Back when I was working on the concept of Notes From a Blue Bike, I was debating who the audience would be for this book. I’m a married mom in her 30s, so it’s easy for me to know what to say to someone like me. But I knew, deep down, that this book would be for more than just me.
Don’t get me wrong—middle-aged me’s are great. Solidarity, sisters. But this message—that we really can slow down and live more intentionally, so long as we’re willing to swim upstream from the culture—can resonate with people of all genders, many ages, and plenty of life stages.
I think there’s something universal in the idea that the culture feels like an itchy sweater when it just moves too fast, when it worships productivity, when it defines “normal” as whatever everyone else is watching, doing, loving.
When our deep-down, God-given-yet-earthy desires seem just so different from everyone else’s, I think God’s trying to tell us something about realigning our lives. Like C.S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
I feel this way all the time. I wrote this book for people who feel this way, too.
I wrote Blue Bike for people:
…who have this regular unsettled feeling because their daily lives resemble more of what the culture around them says is normal, instead of how they’d really like to live.
…who feel like they’ve got the pedal to the metal in a Ford Pinto while surrounded by Ford Mustangs in the left lane of a toll road.
…who want their kids to feel free to be themselves, learn how they learn best, and explore the world with vivid innocent wonder.
…who believe that food, our daily bread, was meant to be savored slowly, in season, and how God created it (while still guiltlessly delighting in the occasional chocolate).
…who wish they could travel more without feeling like they need to justify their adventures to well-meaning extended family, neighbors, and friends.
…who get frustrated that because of the Internet and other digital luxuries, there’s this cultural assumption that work should never end.
…who want to bravely re-embrace boredom and not feel this itch to constantly be entertained.
…who are willing to live differently, but not just for the sake of living differently.
…who want to live simply so that others can simply live.
…who love life, but really do feel like we were made to live slower, with more intention, with more freedom to slow down and smell the roses.
All these things? Could describe anyone in just about any life stage in our postmodern, crazy-fast culture. If this is you, then I’m with you. And I’m learning, daily, that your life really can slow down, and it really can fit your family like a glove—so long as you’re willing to ride uphill and forge a new path.
I’ve got my helmet on, and I’d love some companions. Wanna join me? I’d love that.
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
I am 52 years old and have always felt like the salmon swimming upstream. I fought for family dinner time when the rest of the world was popping dinner in the speedy microwave and sitting in front of the tv to eat it. I limited after school activities so that we weren’t spending life in the backseat running from practice to practice. I even let my kids get, heaven forbid, bored. I think it’s great that you are championing the cause of living more simply! My “word” for 2014 is “intentional”. I am with you on living life with intention – being present in the moment. I will join you to follow God’s way vs. the way of the world! Looking forward to reading your new book!
brittnie (A Joy Renewed) says
Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. And I hope to see ya in Houston on Monday!
I’m going to get this book!
I am 49 years old, and finally gathering the courage to leave my marriage. I have a clear clean space in front of me (except of course for the parts taken up by my 12 and 15 year old children!) and I can decide how I want to fill it. How I want to live. I am taking almost nothing with me, so each item in my new life will be intentional. It’s such a gift, and I feel so lucky to be able to choose. I want simple, clean, pure and happy. Those are my goals.
I’ll bet I’ll find encouragement for this journey in your book!
I can not wait to read this book. I have been bucking the norm for several years in many capacities when it comes to my kids. I have been much more intentional more recently in regards to me and my time. My children have never owned any game systems, we read books, play outside. We do not watch DVD’s when we travel, we talk, sing, play games. We have never been to any theme parks, but have done several long family vacations viewing, hiking in God’s masterpiece. I have never had Facebook, nor do my kids, 13&16. They do not want it. My oldest just got a cell phone, when he needed it. I quit volunteering at school, and do more at church. Much less gossip and stress. I have had these convictions for a while and I am getting more comfortable in living “abnormally.”
Yup. Got my helmet on as well. I’ve a pink one and a lime green one. I need to slow down and smell the roses as well.
I would love to read this book!
Chele Denney says
I found you, my long lost soul sister. Now that you have read my mind, I look forward to reading your book!
renee tjapkes says
When my son was little, he and my husband fixed up a birthday gift for me. It was supposed to be a BIG SURPRISE. So one day, hands in pockets he walked in and announced that I was going to love my gift, and he couldn’t tell me what it was, but it WASN’T a blue bike. Of course, it was a blue bike! I love your title – and it will always remind me of that sweet little boy and his delight in surprising me.
I am looking forward to reading your book!
None of our kids want to play Little League this spring. Part of me is sad, but a bigger part of me is excited to have so much more time to ride bikes with my family, both literally and figuratively. Looking forward to reading your book!
Oh, I so miss my blue bike! I had a blue bike and wanted to take it across Europe for a summer of exploring after I graduated from college many, many years ago, but never did. I had always thought just a bit differently than everyone else, but have somehow found myself swimming with the rest of the fish. I am trying so hard to teach my children to swim away from pack and be themselves. It’s not always easy. My eldest(18) is in Africa right now learning who he is through extended mission work with YWAM. He found it so hard explaining and explaining to everyone what he is doing. He is alive and free. I am so jealous, but will be there too again one day.
What is it about blue bikes lol? I wrote this post about a year and a half ago http://lakesidelessons.blogspot.com/2012/06/summer-of-blue-bike.html In many ways it’s about rediscovering the beauty of each day and living life. I look forward to reading about your blue bike adventures 🙂
Slow down is my word for this year; but more than quit activities or reduce them, for me it starts in my mind; to purposely enjoy the moment, savor my food, enjoy my kids and what I chose to do. It is hard because my kind is always on the go and races to the next thing; so I am trying to be very intentional about it. I think I would enjoy your book.
Look forward to reading your book!.
Marinalva Sickler says
Tsh, I love the message from your blue bike. A simple one. Not with gears and all the inventions of our time. It resonates in my soul like the metalic twinkly sound of the windmill in the backyard calling mme to simplicity. Since last year as drawers and closets are been purged, I’m called to simplify as the wise travellers do as they sing along through the long streched roads.
Bags of clothes, shoes, and hats are waiting in the car to the delivery at the Rags and Riches. Books and videos and magazines are side by side ready to go.
I love each word of your message and I’m in awe before God who orchestrates and ordains our paths and will. Be blessed.
My one word for the year is “intentional” (truly the broccoli of one words, good for you, but ugh). Your book sounds like the perfect antidote for that ugh feeling, like maybe the broccoli has cheese sauce;)
Thank you for these words. They give me the courage to keep going the path that my family should go, not what the world around me says we should do and be part of. I have 5 kids, and there is so much around me to be part of, and when I get caught up in those things, our home life greatly suffers. My word for this year is freedom, and reading this, gave me more freedom to say no. God is so good!
Simply wonderful. I’m all in.
Oh, how I agree! I am 65 years old. During my 30s, 40s and many of the 50s I wore myself out trying to adhere to a lifestyle that was not in my soul. I have said that I survived instead of lived those decades, and I pulled three children right along with me! How terrible to realize later in life how valuable real time is; how important the small stuff of living every day is.
I hope your book opens a lot of eyes and helps a lot of people realize that memories are made during the small moments as well as the big ones. That often the small moments are the ones we miss the most as we grow older.
These days I know to look for the blessings in life with intention; to do what I can every day to make others feel better about themselves and this world we live in. I thank God for every good thing in this life of mine.
Thank you for the illumination.
I would love to read this!
You have taken words out of my mouth….I took my sons to Italy to a small medieval town where my father’s childhood home still stands…the home lacked modern inventions…no tv, no electronics, no radio, no washing machine, no dishwasher…I took great pleasure hand washing our clothing in the morning warm sun outside in the back yard. I wish I could go again. I will find your book with great pleasure! 🙂
Reading this blog made me feel like a big light bulb was turned on…. I am swimming upstream against a current of today’s expected activities and falling further behind. And not really caring ….. I am hungry to read more of this book! Thank you Tsh, for confronting an issue that I believe so many of us have not been able to put a name on!
Beth WIlliams says
Lately my life has been super busy with work, moving my aging dad into assisted living, running errands here and there. At this stage in my life I find myself wanting to slow down. I want to ride bikes, hike in the mountains, just sit by the beach and hear the waves crashing on the shore.
I’m ready to simplify my life–get back nightly dinners with hubby, start exercising again, and just live simply. Few gadgets. Cell phone–NO I phone, computer, TV. I don’t do much social media, or care about it. Just want to start growing my own food some & enjoying this God given life without rushing around crazy like.