"Our modern-day world provides every convenience we could ever possibly imagine, and then some. Our gadgets allow us to watch almost every movie ever made from the convenience of our handheld devices while we wait at the airport boarding gate. We can answer e-mail as we wait in the carpool line, and our offices are composed of a thirteen-inch screen that we can carry into the kitchen so we can keep working while we start dinner. We have automated so many features of our lives, and yet instead of spending that reserved time for something enjoyable or fulfilling, we fill it with longer to-do lists. Our workweeks are longer, not shorter, as was predicted half a century ago."
This post is going to reiterate the theme from Tuesday's One Thousand Gifts and a Lifestyle of Gratitude. Both encourage us to slow down and live intentionally. I need this!
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 this blog, I also needed a reminder to slow down. Seems somewhat like an oxymoron. 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 along life's path. I'm more intentional about looking for the divine opportunities― opportunities that may only come by once. And that's really the important part of intentional living for me.
“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! And I quite frequently have to reevaluate to see if the choices I'm make are lining up with the intentional lifestyle I want to live. Living intentionally requires specific choices, it's just not going to happen by default.
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.
"The popular blogger and founder of the internationally recognized Simple Mom online community tells the story of her family’s ongoing quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.
Part memoir, part travelogue, part practical guide, Notes from a Blue Bike takes you from a hillside in Kosovo to a Turkish high-rise to the congested city of Austin to a small town in Oregon. It chronicles schooling quandaries and dinnertime dilemmas, as well as entrepreneurial adventures and family excursions via plane, train, automobile, and blue cruiser bike.
Entertaining and compelling—but never shrill or dogmatic, Notes from a Blue Bike invites you to climb on your own bike, pay attention to who you are and what your family needs, and make some important choices.
It’s a risky ride, but it’s worth it—living your life according to who you really are simply takes a little intention. It’s never too late." ―goodreads
I really enjoyed reading about the Oxenreider's travels, especially with a house full 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."
Living intentionally begins simply with everyday choices. This lifestyle is a topic that has really been on my mind lately. It's at the heart of these last two blog posts. I've got 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, simple. 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.
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, including myself, find difficult.
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 saying no to good things in order to say yes to better things.
"...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
It's almost wedding planning season for a lot of people out there. Maybe you are one of those people. If you are, BLESS YOU HEART! I hope this little planner might be a help to you.
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 need in a wedding planner.
So what kind of plans are you making to live intentionally?
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