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Thanks for your interest in Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families!

I’ve recently consolidated my websites and no longer maintenance this one. The exact same resources have been duplicated at my author blog, annkroeker.com. Click on the Not So Fast” button and explore the drop-down menu to find all of the info found here.

Similarly, all posts—those from this website as well as new ones—directly related to slowing down in our fast-paced world are now categorized under “Not So Fast” at my author blog.

See you there!

Ann

Slowing down is easier when we simplify.

One way to simplify is to consolidate.

Recently I simplified my online life by switching my personal/author website from free WordPress to a self-hosted blog.

One reason I did this was to consolidate two sites into one—copying over the Not So Fast material to my cozy new home on the Web. Now you’ll find the main pages from this site organized under a “Not So Fast” navigational button at annkroeker.com (a.k.a., “annkroeker.writer.”).

From this point forward, any new posts I compose about slowing down in this fast-paced world will now be published at annkroeker.writer., organized under the “Not So Fast” category. Eventually I’ll copy over all the material here—also using the “Not So Fast” category for easy sorting—and this site will remain accessible, but not very lively.

My faithful Not So Fast readers have tolerated my dry spells with grace. Thank you for your kindness.

When you have a minute, you’re cordially invited to visit me at my new digs.

Photo by Ezran Kamal via stock.xchng.

NotSoFastBook.com can be found at this link

The official name-drawing ceremony for the Green Mama giveaway is now complete.

All names were written on squares of paper, folded and placed in the official “slow down” hat:

Name was drawn under strict “no peeking” guidelines to ensure randomness:

The winner, formally announced at 9:59 p.m. (instead of a.m., as originally planned), is Megan of SortaCrunchy!

Congratulations to Megan and a big thank-you to all who entered. Here are the reader ideas:

Mom’s Magic wrote:

We are working on a whole-house paring down – getting rid of the ‘stuff’ that fills up our lives and wastes our time, keeping only useful or very meaningful items. We are spending more time tending to our garden plots and playing in the backyard – enjoying our time together, even if it means the kids are up a little late (yay for summer!). And we are (hopefully) teaching our children lessons about what’s really important.

Beth of Zoo Reflections wrote:

Our kids’ elementary school is considered a “Green School” by our county. They have many things they do to promote energy conservation, recycling, etc. One way, that we also now use at home, is “Power Rangers”. They turn out the lights when you leave the room. Such a small step, but it can save a ton! Recycling is also big with us. The bins are always more full than our trash!

Donna of Doorway to Hope wrote:

“Slowing green” is a great description of what is unfolding in my life:

* My family moved into a community where we can walk to the grocery store and other destinations for errands.

* I planted veggies and herbs in my small yard, which is not treated with pesticides and other products to make it look ‘perfect.’

* We take walks and chat with neighbors and breathe deeply and chat longer and take time for daydreaming…

* We continue to learn about and practice “slowing green.”

Megan of Sorta Crunchy wrote:

Yes, yes, yes! I could not possibly agree more with you, Tracey! For me, creation care absolutely means slowing down and living thoughtfully and intentionally. We don’t have a dishwasher. I always thought I would die without one, but I’ve learned to embrace it. We could somehow wedge one into our 1930s era kitchen, but they suck up SO much energy. I truly enjoy slowing down at the sink to reflect as I wash dishes by hand – and the fact that I am able to control the water and energy usage is a beautiful by-product of that.

Photos by Ann Kroeker © 2010.

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Giveaway is closed.

I met Tracey Bianchi earlier this year at the Festival of Faith & Writing. As we introduced ourselves, she recognized my name as the author of The Contemplative Mom, a book she had been given many years ago when she was a new mom.

With the fun of connecting as moms and writers, we immediately swapped our current books: she handed me a copy of her just-released Green Mama, and I gave her Not So Fast.

Tracey invited me serve as one of several hosts for her blog tour, offering to write a slow-themed post that I can share with Not So Fast readers. After you read her guest post below, leave a comment describing some of the ways you “go green” to be entered to win a free copy of her book, Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet.

If you tweet this link, I’ll toss in another entry for you (only one bonus entry per person, but feel free to tweet as often as you like!).

Contest ends Saturday morning, June 19, 9:00 a.m. (giveaway is now closed)

Without further ado, meet Tracey Bianchi:

Going Green by Slowing Down

by Tracey Bianchi

My four-year old has endless questions about traffic these days. Why do cars stop or go? What about caution signs? Why do we either slam on the brakes or go crazy fast at yellow? What is rush hour? The one signal he has no query about is green.

“Green means go, go, go!”

He often hollers this as if our trip to Target was tantamount to the Indy 500.

Green means go. Whether traffic signals or that childhood game, Red Light/Green Light. Green is associated with movement, activity, permission to get on with it. Even our money is green and with the right amount of that hue you can sprint off to just about anywhere.

But can green ever signal slowing down our lives?

With the burgeoning green trend in our culture, the one connected to eco-friendly, save the planet  chatter, living into this new shade of green might also provide another avenue to stop racing through life and start relaxing into God’s rhythms.

Perhaps you simply think about recycling when you hear the words green living. You may also associate the trend with a new “to do” list that now includes organic gardening and composting. Many families I know find eco-ideas incredibly guilt-provoking and stressful.

However, an honest, greener faith is actually about embracing simplicity. Overhauling our lifestyles so that we can pursue healthy families, deeper communities, and enjoy God’s planet. It is about slowing down to see what is truly most important.

To “go green” is to reflect wisely on what we buy, how we shop, where we drive, and how we move through life. Which is to say going green is also slowing down. Perhaps we should re-title the trend, “slowing green.”

Greener living dovetails beautifully with the conversation Ann brings forward in her new book, one that embraces simplicity and wisdom rather than chasing elusive trends and cultural icons of success.

So, what does a slower, greener life look like?

A greener afternoon might be one where you or your family walk to your destinations rather than drive. Take your time, talk as you saunter along and save on your CO2 emissions in the process. Green might mean staying out of the malls and playing at home. Curbing our consumption is one of the most planet friendly maneuvers we can make. Buy less, shop less, stick together at home more.

Plant a tree, spend the day at a park or take a hike. All less anxiety producing than jockeying for position on three traveling teams in one afternoon.

Let your children get dirty. Help them to fall in love with God’s Creation, with the mud and the muck, the dirt of the earth. Help them live into the Genesis narrative by enjoying all that God says is good. Muddy faces and skinned knees indicate time well spent. Moments in the trees rather than in classes, the carpool, or the over-achieving lane.

So take another look at “going green” and in it you might find a deeper invitation to slow down a bit and breathe deeply of God’s green life.


Tracey Bianchi is the author of “Green Mama: The Guilt Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet. She is the mother of three and an author, speaker, and women’s ministry director. You can find more of her musings on life, faith and sustainability at http://traceybianchi.com. You can find her new book at here: http://tinyurl.com/3xzvpnx

The Green Light” photo by Ted Percival. Available for download under a Creative Commons license through Flickr.

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child eats yogurtHeidi of God is Doing a New Thing wrote about busyness and her “refusal to rest in the Lord”:

“I don’t know how you do all you do!”

Compliments like these cause me to evaluate if I unwittingly parade “all I do” around specifically so I can get accolades from others. I hope not!

The truth is, I don’t do *any* of the many things I do well. (Even now, a part of me wants to list them all for you, so you can know what I mean. The other part of me–the suspicious part of me–thinks this would merely be a perverse attempt to win yet more accolades and encouragement…so I will restrain myself!)

What if my busyness (something that is celebrated and respected in our culture) is just another way to keep from being in the present moment?

What if God wants me to be still and know that he is God?

Be still and know that I am not?…

Read all of  “Busyness – My Refusal to Rest in the Lord” HERE.

Yogurt” photo by “MOEVIEW”/Aaron Molina. Available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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My eldest daughter recently completed driver’s ed classes, where they showed the students sobering movies of terrifying wrecks—cars crumpled in accidents caused by speeding, DUI, and distracted drivers.

The instructor also warned the students that if they drove even a tiny bit over the speed limit on the drive test, they would fail.

This input combined with the fact that my daughter is a naturally cautious, rules-oriented person, has resulted in a “not so fast” beginning driver. Read the rest of this entry »

It was one of those days.

I felt like I was going to scream because I’d been cooped up in the house with a two kids, had a work deadline breathing down my neck, AND could feel a sinus infection coming on.

The day had started pretty well. That morning, seven year-old Jordan, two year-old Jackson, and I were cuddling on the bed and Jordan said, “Jackson is so cute I could die!”

Contented sigh. Read the rest of this entry »

As our family counters the culture to live a less frenzied life, we like knowing we’re not alone. It’s delightful to discover that others are refusing to follow the “more-better-faster” path.

But we don’t often find those people in our neighborhood.

So I love finding slow-down camaraderie and inspiration online.

May I introduce you to some like-minded, slow-down, not-so-fast bloggers? Read the rest of this entry »

“Moving Slow in the Fast Lane” article in The Atlantic.

What does it take to really slow down and unplug?

Abraham Verghese tried it on vacation. After two days of lounging in the slowness, the barnacles finally fell off.

Click HERE to read the entire article.

“Wrack and Barnacle” photo by Eric Heupel, August 9, 2009. Available for download on Flickr and sharing through a Creative Commons license.

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The author of Not So Fast just survived a whirlwind two weeks of travel. I need to sit down. Catch my breath. I need to employ some slow-down solutions!

All of us—even those who prioritize a simpler, slower life—need reminders to slow down, pause, reflect.

On this site, I’ve offered a list of “Speed Bumps,” which are simple ideas for how we can slow down the pace of our days.

Someone recommended Terry Hershey to me.

On Terry’s Facebook Fan page, he offers daily “Pause Reminders,” much like Speed Bumps. Here’s a sample from today:

PAUSE REMINDER for Today: Write a letter to someone you care about, to say “thank you,” or “I’m glad you are in my life”, or “did you see the clouds today?” With real paper, pen, envelope, and stamp. (I received a thank you letter this week, really, a letter. . .at the post office. “I wanted to send this to you via sn…ail mail,” DM wrote, “as my way of pausing.” It works. And the letter made my week.

Check it out for yourself:

Click HERE for Terry Hershey’s Facebook Fan Page (where I discovered his Pause Reminders).

His main website is HERE.

His blog, HERE.

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