Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Review: "Notes From a Blue Bike" by Tsh Oxenreider

As a fan of Tsh Oxenreider's blog at TheArtOfSimple.net, I was eager to pick up her latest book, "Notes from a Blue Bike:  The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World". Her writing style is engaging and easy to read. Part memoir, part manifesto of living a simpler life, Oxenreider skillfully shares personal stories that highlight her family's journey to living a counter-cultural lifestyle.


I loved the stories that she shared. Motivating and thought-provoking, I found myself drawn in by her passion for the subject. Having lived overseas, Oxenreider brings a unique perspective to the table that many people have never experienced or may never get to experience. Drawing heavily on their life in Turkey, she illustrates how their life there was a springboard to living life with more intention upon their return to the United States.

Divided into seven main sections, Oxenreider shares how her family makes conscious choices to live more intentionally and simply in areas like food, work, and entertainment. They make travel as a family a priority to give their children a better worldview and as part of lifelong learning. It was easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm with which she writes. I left each section contemplating how I can incorporate some of these ideas into my own family life.

Oxenereider is quick to reiterate that each family needs to evaluate and make decisions based on what is best for your particular family, your particular season:  "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" (p. 214).

This book is a great jumping off point for people to put some thought into what your goals are, how you want to live, what your priorities are, and how you want to raise your kids. It is never easy to live counter-culturally, particularly in a culture like the U.S. But with a bit of thought and some creativity, it is possible to make even small changes.

While Oxenreider writes out of her life as a mom of young kids, this book is not geared specifically for moms of young kids. There is a lot of great information in there for people of all ages, men or women, regardless of life stage. I would highly recommend this book!

(I’ve received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Review: "A Godward Heart" by John Piper

A Godward Heart"A Godward Heart" by John Piper is a collection of 50 brief meditations, each designed to take the reader deeper in their relationship with God. The book is meant to be savored slowly, pondered, wrestled with. You may not agree with everything that Piper presents in this book, but allow yourself to be challenged. Think deeply about what you believe and why.

The meditations include reflections on particular Scripture passages, marriage and parenting, certain doctrinal positions, and thoughts about current culture. There isn't a particular pattern or order the meditations follow, which gives it a slight feel of disjointedness. But, taken one bite at a time, there will be plenty to mull over!

Some of my favorite meditations include "The Morning I Heard the Voice of God", "What's the Place of Confrontation in Marriage?", "What Love Does and Does Not Do", and "Why Require Unregenerate Children to Act Like They're Good?".

Piper generally puts out wonderful devotional material and this one is no exception. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who desires to think critically and be challenged in their spiritual growth as a Christian.

(I’ve received this complimentary book from Waterbrook-Multnomah through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)

A Review: "The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson

"The Lifegiving Parent" by Clay and Sally Clarkson completes the "Lifegiving" trilogy that also includes "The Lifeg...