Posted by: Diane | November 13, 2012

The Way We Learn

My friend, Vicky and I went back to the button store this morning. Now THIS is a button therapy bin…I wanted to go shoulder deep in this mountain of buttons, scoop them up and feel them slip through my fingers and fall back into the bin. If this bin hadn’t been located right beside the cash, where everybody was standing, I would most definitely have indulged in a whole lot of button therapy.

…and this is Lucy, the hedgehog. She belongs to Vicky’s daughter.

Lucy is so cute and very cuddly…to a point…until you prick your finger with one of her quills. Rub her the wrong way and you’ll soon be asking if hedgehogs belong to the porcupine family – those quills are sharp!

The button bin and the hedgehog were both true kinesthetic experiences for me and I was reminded that ever since I was a little girl, I learned by doing. I was a tactile learner. I wanted to move around the gym and feel my Nana’s hard fingernails and run my hand across my mother’s raccoon hat and sleep between flannel sheets. It makes my husband laugh when we head into a store because I immediately start feeling all the merchandise. No question – I prefer to jump right in.  I realize by “doing”….and so does 40% of the population.

Not everyone learns the same way.

…and it makes sense that not everyone will learn about God in the same way either.

I think Christians can be very quick to put boundaries around the nature of God and our experience of Him.  It’s not taught…but it’s caught – that if we can limit Him, we can understand Him…but this is far from truth.

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?   Job 11.7

Unfortunately, just as we cater schools to the visual learner, we often cater churches to the auditory learner and we miss so much of our creative God and Father. What’s a kinesthetic learner like me going to do in church? I want to dance. I want to sign. I want to move when I worship God..and I don’t want to be judged by others when I’m doing it.

God has knit each one of us in our mother’s wombs and we are as unique as each snowflake that falls. We need to accept and celebrate both our own learning ways and others’ as we all journey with God.

I found this recently…and I like it because it’s about experiencing and learning about God in all sorts of ways.

25 Ways to Experience God                                                              

1. With a friend, visit three churches where Christians worship in very different ways. Talk about the experience: How was God honored? How did He speak to you?

2. Arrive at church 10 minutes early. Spend time praying that God’s presence will be felt throughout the service.

3. Take a walk alone in nature, and sing or pray aloud to God.

4. Read a novel written by a Christian (such as C. S. Lewis’ science-fiction trilogy or Narnia series). Talk with a friend about how you saw God revealed in the book.

5. Visit an art museum and study several paintings with biblical themes. What do they suggest about the nature of God? What insights do they provide?

6. Listen to Scripture being read on tape or CD. Close your eyes and allow your mind to picture what you’re hearing.

7. Visit a church that has traditional stained-glass windows. Identify the pictures and symbols they contain. What aspects of God’s works and character are revealed?

8. As you study a portion of Scripture, draw with symbols, words, and doodles what the passage is saying to you about God.

9. Play “I Spy” throughout you day by watching for God’s presence in the ordinary things that happen to you: a kind word, protection on an icy road, the first gold leaf of fall. Each evening, share with your family or a friend (or record in your journal) where you saw God at work that day.

10. Praise God by writing an acrostic around one of His names. In an acrostic, the first letter of a word starts the first sentence; the second letter, the second sentence; and so on. For example:

Great and wonderful You are.

Oh, how my heart praises You.

Dear Savior, You are worthy of all my love.

11. Write your own words to go with the the tune of a familiar hymn or worship song. Sing your message to God.

12. Memorize a Christian poem, such as “On His Blindness” by John Milton.

13. Take a vacation with God, a one-day retreat where you get away from life-as-usual to be totally alone with your Savior.

14. Kneel or lie prostrate before God when you pray.

15. Read a story from a picture Bible with an elementary-age child.

16. As you read your Bible, make note of similes that liken things in nature to the attributes of God. For example, the fury of the hurricane is like God’s anger; the gentle rain is like God’s mercy. Keep a running list of these in your journal, or turn them into a Bible bookmark.

17. Create a shelf that contains mementos of God’s blessings to you.

18. Write an imaginary letter to someone who has never heard about God, and describe Him to that person. Or record what you would say on tape.

19. Take five minutes to list all the adjectives you can think of that describe God. Then thank God for each word.

20. Draw a cross. On the cross write every sin you can remember committing, especially those for which you can’t forgive yourself. Write, “Nailed to the Cross” over your words as a visual reminder that God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you completely.

21. Pick a theme to study throughout a book of the Bible, such as the love of God. With a colored pencil, underline portions contributing to that theme.

22. Each day for a week, reflect on how your day would have been different if you were not a Christian. Don’t allow yourself to become blasé about the difference Christ makes.

23. Imagine yourself sitting on God’s lap. How do you feel? What do you tell Him? What might He say to you?

24. For your five favorite hymns or worship songs, find Bible passages on which they were based or that affirm the truth of the songs’ messages.

25. Sit in the back of a children’s church service, and listen to how those children respond to God.


  1. I’m visual! If I write it down and never look at it again, I learn!
    I can just see you touching everything…I’ve seen you do it :))
    In teaching kindergarten I always tried to use all of the senses. Eg. Letter of the week was “b” so we made up poems using the students’ names if they started with b, had songs with b..usually mad them up… had snacks every day that started with b, and the crafts, writing activities, and gym classes were focused on B… Bounce a ball, bend, boing, . It was fun for me and my teaching partner, organizing the week. Interesting that we didn’t teach reading formally, but at the end of the year most of the students cold read after “playing” with the letters, words, and activities….
    I’m going to share this blog with my CBS group. Love the 25 suggestions for experiencing God.

  2. Oops sorry for the typos above….

  3. Diane, this is awesome. I read this yesterday and was immediately making notes and thinking how we as a family can go through the 25 items and each pick out a few and then experience them together. Such simple, tactile ways to see God & His work in fresh ways- that don’t require big commitments, time or money. Just beautiful. I am going to definitely do #2 this Sunday ( which looks like the easiest, but as perpetual late-comers this will be a struggel;). I am an auditory learner and experiential learner. Although I see God’s hand in the beauty all around us, I really feel His presence and love when I hear the gospel, worship music and when I experience His grace in the feelings that are expressed through tears when someone comes to know the Lord. That moment when I or someone I know falls to their knees and gives it all over. Surrender.

    My faves from your list are #’s 6,18,20,21,22 ( whoa this one will be revealing & scary- I really don’t know how anyone can get through life, especially though the ‘big storms’), and 25. S xo

  4. Funny, I was looking at the sign over the button bin and thought that with only 3 buttons for $1.00, button therapy could cost the same as regular therapy!

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