Fringe Hours

I'm breaking the routine I've set here of posting once a month to chat a bit about the book I've just read for  Ellen's book club .

As I dove into Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner I found myself making a mental list of those that I would like to share this book with.  I'm in the Autumn season of life and have the advantage of an empty nest for time to pursue passions that satisfy my soul but so many young women in my life are busy serving others from the moment in the morning that they open their eyes until they drop into bed at night.

My husband and I are full time farmers and one of the areas in my life that I tend to feel guilt is in leaving my husband to fend for himself while I go to meet friends in town for lunch.  Truth be told, he probably appreciates some time on his own and when I do let him know I'll be gone over the lunch hour he is always so glad for me to have an outing with the girls.  The chapter on Eliminating Guilt and Comparison resonated with the feelings I've had and I aim to let the guilt go and start regularly scheduling time for lunch dates.

I really identified with the chapter on Cultivating Community.  I couldn't agree more with Jessica's encouragement to blend community, passions and responsibilities. I found a group  much like she describes when I began Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We have blogged together, worked in our community together and shared in the responsibilities of publishing cookbooks together.  We have grown in our love for one another and grown as individuals as we have encouraged each other in the areas that each are particularly gifted.

 I appreciate Jessica Turner's encouragement to balance things that are truly necessary to accomplish with time to rest, regroup and feed not only our bodies but our souls so that we are equipped when we spend time with those that matter most to us.  This book is a great tool with all the practical suggestions to help overcome the hurdles that prevents many women from taking a healthy balanced amount of time doing things that will enrich their lives and ultimately their families.

I'm honored to be part of Ellen Graf-Martin's  Ellen's Picks community and looking forward to visiting the book club participants to see what they gleaned from Fringe Hours. Ellen sends us the book in her efforts to resource women leaders, we get to read it and at the end of the month we link up with her.

I am part of Ellen's Picks


  1. This book sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. I often feel guilty because our daughter lives in Alberta and has the care of 3 little boys every day and I'm back east wishing I could be there to pop in and visit or help out as needed. I know I had my own kids to raise and got through it all but also had a wonderful mother-in-law to help out as needed. Sometimes life just isn't fair and I know our daughter will be stronger for it but the guilt is still there. Pam

  2. I always appreciate a good book recommendation, Lovella. Thank you.
    I don't know about eliminating guilt. Is it ingrained in women my age? I'd like to think not, and that there might be a strategy for letting go of the nagging 'should' in my head.

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book Lovella! I am still trying to find my retirement legs and regroup with my much changed routines (or maybe I'm just trying to GET a routine!). I think I must read this. A healthy balance at this stage in life is so important! Thanks .....

  4. Sounds like an interesting book, Lovella. Thanks for reviewing it for us...

  5. I can identify with what you are sharing here and totally agree that this stage in life is a time of opportunities to serve.
    Sometimes I love it and sometimes I don't, but it probably has to do with allowing ourselves the freedom not to feel guilty
    and taking time to re-group and re-charge, feeding not only our body but our soul and spirit. We can only give what we've been given.
    Friendships and taking time to laugh at ourselves are one of our biggest blessings in every stage, but maybe especially now.

  6. Sounds like a good book! I'll add it to my list!

  7. What a special opportunity for you to be involved in Ellen's book club community. I know you will enjoy this and I am sure I'll come across some good reads through you. Fringe Hours sounds like a great gift book selection for me to consider for Christmas giving. Once our girls left home as young women, some 15 plus years ago, I have cultivated 'the fringe hours', and more so very intentionally in the past 8 years. I know from my own personal experiences that once we see the benefits of time out to give and to receive through times spent with others or doing something alone that recharges us, we will begin to make these times a guilt free choice and even priority. I think of the younger women who are juggling the busiest time of motherhood and work who need encouragement and blessing to take time for themselves. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll be back to see what your reading next month.


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