The Fringe Hours

This summer I picked up a book called The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner.  I had heard about it thru social media and decided to pick it up to add to my summer reading list.  Little did I know how much God had to show me in this book.  I have been telling my friends about it since I had started reading it, and since I have finished it.  I would pass the book around, but I have taken so many notes – you need your own copy.

The main focus of this book is about making time for yourself.  It has been a theme God has been showing me thru multiple things He has put in my path.  I am important. If I don’t see that, then I am no good to anyone.  Some of this started with my journey I started this past February (more on that later). I pray He keeps me on it.

We need to find balance. Jessica Turner in the book say, “Balance isn’t easy, but fighting for it is alway worth it.” We get caught up in being busy, and we are proud of it.  I feel it has become an idol for so many people. When we get together with other people, we try to out do one another by how busy we are than others. Why? Is this something really to be proud of? I have been guilty of this.  No more. Let go of it! God did not call us to be busy.

This book helps you work thru different steps where you can take back control of balance.  It will help you find that time for you and let go of what is not important. Give yourself permission to do it. We don’t have to do it all, and we can’t do it all.  Why would we? We need to take care of ourselves, mentally, physically, and spiritually. All three of these work together hand in hand. When you have that time to do something for yourself whether it is getting a massage, going for a run, learning a new hobby or revisiting an old one, or just meeting with a friend for coffee you can be better prepared for the rest of what God has you to do. You are important.  I do love in the book how she stresses the importance of your quiet time alone with the Lord. All of the other cannot work unless you have that time with our Creator and seek what He wants for you.

You may wonder why she calls it the “fringe hours” Fringe is what we use to make things more beautiful. It that extra something special.  We do have those extra times that we can find to make our lives more beautiful.  I didn’t think I had, but you know what – I DO! We all do, and you need do seek it out and treasure it.  You cannot most likely do it alone.  Enlist the help of family and friends so you can.  You can do more in community than not.

While in the fringe hours you can get many things accomplished for you, but sometimes you need that time to rest. God wants us to rest.  Jesus took time to rest. God commands it.

The parts she works thru in the book are:

  1. Explore – what do you want to do for yourself? where to find balance? getting rid of the guilt.
  2. Discover – changing your perspective. how to care for yourself and how to find the time.
  3. Maximize – steps how to get there. how to ask for help. how to overcome the obstacles(my favorite part of the book) – YOU ARE WORTH IT!
  4. Living Well – when you can get there – how sweet it is. it is ok to rest.

Everyones fringe is going to look different. There are times when it is hard. Just keep going.  Give yourself permissions to enjoy the fringe.

Here is one thing in the book I love –

Once you have discovered the importance of taking fringe hours to take care of yourself and steward your passions you must also make room for rest. The practice of Sabbath might not be easy at first, but through quiet moments, simple enjoyment creation, and prayer you will discover abundance peace.  That peace will center and invigorate you to live a more balance life.” 

This is so true, and I am starting to realize this in my own life. God has repeatedly shown me this in the past couple of months. For instance, I needed to get some writing done while the little one was at her reading class and Emily was at band.  I usually take this “fringe” time to get blog work or pictures done.  One day this past week I decided to take time away from the computer. It was a beautiful day, so after I dropped them off at their locations I found a nice park bench in town and sat and read.  I gave myself permission to enjoy my book.  I enjoyed it so much, that I did it the next day, and actually finished this book.  Doing this gave me new life for that day, a sense of accomplishment, and some rest. It allowed me time to finish this book, so I could share my thoughts with you.

I have read many books in the past, but this books has had such and impact on my life and hopefully will echo into to my friends and family’s lives.  I just had to write and share about it.  Every woman needs to read this book.

In the end she shares this –

“The real point of making time for you isn’t about what you do during that time as much as it is about how it makes you feel and the ripple effect that has on the rest of your life. Truly is is about living well… everything comes back to three core questions:

  • do you choose joy

  • will you celebrate your victories?

  • are you thankful?

Please pick up this book and take the time to read it.  There is so much freedom in these pages. I leave with this verse –

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness: his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)


Family Sabbatical – Part 2

Summer finally arrived and school was over! We got ready for the Southern Baptist Convention and Crossover. With the convention being in Columbus, we were able to stay home and the older girls were able to participate in the Youth on Missions projects. They were excited to get to do that again. It was very cool having it so close to us and in Ohio for the first time. This was a great kick-off for hubby for his sabbatical.  I will say that my favorite part of the convention this year was the Call to Prayer.  It was great worshiping and praying with our church of other fellow Christians from all over our convention.  I pray will will ignite a fire for Jesus that does not stop.

Hubby left to head to South when the convention was over. He had a couple of stops before arriving at our final destination. I was sad to see him go, but I knew he was looking forward to getting away from all the crazy for a little while.  The girls and I didn’t leave with him because of commitments still we had.  I  had another week at the market and the big girls were heading to Super Summer at Cedarville the next week.  The girls were could not wait for Super Summer. Hannah had gone last year and was going to get to see her friends again, and Emily was going for the first time. Super Summer is a leadership camp for youth at Cedarville University that our state convention does every year for youth in our state.  They learn alot about different levels of leadership that build from one year to the next.

The little one and I have the week to ourselves after hubby left, and I got the girls off to camp.  That week we had to finished up some things around the house, and finish up our packing.  It was stacking up to be a busy week for the two of us especially with VBS going on at the church too. Rae had to have treatment that before we left, so that was scheduled and usually takes up a day.  I decided to take one day and not schedule anything and have a fun day with her at the zoo.   She was very excited to go see all the animals and feed the giraffe – that was all she talked about. We had fun with our friends at the zoo, and yes – she fed the giraffe.

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The Little One feeding the giraffe

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having fun with my girl at the zoo

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having fun with her friend at VBS

After our action packed week – the car was finally loaded, and we were headed to get the sisters at Cedarville. I was excited to see hubby again and have all the family back together again.  Once we were on the road – I was relieved and was ready to relax and de-stress!


Family Sabbatical – Part 1

We were very thankful that our church allowed hubby to go on sabbatical this summer. I was a much welcomed break for him and for the family. We went back and forth to where we would go and where we would stay – mountains or the beach. We looked at many options and decided to head to the mountains of Tennessee. We found a great cabin where we found out there was no WIFI and our cell phones didn’t work – PERFECT!

Several months before we left we set out to think about all we wanted to do and take. What could we do to have fun?  We researched the area to see what all was there. We wanted to stay outside the Pigeon Forge area, because we were not to interested in all the commercial stuff. Hubby wanted to find things that he would like and where he could get away from all the craziness. He studied about fly fishing and all the hiking in the area. He was very excited about learning to really fly fish. The girls and I thought about what we wanted to do. Our big thing we reading, crafting, swimming and tennis. Thankfully where our cabin was there were swimming and tennis privileges. We were looking forward to having time to do fun things we don’t normally get to do during the school year.

We were counting down the days till we left. It had been a crazy year, and we were all ready for a break from the circus.



Fulfill the Ministry

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

God has called us to fulfill the ministry of Christ. As Christians this is our mission. If we do not do the work of the Lord – who will? Today we do not suffer anywhere near what the Apostle Paul had to endure here today in our country (at least for now). Are you willing to take up the ministry called has called you to do? Do you know what your ministry is? Seek Him and He will show you.  It could be something simple as writing cards of encouragement or having coffee with a hurting friend.  God does call some to go on mission trips, teach a class, and do things that may be more visible, but there are many who serve in secret but God knows their heart.

I have been doing the Seamless Bible study by Angie Smith with my older girls this summer. It has been great to see how everything in the Bible points to Christ.  I am currently studying about about the life and ministry of Paul.  He was someone who was radically transformed and gave his entire life for the cause of Christ.  He went thru more than I could ever imagine.  Not only did he risk his life to tell others about Christ in prison or in freedom, he encouraged and disciplined other Christians and local churches.  He was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. He invested in the lives of others.  For him death was gain.  Am I sold out for the cause of Christ? Are you?

God may not call you to another country or to sell all you worldly goods and move to the jungles of South America, but you can make a difference where you are. I read the Kisses from Katie book this summer. I had mentioned this book earlier in the week. I admire her courage to step out on faith to do the what God called her to do as a 16 year old. She totally relied on God for her every need. She has helped so many children in Uganda because she chose to fulfill the ministry God called her to.

So, what is your ministry? That is what I have been asking myself this very thing this summer while we were on sabbatical. God used various things to help me see what God has called me to or what my next step may be. While what we may do may never be know by others, but that should never be the focus or aim.  All we do should be for the cause of Christ and for His Glory. I want to live my life to point others to Him and what He is doing in my life and the lives of my family.  I do know one thing – I do not want and ordinary life or ordinary marriage – I want to live beyond that.

Are you fulfilling the ministry of Christ?