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,...

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  1. What a lovely post! Man, this site is so amazing. Thank you to the people that run it and write it. Truly gold. My dream is to one day write a book – does anyone have any tips or stories that they would be willing to share? God bless and don’t forget to wear your invisible crown xx

    bicyclestograpefruit.blogspot.com

  2. Tsh,
    Having been recently married, my husband and I have been purging a lot of “stuff” as we combine households. Most of it has gone to friends and people in need and we have both realized that there is something cathartic about parting with your earthly “treasures”. As I read your article I envisioned what it would be like to really live bare bones…with nothing more than is absolutely necessary and it was a wake up call as to how attached we are to our “stuff”. Lord, help me to be more trusting of you so that I may live more simply. Help me to put my relationship with you first and all my “stuff” a distant last. Thank you Tsh for an eye opener this morning and for calling me to prayer!
    Blessings to you in your upcoming adventure,
    Bev

  3. I grew up in Haiti with very little, and throughout my childhood, my ambition was to be better and resultingly have more. I grew up, had more and realized that I felt the need to constantly acquire more. It was never fulfilling and it was never enough. I am now back to desiring less things and more relationships. It has meant changing the way I have always thought about success, and it has been incredibly freeing. I am free to live fully saved, and fully alive in my relationships. Surprisingly enough, this newly found freedom has not been the end of my dreams. It has simply been the start of different dreams; ones that account for the time that I want to spend investing in relationships and touching lives.
    Thank you for your words and commitment to spreading awareness about the joy in living simply.

    • “…this newly found freedom has not been the end of my dreams. It has simply been the start of different dreams…” <– Love this, Fleurztael.

  4. Tsh, you are so speaking to my heart right now. I haven’t had the opportunity to follow along with much of your story, so I learned a lot about your story reading this. My husband and I live in NYC in our tiny apartment, and for the most part we make the most of it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes wish for a dishwasher or a laundry room. But I’m grateful that God’s used the last 10 years to teach us about simplicity and letting go. Right now He’s challenging me to let go of the emotional junk, the unhealthy expectations of others, the busy schedules, and whatever else weighs us down from following Him. This speaks right to where I am and is a huge dose of encouragement from a sister in Christ. Wishing you and your family an amazing journey, and I’m looking forward to following along.

  5. WOW!! How exciting!! How wonderful an opportunity to have too, having your family all on-board and able and willing to live out of suitcases (or backpacks, or ??).

    God’s best blessings on you and yours; especially those that you will leave behind. May they find courage and peace in your leaving, and not stress when life happens abroad, or events at home take place and you aren’t there to share in it. May you each find God meeting your needs, just where you are. To be filled by Him, and reassured in His Words.

    I can’t wait to read your posts/blog while you are on this journey!! Just WOW!!

  6. Tsh,

    I absolutely love your outlook and you have given me the urge to really go over things that I need to make up my mind to let go….

    all the best to you and your family in your new endeavors….

    Penny

  7. I was a travel agent (mostly for missionaries) in the 90s, and my dream was a round the world ticket! Haven’t done it yet…so I’m with you on the Blog and praying for you as you go.
    I’ve learned much about traveling light (took backpack and carryon for a month in England where husband taught his college students this May) but I still need much help in the living light part. After the May study tour we visited friends in Cork, Ireland who have a small row house and yet heard about their travels in the continent and home to visit grandparents in the States and in S. Africa respectively. “Small house, big world.”
    I can only learn so much from theoretical reading; I thrive on examples, so you and my Ireland friends are good for me. The next year we are here but after that we don’t know a thing except that God is good and I want to live out his dream for us rather than our own.
    All that to explain my big thank you for not only living but also writing about it!

  8. Love your post … as a military wife this is something God has shown us practically as well. Now we still have more stuff than I’d like. And I love to decorate! 😀 But I also know how freeing it is to literally live in a tent with just the essentials! Blessings to you and yours …

  9. It is so true, Tish! The adventure begins when we obey. In the obeying we trust Him. In the trusting we love Him. In the loving we know Him. In the knowing the abundant life is realized. Thanks for letting us in. You go girl!

  10. We are on our 4th downsizing in 13 years…

    It’s not easy for me, I take a strange “comfort” from having “stuff.” After two long-distance moves and a series of serious financial set-backs, we’ve come from three houses full of furniture, appliances, vehicles, & nick-nacks to living in an RV since 2009, with a small warehouse for storage of things I can’t bear to part with… Mostly cherished momentos, kitchen gadgets, & gardening tools I don’t need while God has us planted in an RV. And while we’ve given away 99% of the furniture, vehicles & appliances, (sometimes with sadness as our hopes and dreams go with them); it’s taken me over a year to begin to part with the “small-stuff.” I get ready, get right there, then run away.

    Last month we started again and as we slowly give things away or sell them on Craig’s List, we both realized, just yesterday, after the first twinge of sadness, there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that comes with the simplification of our lives.

  11. All I can think to say is, “WOW!”

    I send checks. I pray. Have only felt the prompting “to go” once, to Cuba in 1999 and even then it was for a very specific wheelchair delivery to a loved one of my daughter-in-love.
    Your adventure sounds intriguing and I hope to follow it on your blog. xo God bless you in every way.

  12. Tsh, Thank you so much for being transparent and taking the time to write! God has been speaking to me about this topic. Your comments hit home, so I’m sure they were from God for me. Praying for you on your journey.
    Donna

  13. And this is why minimalism matters:

    “If we’re daring enough to let go of our stuff, then we can pack light and both move about the cabin and live in an easy-to-clean house. And when we bravely say yes to His path instead of our cultural norms, we can happily walk a few steps at a time, even if the ground is unpredictable and looks foreign to everyone else.”

  14. I love living simply. It’s a common practice in my life (as of the last few years). I’ve never felt freer. Mentally and physically I’ve realized that as I’ve let go of things like extra socks even, I am freer to think about other things! Thank you for this post!

  15. I really enjoyed “Notes….” and am excited to follow your next family adventure. My heart is so with the ministry you do with workers abroad. It is my passion as well. It is what keeps me awake at night and often in prayer. I would love to somehow connect with you about it as HE is in the process of putting some dreams in to place!

  16. I love this! My husband and I have 4 sons and lots of “stuff” in our house. As much fun as it is, I find myself longing for the day when we can park in a garage and not have to worry about a lawn. Good for you for doing it now!

  17. I always wanted to live simply. Big cities with their glitz, glamour and buildings don’t attract me. I want wide open mountainous spaces to enjoy all that God has given me.

    Part of my life plan has always to live with the necessities. I go through my clothing periodically and see what doesn’t fit, don’t like or haven’t worn in a while then out it goes to some charity for a deserving person. I also go through other stuff as well. I find it cathartic to give away stuff–it doesn’t give me the ok to buy more–just feels good knowing that I’m helping someone else out.

    All one really needs is a roof over their heads, clothes to wear, food to eat and a means to pay for it. All the rest is icing on the cake so to speak!

    Blessings as you travel and see the world!