Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Fringe Hours

A few years ago I stumbled across a blog written by a Christian mother who was dealing with a tragic situation. She was pregnant with her fourth daughter and there was a possibility that the baby may not live past a few hours once she was delivered. I was drawn to Angie's blog for her Christian witness, strength in tragedy and her genuineness. As I continued to read her blog, I started to search through her blogroll for other woman like her to read and connect with through the blogsphere.

That is when I found Jessica and The Mom Creative. I was instantly drawn to Jessica's smile, her creativity and her spunkiness. It seemed like a double blessing when I happened upon a book club Angie and Jessica were starting*. I joined them for several of the books and even purchased two of Angie's books, fulfilling a secret dream of hearing her speak, meeting her and having her (and her daughter, Kate) sign one of the books!

So, imagine my excitement when I saw on Facebook that Jessica was writing a book and was setting up interviews to talk to woman and mothers for research and information. I hesitated at first, but then commented that I would love to talk with her. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a message from her and an interview was set up a few weeks later. I was a bit nervous for our call because I felt like I was going to be talking to a celebrity, a blogging superstar, if you will and I did not want to make a fool of myself. For so long, she and Angie had been my secret best friends and I was totally fangirling at the thought of being able to actually talk to Jessica.   

Per Jessica's welcoming and laid back style, the phone interview was awesome. She was personable and genuine. It was like talking to a best friend. I was excited about her book and thankful that she had allowed me to be a part of the background/research part of it.

I continued to follow her blog posts and Facebook updates about her life and the book. Again, I was anxious when I sent an email saying I would love to be part of the launch team for the book, The Fringe Hours, but I felt like I really wanted to do whatever I could to support Jessica and her first publication.

I hadn't heard anything back about the launch team, but was thrilled when the book arrived in the mail for me to read and preview. I could not wait to start reading it and once I started I had to pace myself so I wouldn't finish it all in one day!

A bit of a back story - I am a wife to my amazing husband, Rick of 14 years. We have a blended family, so I am Momma to 5 kiddos ranging from age 23-10. The 12 and 10 year olds are the only kiddos at home still and we have added three terrific grandkiddos to the mix (ages 4, 2 and 1 month). To say we have a busy family is an understatement as both my husband and I work fulltime in education and our kiddos are involved in many activities. We are also active members of our church. Our time is precious.

And that is one of the reasons I love The Fringe Hours! It is a practical read that allowed me to refocus my needs, priorities and time to make sure I am using my hours of the day, week and month to be the best wife, mother, employee, friend, witness I can be. I love how there are places scattered throughout the book for me to write down answers to questions Jessica asks throughout the chapters to help me really think about and consider how I am using my time and making sure I am taking the necessary time needed for me to pursue my dreams, or finish a project or just be still and rest in my relationship with the Lord.

My husband has always been one to encourage me to take time to do the things I love - I just got back from a weekend trip to TX with my best friend to see Maroon 5 in concert! - but, I have a hard time carving out those minutes or hours for myself. Unless, it is a nap on Sunday! But, The Fringe Hours has helped me be able to listen to my husband's nudging to have coffee with a friend or take that Zumba class or that trip to TX. I really do not think I would have even considered being away from my family for a few days without the prompting from Jessica and her book to realize that taking time for myself is really a gift I can give myself and my family.

I also recently signed up for a training class for my local pregnancy clinic to become a volunteer counseling for women in crisis pregnancies. I have wanted to take the class for years now, but was finally able to take that leap of faith and commit myself and my time to it because of the reminders in The Fringe Hours. And I am going to a Paint Nite next month, something I have been putting off because who will help with the homework or make sure the lunches are packed? My avoidance of taking advantage of my fringe hours is normally fueled by guilt. Not anymore, thanks to Jessica's book!

The laundry will still be there. The homework will get done and maybe I will have to get up early to get the lunches packed. But, it is all okay. Because taking care of me and having time for myself and what drives me and what I love makes me a more efficient housewife, less stressed mom and more attentive wife. Everybody benefits from me using my fringe hours.

Are you afraid to spend some time on the things you love? Or even use some of the budget for getting help around the house or with the kiddos? Don't wait another minute to get Jessica's book, The Fringe Hours. It will literally change the way you look at taking time for yourself and it will improve every area of your life. It is not a quick fix, self help book. It is a deeper look into what you are passionate about and how you can maximize your time to pursue your dreams and talents.

Order the book now! Then come back after you have read it and share your thoughts with me!       


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