This post is going to reiterate the theme from our post One Thousand Gifts and a Lifestyle of Gratitude. Both encourage us to slow down and live intentionally. I need this! Maybe you do too.
I read Tsh Oxenreider book Notes from a Blue Bike last summer on vacation at the beach. It seemed like an appropriate time and place to read a book about slowing down and living intentionally.
Notes from a Blue Bike made a significant impact on my life and my thinking. Just as I was beginning some pretty big projects in my life, I seriously needed the reminder to slow down! Seems impossible sometimes, however, I do believe reading the book has made me a more intentional person. I take more time now to notice and be grateful for the small graces scattered along life's path. I'm more intentional about looking for the divine opportunities―opportunities that may only come by once. And, for me, that's really the important part of intentional living.
“Do whatever it takes to increase your sensitivity to the little things in life you wouldn’t otherwise notice, much less savor. If your autopilot setting is hurry. you’ve got to power down frequently enough to enjoy the effects of intentional living.”
My autopilot setting is for sure on hurry!
Life can be chaotic, but we can choose to live it differently. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we do have the freedom to creatively change how we live. We can change the everyday little choices in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions.
I really enjoyed reading about the Oxenreider's travels, especially with a housefull of children. Not just travels, but complete pick-up-and-moves! From Kosovo to Turkey to Austin, Texas, and finally to the little town of Bend, Oregon, all along the way making choices to live with intention.
"Most of life’s decisions don’t come with black-and-white answers, and that’s a beautiful, marvelous thing. We’re each given freedom to choose our decisions, and that responsibility is the very definition of living with intention, after all: making daily choices so that your life lines up with your passions and values. It should all make sense in your head." ―Tsh Oxenreide, Notes from a Blue Bike
Living intentionally begins simply with everyday choices. This lifestyle is a topic that has really been on my mind lately. I've have a lot on my plate right now. I'm sure you do as well. If we're not careful, all that stuff cluttering our minds will takeover our world. That clutter will make things complicated where there could be, and should be, simplicity. The journey can become just a hop from one task to another, from one to-do list item to the next. We find no time to look around for the goodness of God and divine opportunities that lie in our path.
Go forth, then, and do it with zealous delight. No matter where you live, the size of your family, or what’s truly most important to you, may you live intentionally in a way that makes sense in your head. And maybe our paths will cross one day.” ―Tsh Oxenreide, Notes from a Blue Bike
If there's one takeaway from the book it's that we CAN live intentionally in every area of our lives. It's simply a choice to do so.
God's timing couldn't be more perfect! There's probably no stage in my life that I needed Notes from a Blue Bike more. The theme of living intentionally, seeking out and praying for divine opportunities to share the love of Christ continues to be on my mind. Life isn't about us. It isn't about our careers or the things we own. It's about relationships.
“People are willing to be brave when they admit their smallness within the enormity of the world, and the best way to understand our smallness is to leave our comfort zones and start exploring, one foot in front of the other.”
Tsh knows all too well the enormity of the world with all their travels and living in different parts of it. She's also acquainted with comfort zones, and getting out of them. Which most of us, myself included, find difficult.
"...listening to that still, small voice that says, This is you. That voice you hear? I think it's a little nudge to wander down that one path, which thereby gives you permission to ignore the other path. God made a lot of people, and if He wanted us all the same, well, He didn't do a very good job. I'm fairly convinced He tapped into His creativity when He made us." ―Tsh Oxenreider, Notes from a Blue Bike
As she documents family life, including the husband wife and parent child relationship, she breaks her book down into seven parts. Awakening, Food, Work, Education, Travel, Entertainment, and Revival. No matter where you are in life, anywhere from single to empty nester, there's something to learn from Notes from a Blue Bike.
In many ways I feel the term “live intentionally” has been so overused. We can read it and miss its meaning completely. To really take living intentionally seriously, there needs to be a plan. We can't just say it because it’s a popular thing to say. We have to live it. We have to make choices that align with it.
Planning a lifestyle of intentional living requires creativity and
And while we're sitting here talking about living an intentional lifestyle, I must confess that it is difficult! It's especially difficult for me right now because we are in wedding planning mode around here. Not just wedding planning mode, we are DEEP into a four-month-wedding-planning mode. How anyone plans a wedding in four months I do not know, but we're about to find out!
I feel like every waking moment is consumed with wedding thoughts. Quite possibly my sleeping moments too as I dreamt about a wedding just last night.
I tell you all this to plead for your prayers as we make this thing happen. We need God's wisdom. I'd also like to introduce to you the cutest little wedding planner ever!
The Wedding Planner Checklist (A Portable Guide to Organizing your Dream Wedding) is sold by Peter Pauper Press, which I find very apropos! However, as wedding planners go, it's quite inexpensive (it will be the best $8 you spend on your wedding) and has been everything we needed in a wedding planner.
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