One Way to Hit the Pause Button on Your Busy Day (and a Giveaway)

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The winter day reached its golden hour, the one where light burnishes everything warm and beautiful. Faith and I set out the Noritake “halls of ivy” china for our tea party like we’ve done many times before. My daughter usually has lemonade or milk to drink instead of tea because there’s only a couple kinds of tea she likes. And for some reason, those flavors can’t seem to make it on my grocery list.

So when I dig around my tea chest and discover some of her favorite wild sweet orange tea, I poor the steaming hot water over not one but two teabags. After five minutes, we take the tea over to our table and enjoy.

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The next day, Faith asks for another cup of orange tea. As she mmmm’s the warm goodness, she says to me in a dreamy voice,

“Mama, drinking tea is soooo relaxing.”

I smile, “Yes, I know. Why do you think I do it everyday?”

“I thought you did it everyday because you’re old.”

Well.

She laughs at my gaping open mouth.

What she doesn’t know is that my mouth hangs open for more than her sassy comeback. I’m shocked that this girl of mine – this girl who is the very definition of perpetual motion  - has discovered that slowing down to enjoy a cup of tea has its merits, too.

I hear a common expression of my mama’s inside my head: will wonders never cease? Because let me tell you this straight-up: if my ten year old girl – the same girl who more energy than a half a dozen boys – could find enjoyment in slowing down, then there is something to it.

Generally, I do tea late afternoon while keeping company with Southern Living, a good book, or my laptop. On weekends, sometimes a child will join me. On the one weeknight my teens and tween don’t have an after school activity, they all join me. On that night I also warm up homemade scones kept in the freezer or chocolate chip cookies kept in the glass covered pedestal and make it a tea party. One child isn’t a tea fan, so he gets hot chocolate instead.

I’ve never seen my tea time as a luxury but a necessity, a way for me to hit the pause button on my day and rest up before beginning dinner prep and the swirl of evening activities.

In other areas of my life, I have only a fingertip grasp of intentional living. I have a lot to learn about leaving white space in my schedule and slowing down the chaos. I tend to run late and have a bad habit of cramming too many things into too tight a schedule. So on a Tuesday morning when I received Tsh Oxenreider’s brand new book, Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, I wonder if this beautiful blue and white book could turn my fingertip grasp on these areas into a much firmer one.

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It arrived late morning, and while I intended to just take a peek at it before getting back to work (most my reading time is in the evening and before bed), I was still turning pages some 30 minutes later.

Oh y’all, her book does not disappoint.

In Notes from a Blue Bike, Tsh tells of her experiences living overseas and how she modifies principles that were a way of life in other countries – in areas such as food, work, travel, education, and entertainment – to work in our fast paced western culture.  In her relational, non-preachy style, Tsh gently passes on her methods that read like a gift to the reader rather than bossy commands. Her voice is approachable and her ideas are manageable. If you are someone like me who wants to live more intentionally without feeling overwhelmed but is highly allergic to preachy materials, then Tsh’s book is your cup of tea. Truly, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

12311614244_febc21cc7a_z(Georgie would like to add her praise for Tsh’s book too!)

The kind folks at Thomas Nelson, Tsh’s publishers, are offering us two books for a giveaway! Just leave a comment below to be entered to win. You can also find Tsh’s book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, and DaySpring.

Tell me: what is one way you hit the pause button on your busy day?

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  1. Pattie says

    I love tea, and I love teatime in the evenings. I have tried to get my work finished before the girls come home from school in the late afternoon, so that I can have conversation with them, pausing to really listen.
    I would love to read this book too.

  2. says

    My pause button moments are always changing, sometimes it’s with a cup of coffee and a good book, other times it’s zoning out in front of the tv. :) No matter what form they take, I always feel better afterward.

  3. says

    Hmm… This is actually REALLY hard for me. I am just realizing that I need to work on pausing more. I normally try to just step away from the phone/computer and act silly with my boys, cuddle, read…. This book sounds amazing!

  4. Cilla says

    I enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon and lately, have been having warm lemon water which is delicious and soothing (and good for me, too). I also love getting lost in a great book but my true escape is Days of our Lives on tv! Would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  5. Stephanie Becknal says

    I too love a cup of tea. However, I’m obsessed right now with ‘a pot of Irish tea’…don’t forget the cream!!! LOVE IT!!!

  6. Michele says

    I try very hard to relax in the morning with my bible and then in the evening or night with a book. Both of those things help me to keep myself going during all of the other hours!

  7. Darlene says

    I have been on the pursuit of intentionally living simply. I have purged many of my material belongings to a charity and have more to go. Tish writes with experience and love. In her past books she gently gives the reader an action plan. I would love a copy of her new book
    Blessings
    Darlene

  8. Heather P. says

    I’ve started taking the bus to commute to and from work — I use the extra time to read books I’ve downloaded on my Kindle. A luxury I have never been able to find time for until I started doing this!

  9. Crissy Krance says

    I need to make time for the pause button. I too feel like I try to cram too much into a little space. I need to get over feeling guilty when I take time for and slow down. I am sure it is a learning process that I would like to improve on.

  10. says

    Sounds lovely. . . I am not sure I have a pause button at the moment. There are times when my body stops, but my mind keeps right on going. . . I guess I need to be more intentional. :)

  11. Linda P. says

    Lately I’ve been making time first thing in the mroning for quiet time to start my day off on the right foot with peace and God. I used to push the pause button on my day by watching Dr. Oz in the afternoons before my kids get home from school. Lately, I haven’t even had time for that bit of luxury. This book sounds wonderful!!!

  12. says

    My pause button came today when I faced up to the truth that I need help. The last few years of losing control of my life as jobs were lost, new jobs paid less, my father’s death, bankruptcy, a job change to something that was misrepresented in the interview, job stress, cancer, moving back to squat in my waiting-for-foreclosure house when my husband was offered a job … that didn’t materialize. A car repo, cancer surgery, an 80% chance it will return or spread, no jobs, no electricity, no water, no food, mistakes made that challenged our marriage… selling everything to just keep the lights on … a part time job, then a full time job, the need for another car, more bills… and now the stress and fear of it all has me feeling like I want to try to control the F5 tornado my life has become. My pause button is me raising a white flag, saying enough … I need help. If there is anything in the book that will help me keep a grasp on my limited sanity at this moment, I will read it, sleep with it under my pillow, and fold the pages into a sandwich and devour them. Especially if it has Georgie’s stamp of approval on it. She looks like someone my dog, Trooper, would have a huge crush for.

  13. Cindy Penrod says

    I, too, am a tea drinker. I intentionally have a ‘cuppa’ mid-afternoon and before bedtime. I also enjoy walking to manage stress. And the book sounds very helpful, as you have described it for us.

  14. Catherine S says

    I like to start my days with a “pause”. That first hour of the morning when the house is quiet is my time to reflect and ponder the day ahead. Always nice to have a fresh cup of coffee then too!

  15. Susan G. says

    I love afternoon tea! But I also ‘pause’ by going outside and sitting at my patio table in the sun…with a good book and a glass of fresh squeezed (orange, lemon and tangelo) juice. Now that I’m retired I spend winter in the southern California desert, far away from my snow covered hometown in Oregon. :) Nothing so relaxing as ‘tuning’ into a good book outside on a sunny day! The doves are cooing nearby, the palm trees are waving in the breeze, and the hummingbirds are ‘buzzing’ by my head on their way to the next flower…you get the picture. :)
    May He bless your day!

  16. says

    I just realized today that playing soft music in the background (currently, oldies) while I play with my kids has made it so much happier and more relaxed in our house. I’ll be doing this often now!

  17. Holly says

    Love that blue bike! I was just commenting to my dh last might how I would like to slow us down and live more intentionally. Our teenagers are growing too fast and I want to savor every minute!

  18. Mary Mc says

    My pause button is my quiet time with the Lord. A cup of hot coffee, Jesus Calling and my Bible and journal help me get and stay focused throughout a busy day. I’ve found that my daily quiet time is a necessity, not a nice thing to find time for.

  19. Lauren F. says

    I hit the pause button by making a chai latte and either read, knit, or make a craft. This usually only happens when my daughter is napping though.

  20. says

    Knowing that we should definitely “stop and smell the roses” each day for various reasons, it is not easy too do. I especially have more difficulty doing so on a day off! I have to agree that a cup of tea assists in making one relaxed and enjoy the moment. I learned this in college from a couple of my Canadian roommates as the called it to be “cazellic”, or whatever the Dutch word spelling is for the word! I’ve used the word often, whether I know the spelling of it or not. I certainly know the meaning of it! :) Relaxing with a special friend for a cup of tea; what a joy!

  21. says

    I take time to press the pause bottom when I take our English bulldog Ryder for a walk a few times a day. Also, I have a habit of doing my Bible study before my day starts or at least before I get on my computer.
    Last week I got a day full of “pause” moments when we were snowed in. Why do we wait until it snows to take time to be still?

  22. Jennifer Simon says

    Sadly, I too often ignore my pause button. When I do, it’s to play board games with my daughters and after they go to bed. I love to get lost in a book. Would love to read this one!

  23. Angela says

    I’ve always been a complete outsider to the “pause button”. I come from a long line of wonderful women who could never sit still ;) But when a routine surgery turned into an almost a year hospital stay for my 2 year old…. and we almost lost him, I had angels all around me begging me to take time for myself. I actually started a list at that time of what taking time for myself meant and looked like, so that on the other side (home for 5 months!!) I would remember what makes me happy and what brings me respite. SO very important to the spirit. My sweet friend Amy– during those rough days, rekindled my love for a great cup of tea! I miss tea with her greatly, but love being at home with my little one, instead of the hospital!

  24. says

    Lunch is truly my pause button. Is my day something I’m proud of so far? If something is important but isn’t done yet, when will I do it? Have I said “I love you” to my family? These are my pause buttons. :)

  25. says

    I don’t drink tea, but being more intentional is something God has been working on in my life. Like you, I’m guilty of packing my calendar to a point that it stresses me out. White space on the calendar is so good for my soul and makes me available if friends or family need something I can help them with. I certainly could use more encouragement in being intentional in other areas of my life. This book sounds fabulous and I’m hoping to read it soon.

  26. Erin Smith says

    This sounds like something I need! some days I am so busy I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I love to read, but it’s hard to find time to read.
    Thank you for this lovely post! God Bless you!
    ~Erin

  27. Amy Duncan says

    My husband and I along with our oldest daughter have started enjoying drinking a cup of tea in the nighttime. It’s amazing how a small act makes such a big difference.

  28. Jane BB says

    Love the post and would love to read the book! It’s a huge challenge to carve out those spaces of quiet with a 2 year old and a 4 month old, but we have almost got a coordinated afternoon nap down – so I’m hoping to be more intentional about using that time for moments like this – rather than FB and emails :)!

  29. Hiedi says

    Thanks, Kristen! Your words definitely encourage, and help me slow down even if it’s just long enough to read your latest:) Can’t wait to check out the “Blue Bike” book!

  30. Jess says

    My pause moments are usually spontaneous dance parties. We’re a very musical family so when a good song comes on (we have music on a lot), it’s good to just stop and dance! Sometimes my 3 yr old and I sing and dance in the car too heh.

  31. Sharon says

    I love to soak in a tub with a magazine and bubbles, the lights as dimmed as I can have and still see the words, in the summer I’ll add a cold drink

  32. Christy C says

    I’m not a tea-drinker either, but hot chocolate and this lovely book sounds like just what I need to hit the pause button in my life for a while. Thanks for the opportunity!

  33. Danielle says

    Sometimes, when I’m really overwhelmed and my husband is around, I’ll ask him to take a few minutes and we can just sit on the couch together. We don’t have to talk, or watch something, or do something. Just be together.

  34. Jen says

    I like to sit and read for a few minutes while my youngest is napping. But now I’m thinking I should make tea part of that ritual and really make it intentional. I love that you include your kids in tea time, at least sometimes. Mine are all young, so I feel like that is my time to myself. But I can imagine a few years from now, that I will want to spend it chatting with them.

  35. says

    I find it hard to press pause during the week but at the weekend there is nothing more enjoyable than capitalising on my toddler’s naptime to sit in a quiet part of the house and read. A cup of char doesn’t hurt either!

  36. Amber says

    I love books and try to enjoy reading a bit every day. I also feel more at rest with my day if I spend it listening to music I love.

  37. Amy says

    When we moved to a new home 5 months ago, my two year suddenly refused to nap in his crib. At first I was annoyed because I could no longer use his nap time to “get stuff done”. But then I realized being forced (by a two year old) to slow down and take a break in my day isn’t such a bad thing. So now we cuddle together. While he naps, I rest for a bit and then lay with him and read or play on pinterest on my phone. It’s a nice–and much needed–break in my crazy day.

  38. Amy A says

    I get up away from my desk and take a stroll around the floors at work. I get in some exercise and I can’t read email or answer phones calls.

  39. ariane says

    I appreciate Tsh and her gentle guiding voice emphasizing the value of quality not quantity in a drive-through, express world. I look forward to reading her book.

  40. Susan M says

    I tend to hit the pause button in the early morning (before anyone else is up) and in the evening (before I go to sleep). I am less interesting in TV these days so that gives me more time to sit down and relax. I would love to read this book, I will certainly buy it when my reading list gets a bit smaller!!!

  41. Beth Williams says

    Life has been truly hectic and stressful for me during January and early February. My oldest sister and I spent January doing paperwork, taking dad to doctor’s appointments and interviews in preparation for a move to assisted living. We accomplished it all and got him moved in the midst of snow storms and super cold weather. Hitting the pause button was and is essential for me.

    Hitting the pause button is simple for me. I get a new hot cup of tea and watch something on TV. If I’m real tired I may just take a nice hot shower and go to bed. On weekends I may take a walk while listening to music or dance around the house some. A lot of times I’m just vegging out in front of the TV.

    Blessings :)

  42. Nazila says

    Thanks for your beautiful post! Since being a student in school {long time ago ;) }, I have been taught that I should make most of my time and be always on the run to improve. This attitude does not leave me a pause button, but recently I’ve decided to press this button every time I feel I need it, without feeling guilty of being selfish.

    For me reading a book while sipping my tea is the best way to relax and drop off the weight of stress from shoulder. It makes me happy and relaxed. I would love to read the book you recommended too.

  43. Rachel says

    My favourite way to chill out is in front of a TV documentary, but I know that is not always what I need most! So when I need some ‘God’ chilling out and time to rest in Him instead, I like to lie flat out on my bed or the floor (the floor if I’m feeling more holy ;)) and listen to ‘Enter The Rest Of God’ on full blast through my iPod. Such a beautiful song.

  44. says

    The only way to hit my pause button on a busy day is actually before the day begins. I read the daily reading in “The One Year Chronological Bible” and visit Wendy Pope’s vlog where I am able to start my day with some spiritual wisdom.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of Tsh’s new book!

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