Truth Tuesday – Slowing Down and Enjoying Life’s Moments/Book Review: Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider

by Kathy

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My “daughter-in-law to be” stopped by the house a few days before her bridal shower and I asked her if she was getting excited.  I loved her answer.  She said “yes”, but went on to explain that she wasn’t wishing all the wedding festivities here too quickly.  Instead, she told me she was taking time to simply enjoy being engaged because soon it would all be behind her and she wanted to savor these moments as she would (Lord willing) never have them again.

How I wished I had her wisdom at her age.  In my early days of being a wife and mom, I lived a schedule filled life, always running, with perfectionistic tendencies.  It didn’t take long for exhaustion to set in, which manifested itself by me yelling!  A lot!  I had to learn to intentionally make changes to my day to day life in order to display peace in our home.

I think that many people reading this blog post can relate.  Our culture today encourages us to chase after busyness, to live in the margins of our lives by being over-scheduled with activities, and experience less and less real face time connectedness.   We are taught to think that by adding more to our lives, we will find happiness. We try and keep up with everyone around us. We are so overwhelmed, we forget to take time to enjoy the moment we are in.  Sometimes even wishing we were at another stage in life, or that we could add more hours to our day.  This can leave us feeling like we are on a merry-go-round and there is no way off.

If this is something that describes you, I would like to introduce you to a book that was on my reading list this summer, which was a delightful read!  Notes From A Blue Bike:  The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider.

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Tsh’s chapter vignettes will give you a very fresh and honest look as to how she had to make intentional, proactive choices to discover the joy of slowing down, with the intent of finding enjoyment with relationships, quality of life, work, and simply being present in people’s lives.   She first discovered how beautiful and meaningful life was while living at a much slower pace (with 2 kids!) in Turkey.  Upon coming back to live in the United States, she quickly discovered a faster paced life that was characterized as worship of efficiency.

You won’t find her necessarily giving you a step by step blueprint on how to live slower.  What you will find are thoughts that will begin sparking in your mind, and questions you will be asking yourself, compelling you on your own journey of discovering where you can creatively change the little things in your life that rob you of savoring life’s moments.

Before the summer ends, I would encourage you to read this book.  It won’t take long.  You will find yourself lost in the stories and having a hard time putting the book down.  Start your Fall season with approachable, and practical daily plans that will help you to slow down.  Yes, you will find yourself going against the culture, but you will also find yourself smiling, as you realize down deep in the depths of your soul that having less allows you to truly have what matters most.

I have found in this season of God calling me to slow down and be still that I enjoy more of Him.  I am more aware of His Presence in my life.  When I am living intentionally slower, I am more aware of the Holy Spirit guiding me and showing me daily how to glorify Him through each and every interruption.

As you read this book, you will notice that there is no right or wrong way to go about slowing down.  You will have to determine what is right for you.  I love that about this author’s concept.  We all have such different temperaments and approaches as to how we do things.  I can remember, as a mom of three, that one of the things I did to slow our family down was to have family dinner together at least 5 nights/week.  This took saying “no” to a lot of kid’s activities, but it brought our family around the table to talk…laugh…and connect.  Today, those kids are 29. 27 and 23.  They are still trying to get home several times each month, bringing added family members to sit around the table with mom and dad.  There, you will still hear (just a little less often) talking, laughing and connecting!

Have a grace full week slowing down and enjoying the moments!

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