Thanks to my new Kindle Touch, I finished Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan and continue my one-year Bible reading plan. I downloaded several classics and a book about stress. Today I nabbed a free subscription to Kenyon Review. And I’ve been learning how to download a Kindle book from Project Gutenberg via their mobile page and drag it over to my Kindle files.Free = fun.
With all of my Kindle resources, you wouldn’t think I’d bother with bound books. But the library is a siren, wooing me to browse her collections. Last time I went, I came home with a book called Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, by John Medina.The name Medina sounded familiar. A quick search confirmed that L.L. Barkat referenced his work while researching and writing a series for The High Calling last year. What fun to also uncover a 2006 interview with Medina at The High Calling by Marcus Goodyear. In more than one of Medina’s responses in the interview “From Curiosity to Jesus,” he refers to the power of curiosity:
Curiosity means more to me than I can tell you. It even influences my theology. If you are curious enough about your origins, you’ll bump face-to-face with Jesus Christ—because nobody else is out there.Curiosity has the strong ability to make you look at the world with wide-eyed wonder and say, “Man, how was this made?”
In Brain Rules, Medina explains biological and even, in his view, evolutionary explanations for the way our brains function and why they respond in certain ways. His basic ideas are helpful and practical. The first chapter reminded me to get up and move more often because exercise provides a host of health benefits, dramatically improving (among other things) cognitive functioning.Exercise, he says, can be used as a tool of intervention in mental health issues and is especially helpful for severe cases and for older people. Kids learn better when they’re active, and everyone can fight off dementia and Alzheimer’s by staying active. In the laboratory, Medina said, “the gold standard appears to be aerobic exercise, 30 minutes at a clip, two or three times a week. Add a strengthening regimen and you get even more cognitive benefit” (Medina 15).I read all this to my husband and he pointed out that his cardiologist recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week, her focus being on heart health, of course. We can argue the frequency and duration; we can discuss the benefits of various types of aerobic activities. But the main point? Exercise.It’s not new information, really, but an important reminder: exercise is good for my body and my brain.
Last week, we were on Spring Break. We haven’t gone out and done much as a family for quite some time, so we decided to pack a bunch of fun into one day:First, a movie (“Mirror, Mirror”). Next, lunch at Penn Station.After that, bowling followed by miniature golf.Two of the girls had soccer practice that night, so they headed over for drills and a scrimmage. An hour-and-a-half later they returned with a friend and two boxes of take-out pizza.We played more in one day than we have in months.
A friend of mine reminded me of the “pensieve” in Harry Potter, a bowl into which one can pour memories in order to look at them with fresh eyes. I’ve been doing that privately, without the actual bowl, pouring memories onto paper or screen. By doing so, I hope to look at them with fresh eyes.
My son turned to me at dinner last night and asked, “Is being a parent hard work?”I hardly knew what to respond. “Sometimes,” I began.”Depends on how good the kids are, maybe?” he surmised.”No…well…mostly parenting is wonderful,” I continued, “but sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to do. That can be hard. Why do you ask?””I just wondered,” he replied, sipping some water.One of his sisters offered, “Maybe he wonders if he’ll be up to the job someday.””Is that it?” I asked.He laughed. “Maybe. Yes.””You’ll be a great dad someday,” I assured him.”Thanks,” he grinned. “I hope so.”
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Notebook image by Ann Kroeker. Putt-Putt and bowling images by Sophie Marie. All rights reserved. You may “pin” in a way that links back to this post.