April’s Book and Bike Break Down

Catch up on what Mandi’s reading and how many miles she’s riding!

Booking and biking my way through 2020.

As I mentioned last month, I was worried about COVID-19 causing a drastic change in the amount of time I would have to read and ride my bike since my husband and I are without childcare but still working just as many hours. However, I found a compromise for the month of April – not an exciting one, but a compromise. In the month of April, I tackled three books I’d been needing to read for work – the books were read while riding my stationery bike; turning pages, racking up miles and getting in those hours for work. The “Books” part of this Break Down is not so exciting (except for number 11). But I made it through April, and that’s pretty exciting.


13. Redemptive Compassion – The Defining Difference by Lois Tupyi (Christian Nonfiction)
Ok, so this is one I read for work. A lot of our work at Love INC is based on the concepts of Redemptive Compassion┬«, and while I love the work we do, I was super conflicted on these concepts. Yes, everyone has value, relationships are key, everyone has potential, we can all play a part in this world, we have to use discernment and be wise and we have the opportunity to transform. But who am I to deem what the “other” must do in order to receive my “help”? I understand not just donating to get it over with and feel good about yourself, but I think there are times in life when giving a handout is very necessary. Perhaps even such a time as now (amidst COVID-19), when you could not have possibly prepared for our predicted what was going to come. It’s not a time for trying to discern how people can contribute in order to receive what you have to give. It’s a time for survival. I will give what I have and trust that you will give what you have. I don’t need to refrain from giving because of the chance that you will refrain. May what I have to offer inspire you to give what you have to offer. And if it doesn’t, I hope you remember that I offered…  3 STARS

14. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert (Christian, Social Justice)
Another work read: first, I’ve never read a book that talks about itself so much (In this chapter… As you read in chapters 2, 3, and 4… You’ll read later about…). Second, this felt like a very right-winged approach to poverty alleviation. While I agreed with some of the thoughts and felt heart-broken by many of the example situations, I don’t know that I could jump on board 100% with these concepts. It almost seemed as though their answer to poverty alleviation is, 9 times out of 10, that you’re not to do anything about it. And then if you do something, the person receiving the something (be it money, skills, relationship, etc.) must prove their worthiness of receiving and their ability to change because of what they receive. Who am I to judge who is worthy to receive what I have to give? Who am I to set stipulations on the outcome of my giving? No, I can’t afford to give handouts left and right, but I do hope that the times I do give handouts, even something as simple as my generosity in the moment might spur good things if not immediately, maybe somewhere down the line…  . 2 STARS

15. We Will Rise: A True Story of Tragedy and Resurrection in the American Heartland by Steve Beaven (nonfiction, sports)
If you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime, you are missing out if you’re not taking advantage of first reads. This is not the first time my first reads selection was pure gold. Occasionally I got confused about who was who, but wow, this book was captivating! Full disclosure, I think you have to be a bit of a sports enthusiast to love it, but it was so great. I basically love any story that dives deep into a sports team or band or town – there’s something about different personalities coming together for a purpose and seeing the way they deal with each other and what they’re doing together pan out. I cried way too many times. 4.5 STARS

16. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller (business)
Yup, another work read. While this type of book is not my preferred reading, I did find it inspiring and it did give me lots of great ideas and conversation starters for where we go next within our organization. It’s not a thrilling read, but it’s worth it if you’re running stuck or have just been generally doing the same thing for too long with your marketing. 3 STARS

17. I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations by Sarah Stewart Holland & Beth A. Silvers (politics)
My husband and I have been working our way through this book for months with our small group. While the book itself was not earth-shattering, the conversations that came from it were really refreshing. Politically, much of our small group aligns, but we could all think of people we do not align with and discussing how to approach conversations with those people was really helpful. Even just discussing politics and how to become more passionate (rather than passive) about them was helpful. My husband and I have not notoriously been people quick to deeply form and/or discuss our political opinions, but being reminded of the importance of doing both of these was great. 3 STARS


And now, onward with the goal to ride 2020 miles in 2020 on a bike.

2020 miles in a year means approximately 5.5 miles/day. I’ve been trying to do at least 8 each time I sit down, with the goal of 202 (10%) per month in these lead-off months. So far it’s happening! My total?


We’re up to 61 of those miles having been outside (34 of them pulling a kid).

I went hard in April once I realized this was my chance to work/bike/get books read. And yes, the knee pain is back. But also, we got a trampoline, so the jury is out on why that pain is truly back. We will see how May goes…

Hope you had a great April! Stay healthy everyone!

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