Sometimes, when things get hectic (while dinner is cooking and everyone is tired and hungry, for example, or when it’s raining and there’s “nothing to do”), I find reading a short story generally puts everyone back in a good mood (including myself) and changes the atmosphere of the house for the better.
Good short stories (where you can reach the conclusion before sitting down to supper), can be hard to find. There are Aesop’s Fables, of course, but we’ve read those several times, and fairy tales like the Ugly Duckling and the Velveteen Rabbit are well worn, too.
Our current favorite storybook is A Better Ending by Doreen Tamminga. Each chapter is its own short story, and our younger kids find the characters very relatable: girls and boys, often with similar upbringings, who struggle with sinful thoughts and desires the same we do in our house.
Like fables and fairytales, Doreen’s stories transport us to different times and places, help us experience things from someone else’s perspective, and give us something to think about.
However, unlike, most children’s stories, these ones really do have a better ending. Each one gives the listener pause for reflection and an opportunity to examine our own hearts in light of God’s revealing Word.
I’m thankful for this collection of short and sweet chapters and poems that deal with important issues like contentment, death, apologizing, forgiveness, holiness, obedience, salvation, and gratitude in a tender, childlike way from a biblical perspective.