5 Friday Faves – Body Language, the Wisdom of Andy Andrews, Healing Arts, Cheese, and Don’t Waste Your Life

It’s FRIDAY! Wrapping up another week that roared by. Without further ado, here are five of my favorite finds.

1) Body Language – Since our moms first instructed us to “smile at the nice lady” or “stand up straight”, we’ve been aware of the impact of body language. Posture, attitude, and approachableness are all a part of that.Photo Credit: DevZone

We communicate so much through our faces and bodies. Eye contact is a big one as well as what we do with our eyes – as in rolling them or staring off.  What does our body language convey?

Are we too self-important to engage with the person in front of us? Are our children growing up too cool to be bothered with the people around them?

Earlier this week, I saw a 2-minute video of UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemmas talk about body language. He nailed it! Not just in athletics but in any other life situation. We can still help our children and grandchildren to think beyond themselves…as we model it, too.

Geno Auriemma’s Advice: Body Language matters on Court and On Bench

How Coaches Evaluate Body Language During A Game – Joe Leccesi

2) Wisdom of Andy Andrews – Andy Andrews is an author and speaker. Years ago, I read his book The Traveler’s Gift – Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success and then more recently his book The Noticer – Sometimes All A Person Needs Is A Little Perspective. Photo Credit: Andy Andrews

Andrews is so engaging. His books are highly readable and full of wisdom. His easy writing style is like having the author himself telling you the story out loud (in fact, in his audio books he does just that). I used his book The Traveler’s Gift in teaching ESL while we lived in Morocco.  The adult students loved it!

Andrews’ Seven Decisions (see image below) were gleaned from his own life experience and through reading and researching. He read over 200 biographies of  great men and women of history. What was it in their character or circumstance that led to their greatness?

In his book The Traveler’s Gift, he fleshes out the Seven Decisions through the story of a desperate man’s fantastical visitation with historical figures, learning their stories and gaining their wisdom.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Seven Decisions – A Breakdown of “The Traveler’s Gift” – Keith Laskey

Q & A with Andy Andrews

The Traveler’s Gift – Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success – Andy Andrews

The Noticer – Sometimes All A Person Needs Is A Little Perspective – Andy Andrews

 3) Healing Arts – I was excited to hear recently that the local VA hospital incorporates the arts in the treatment of veterans with PTSD.  We read so much these days about post traumatic stress disorder. We see it in the lives of soldiers returning home from war as well as in the lives of survivors of adverse childhood experiences.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

How humanizing and honoring to see that visual and performance arts are being used right alongside medical treatment for our veterans.

Healing arts can include so many different expressions – photography, drawing, spoken word, story-telling, and music. During college, our son, Nathan, played his classical guitar as a volunteer at the medical center nearby. I have friends who also facilitate art projects, therapeutic story-telling, and photography.

It’s a beautiful thing.
Using Music to Help Parkinson’s Disease – Video Besides working with PTSD survivors, music can benefit patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s/Dementias.

4) Cheese – One of my absolute favorite foods. My heart goes out to those who have dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Our life overseas even had an element of cheese discovery. Often when people live outside their home countries, they have cravings for what feels like home. The longer and happier you live in another country, those cravings subside. It happened for us in many ways. However, we were thankful that each of our resident countries had great cheese.

Egyptian cheeses most enjoyed by Egyptians are gebna rūmi (similar to a hard Romano cheese), and Gebna bēḍa (a soft salty cheese). We ate those cheeses but also found a wonderful white cheddar from New Zealand in the larger supermarkets. Tunisian cuisine was much more exotic, but cheese wasn’t a mainstay. There we again ate imported cheese from the Netherlands. Edam cheese encased in a red rind. We used it for everything we would have ordinarily used Cheddar or Mozzarella. Moroccan food again was really wonderful…with few cheese offerings. There was a fresh goat cheese available locally that was yummy. Still we found the Netherlands Edam and were satisfied.Photo Credit: Gouda Cheese Shops, New Zealand

Why the meandering about cheese this week? Not exactly a new find. The reason I’m writing is that my husband sent me searching the answer for why is cheddar cheese in America orange in color.

Well, it turns out you can follow the money for the answer to this. Centuries ago, when cows (Jersey and Guernsey, in particular) were grass-fed, they produced milk that was more golden in color. The color came from the beta-carotene in the grass. This golden-colored milk yielded a deep golden cheese. The deeper the color translated to the higher the quality. In fact, consumers were (and still are) willing to pay more for a deeper colored cheese.

Cheddar is the preferred cheese in the US, and most people associate it with its orange color (even though there are white Cheddars). Dyes (more natural dyes now, like the plant seed Annatto) are used to produce the deep color. In these days of the artisanal farmers, cows are becoming more grass-fed, and we see cheeses of deeper colors (without dyes added).

[Probably more than you ever wanted to know about our food preferences or the color of cheese.]

5) Don’t Waste Your Life – In 2000, a much younger John Piper preached to a crowd of young people at a Passion Conference. He focus in this sermon was to urge these college students not to miss the Kingdom of God before them…not to waste their lives on what wouldn’t last. Here is a brief (7-minute) excerpt you might want to watch. It is gripping.

John Piper is not against enjoying the glorious gifts God has given us (see John Piper Is Not Anti-Seashell – Trevin Wax). He just wanted those students…and any of us after them…to know our lives can make a difference…if we don’t waste our lives.Photo Credit: The Gospel Coalition

God gave us the beauty of this world…and He gave us eternal life, if we receive it…He gave us more…He gives us Himself…

That’s it for me.

Have a beautiful weekend. Please share any of your favorites in the Comments below.

10 thoughts on “5 Friday Faves – Body Language, the Wisdom of Andy Andrews, Healing Arts, Cheese, and Don’t Waste Your Life”

  1. Especially was encouraged by the body language and Piper videos. I sent this blog to a friend with a sport’s minded son who loves the Lord and intend to have our grandson look at the Piper one. You really do all of us a great turn in finding these things for us! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marge. You’re such an encouragement to me. I thought Coach Geno’s take on body language was so wise and timely. John Piper’s sermon is as current today as then…and now I’m closing in on that “retirement” season…sure want to figure out how to balance enjoying the liberty of time for deeper relationships with appreciating God’s beautiful world. Don’t want to waste the rest of this life He’s given me. You are an inspiration for me in this. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I just bought “The Noticer”. The author and setting of the story are from Orange Beach, Al which is very near where I lived. I am also thinking a lot about ‘noticing’ these days.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Mariah. Noticing is not so common these days with so many of us facially attached to screens and not longing in people’s faces like we used to. Let me know if the landmarks in the story are reminiscent. I wrote about “noticing” sometime back – http://debmillswriter.com/?p=10343 – it’s an important skill and gift to those around us. Appreciate how you are always learning…I want that for myself.

  3. I loved the cheese. I love learning new things. I’m a researcher at heart, always have been and so the cheese thing and learning your love for it made my week. Side note: when Matt and I first “hung out” before dating or talking about why we shouldn’t date (save that story for another day) we used to grade off on researching random topics like how fast does a sneeze travel or how long does it take to hard boil an ostrich egg or any other thing we had a question about. We would have a day or two and report back our findings. Sweet memories. Thanks for sharing the cheese. <3

    1. Alicia, thanks for sharing a bit of your story. I totally want to hear about the discussion on “why we shouldn’t date” since I know what a great love story you have. Not surprised about the research thing – one of the many things he loves about you, I’m sure.

  4. Love Andy Andrews. From Alabama. Both parents died. Ended up being homeless as a young man and living under a bridge on the gulf coast. I think it was an African-American man who found him and starting sharing hope with Andy. (Correct me if my memory serves me wrong.)

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for commenting. I know for sure the part about his parents dying when he was 19 and him living under a Gulf Coast pier for about a year. Not sure who, but someone must have shared hope with him. He used his losses and that hard year for good. Love his writing and his wisdom.

    1. Never! Glad you had cheesy comfort this week, Kari. Makes me happy to think about you and cheese together. Thanks for sharing, Kari.

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