I was so excited to have the opportunity to review Tsh Oxenreider’s new book Notes From a Blue Bike, The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World. Even though I’ve heard her speak and visited with her blog many times, I was not familiar with her story.
As an expat living in several different countries, including Turkey and Kosovo, Tsh encountered life lived more intentionally, and at a slower pace. Once her and her family moved back to the states they were unsettled as they began to transition into the overscheduled, on-the-go lifestyle that we as American tend to live. This book explains how she took the lessons she learned overseas, as well as her personal convictions, and blends them into the life she lives today.
While Tsh is passionate about what she has come to believe (through faith, travel and life experience) she shares her views about Food, Work, Education, Travel, and Entertainment with grace. She consistently encourages the reader to be thoughtful about what’s important to them and to figure out how that affects their everyday life.
This book has definitely impacted me in ways I didn’t expect.
Food: Recently our family, including our kids, has put a greater focus on cooking together with whole foods. Already on our way to changing the way we approach eating, Tsh introduced us to the idea of “slow food”, which is simply slowing down to enjoy the process of making a meal and enjoying it with others.
Work: Currently, I work part-time for a television production company, manage a contributor website, and write a blog. As Tsh shared her passion about what she does for a living, I was challenged I ask myself a few questions. Do I want to work more hours at the office come this Fall? How much time am I willing to put into the website that now budding into an off-line ministry? What’s the next step for my blog and should I monetize it?
Education: My husband and I moved to our neighborhood because of the reputation of our schools. We love the friendships and the community that has developed as a result. I found it refreshing that the author, whose kids have experienced both homeschooling and traditional school, finds value in both. I was reminded that even though my children learn reading, writing, and arithmetic outside my home, I don’t have to give up my role as primary teacher. I do however, have to be intentional about what I want them to learn and teach it to them.
Travel: Growing up, my family took a ton of road trips. Now that I have a family of my own, my husband and I continue that tradition by going on an annual RV trip with my parents. While I may not have the opportunity to live abroad, in several different countries, over the coarse of a decade, I was encouraged to be intentional about travel. I’d like to allocate a bit more of our budget to vacations as well as take day trips to explore the destinations in my “own backyard”.
Entertainment: Summer hashighlighted the fact that my kids are a little too dependent on their electronic devices. Whether it’s the TV, iPad, iPod, or computer, precious time for outdoor play and relationships is being stolen. Tsh reminded me that there’s nothing wrong with having or using any of these things, but every once in a while, it’s good to take a look at how much of a priority, we as a family, give them.
You don’t have to share all of the author’s views to enjoy this book. There are lessons to learn and principles to be considered that will help even the busiest of families slow down and live life more intentionally.
Now that you have read the review, head over to Circles of Faith to enter to win a copy! I am linking up there today...