Blue Bike Blog Tour

Blue Bike Blog Tour

Thoreau Inked (2)

During my early days as a mom, I worked part-time as a physical therapist.

For many years, I worked Saturday and Sunday twice a month.

I volunteered in the classroom and at church.

I tried to be at every practice and game.

I organized play dates and slumber parties.

It’s the mom thing.

Our calendar was often difficult to decipher as there were entries written on top of entries.

I finally realized that I was exhausted and a bit burnt out when I heard myself

answering “no” to many of my daughters’ requests.

It was either too messy


too time-consuming

or too something.

I took a look at our life,

I took a look at our calendar,

and I tried to peek inside my soul.

It was time to make some changes that would

allow me to say yes and no when it mattered.

I had the joy of reading Tsh Oxenreider’s newest book

Notes from a Blue Bike.

In this book, she chronicles her family’s decision to live life intentionally and

against the grain of our American lifestyle.

She draws from  experiences  living in Turkey, Kosovo, Austin, Texas and Bend, Oregon.

She tackles the areas of food, work, education, travel and entertainment

in her attempt to live with thoughtfulness and intention.

I appreciated that Tsh provided such a balanced look at each area.

She explains how her family is choosing to live but also gives other suggestions

for how to incorporate intention into these weighty places in our lives.

In honor of the February 4th release of Notes on a Blue Bike,

I thought I would share my pursuits towards living intentionally

by learning to say yes and no in the right places.

Let’s call it my Yes and No Manifesto:

  • Yes to Sabbath
  • Yes to play
  • No to over-scheduling
  • Yes to big empty spaces on the calendar
  • No to guilt making me say yes
  • Yes to spaces for reading
  • Yes to being a deliberate lifelong learner
  • No to allowing the online world to steal away time from pursuing my dreams
  • Yes to the gaps in my life so I can easily and with joy bless others
  • Yes to being intentional about our garden
  • Yes to expanding our travel/vacation horizons and letting our imaginations soar.

Tsh recounts meeting with one of her mentors who was very accomplished in her field.

She had the opportunity to visit her home and walk along the grounds.

At one point they were walking towards her chicken shed turned office and just before they

reached the door, Tsh noticed “a crooked obelisk of a tower, a hole punched rock” looking

quite out-of-place.

She asked her mentor,

“What’s this?

“Oh that’s my boundary stone. Before I head into my office to write, I touch it to remind

myself that just because I’m good at something, and just because someone asks me to do

something, doesn’t mean I have to.”

Here stood a tangible symbol of the very meaning of working with intention—knowing both my gifts and my limits, my callings and my opportunities that need a “no”, and being at peace with understanding the difference. To give myself the time and freedom to create my best art, and to confidently turn down those roles and opportunities that aren’t the best fit.

~~Tsh Oxenreider

May we all learn when it is best to say yes and when to say no.


This post is part of the Blue Bike Blog Tour of which I am delighted to be among other

bloggers helping to spread the word about Tsh Oxenreider’s latest book

Notes from a Blue Bike.

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t  always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions.


To learn more about the blog tour click here.

Read a sample chapter and grab your copy here.

3 thoughts on “Blue Bike Blog Tour

  1. Helen, I am glad to bump into you online. I haven’t yet read this new book from Tsh but follow her blog. And that has lead me to yours. I will be back! I am on board with living life more intentionally and enjoyed your thoughts on the subject. Kinda fun to see a familiar face when I wasn’t expecting one. Take care.


  2. Sarah so fun to see your face and read your comment. The blog world is a small world sometimes. I am so glad you found me here. I hope you and Jason and your not so wee one are doing well. We miss you guys. Please do come back!


  3. Wow, I came across this blog when making sure I had the quote right from Tsh Oxenrieder. Would it be okay if I used your Yes and No Manifesto on my blog this week? I will link it to you. It just spoke exactly what I want in my life right now and would love to use it if okay with you. Thanks!


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