The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

by Jessica N. Turner


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Every woman has had this experience: you get to the end of the day and realize you did nothing for you. And if you go days, weeks, or even months in this cycle, you begin to feel like you have lost a bit of yourself.

While life is busy with a litany of must-dos--work, parenting, keeping house, grocery shopping, laundry and on and on--women do not have to push their own needs aside. Yet this is often what happens. There's just no time, right? Wrong.

In this practical and liberating book, Jessica Turner empowers women to take back pockets of time they already have in their day in order to practice self-care and do the things they love. Turner uses her own experiences and those of women across the country to teach readers how to balance their many responsibilities while still taking time to invest in themselves. She also addresses barriers to this lifestyle, such as comparison and guilt, and demonstrates how eliminating these feelings and making changes to one's schedule will make the reader a better wife, mother, and friend.

Perfect for any woman who is doing everything for everyone--except herself--The Fringe Hours is ideal for both individuals and small group use.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800723484
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/17/2015
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 452,804
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jessica N. Turner is the founder of the popular lifestyle blog The Mom Creative, where she documents her pursuit of cultivating a life well-crafted ( Additionally, she is a writer for DaySpring's (in)courage, an advocate for World Vision, a regular speaker at blogging conferences nationwide, and an award-winning marketing professional. She and her husband, Matthew live with their two young children in Nashville, Tennessee.

Read an Excerpt

The Fringe Hours

Making Time for You

By Jessica N. Turner


Copyright © 2015 Jessica N. Turner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2348-4


Pursuing Balance

Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn't is someone whom I admire but have never met. Barbara Walters

If you were to choose one word to describe your daily life, what would it be?






Mine would probably be busy Occasionally stressful. Oftentimes happy. It's not necessarily a "bad busy" or "super stressful," but my days are definitely full and intense, with happiness throughout. With a full-time career, a husband, two kids, a new house (that needs a lot of work), friends I want to hang out with, and a variety of other commitments, life seems to move at warp speed. And most women I know seem to feel the same way—always juggling all the responsibilities of work and home, family and friends, ourselves and others. Always searching for balance.

One of my own times of struggle with this started pretty innocently when I decided to join a book club. It had been two years since I had last been actively involved in one, and my soul was craving the community

The club was every Tuesday night, and my husband, Matthew, and I decided that it would be best if on those days, I would work a little later and go straight to the club from my office. What I didn't realize when I signed up for the book club was that two weeks into it, our family was also supposed to start attending a new weekly community group through our church. I wanted to be part of both, and it seemed doable.

The first two weeks of the book club went great. I loved both the friend leading it and the new women I met. This addition to our weekly schedule seemed like it was going to work.

Well, I was wrong.

The first week we were supposed to go to community group, I was incredibly stressed. I had just come back from a business trip, my daughter was teething and going to bed earlier than normal, and rushing out the door to community group made little sense. So I sent an apologetic text to the group leader and secretly breathed a sigh of relief.

The next week was not much better, with my schedule overflowing with commitments and deadlines. I stood at the kitchen sink, washing dishes and crying. When my husband, Matthew, asked what was wrong, I said, "I'm doing too much. I'm overwhelmed. I'm tired. I'm stressed. I can't do it all."

The Balance Challenge

The book club and community group conundrum is just one of numerous times when I have wrestled with balance. My guess is that you too have had a similar wrestling match, trying to wrangle too many things into some sort of order, all in pursuit of this elusive goal of "balance."

When I wrote the survey for this book, I asked participants, "What do you think is most challenging about being a woman today?" I suspected many would say, "Trying to balance everything," and I was right. In the more than five hundred pages of responses I received, over and over women—regardless of location, age, marital and economic status—said things like this:

• Trying to balance everything since we tend to overextend our lives. We all want to have a work life that validates us as independent women. We want to be the best mom at creating moments for our children. And then throw in the family members and friends. It's a lot!—Mary

• So much to balance. Between kids, household duties, cooking, striving to have a healthy marriage, and all the things in between, it can be very difficult to find time for yourself.—Katie

• I think it is very difficult to find the perfect balance of being a good wife, mother, employee, friend, daughter, sister.—Katrina

• Having to work at the same time I have to be with my children as well as being there for my husband. On top of taking care of our finances and home and making sure I find time for my relationship with God.—Melissa

• Being a single mom is tough. I have to balance two worlds, and I have no one to help me carry the burden.—Andrea

• Balancing the home/work life. I feel that modern women are pulled in so many directions and held to a higher standard than ever before. It is so hard to balance it all and still find time for yourself.—Ashley

• Trying to find the balance between working and being an involved mother. From a working mother's perspective, it is such a challenge to organize and ensure that my kids are looked after when my husband and I can't be there and to allow them the chances to be involved in things without being limited by the fact that I work.—Melanie

I found myself nodding my head over and over again as I read the truth-filled, vulnerable words of these women of all ages proclaiming how balancing all that life brings is incredibly challenging. Even if you don't use the word "balance" to describe this issue, you can't deny the challenge. You might talk instead about "priorities," "fit," or "organization." However you define the act of having things in order and not being overwhelmed, that is what I want to dig into.

In my own life, the balancing act includes blogging first thing in the morning, getting two kids ready for day care and dropping them off on my way to the office, working all day, picking up the kids after work, getting dinner ready, putting the kids to bed, and spending time with my husband. On top of the everyday tasks are the one-offs—grocery shopping, Target runs, doctor appointments, birthday parties, soccer games, paying bills, and so on. Can you relate?

Take a minute to make a list of your average week's responsibilities:




When I see all of these things on paper, the idea of achieving balance seems ridiculous. We talk about needing it. Books are written about how to find it. But the reality is, for most women, it never happens in any sort of permanent way. Instead, we have moments of balance, maybe even days of it. But then something happens that causes things to become out of whack again.

What is it about balance that is so elusive today? Are we really able to balance it all? In short, no. I don't think true balance really exists. That said, I do think the word is helpful as a guiding principle for how we choose to live. Let's start by trying to understand what balance really means.

Defining Balance

Two of the many dictionary definitions for balance perfectly hit on what we are talking about:

• a stable mental or psychological state; emotional stability

• a harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements, as in a design

I believe you need both of these definitions to really have balance in life. I would define it using this equation:

a satisfying arrangement of elements + emotional stability = balance

It's easy to define balance using just the first part of the equation. I often equate balance with everything in my life fitting together neatly and don't consider how my emotions play into that puzzle. I'll look at my overscheduled calendar and think, "Oh, that is totally doable." But then I get into the thick of it and I am drained, short-tempered, and an emotional wreck—like I was when I had overcommitted to the book club and community group. Clearly, the satisfying arrangement of the elements on my calendar is not enough by itself. We can't have balance if activities in our life are neatly scheduled but we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotional.

My friend Karen says that life is like a sound board. When music is mixed, the sound technician needs to adjust the levels to make the music sound its best. If one person or instrument needs to be really loud, everything else can't be loud too because the board can't handle it and, more importantly, the music won't sound its best.

The same is true in life. If one thing is dominating during a particular season, that's okay, as long as adjustments are made to other areas. Without those adjustments to "reduce the volume," distortion and chaos will result. But if you make those adjustments, your life song will bring the most beauty and pleasure possible to your life.

Too Much of a Good Thing Is Still Too Much

The middle of December 2013 was a season that was incredibly out of balance for me. You probably know that time well: when the Christmas crazy sets in and you are really hoping you make it to Christmas Eve. The volume on my sound board was loud. I looked at my week, and it was almost laughable. My dad was visiting from out of state for the first part of the week, my two-year-old had started potty training, I had multiple meetings and deadlines at work, the kids were having Christmas parties and a program at school, and I had several sponsored blog posts due. My husband and I also had a work Christmas dinner to attend one evening.

And that was just the "required" stuff.

Meanwhile, stacked in the dining room was a pile of decorations that had never found their way to the right spot in our house. They really needed to be put in an empty Rubbermaid tub to go back in the garage. But that required seven minutes that I didn't seem to have. Sitting near the decorations was an unopened box of our family's annual Christmas cards that I had ordered before Thanksgiving (because I was so on the ball). Three weeks later, I was far from feeling on top of things.

Littering the dining room table was a mess of opened Christmas card envelopes from people who needed to be added to our card list, artwork from the kids' school (I have such a hard time parting with painted card stock), and miscellaneous junk that needed a home (or to be thrown away with the envelopes). Again, the lack of seven free minutes meant it would all just need to wait a few more days. Surely the weekend would bring some open spaces to organize, reset, and bring some balance back to our life.


The "problem," for lack of a better word, is that many of these things that fill our schedules are good things, like Christmas festivities or the book club and community group I tried to start attending that fall.

We need to work to provide for our families, and we want to encourage our children to be involved in activities that they enjoy and are passionate about. And on it goes. Even the not-fun things like laundry and dusting are reminders that we are blessed with families that need to be clothed and a roof over our heads.

One of my survey respondents, Jessica (not me), described a vortex of good things draining her:

I think trying to balance everything is the biggest challenge I face. I feel run-down and tired sometimes, and then I look at our crazy schedule and think to myself, "Duh, no wonder you're tired!"

I want to be a good mom and a good wife. I want to volunteer at our daughter's school and at our church, and quite honestly I would feel guilty if I wasn't involved in volunteering at these places. I also want my children to be involved in fulfilling, enriching activities that they enjoy. And we have been very blessed in all these ways to find places and opportunities to be involved in our church and in our girls' education (my husband is the president of a nonprofit that supports our daughters' language immersion schools) and extracurricular activities (I'm a coach at our daughter's gym).

I could not have guessed that signing my girls up for gymnastics would have led to me coaching the team there.... But it comes at a cost, and for us, that cost has been family time at home in the evenings. I think we are busy with important things that will have a lasting impact on our girls. I just sometimes feel like we have taken on a little too much and we have committed too much of our time to being away from home.

Now, I don't know Jessica, but her story resonated with me because I think she is like a lot of us. She wants to do all the things she is doing. She is making a positive impact on her family. But those things are coming at a cost—the cost of not just family time, as she states, but also time for herself. Just because they are good things doesn't mean that they are good for you, for right now (or even ever). To not allow the stress of too many "good" things to invade our lives and steal our joy, we have to learn to say no, prioritize, or eliminate things entirely.

Jennifer Dukes Lee took a drastic step to find balance in her life, and her story is one that many can learn from. In 2002, she left her job as a reporter to move with her family onto her husband's fourth-generation family farm in Iowa. Shortly after they moved, she took on a part-time professor gig at Dordt College, teaching journalism twenty hours a week. She loved her students and experiencing their excitement for reporting the news. Five years later, she also found herself leading worship and teaching Sunday school at church, volunteering, doing speaking engagements, and even signing a book contract. Jennifer's plate was now too full, as she had "over-yessed herself," as she likes to put it.

When we spoke, she told me, "Things that I would really want to say yes to, I would have to say no to because I had so overextended myself. There was no other time for the things that make a life so full."

As the years went on, her job as a professor had gotten easier in terms of teaching, grading, and preparing lectures. But when it was combined with all of her other commitments, Jennifer knew she had to make a choice. She prayed about it, discussed options with her husband, and decided to quit teaching at the college in order to find some margin in her life.

It was a difficult decision because the job was a "good thing" in her life, but ultimately she sensed that she needed to end that chapter. After leaving, Jennifer flourished, using the open hours for a "come what may today" attitude, having the flexibility to say yes at a moment's notice.

Jennifer recalled, "People would say, 'What are you going to do instead?' I would hem and haw and stammer around. I could do this or that, but my answer was that I am not going to fill those hours with anything. I'm not going to. There's such a high priority placed on busyness that our work, paid or unpaid, is filling our days, and I didn't want to [have that anymore]."

Just because something is a good thing doesn't mean it is good for this moment in your life. This truth has taken a long time for me to accept. But the more I embrace it, the better my life is. The lesson from Jennifer's story is one many should learn. Sometimes too many good things can just be too much.

Is there something in your life that is a good thing but maybe isn't good for this season of your life? Write it down and consider if you should eliminate it from your schedule.




Searching for Work-Life Balance

If you are one of the nearly seventy-five million women in America who are part of the paid workforce, then you also might struggle with work-life balance. With only 29 percent of American mothers staying at home, this is a common issue for women. As a working woman myself, I know the challenges of creating work-life balance.

I spent the first seven years of my career at one of Nashville's top PR firms, and I literally was always "on." When I woke up I would check my work email before doing anything else. Before bed I had the same routine. We worked by the mantra of saying yes to our clients, even if it meant early mornings and late nights at the office.


Excerpted from The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner. Copyright © 2015 Jessica N. Turner. Excerpted by permission of Revell.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Before We Begin 13

Part 1 Explore

1 Pursuing Balance 21

2 Letting Go of Self-Imposed Pressures 37

3 Eliminating Guilt and Comparison 51

Part 2 Discover

4 Shifting Your Perspective 75

5 Identifying How to Care for Yourself 93

6 Finding Your Time 111

Part 3 Maximize

7 Prioritizing Your Activities 135

8 Using Your Time Efficiently 153

9 Embracing Help 171

10 Overcoming Obstacles 193

Part 4 Live Well

11 Cultivating Community 211

12 Finding Rest 225

13 Living Well 239

The Fringe Hours Manifesto 249

Acknowledgments 251

The Fringe Hours Survey Results 255

Notes 263

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The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner, © 2015 Just because something is a good thing doesn’t mean it is good for this moment in your life. --The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, 31 So much wisdom in this statement. We think we have to do it all. The seasons in your life will bring many pleasures. Don't get knotted in the "woulda', coulda', shoulda', oughta'" regrets and looking back, wishing a do-over. Enjoy your today, where you are. Don't sacrifice family for multitasking activities and others' to-do-list requests. Once. Your family will be at this stage of time, once. Overcommitment robs you of n~o~w. Choose joy. Recognize and embrace what God has created in you ~ gifts and talents, and a desire to pursue what you are passionate about. Jessica surveyed 2,000 women and compiled responses, sharing priorities including refreshment optimum to health for you and your family ~ committing to include yourself in rest and what you enjoy. Time is going to continue whether you wish to, or do set aside moments. Being intentional on how you spend your time ~* your fringe hours *~ little pockets of time, on purpose. Why We Need Community: Making time for you is not always about making time to do something by yourself. It is also important for women to be in community. The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You ~ So many woman-to-woman topics ~ making a change to eliminate time wasters; cultivating balance; recognizing what really matters; prioritizing relationships; living in your season. Benefits worth sharing. Her website has a free weekly time tracker to use as a regular personal resource to help you find, plan, and maximize your fringe hours. Live a life of joy. ***Thank you to Revell for sending me a copy of Jessica N. Turner's The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
MrsDisciple More than 1 year ago
Before I even opened this book, I had this idea that I might not gain much from reading it. I did not see the need--much less have the time--for me to do something for me. I am so glad I was so wrong! I found Jessica Turner's wisdom revolutionary for this tired and over-worked mama. She helped me see the need to feed my soul, as well as find those pockets of time in my day (Fringe Hours) to do the things that I love. Since starting the discipline of capturing my Fringe Hours, I have released guilt and had the courage to seek out Fringe Hour opportunity. This is a must read for all women!
Marlen816 More than 1 year ago
The Fringe Hours is an easy read that allows you to reevaluate how you are spending your precious time on yourself, what you love and what is important to you. Jessica encourages you through her personal stories and those of women from every background and thought provoking questions scattered throughout the book to take the time for yourself to complete a project, indulge in a hobby or rest quietly in the Lord, to be able to refocus and be rejuvenated to be the best YOU you can be. I highly recommend purchasing this book to get back time for yourself, so you can give the best of yourself to your family, your work, your church...your life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To every woman who feels like you're pouring into everyone else with little time left for you, this book is for you. Jessica Turner helps you give yourself permission to put you on your priority list with practical tips and ideas on how to pursue your passions on a daily basis. A must read for every woman I know.
IoanaN More than 1 year ago
I requested (and was given this advanced reading copy of) this book with a skeptical heart, as I do with most books. I knew and Jessica Turner's writing style since I have been following her blog and her social media sites for a few years. However, I was a bit skeptical on what she was going to write in so many thousands of words about the topic she chose for her first book. Honestly, this is probably the best topic she could have chosen. Her book addresses to the over busy woman, the one that has too many things on her to do list, and hardly ever has time to engage in and focus on activities that bring her joy. My skepticism was born from the thought that maybe this was another "mom book", that is, it was written for the wife and mom with kids engaged in a million activities, the mom who works and does all the important things that must be done, overlooking her own hobbies. Well, this is true to a point. I am none of the above. But I, too, (and my skepticism) were confronted with some very well pointed ideas. And I have been won over. Fringe hours are those little pockets of time throughout the day that often go underused or are wasted altogether. If not intentionally redeemed, fringe hours slip through one's fingers like sand. (p.84) In researching for this book, Jessica also posted a survey on her blog. More than 2500 women completed the survey. These women were from all stated of US and from nearly 30 countries. This shows to me that this issue is worldwide and it's applicable to all. One thing that I think is a bit out of range for those living outside US are the links and sites she mentions that can offer certain services such as cooking, cleaning, etc. However, I am sure alternative solutions could be found. The book is structured in four main parts, each part having three or four subheadings. The four main parts are: Explore, Discover, Maximize, Live Well. She makes a case for how important it is to make time for the things that you like, and then she offers suggestions. All these were helpful tips and strategies in helping us find the things that we long to do, but always put on hold, or say we don't have to for. Not to mention, sometimes even our hobbies can be postponed due to procrastination. It's so much easier to just turn on the TV, the laptop, the phone and spend valuable minutes connected, but without feeling energized in the end. Fringe hours, short as they may be, can have a lasting effect and impact. Throughout the book there are questions inserted and some blank space is left for answers. The questions aim to help each reader think more deeply about her life and her context, and eventually to be more able to make time and do the things she loves. As you read the book, it feels like she repeats the same things, like a mantra, but it's totally understandable. I for one only believe and actually get to doing if someone repeats the same thing over and over. And probably some of those who read this book are the same. The quotes she picked for this book are so well chosen. She clearly knows her topic well, and her research is thorough. All in all, this is a positive book. I was afraid it will be just a feel good, mushy kind of book, but it's not! It's grounded in reality. Each person's reality is different, but each reality can be molded so that fringe hours can be found in it. A recommended read.
JaniceLeeB More than 1 year ago
Jessica N. Turner writes an honest book that answers the question many ask her, "How do you do it all?" In fact, she doesn't. Jessica talks about using the fringe hours of our days to invest in ourselves.  This book weaves together survey results from over 2,000 women, her personal stories, and ideas/suggestions to guide the reader to better use of their own fringe hours.  This book is for all women. I am single and found the book applicable to my life. I have spent way too many years answering the question of 'how I am' with "busy". This book invited me to take a fresh look at how I spend my time and encouraged me to make time for myself.  I would encourage any woman who feels the day just slips away without any "me time" to slow down and read The Fringe Hours. Disclaimer: I received an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
jsanck15 More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book for my review. I loved this book. I was getting to the end of my days just frustrated that I didn't achieve the things on "my" list. With two kids and a husband, it was rare that I was doing anything just for ME! In this book, Jessica encourages us to use those little pockets of time that we have to do something we have a passion for! It can be ANYTHING but by showing us HOW, she opened a whole new world for me! It's about getting rid of the guilt and making yourself a better person. I am a much better mom, wife, friend, daughter, and sister when I have some time to recharge. This book is full of practical tips and strategies for taking back your fringe hours. God made us all unique with unique gifts, and Jessica encourages us to take the time to use those gifts. We are so much more than co-workers, mothers, wives, and daughters in Christ. This is a go-to book for new moms, and I hope that ALL women will read this and pursue their passions without the guilt.
KHTaylor More than 1 year ago
I can’t remember the last time I was bored. Life’s responsibilities keep me busy enough, but there are also people I want to spend time with and plenty of hobbies to occupy my time. I almost didn’t sign up for “The Fringe Hours” launch team because I knew I didn’t struggled with finding things I like to do. Turns out Jessica Turner’s new book isn’t just about how women should have hobbies. It also encourages women to look at their day to claim pockets of time as theirs. She weaves together statistics, anecdotes from other women, and some of her own story to encourage women. As I read “The Fringe Hours,” I realized I defend my schedule to myself and sometimes others and I cling tightly to my work-before-play mentality. But it’s okay to not to all the work today. It’s okay to play without having to defend, even to myself, why it’s good for me. Realizing this comes as God is teaching me about joy. I’m choosing joy in the small moments that make up life. “The Fringe Hours” reminded me how caring for my soul matters. This life isn’t perfect and never will be. But I can find joy in everyday moments when I slow down enough to notice what God is doing around us -- even when I play.
NicAwesomeOle More than 1 year ago
I have a feeling many of you feel exactly as I do, there isn’t enough time to do everything, and your schedule tends to end up at the bottom of the list—the list that NEVER gets to the end. Enter a really amazing book, The Fringe Hours, which launches today. Welcome to the blog of one of the members of the Launch team! Having it all. Women spend years of their lives in the pursuit of this myth. It’s a big part of books, music and even movies (Anyone remember Diane Keaton’s character in Baby Boom?). And, to be honest, the closer I get to ‘having it all’, the more stressed and unhappy I feel. Does anyone else feel this way? Enter Jessica N Turner’s Fringe Hours. When I was given the opportunity to read an advance copy of this, I jumped at the chance—and then realized that I am not alone. Jessica’s copious amounts of research show that there are a LOT of women in the same boat.  Let’s face it—I joke that I am committed to overcommitting, but at what point do I keep anything for myself. Jessica, the force behind The Mom Creative, provides a thoughtful and honest approach to life, admitting that ‘doing it all’ is not feasible. But, instead, Jessica gives us a new approach and mindset of processing the hours we currently use to cultivate and grow a more balanced life. And I scored a free copy in return for my honest review. As a reader of Jessica’s blog for many years (I remember when her three kids were really just the one, and have faithfully followed the blog since then!), let me just say that not only will I be buying more copies, this will be something I recommend to every strong woman I know! The book will speak to so many women; I loved that there were so many workbook type interactive items that allowed me to really think while I was reading and provide options for what I intended to do and how I was going to take the inspirations from the book and incorporate them into my own life. This is GENIUS, in my opinion. Jessica quotes secular and scripture alike—making it great for any quote fiend like myself (believe me, I have notebooks full of quotes!) squeal inwardly for joy. In particular, I really loved that Jessica also provided tips and tricks through the concepts in the book she shares, and the things she talks about implementing—readers can take comfort in the fact that someone (and actually so many more people) have been through the very thing they are stressing about—and they can emerge stronger than ever on the other side. I loved the tips and tricks (especially through cleaning and cooking) that Jessica shares in the last part of the book. And, best of all, Fringe Hours is available TODAY in your favorite format from your favorite retailer… Check it out today.
heidiray42 More than 1 year ago
This book helped me find my passions again! It helped me to see that those passions are important and worth the time put into them if they make me feel whole. Thanks Jessica!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jessica Turner found a way to connect women from all ages and stages of life in The Fringe Hours. The book made me feel at ease as though I was sitting among friends talking about life. Her ideas resonate as we are all in need of finding pockets of time in our day, those fringe hours or minutes, that can be golden to us. With her research, the quotes, stories from fellow women, and bible verses to connect it all, this book speaks to your heart! It is one I highly recommend wholeheartedly to each and every female! You deserve your time to recharge and be blessed with your hobbies or interests.  I received an advance copy for my review and was so pleasantly surprised how much I needed to read this book in my busiest season of life. I am buying copies for friends who need these sweet words in their life! Enjoy living out your fringe hours!
pastordt More than 1 year ago
There are a lot of blogs that are written by and for young moms. A LOT. But a few of those rise to the top of the popularity heap, for a variety of reasons. Jessica Turner’s blog, “The Creative Mom,” is consistently at the tippy-top of that heap. For good reason. Jessica is lovely in every way I can think of and she manages to do a whole lot of livin’ within a tightly constricted lifestyle – constricted in the most joyful and meaningful of ways (she is raising three tiny children with her husband, Matthew Paul Turner, and she works full time at a job she loves and is good at) – but constricted nonetheless. When I was a young mom . . . back in the days of covered wagons and ornery cattle . . . I would have deeply appreciated this book, these words. I never had a paying job outside my home until my kids were raised and gone, but I had three babies in four years, was an active volunteer at our church and in the broader community, tried to have a healthy marriage and was layered with local family commitments on all sides. The beautiful little book she has written would have found a most welcome place in my life back then and I highly recommend it to anyone with young children. It’s called The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. I know what she means when she writes about finding ‘fringe hours’ to spend on ourselves, making and taking time to honor the person God has created and gifted each one of us to be before we are friend, wife, mom, daughter, sister. There is a whole, complete person inside every mom who needs tending from time to time. But too often, women in general — and women who are moms in particular — put themselves at the very bottom of the list, most often trailing off into the dust, never to be seen or acknowledged again until all the kids are out of the house. And that is not right. Nor is it healthy – for anybody in our homes. The old saying about giving as good as you get can be applied in all kinds of ways, and one of the truest is the one that Jessica writes about in the pages of this encouraging book. Unless moms figure out ways to give to themselves, they will have very little left to give to anyone else. This little blue book is full of helpful hints and good reasons why finding those fringe hours is so important. Jessica surveyed a couple of thousand other mothers and weaves her findings throughout these chapters. (She also details those findings at the end of the story and those are fun to read through!) And she looks squarely at some of the biggest obstacles to doing fringe hours well: guilt, procrastination, self-imposed expectations, comparison and stubbornness. That last one involves the willingness to admit when help is needed and the wisdom and humility to ask for it, something that seems to be exceedingly difficult for most women I know. She also encourages moms to build and maintain community as an effective means of finding ways to delight and encourage ourselves. Sometimes the very best medicine for a tired mommy is a coffee date with a good girlfriend. And then again, sometimes it’s doing something we love when the house is quiet. Jessica finds those hours in the early morning — I found them late at night. Whatever works, DO IT.  This book is written for a very specific audience — mothers of young children — so it doesn’t directly apply to me at the stage of life I am currently enjoying. Nonetheless, this is a book I would happily give to every young mother I know.
WriterBee More than 1 year ago
You can probably find many books that try to tell you how to make time for yourself or how to arrange your schedule. They don't ever seem to help me (I rarely finish them), as they make me feel like I'm just being lectured at and can't bring myself to do what the author is telling me. Jessica's book is the complete opposite of that. This book is like having a friend sitting next to you on your couch, asking you questions about how you like to spend your time, really listening to your answers and then helping you figure out how to make those hobbies and passions possible. One of my favorite things about this book (and there are many!) are the spaces Jessica gives you to reflect on how you are currently spending your time, what your passions are and how to fit them in to your busy life. This is one book you're going to want to give to all of your friends - moms or not, everyone is always trying to find more time in a day to do the things they LIKE to do. Jessica does a great job in helping you figure out how to do that. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jessica Turner did such a great job putting this book together on a subject that I know is a delicate one for me. The Fringe Hours makes you take a look at your time and evaluate what's healthy for you and your stage of life. It prompts us to have honest conversations with those we share our lives and truly prioritize things that matter to us. While I have always shied away from "me-time", this book caused me to look at those hours with a fresh perspective. I am challenged by Jessica's heart to be creative with my time, invest in myself in a healthy way so I can turn around and pour into others from a full vessel. The amount of research and thought put into The Fringe Hours makes this a must read all the way around. I recommend this to every woman I know regardless of their season of life. Five stars and great job Jessica! You rock!
JViola79 More than 1 year ago
I joined the launch to help a blogger/woman/mother and instead found myself on the receiving end. I discovered there was no need to defend my choices throughout the day. It was okay, actually expedient, for me to enjoy leisure time. Whether it be reading a book, doing a hobby, coffee with a friend, or five minutes of just plain quiet – Jessica encourages us to grab those moments and make them count. “The Fringe Hours” has helped me to realize the importance of taking care of our souls, for each one of us. It is in so doing, we will find ourselves filled with joy and beauty and an abundance to share with those around us. This book truly is a wonderful read and encouragement not only for women struggling to make time for themselves but for all women. It is a book which brings a release from mommy guilt and a freedom to tend to ourselves and use all our God given potential. Although I received a free, advance copy of “The Fringe Hours” for being part of the book’s launch team, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
KWinn More than 1 year ago
Jessica's vision is to help women find time to take care of themselves and do the things they love to do. In this book, the reader will find helpful advice and Godly council giving them permission to make time for the things they love to do, while being careful not to sacrifice their day to day responsibilities. I highly recommend this book for every woman: married, single, with, or without children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fringe Hours:Making Time for You is a great book for women in general. I am a stay at home mom,so I was a little  skeptical at first,worried that I wouldn't be able to relate to this book since the author is a working mom. I was wrong. There is advice for everyone,and the book was well researched,with thousands of women from.all walks of life surveyed. I thoroughly enjoyed The Fringe Hours and highly recommended it to anyone struggling to balance their busy schedules and find time for themselves. Disclaimer: I received a free advance copy of this book as part of The Fringe Hours launch team.
malmal0505 More than 1 year ago
I'll admit it...I have a tendency to get distracted and just get so caught up in doing other things (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.) that I forget to take time just for me.   I have found this to be even more true since getting married.  I wouldn't label myself as a "clean freak" or anything, but I do like to stay on top of things.   When I "feel" I have fallen behind on the chores, it all seems so chaotic.  This is so true during the free time I have before my hubby gets home from work since I get home a couple + hours before he does.  It's usually during this time that I get busy doing stuff around the house (sometimes unintentional-that ever happen for you?) instead of taking a few of those minutes to do something for myself.  However, thanks to this book, I have noticed where I need to let some things go and that it is truly ok to take "me time."  Honestly, sometimes my health/happiness is important (especially for others-lol).  Thanks to the encouragement of my hubby (who I will say would tell me to just let the house be and to relax more-but, hey, do we ever really listen? Lol.),  I have started to do just that.  I have been taking that time each day to have my Fringe Hours...whether it's reading, watching a show, writing/reading/studying for Church, etc. I have found that I am more relaxed and not as stressed as I was.  When you're always staying busy or always on the go, you will eventually burn out or explode from all the craziness of the constant go-go-go.   This is why it is truly crucial for you and for me to find that time for ourselves.  We all need our "fringe hours!"