Book Review:: The Fringe Hours

I’ll admit it. I chose to read this book because I really wanted some more time for myself.

As a mom of four, that’s practically a pipe dream. I mean, what mom truly has time to herself? Between the laundry and the cooking and the potty training accidents and the working and laundry and the requests for help with homework (did I mention laundry?), some days feel like I either need more hours or more me.

As it turns out, I really do have more time than I thought.

Jessica Turner’s book, The Fringe Hours, is a helpful tool to getting your priorities back on track. She tackles finding and maintaining balance, ridding yourself of guilt and comparison, ridding yourself of time wasters (or at least managing them) and learning to embrace the small pockets of time, a.k.a. the fringe hours, to invest in your own self-care.

I struggle a lot with the whole concept of investing in me. I feel rather selfish about it – I mean, I’m already pretty self-centered, is it even possible to think of myself more?

But as I continued to read about the value of making time for the things we love to do, I realized it wasn’t a selfish concept at all. Truly, when we take the time to do things we love to do, for however short a time, we finish feeling refreshed and ready to face that never dwindling pile of laundry with new energy.

The Fringe Hours has made me really analyze how I use those small moments in my day – and I was surprised by how many I actually have. It’s made me think about the things I do and whether they are life-giving or life-taking. And more importantly, in doing so I am able to begin to look at the have-to’s as things I get to do, because I am more able to be thankful for the mundane again.

I was provided with a free, digital copy of The Fringe Hours from Revell Publishers for my honest review. You can also join the (in)courage Bloom book club to check out what other readers are saying about this book.

Just call me Mom

I’ve been working my way through Restless – You Were Made For More, by Jennie Allen. First of all, let me just say if you haven’t read this book, you seriously need to. Even if you think you know what you were made to do, this book will get you thinking about what God really has made you to do.

I’ve been operating under the premise this past year that I was supposed to fulfill one of two past callings. Because one isn’t an option at this point, I decided to pursue the second. All without truly consulting God about any of it. I figured that if I had done it before, it made sense that I could just step right back into it. I told Him what I was up to, and then proceeded to struggle and agonize for the next twelve months.

Good times.

What I didn’t do was pay attention when I heard God call me to leave off working and running a daycare to be fully present as a stay-at-home-mom. God knows that I get distracted easily, and I also have a tendency toward avoidance when things get hard. But I assumed that His directions to sacrifice a meager paycheque had more to do with trust (a recurrent issue in my life) and nothing at all to do with purpose. After all, I had that calling to pursue. Staying at home made perfect geographical sense.

Turns out, I missed the point. While reading Restless, I fully expected to get all fired up to be more than just a mom. Turns out, I’ve instead started to become fired up to be just a mom. And I hold this quote responsible:

So whether our role is to mother or start a business or sponsor a child or sweep a floor or run a bank or teach little people to read, we don’t want to miss it. His Spirit will pour us into need, and who are we to judge where and what is the greatest need? This isn’t as much about what or where; this is about getting over ourselves and just doing it. (emphasis mine)

I realized I was so caught up in trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing, that I was missing exactly what I was supposed to be doing!

I believe one hundred percent, even on the days that the bank balance scares me and the school fees are mounting and it is still another week until payday, on the days laundry gets old and I just want to go somewhere, that God has asked me to be home, fully present, for this season. To set aside the things that distract me and pour into the need right in front of me.

Here I was looking for some big calling and He has just handed me the biggest one.