Advent to life.

Advent Pageant: Dive right into the story of Jesus’s birth. The StoryMaker pageant tells the story from the perspective of two shepherds. The story is simple and easy for any group of children to engage. There is plenty of room to add barn animals, angels, and stars as non-speaking roles. Remember to delve in, use your imagination, and have fun!

Advent Guide: The Christmas story can be a little tricky to teach little ones. There are many dramatic elements, miracles, and the appearance of angels, which leaves plenty of room for questions. Our Guide for Grown-Ups does the heavy lifting and will help any teacher or parent navigate the depth of the Christmas story. All you need is one per class or parent.

Advent Starter Kit: Includes all of the above: our seasonal Comic series, a Christmas Pageant, and a Guide for Grown-Ups. The Advent Starter kit has everything you need to share the greatest story shared every year.

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Help Kids Hear the Story: With StoryMakers

Like a lot of children raised in a denomination, I remember my Sunday school classes teaching me about my denomination. There were the seasonal colors, things about the liturgical calendar, and something to do with sheep. To be honest, I was never sure if the goal was to make me Christian or just to make […]

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 […]

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.

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ORDER YOUR CHILD’S NEXT ADVENTURE TODAY!

From Losers to Lovers: How It: Chapter One Takes Us to Church

In gleeful preparation for the upcoming “It: Chapter Two,” this essay comes to us from Leigh Hickman.  In 1990, Tim Curry scared audiences in a TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 horror opus, It. While Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown has cultural staying power, the adaptation as a whole hasn’t aged well, […]