Fitbit + Little Free Library = Literary Workout

About a month before Father’s Day my wife asked me what I might enjoy for a gift. Feeling as out of shape as I have ever been in my life, I asked her if she might consider buying me a Fitbit.

When Father’s Day came my family had indeed purchased me a Fitbit Charge HR. Like so many who have had this little device, I found myself motivated to get in my 10,000 steps a day. The first couple of days I got my 10,000 steps in before breakfast! According to my Fitbit, I had walked over 70 miles in the first two weeks of having the device! That is a huge accomplishment for me. I’ve walked most of those miles by combining my new love of my Fitbit with another love of mine — visiting Little Free Libraries.

IMG_2768Those of you who know me know that I love my Little Free Library.  I wrote about the process of building it last year. There is hardly a day that goes by where I am not adding new books to my library. Over the past several months I have discovered that within a few miles of my house are at least eight Little Free Libraries. (You can find out more about this awesome movement here).

So, my daily walk now consists of visiting anywhere between two and six libraries. Today, I visited six libraries and it took me just over 10,000 steps. If you live in the Eden Prairie area, you too can get in a fun literary workout. I usually begin my workout with 5-6 books in my hand. By the time my workout is over I have made quick stops at several libraries and dropped off a number of books. It’s fun to see which books are still there the next day or two, and which have been checked out. This fun workout helps get me in shape and also promotes literacy and community in my neighborhood.

Homeward Hills BarnIf you want to try my Little Free Library workout, park your car at Homeward Hills Park in Eden Prairie. There is a library located on the Homeward Hills Park Barn wall closest to the basketball courts. Then you can make your way through the trail through the east of the barn and walk into the neighborhood on the other side of the trail. If you take your first left, you’ll be on Tree Farm Road, where you’ll come upon a great library with lots of great books for people of all ages.

You’ll have to walk back through Homeward Hills Park and go west on Homeward Hills Drive to find your next three libraries. The first one that you’ll come upon is on Tanglewood Drive. Take a left on Tanglewood from Homeward Hills, and you’ll find the library located on the right side of the street, about halfway up. Tanglewood is a horseshoe-shaped street and ends up back on Homeward Hills. Take a left and proceed all the way to Riverview Road, one of the prettiest streets in Eden Prairie.

When you get to Riverview, take a left and then another left onto Purdey Road. Purdey is a circle road, and you’ll find a library on that street. Work you way back to Riverview and take a right. There is another Little Free Library located at the corner of Riverview and Homeward Hills. By now, you have visited five libraries!

The final library is located on Chesholm Lane. I recommend walking Riverview all the way to Mooer Lane. Take a right on Mooer Lane and then a right on Silverwood Drive. Then take a right onto Chesholm Lane and you’ll find the last of the Little Free Libraries in the Homeward Hills neighborhood. From Chesholm it is a short walk back to Homeward Hills Park. See the map below, which is from the Little Free Library’s site.

For a longer workout, you could walk to the Little Free Library at the Staring Lake Park Outdoor Center, or to another Little Free Library located on Mount Curve Road near the Olympic Hills Golf Course Clubhouse. Visit all of these and you will have been to eight libraries within three miles of Homeward Hills Park.

To create a Little Free Library workout in your neck of the woods, visit the Little Free Library’s World Map and see what is near you! Happy walking and happy reading!

Little Free Library Map





A Time for Rest

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, King Solomon wrote:

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

He then takes the next seven verses to talk about different seasons in our lives. As I write today, I find myself in a unique season of life. I am living in an intentional time of rest. And, I have to admit, I am not used to that. Woodbury Community Church, where I am blessed to serve as Senior Pastor, allows their pastor to take a three-month sabbatical every seven years. My sabbatical began on July 1st. The first month of my sabbatical is all about connecting with family, connecting with the Lord, experiencing rest, and trying new things. It’s also been a time of focusing on my health. A few weeks before my sabbatical began I started the online Bible Study course, The Lord’s Table at the Setting Captives Free’s web site. It’s been a great journey and I’ve lost 25 pounds so far. I took a break from my iPad, from social media, and other things that tend to take away from time doing the most important things. Our family spent time together in beautiful Colorado and at our home in Minnesota. I tried my hand at fly fishing, got rained out of a camping trip – and instead enjoyed a “camp-in,” went to a Colorado Rockies game, played a ton of mini-golf, connected with a cousin I hadn’t seen in years, went thrifting, ate out, climbed some beautiful rocks at a park in Colorado Springs, played some disc golf at a Colorado disc golf course, discovered the World Famous Penny Arcade – an incredible retro arcade in Manitou Springs, and I read paperback books – you know the kind with paper and binding and compelling covers with words that aren’t being read on a screen. I have also ridden lots of miles on bikes in Colorado and Minnesota.

Vintage Raleigh bike ride in Colorado Springs with Pike's Peak in background.

Vintage Raleigh bike ride in Colorado Springs with Pike’s Peak in background.

It’s been a relaxing, rejuvenating, and renewing month. 11659372_10153422110744293_2763759449985939105_nBy far, my favorite activity has been building a Little Free Library with my father-in-law. He did most of the work, using the skills that God gave him as a wonderful craftsman. The hours spent in his garage working with him on that project will forever be some of my favorite memories of life. That project has led to hours of painting and then a fun gardening project in our front yard with my precious wife. I have always wanted a Little Free Library. Now I go outside daily to see if anyone has visited our little library.

Our Little Free Library with landscaping

Our Little Free Library with landscaping

Back side of Little Free Library.

Back side of Little Free Library.

Side View of Little Free Library

Side View of Little Free Library

There is a time for everything. This month has allowed me to rest. There have been sweet conversations, devotional times, reconnecting with friends, Chicago Style Pizza at Minneapolis’ new Giordano’s Restaurant, and dates with my wife. Over the course of the next couple of months the rest will continue, but there will be visits to multiple churches in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Illinois and Minnesota. I’m looking forward to the next two months, but relishing in the season I am in right now.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, my family is calling me to play a game, and then I think I’ll start reading another paperback book.