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I first awoke to my son’s screams at 2:30am. Even though it was his daddy he wanted, I couldn’t fall back asleep. My mind was racing with those good-for-nothing, middle-of-the-night thoughts. Just as I started to drift off again, my daughter awoke, yelling at me for something I had done in her dream. The house was quiet and sleep found me again just an hour before it was time to get up for the day.

The light from my cell phone hurt my eyes as I sleepily shut off the alarm and opened my email app. Within two minutes I discovered that both of my websites were down. A transfer by my host provider from one server to another didn’t go as smoothly as they had promised. On the verge of an emotional breakdown, I shut off my phone and got out of bed.

I stood at the bathroom sink and splashed some cold water on my face. The weary woman in the mirror mocked my feeble attempt at a restart. I thought about crawling back into bed, but one of my girlfriends was coming over with her daughter in an hour. So, I grabbed my favorite concealer and tried to bury the tired—more for myself than anyone else.

As I helped my wee ones pick out clothes and tame their manes, I thought of a million legitimate reasons to cancel on my friend. I knew she would understand and extend grace, but I wanted to see her. I wanted to sit in my living room with this kindred spirit and share in conversation. The fact that we would be often interrupted by three little ones didn’t even bother me. I was starving for connection, so I wasn’t going to complain about it coming in fits and starts over the course of a couple of hours.

My kids had to eat breakfast with a grouchy mama who was more focused on her frustration over the lack of easy in her life than on their sweet spirits. As I cleared the dishes my friend pulled into the driveway. The weight that had been pressing on my chest for hours seemed to lift before she even got out of the car.

Our visit was all at once ordinary and yet completely miraculous. We talked about life, in the way two friends who haven’t seen each other in six months do. Then, from the pit of my belly, where truth lives, it started to arise. By the time it reached my mouth, I shivered as I spoke it into the room. “You totally get me. In a way that is rare and extraordinary, you understand me. There is no need to explain myself to you.”

Just a short while later, I stood at the door with my kids, watching our friends drive away. I was still tired from a night of too little sleep. The internet fairies had not magically fixed my websites. But I was better able to deal with the challenges that faced me, because I was known and loved.


I can’t even remember the exact rabbit hole I followed to Tsh Oxenreider’s blog, The Art of Simple, several years ago, but I am forever grateful for that discovery. Her work has blessed and informed my life in ways too numerous to count. I knew I was in for a treat when I began her latest book, Notes from a Blue Bike, last week.

Friends, this book is a love letter to those of us craving simple. As we hop on Tsh’s blue bike and travel with her across the globe, something all at once ordinary and yet completely miraculous happens. With each story and insight, Tsh is whispering, “You are known. You are valuable. I get you!”

Yes, pursing a simple life requires us to swim against the cultural current. But, with Notes From a Blue Bike, Tsh infuses us with strength for the swim, for we are known and loved. Grab your copy here.

After you read it, come back and tell me in the comments below which of Tsh’s stories or quotes most made you feel known, understood and loved. Here are two of my favorites:

“So as a parent, it’s good for me to remember that entertainment is not a right. It’s a privilege—and often, depriving my children of this privilege is the best thing for them. But this is just as true for me; my brain needs ample time to stare off into space.” ~ Tsh Oxenreider, Notes From a Blue Bike

“There’s something magical about doing nothing, and we don’t do it often enough.” ~ Tsh Oxenreider, Notes From a Blue Bike

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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This article has 6 comments

  1. Heather Reply

    This entire book definitely spoke to me. It was exactly what I needed to read. I have been questioning how I constantly want to go against the current for so long, and I seem to be the only one sometimes. It is nice to know that I am not alone, and that others feel the same way. I really enjoyed Tsh’s section on food, and that it is an experience to prepare good food for your family, and not just to eat on the fly. We have been working towards a local/seasonable diet for many years, and it gave me the motivation I needed to really step up my game in the kitchen after a bit of a cooking slump.

  2. Jessica Reply

    I agree, Tsh’ book also made me feel ‘known and loved’, which is a great feeling when you’re living an unconventional, counter-cultural life. It’s great to know we’re not swimming up stream alone. Loved this post!

  3. Stephanie Reply

    It’s just lovely to have someone who gets us! As to a favorite quote – this is one of mine from Tsh’s new book – “Home may be where the heart is, but on the open road lie your five senses, and when you return to your heart, you’ll better see, smell, and hear.”

  4. Amy G Reply

    Beautifully written. Thanks for suggesting the book and blog- I hadn’t heard of it before, but it seems like something I need now!

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