Curiosity Journal: January 11, 2012

Each Wednesday I’ve been recording a Curiosity Journal to recap the previous week using these tag words: reading, playing, learning, reacting and writing. Now I’m testing a slimmed-down version.

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Reading

I started Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best, by Eugene Peterson. In light of New Year’s Resolutions and other hopes of pursuing goals and dreams, I thought this excerpt was particularly nice:

Something very different takes place in the life of faith: each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure. We are prevented from following in another’s footsteps and are called to an incomparable association with Christ. The Bible makes it clear that every time that there is a story of faith, it is completely original. God’s creative genius is endless. He never, fatigued and unable to maintain the rigors of creativity, resorts to mass-producing copies.  Each life is a fresh canvas on which he uses lines and colors, shades and lights, textures and proportions that he has never used before…anyone and everyone is able to live a zestful life that spills out of the stereotyped containers that a sin-inhibited society provides. Such lives fuse spontaneity and purpose and green the desiccated landscape with meaning. And we see how it is possible: by plunging into a life of faith, participating in what God initiates in each life, exploring what God is doing in each event. (p. 16-17)

So many great little phrases packed into that passage, like, “every time that there is a story of faith, it is completely original,” and “[e]ach life is a fresh canvas on which [God] uses lines and colors, shades and lights…anyone and everyone is able to live a zestful life…Such lives fuse spontaneity and purpose and green the desiccated landscape with meaning.”How? By “plunging into a life of faith, participating in what God initiates in each life, exploring what God is doing in each event.”Good stuff.

Playing

I thought this would be my season of creativity. I thought Art had awakened me.Then my kids started clipping coupons for Michael’s, which sells art supplies, and came home with brushes and paints and sketchbooks.Apparently art awakened us all,and we will be sharing this season of creativity.

Learning

I enjoyed this brief video that features Tony Buzan (“Mind-Mapping”) talking about concentration. He recommends simple activities that can help our brain focus and concentrate. He also discounts the idea of the brain being a problem-solving organ. The brain is not so much a problem-solver, he says, as it is a solution finder. The positive tone of this semantic shift frees the brain to kick into gear and seek solutions, functioning as the amazing brain that it is.

Reacting

It never ceases to amaze me how that steel cut oatmeal post gets around.I’ve learned curb any enthusiasm over traffic spikes like this, as they are never in response to a profound story I offered to my readers. They are always about the oatmeal. And because the most dramatic interest in my blog always traces back to a bowl of hot oatmeal, I just smile.I’m humbled and honored to have provided such a valuable resource for people who want to start their day with a bowl of steel cut oatmeal that’s warm and ready the minute they lift the lid on their crock pot.If, however, anyone knows how I can place an ad on just one post, please let me know. In fact, I’ve always wondered why I haven’t been approached by McCann’s Irish Oatmeal. I’d happily swap out photos on that post for a tin of McCann’s. I have one in the pantry right now that I could set up for a photo shoot, should they contact me about placing an ad.Not that I’m trying to draw their attention or anything…

Writing

Not much to report, as I scramble to comment on student papers so that they can get started on revisions.

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Credits:Note: This post contains affiliate links.Work Cited:Peterson, Eugene H. Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best. Downer’s Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 2009. Print.Photos: Images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved.

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  • Comments

    1. The oatmeal thing cracks me up. We would all like to be known for our profound stuff, but often it is the steel-cut oatmeal–or in my case, “43 Ways to Make Your House a Home”–that sticks. But I think part of the reason why is that we live in the mundane things. We eat and breathe and purchase them. They are part of our story, too.

    2. I so enjoy your curiosity journals. I keep meaning to join you– keep getting distracted by something shiny. :)

    3. I had that oatmeal this morning for breakfast. :)

    4. That stuff from Tony Buzan reminds me a bit of the reading for the book club this week. We talk about synaptogenesis. That Peterson book is on my list–though I’m still reading Tell it Slant (in the bathroom). He is always very quotable, isn’t he?

      I have so many bad kid memories of leftover oatmeal when we had nothing else to eat in the house. I know I must get over this stumbling block. I simply must try the oatmeal.

    5. Ann, I had to laugh out loud when I got to the part about the traffic spike being driven by oatmeal. That’s how I found you site – looking for some alternative to brown sugar in my slow cooker steel cut oats. So, your oatmeal strikes again!

      Here’s my recipe if you’d ever like to try it. It’s a favorite at our house: http://marbleandmud.blogspot.com/2010/03/slow-cooking-fixation.html

      Have a wonderful day!

      Lisa

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