Week One – The Fringe Hours – Letting Go

We are reading the next two chapters, which cover our Self-Imposed Pressures and Eliminating Guilt and Comparison.  Boy, I need help with these areas!

I tend to place completely unrealistic expectations on myself, and often towards others too.  Then when I do not meet those expectations I carry guilt and condemnation like it is a trophy.  So much emotional stuff tied to this area.  As Jessica says, “Guilt is wreaking havoc on women’s lives and preventing them from taking care of themselves.”

I so agree, and I am one of those.  With a husband that travels out of town 3-4 days a week I feel guilty to take time away from if I were to do something on my own when he is in town.  So unless I really find a way to use my Fringe Hours – I am left empty again.

“The first step in eliminating feelings of guilt for investing in yourself is to give yourself permission.”    

That is my prayer – to allow myself permission to use time for things I enjoy and not be focused solely on my to-do list.  But today, as I write this post, my expectation for the day didn’t go as planned.  My great plan, was flipped upside down, as most mom’s can totally identify with.  I just spent the last 5 hours on a project that was not in my plan, thus taking away any white space I had in my day to enjoy time for me.  

That happens and tomorrow is a new day, thank goodness!


Chapter 2, Letting Go of Self-Imposed Pressures

Chapter 3, Eliminating Guilt and Comparison


I look forward to the conversation in the Private Facebook page over the next few days discussing these two chapters.  I know as we share, we are able to help each other overcome!

Week One: The Fringe Hours – Balance


Chapt 1
Here we are to kick this book study off!  I know many of you have already been reading – it is so good!

Self-care is not a ‘new’ topic – I’ve talked about it here on the blog many times, discussed it with moms I’ve coached and tried to implement in my own life.  But, it often gets neglected when we get out of routine or chaos begins to overrun our lives.  It goes to the very bottom of the list and then as with many things at the bottom, we never get to it.

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

Pursuing Balance is our focus today.


Before We Begin

Part 1 – Explore

Chapter 1, Pursuing Balance  (pp. 13-36)


If you are reading this email in your inbox, you will need to click through to the blog to watch the video.



There are several great questions prompted in this first chapter, hop over to the Facebook page and join in the discussion.  This is where the majority of the community will happen, although you are certainly welcome to comment here on the blog too!

What resonated with you from the video?

Making Time For YOU!



Are you ready?  I am totally ready to shift my schedule and put to use those Fringe Hours I neglect.  I am ready to find Joy in my day – revitalize my soul and help you do it too!

Our book study starts Monday – April 13th!!!

Did you get your book yet, The Fringe Hours – Making Time for You, by Jessica Turner?

I shared last week about the book that was chosen, and now you get to begin diving in – all the goodness between two covers!  I am loving this book – and I especially love the thought provoking questions.  I know you will love the community that develops when we read a book together.


We start reading on Monday, but you can get a head start for sure!  

Here is the schedule:

Week One :  April 13-17
April 13th:   Chapter 1
April 15th:   Chapters 2 -3 
Week Two:  April 20-24
April 20th:   Chapter 4-5
April 22nd:   Chapter 6
Week Three:  April 27 – May 1
April 27th:   Chapter 7-8
April 29th:   Chapter 9-10
Week Four:  May 4 – 8
May 4th:   Chapter  11-13
May 8th:   Wrap Up

The posts will be here on the blog on the dates indicated, so make sure you are signed up to receive posts delivered to your inbox so you do not miss them.

Facebook group:

You will want to go over and join the Private Facebook Group so you can interact and get to know the other ladies who are joining you in this journey.

I also created a Pinterest board to share, if you are into that!  :-)

I am thrilled to share with you our volunteer mom moderators for this session too!


I’m a Midwesterner at heart, married to my college sweetheart for ten years with four incredibly curious children (ages 18 mos, 3, 6 and 8) who keep me on my toes!  We are a Navy family with four moves, a couple deployments, and an untold number of new experiences under our belts. Currently stationed in San Diego, I can most often be found chasing my toddler (who is in the climb-everywhere-and-dump-everything-out-stage), monitoring homework, tinkering in my kitchen or garden, figuring out how to streamline some aspect of homemaking and training my kids to clean up after themselves so we can have more time for family fun.  Mothering is by far the most challenging and fun role I’ve had in my life; I’m blessed to have a short term memory for the trials that can accompany it and a long term memory for the joys! 

I can’t wait to meet you as we explore strategies for better utilizing our fringe hours; right now I’m spending too many of mine catching up on household chores!


I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 17 years.  We have 4 amazing boys – ages 13, 12, 9 and 6 – all of whom have multiple food allergies and were blessed 2 years ago this month to welcome a little girl from Russia to our crazy house.  I am a SAHM who tries (and often fails) to balance family and a part time photography and cake business.  I love reading, home (little bit of a homebody…), Jesus, adoption and families – I am passionate about supporting other moms! 


I am a creative, thoughtful, nature/animal lover, God – loving, deal finding money saving Mom.  I am 45 years old and work full time as an Animal Care Supervisor.  I have been married for 13 years and have 3 children ages 21, 19 and 9. I am a stepmother (to the older children) and the youngest child was adopted.  My children have made my heart grow bigger and I am a better person and mother because of them, I love them dearly.   I enjoy encouraging and supporting other mothers, to enjoy and value time with their kids and to keep life simple. It’s a jungle out there!


I am a wife and mother of three kids, ages 11, 8 and 15 months. We make our home near Birmingham, AL. I am a stay at home mom during the week, and an Occupational Therapist at an area hospital on the weekend. I lead a small group at our church for moms with kids in all ages and stages. I also blog at MrsDisciple.com. My Fringe Hours are spent reading, writing, and running.  I believe we were all created to live in community and I am thankful for the women in my life that enrich my spiritual journey, both in person and online.   


I have been married to Scott for the past 20 years and we live in England with our 5 children, Charlotte 18, Alexander 16, Benjamin 12, Emily 11 and Jemima 10.  I homeschooled until last September when the children all started attending Church of England schools.  I qualified as a nurse but re-trained as a teacher after the birth of my first child so that I could stay at home with the children during the day and work evenings and Saturdays when Scott could care for the children.  I teach antenatal classes mainly but also support parents through those crucial early months of parenthood.  Scott and I are committed Christians and the family is very involved with church life.  Scott is a church leader and runs the youth club, while I run the bumps and babes group, teach Sunday School, and play the piano for services.  As a family we are keen on sport.  Scott runs a Saturday football (soccer) league for children and referees other matches, while I and the two older children are gymnastic coaches.


My name is Melissa Tenpenny. I am 41 yrs old, the wife of my high school sweet heart for nearly 20 yrs. We have 4 children ranging in age from 8-18. I homeschool the 3 younger ones as well as all the other things that comes with being a mommy (swim practice, ball practice, homework help, kissing boo-boos, laundry every.day!) as well as being a wife and mommy to 3 fur babies. We live in the western mountains of North Carolina, where both my husband & I grew up. My hobbies include reading, learning more about whole foods & nutrition, exercise & crafting.
Beyond all the “factual details”, I am a God girl – I love Jesus, I struggle with understanding why he would save a hot mess like me at times! I wonder daily if I am doing a “good enough” job as a wife & mommy. I fight against the feeling that I’ve lost my identity over the years from the misconception that I must give up myself for my family, friends, church & community. 

Isn’t it going to be fun?

Here are a few goodies for you to tide you over and create some excitement:

You can download one of three FREE Phone Wallpapers – which will be a great reminder as we go through this book – you can do that HERE.

Here is the podcast where I first learned of Jessica’s book a few months back, on Kat’s Inspired to Action podcast – you will love hearing the two of them share.  LISTEN HERE.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday – feel free to share this post with other friends and invite them along – I know it will be a huge blessing!

New Book Study Announced – The Fringe Hours


tfh650x651 copy

It’s time for you to find time for you!  I know – you say, “what time, I am busy from sun-up to sundown with no time to spare.”  I get it.  This is where our next book study will help you
pinpoint pockets of time in your day that where you can fulfill some passion ready bloom.

Announcing “The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You” by Jessica Turner as our next book
club study, April 13 – May 8th.  

Does this resonate with you?

(if you are reading in an RSS feed, you will need to click through to view the video)


We will be reading through the book in a period of FOUR weeks beginning April 13th.  I am so excited to share that six other moms will join me in facilitating discussion on our Private Facebook page too, I will introduce them to you next week – I love building community in this way.

Here is what you need to do right now to join us:

1.  Grab your own copy of “The Fringe Hours:  Making Time For You.TFH

2.  Mark your calendar to set aside time to read during the four week window.  You can start early and be ready for our conversation to start on April 13th!

3.  You can join our Private Facebook Page where you will find community and other women who face the same struggles as you do.  I know you will love it.

4.  The study will take place here on the blog, where I will post the reading schedule, videos and more – so there is nothing more for you to subscribe to, just subscribe to the blog to get posts delivered right to your inbox!

5.  Please share this with your friends – the more the merrier!

Are YOU on your ‘To-Do’ List?



I have been reminded lately of how much my self-care is needed – I must make time for me so I can be the best for others.

Seems that I was doing well on making decisions after going through The Best Yes study we did several months ago, but I truly lack self-care for myself.

I mean, I get up early to have quiet time, which is a BONUS and I just need that – so at leastI get that in.  But I had fallen off caring for myself physically with moving my body.  Exercise was placed on the back burner because there were seemingly other more important things.  In addition, gathering with friends and enjoying my family has fallen off.  I feel the need of completing my to-do list and checking on everyone else more and it is not a good road to be on.

Women are often so busy caring for everyone else’s needs; they don’t have time to care for themselves. They’re drained, sucked dry of emotional, physical and spiritual energy.” –   Kathy Peel

For years women have been fed a bunch of lies making us feel like we need to be sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our families. In fact, if we are not sacrificing ourselves, then we are selfish! I can tell you – if you are sacrificing yourself for your family, both you and your family will end up losing.  I have discovered that, my sense of peace has dwindled and I needed to refocus.

I know if I am struggling – there are others that are as well.  I think a misconception we have with the term self-care is that it needs to be a big grandiose, time consuming venture.

But I think we have it all wrong.

In order to be taking care of yourself in a way that is manageable, we moms need to find things that refresh us in small amounts of time too. It is not all about spending a day at the spa, (although very nice on occasion) the practicality of that is pretty slim that it can happen as often as we would like.

I would like you to take a look at ‘self-care’ from different perspective. Try figuring out what refreshes and refuels you in small time frames. Identify what re-energizes you and carve out time to make it happen, however that looks for you and your day.

Several years ago I started lists on note cards that I kept handy so that I wouldn’t have to think so hard on how to fit this into my day. I broke them down into 5, 15, 30 and even 60 minute time frames. This made it much easier to schedule these “breathers” throughout my day or if I had a spare 5 minutes that I could easily take advantage of that time for myself, rather than letting it slip by.

I encourage you to try it out. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to fit in things that lift you up and help you be better for yourself AND your family.

To get you started creating self-care habits, I have offered up some of my favorite ideas.

5 minutes

Make a cup tea
Light a candle in the area you are working
Sit quietly with your eyes closed
Lay down on the sofa and start the diffuser with some Peace and Calming
Play a favorite song on your IPOD
Read an encouraging verse

15 minutes

Walk around the block
Call a friend
Savor a nice long shower
Take a book break

30 minutes

Do an exercise DVD
Cut some fresh flowers and arrange them
Take an Epsom Salt Detox bath
Sit and read a book with your child
Do some stretching and deep breathing
Get out and walk the dog

If you need to schedule time in your day to make sure you fit some of these in, then do it.  I just began a hot yoga class and I have to put it on my calendar in order for it to get done the following day.  It is the best thing I have done for myself and my family!

Self-care will not happen by chance, you will need to be intentional and proactive to carve out the time needed to take a little time for you. I know if I put something on my ‘to-do’ list I have a much better chance of it happening. So, starting today…..put “YOU” on your ‘to-do’ list and make it happen. Your family will thank you for it!