Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider

This one has been on my to-read list for a little while and when it was on sale from Amazon for the Kindle I picked it up.

Living intentionally has been on my mind recently. Currently we are in a series at our church about the myths around the 10 Commandments and it has been the best sermon series I have had the pleasure of listening and learning from. Well this past Sundays sermon happened to be about keeping the Sabbath and keeping it holy. And since I was about half way through this book it just struck a chord with me. I was reminded that everyday should be kept holy not just on the Sabbath. And a life outside of the fast lane is a great start.

We live in a society that values quantity over quality and everyone is so busy with this and that and the other thing, it seems like no one can just slow down and enjoy this one life we have to live. It can drive a person crazy. Now granted I am only human and I have been prey to the notion of a busy life. This is just what it expected in our world today.¬†With that said, Derek and I have been making an effort to slow down. We don’t have many things on our calendar and we both like it that way.

The book is broken into sections that they as a family decided they wanted to live more intentionally those included: food, work, entertainment, travel, and education. Told through her experiences she offers advice on how her ideas could translate to your life situation. I mean not everyone can up and move overseas {I would love to but that just isn’t happening right now}. I felt most of the book was an enjoyable book, there were times that I thought she talked a bit too much about being an expat, but since the chapters were short I could live with it. I do wish there would have been a little more in depth examination of a truly simpler life, but leaving it a little more open ended {and with the discussion questions at the end} you as the reader can make those deeper connections that are more important to your life.

There so many times that I would stop and read passages to Derek and then we would discuss how we could incorporate some of the ideas into our own lives. I love when I can put ideas into action right away. One of them, purchasing higher quality ingredients for cooking. Another, starting a small deck garden to help supplement what we purchase at the farmer’s market and for canning. One area that Derek and I have been quite intentional for some time has been entertainment. When we got married we had cable but never watched TV. So when we moved to Holland we purposefully did not get cable, just internet. Between Netflix and Hulu we are covered. As for Nora we try and limit the number of toys she has. Plus we want open ended toys that inspire imagination. And we have a house full of books just for Nora. Lately Nora has been sitting next to me in my reading chair while I read a book and she reads a book.

Now one area that I need to work on myself for a more intentional life is self care. I will put myself last always, making sure Nora and Derek are fine before I take care of myself. Well I’m stating it here, that needs to end! Over the weekend, Derek told me to take at least and hour and a half to myself and you know what it was wonderful! A nice walk was just what I needed after a difficult few days with Nora. Now I just have to be purposeful and just do it.

I knew most of the ideas presented in this book, but the way it was presented really got me to stop and say, yes I need to start doing this not just talk about it. I want to live intentionally and I am the only one who can make that happen. If you are looking for a book to give you a little inspiration to slow day and enjoy life then I would say give this one a try.

Remember to Pray

So this week at VBS I was reminded of a Bible verse that I needed to hear and well need to hear/read all the time as a matter of fact.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. (Phillipians 4:6, NLT)

I’m a worrier. I worry just about everything and Derek is not a worrier. So we are a good mix for one another. He definitely helps keep my worrying in check. But I still worry even though I know it won’t do a lick of good.

And that worry went through the roof when Nora was born. My worry and anxiety was too much for me to handle. I wasn’t enjoying being around Nora and being a mother. I just could not settle my mind down, not sleeping which made the anxiety worse. So after seeing the doctor and getting some medication to help control my anxiety, I worry less but I still have my days. So this verse reminds me when I’m starting to feel the anxiety and worry rise that I just need to trust in God and remember to pray about everything. It’s a work in progress and I know I will need to keep this verse in mind through the years but it’s nice to know I can always find comfort in the Word.