Tsh Oxenreider
About the Author

Tsh Oxenreider is the author of Notes From a Blue Bike and the founder of The Art of Simple. She's host of The Simple Show, and her passion is to inspire people that 'living simply' means making room for more of the stuff that really matters, and that the right,...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. As weird as it sounds, the wiring. At our old place the electric wires were VERY outdated and unsafe (half the house on one breaker?!).

  2. We are renovating a house in the city of Brussels. it is a small house (2 bedrooms only), but my sweet husband is making it our own working in it. He does as much as possible on his own and 2 years after moving in, he already redesigned the kitchen, the family room and the 2 bedrooms. I am greateful for this house being our “family project”. Although with the recent birth of our second baby I am not much involved, I know that in a couple of year my first born will be able to help renovating the attic so that he gets a room of his own.
    For you fireplace, there are paints for tiles. You could have some fun with colors and it should be the cheapest way out!

  3. I am grateful for wood floors. So easy to clean during toilet training! And since our little house is 90 years old, I like to think that these floors have been peed on before. 🙂

    My kids enjoy using our fireplace hearth as a “stage” for singing and playing instruments.

  4. home for me is in my bed. I wouldn’t care where it is parked or how flash the linen, but my bed, where I have prayed, fed my babies, prayed, cried for lost friends, prayed, argued with DearH, prayed… yep tis home for me ** sigh**

  5. my balcony overlooking a tiny bamboo forest. we live in an apartment on the second floor in shanghai, china. in a city where natural green is quickly disappearing…for this i am grateful.

  6. I am thankful for my little front porch & porch swing. I don’t always make the time to just go sit out there and relax. but every time I drive up and see that swing it just brings me a bit of comfort and a sense of happiness.

  7. Oh, your post touched my soft spot for after so many years of living all over the world in so many different houses I so long for a permanent nest not build with human hands spoken about in Psalm 90:1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. But here on this earth our bedroom is where I feel at home. It’s the first room I sit up where ever we live. I make this room, especially the bed inviting with a fluffy mattress pad, extra soft sheets, spending a little more for good pillows and a comforter that whispers come….lay down…rest. Our children are grown with their own and they still love to pile in our bed with their children for long talks or even naps when they get to visit us. I spray the sheets to give them an extra fragrance…our children never smell Skin so Soft by Avon without thinking of us. I use lavender spray a lot now. We have slept in some very remote places as we visited our missionaries who live in the jungles of Papua New Guinea where we minister. I am always over whelmed with gratefulness to return to our bed. Since God gives us the desires of our hearts I so look forward to our heavenly bed….Great post.

  8. I would have to say our home itself, all of it, as I grew up moving from home to home…we never lived in the same one for more than three years (my parents loved the fixer uppers, and once fixed they moved on and we went with). So to still be living in the same place for 21 years now, a home hubby and I picked out together, where we have raised our two girls, truly is a blessing to me.

  9. Down here in New Orleans where the heat index is in the triple digits I’m so very grateful for the air conditioning!

    • Okay, so I’m the 2nd Diane in New Orleans, (actually in St. Rose) grateful for the air conditioning! Seriously, I had to look twice to see if this was an old post and I’d responded in the past… but no, it’s today’s date~

  10. I’m grateful for a kitchen pantry that is full. Grateful to be able to accommodate my toddler’s request for peanut butter and jelly for breakfast.

  11. I’m grateful for our little “Love Shack” as we affectionately call our new little home. I’ve also lived all over the world as a child and as an adult. We’ve also built and lost what we thought was our “dream home”…only to realize that home is where-ever we are together…it’s all that matters. I’m always grateful for a roof over my head, running water, electricity and plumbing that works 😉 We take so much for granted here in the States and as you said…God is always giving us lessons…some have to be repeated an some do not.

  12. Grateful for the big windows that give us sunlight. And grateful for a little spot for our piano.

  13. Most of the time I am overwhelmed with the size of our home, there is so. much. cleaning. It is the average 2500sf of most American’s homes. But, I am thankful for all the space we have with my two active children. It helps to constantly be changing rooms to do *stuff* My 1 and 3 year olds have short attention spans 🙂 And it is nice to say “this is my school room, this is my craft room.” 🙂

  14. I am grateful for the way the sun shines in the window and lights up my kitchen in the mornings. Then in the late afternoon/early evening the sun shines through my livingroom windows, filling it with a warm, golden light. It’s delightful!

  15. I love my home!! I love the brightly painted walls, the endless projects always waiting for me, the pups, the gardens, the sun streaming through the windows, the whole house fan… I love it all. So grateful for home. And like so many other readers, when I think about how much I love my home here on earth, it makes me long for heaven even more… if I can love a flawed earthly dwelling as much as I do, how much more glorious will it be when we finally get Home!

  16. This post is just what I needed to hear today! I complain a lot about small, little things and forget about ALL the Wonderful items/people God has blessed me with!

    When I got married 7 years ago I was super blessed to move from an apartment to a nice house with 2-car garage, basement, unfinished basement , 3 bedrooms. Hearing you all speak I have nothing to complain about and EVERYTHING to be GRATEFULfor!!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  17. A red front door??? That’s totally been on my house wish list for years!! LOVE yours, Tsh! And that picture of your youngest drenched in mud from head to toe? That just made my day 🙂

  18. The home my famiy lives in is not our home, as in we literally do not have a home of our “own”. After losing our house this year, we moved into the parsonage. We are settling in wonderfully, but we are always aware that it’s not ours. Thankfully this world is not our home! We will truely be settled when we look into His beautiful face.

  19. In my earthly home, I have my own office that holds my desk, my awesome iMac, and a futon perfect for Sunday afternoon naps. It’s my favorite spot in the house, but I know that its coziness and comfortability pale in comparison with what awaits me in my heavenly forever home. 🙂

  20. Thanks Tsh…I really like the concept of the life lesson that keeps being whispered to you and keeps repeating itself. So true! Funny how God works in that way.

  21. We just moved from a 4 bedroom with a bonus to a two bedroom no bonus room house. And we are learning what we really do with our days in the space we have. I don’t miss the living space, just the storage. I am grateful for a place that feels grounded – the house is 70 years old and we are only the second family to live in it. And I am grateful for the adventure of bringing it back to life. And they make paint that will stick to those fireplace tiles beautifully;)

  22. First of all Tsh, I love the pic of the kids in the mud! You are a cool mom!
    We have lived in our home for 22 years. We have raised 4 kids into adults here. We renovated from 1100 sq feet to 1750, and I love the space that was created. I have a big kitchen/dining/sunroom that has a wall of windows looking out onto a green backyard. I loved watching my kids play out there. Alas, they have all moved on to homes of their own!
    In this new era of our life, we are working to “build” a new home. A vintage RV that we are doing some restoration to. Our goal is to travel at least half-time and see this beautiful country God has made!
    Glad you are “settled” once again, Tsh!
    Taking care of unfinished business

  23. I am thankful that we can afford it, on our own. We greatly appreciated our parents help while we were students, but I love being able provide a home for my family within our budget that is so comfortable, with plenty of space for our toddler to explore and grow. I am so thankful that it is safe.

  24. Love the red front door!

    We also live in a very small home that is far from what I want it to be. But I’m grateful too. We are warm and dry and have been able to give it a cozy feel 🙂 My favorite part is the wood-burning stove.

    Your fireplace is very unique 🙂 I’ve never seen one like that before!

  25. I love your fireplace!

    My favorite things about this house are having a little patch of backyard, a wonderful reading chair, lots of book shelves, and the beautiful blue walls in the bedroom!

  26. Just wanted to say thank you so much for asking the question, “What part of your home are you grateful for today?” I try to ask myself that daily. And remind myself it could be a lot worse. You see, for the past year we (all five of us, hubby, myself and girls 12, 9, and 3) have been living in our 5th wheel travel trailer. We are in the process of building a house and it’s taking longer than expected. Today, living in South Alabama with 100% humidity and 100 degree temps, I am thankful for a working air conditioner!

  27. We just painted almost every room…one more to go…I think I can, I think I can. We have moved kids completely around. But still, my favorite place remains my pantry. I love that it is all in once place, that I can see my items, that I can find storeage for one more thing. I love that my aprons now hang inside. It is what makes this house filled to every corner a little more bearable.

    I aslo think that the aching to leave this house, the tight fit, etc. is just my longing to be Home with my Father. I know his many rooms will fill my soul with joyful singing!

  28. I like living in Oregon right now in our cute little house, but it sounds like you and I might be neighbors someday visiting each other in the afternoon on our wraparound porches sipping iced tea and playing in those cool, clear waters on hot days…..

  29. My parents purchased this house and gave it to me. A gift so unexpected I thank the good Lord every day.

  30. Tsh,

    I find it so funny that your family has just landed in tiny Bend, OR – that is, in fact, my husband’s & my home town. A town, that unless you know someone who has lived there, most people have never heard of. We are currently living in Phoenix & loving it, but have a fondness of Bend in our hearts. I hope you enjoy the unique culture of our town & are able to make it your home.

    Many Blessings,

  31. Needed this reminder today with my four boys in our “little” house and a strong desire for a kitchen window that looks into the backyard, and frustration that remodeling is not in the plans . . .
    Thank you.

  32. For me home is wherever my husband and daughter are. They are my home.
    As for your ugly fireplace how about just painting the tile until you can redo it? It also looks like you might be able to just take off those white tiles. Good luck with it.

  33. My current home is nowhere near any of my friends or family. It’s far from my children’s school and activities. However, at the end of the day on my long commute home, I am constantly grateful for the openness of the land, the color of the corn and other crops growing toward the big blue sky. Last night I drove into a storm of butterflies! It’s a good place for healing and rebirth, which is what God apparently wants for me right now. As for your fireplace Tsh, I think placing a bunch of white candles inside would make it much more enjoyable. IMHO, it’s kind of pretty with the pastoral scene on the tiles. 🙂

  34. I am so thankful that we have a home. My husband and I were so blessed that our parents helped us get into the house we have been able to make into our home!

    And I’m so grateful that we are close to our families, a few years earlier I would’ve wanted to get as far away as possible and now I can’t imagine life away. The Lord really knows what he’s doing.

  35. The fireplace: We were looking for a solution for hideous tile and learned that you can paint it. Check with a home improvement store.

  36. My favorite place in my house is…wherever the rest of my family is 🙂 OK, occassionally I enjoy soaking in the jetted tub while the hubby is hanging out with the kids.

    I actually like your fireplace! It’s unique and colorful. Will bring some brighness to the room on the dark & gloomy rainy days Oregon is known for.

  37. So we’re Oregonians too and were supposed to be on vacation right now hiking the Columbia Gorge. But we (except for my husband) all got sick with a stomach bug and had to drive home three days early. 🙁 But I am grateful for a nice cozy home and warm bed. We’re turning our vacation into a staycation which is not all bad.

  38. our family has its first day after my husband’s father’s funeral. it has been a long exhausting week and yet filled with the hope of our heavenly home. my young kids are recovering today from the week. i just wanted to capture a bit of me time to read your blog and got such a perfect reminder of the week. t is good though to be back in this home all to ourselves as my kids are letting off the steam of the week. guess who are fighting right now?

  39. I am thankful as we prepare to close on our new home for a place where we can put down roots for our family. Over the past 5 years we have faced financial difficulty which has caused us to move 8 times with our 4 children (and this last move consisted of our new addition so now 5 children). I have tried to make where ever we have lived “home”, but it is hard with so much moving around. I am grateful that our new place has 6 acres for our children to run around on and enjoy their childhood. I feel like they have lost a small piece of their childhood with all of the chaos and hardships that we have faced. I am ready for things to slow down a bit so my husband and I can enjoy this time with our young children, it goes by way to fast!

  40. Bless you! I can’t even tell you how much I needed to read this today. I have been so tempted to look AROUND me lately, at my friends remodeling their homes, building beautiful custom kitchens, etc. and become discontent with the more than adequate home God has provided my family. I needed the reminder to look UP and wait and long for the home waiting for me one day. And to look OUT (and I don’t have to look far) at others who have so little. Thanks for being a vessel for God’s good message to me!

    • Oops…got so caught up I forgot to answer your question. Today I’m most thankful for my screened front porch!

  41. I am thankful for this post and for your positive attitude. You have your priorities and eyes on what truly matters and it makes me want to as well! I’m grateful for the hill across our house that my 3 little boys love to climb and for our little balcony where I grow some herbs.

  42. Great word! I needed to hear that today! We also just moved this summer (into a smaller house). I’m a homeschooling momma of 2 boys, pregnant w/our third & adopting from Ethiopia. Trying to figure out how we’re gonna fit a family of 6 here:) We just had a muddy backyard morning that looked similar to your kiddos muddy time. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for every little thing, every gift from the Lord, and the blessing of a house and yard to experience these precious moments.

  43. Fireplace….I’m assuming that this is a rental property. I would build a structure and cover it with tile that i liked and slide it over it that way when you leave you can remove it with no issues with the landlord. Hope that makes sense if not e-mail me and I’ll try to explain.

  44. I am so grateful for all this space we have in our ‘new’ old house. It’s probably only 1700 square feet but we have never had this much space for the six of us and it’s fantastic!

  45. Reading all of these wonderful posts of thankful hearts has left me with the main realization that for me home is where my heart is. The old stereotypes are sometimes so true. I love that my floor needs mopping and the porch could stand to be swept and that there is laundry needing attention in both the washer and the dryer. But more than that, my favorite thing is that as I write this, there are 4 little voices laughing when they are supposed to be napping and I swear I would not take one thing, not one tiny or humongous anything to replace the place He has planted us for this little while. It is not always a lesson I learn easily, but I am here now with these wonderful souls and the sweeping will wait until tomorrow, but my mothering heart will not wait to pour life over them. I am just so grateful to have a setting to tell my story in because Heaven knows I have the characters and plot to tell one fantastic story.

  46. I could have painted it. But it was the red front door that sold us our Georgia house. That and the bay windows!

    But we left that to come back to Michigan and take up residence in the old 150-plus-year-old once-remodeled farmhouse that my husband grew up in. The first thing I did was paint the front door red.

    And we added a wrapped porch with a swing and Cracker Barrel rockers. But with the mosquito hordes these days, I’m grateful for kitchen and office windows that look out over fields and on bird feeders where I can bask in His beauty in all kinds of weather and sneer at the bugs.

    Even though this house is a money pit, and I now understand why my MIL was so anxious to leave skid marks and plant herself on the creek on the south farm . . . I think she’d be glad to know the home is back in the family.

    I’ve since painted that red door green–but I’m thinking it’s time to bring out the red paint again. Red just speaks to me of hope.

    But yes, this world and this house are not our home. That’s the greatest hope. 🙂

  47. My favorite place is “home”. Second favorite is bed. Bed is a resting place, Conversations with the Lord – Contemplation, asking God, getting answers and direction. Sleeping to restore my body. I guess most people want a bedroom to be free of most “stuff”. My room has the computer – the window to the world, lots of books, projects for artwork and other crafts.

  48. For months my (now) husband didn’t have a job, and through a series of unfortuate events I didn’t have a safe place to live. God provided for both my husband (bf at the time) through the body of Christ and we not only had a place to live in a matter of weeks, we also now rent a furnished home because they pooled their resources and made it happen. We both have wonderful jobs now, and rent the home we were initially given (I moved in first, and then my husband after the wedding). It’s amazing to see the hand of God, and I truly believe that I live in His house at the moment. We are so grateful for the people he has placed in our life, and for our new life together. -R

  49. I’m currently learning a really good lesson on how temporary our homes are here on Earth. Last week we lost our house to a fire and almost everything we own along with it. I feel incredibly blessed that God has been working in our hearts over the years to teach us not to hang on tightly to material possession. For that reason, we’ve been able to see more blessing than tragedy during this time.

    We’ll be moving around a lot over the next year or so as we wait for our house to be rebuilt. But I know that where ever we land there will be a comfy chair and a blanket to wrap up in. And that is my favorite part of our “home.”

  50. The woodland view out my office window.

    The office has 3 walls of windows and I’m surrounded by birds, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, trees, flowers, butterflies and absolute BEAUTY.

    I thank God for this room every time I’m in it. Which is a lot. 🙂


  51. We live in a huge city in East Asia, and though I’m more inclined to live in the mountains somewhere, the city grows on me. I’m thankful that we live at the top of an 18-story building and have a big window in our living room – we have a great view of the city. I actually love that our apartment is small because it’s a lot easier to keep an eye on my 8-month old and still get something done in the kitchen!

  52. Thank you–I needed to read this today! I have been discouraged lately because our home is very small for our family of 6 and there is no way we can move or remodel. I am discouraged also because I just can’t seem to find time to “nest” right now. My children are all young and demand much attention (and seem to pull apart anything I do). Yet, we have a place to rest our heads and I do have so much to be thankful for.

    One of my favorite things about my home is the view out the front window. Across the road there are rolling hills where cattle often graze. When I’m discouraged I look out my window and am reminded that my heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I know He is taking care of me!

  53. The view over the river and the nearby park that can be seen from our living room. Our house is old and in need of a renovation, but the view is stunning. I will miss that when we will move out.

  54. We have this sunroom off our kitchen that has served us so well. It used to be our family room and now it’s our playroom/future schoolroom. It is filled with light and open to our kitchen which is where we spend lots of time. I love that our family likes to be in the same room together. So grateful.

  55. I love, love, love our home. We have been here 25 years and we are used to all its flaws and imperfections but my precious husband has made it a good place to live. God provided us with this home and over the years has made it possible for us to fix it to meet our needs.

  56. A muddy, clayey backyard that has allowed us to coax it into a garden over the past 4 years. It’s not done yet, but at least it’s compliant with our efforts at conversion.

  57. I’m grateful for many areas of my home, but especially the chair by the window. It’s deep and comfortable–a place to have tea, to sit and ponder, to be grateful.

  58. I am grateful for our tiny entryway. The front door opens to a small landing, where you go upstairs to bedrooms or downstairs to the living area. I am grateful for it because I once complained that it was just too small for our family of three plus two dogs with wagging tails, threatening to send my toddler down the stairs…until I saw a video of our pastor visiting 8 kids in the Philippines who lived in a tiny apartment with their parents, grinning from ear to ear. I vowed I would not complain about the entryway again.
    Perspective is everything! Who says bigger is better anyway?
    Thanks for this piece. Hope you make your home happy, and I can’t wait to see the “after” picture of the fireplace 🙂

  59. Right now, I am grateful for the location of our home – being in sunny yet not too hot San Diego:
    1. I can line dry my laundry. I have always struggled with laundry and line-drying makes it a little more pleasurable, somehow…
    2. We just came home from visiting families overseas. The first weekend we were back, we went to picnic at a park on ocean front. It’s like having a vacation after a vacation 🙂

    “This is not my home” has been my lesson too. I haven’t lived as all over the world but I have moved 8 times after getting married and half of them after having kids (my oldest is 8). Your book and website has helped me put the message into perspective: living simply. Instead of packing and unpacking, sometimes, even moving boxes without opening them, perhaps, it is time to just let go. In that, I am also grateful for the smaller size of our current home. It helps me see the excess. I still struggle everyday to practice the lesson but I think it is better to struggle than to be at peace with the clutter 🙂 Thank you!

  60. I’m so grateful for all of it, that this is the place where I can come when I am weary and be myself as I plonk myself on the couch or cook a comfort meal in my small kitchen. I love the cosiness of my home and the love of the Lord that flows through it.

  61. Hi Tsh! Where are you in Oregon? What led you to move there? I’d love to hear more about your decision.

    Also – we’ll be passing through Oregon later this fall (we’re on a cross-country trek across the USA in an RV)…and I’d love to meet up with you for lunch.

  62. My children spent two months in Florida with my parents while I traveled for work and my husband and I moved apartments. Gabriel, my 4-yr-old, had a hard time with my parents moving and kept wanting to go to the old place, we were concerned about how he would react to coming home to a different, well, home. We arrived at around 2 a.m., he looked around and then said, “Where are my trains?” As soon as he found his trains, he knew he was home.

  63. Isn’t God good to use an old post to speak to someone right where they are??? LOVE that about Him! This post spoke directly to ME this morning….thank you!

  64. Thank you for the reminder that all of us constantly need…..this earth and the life we live here is not all that there is. Our hope lies in our eternal home. Until we look heavenward, we will never find true contentment.

  65. Thank you for your post… It was meant that I had to read it today! We moved from our lovely home in the city to a very small town. I wasn’t happy to move and were not happy with the new (much smaller and not as comfortable as my previous) house until I read your blog. I have lots to be grateful for and I want to thank you for leading me to realize that. This house is not perfect but I can rest my head here every night without being cold or wet. God bless.