Doorposts - Bible-based parenting and character training materials
Doorposts - Bible-based parenting and character training materials Doorposts - Bible-based parenting and character training materials

Shopping for Time

How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed
Author: Carolyn Mahaney and Daughters
Age: Adult
ISBN: 9781581349139
Pages: 94
Price: $12.99
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This practical book is just as delightful and solidly biblical as everything else I have read by Carolyn Mahaney. She and her daughters declare their purpose in the book’s introduction:

“…We have also learned from God’s Word that it is possible to deal with life’s demands without becoming overwhelmed, miserable, and exhausted. We can surmount the numerous responsibilities that threaten to wear us down. More than that, we can actually do all that God has called us to do.”

It sounds incredible, but they really do lay out a plan that will enable us to peacefully accomplish all that God has ordained for us to do. The Mahaney ladies start with Ephesians 5:15-16, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Building on the message of these verses, they encourage us “to live like we shop – carefully.”

“We’re to approach life the same way we go after bargains. We need to discern the best opportunities life has to offer. Then we must seize these opportunities and make them our highest priorities. Every day presents us with countless options for how to spend our time. However, only some are truly great deals. Only a few things are really important.

“Our job is to figure out what these prime deals are – these key opportunities – and devote all our time and energy to them. This means choosing not to do a thousand other things. It means saying no to a lot of enticing options.”

After a brief discussion of the many seasons of a woman’s life, the authors go on to outline five main tips to help us move beyond “just looking” as we live our lives:

  • Rise early. (Sounds scary, but they make a very convincing case for their recommendation, and even address the objections of those who insist they are not a “morning person.” I have seen the proof of this tip in my own life over the years. This early hour helps facilitate a time of Bible reading and prayer each day, and also allows you to serve your husband and children more effectively.)
  • Sit still. Make time in God’s Word and prayer a priority. Don’t think you can live life without the sustenance of this communion with Him. Suggestions are given for getting started and for being creative during the season when infants and small children make this especially challenging.
  • Sit and plan. This tip recommends taking a personal retreat at regular intervals. The purpose is not “me time,” but a time for study, prayer, and evaluation. It might be an hour or two alone on a park bench or an overnight stay in a plush hotel. The point is simply to have time alone for reviewing priorities, evaluating  how you are doing, and pinpointing areas that need to change. A “Sit-and-Plan Strategy” is even offered as one way to approach this time.

    This is the tip that has influenced my life the most, aiding me in regularly stopping to evaluate the direction my life is going. (A side benefit of reading this book grew from the Mahaneys’ description of their family vacation “Outlet Day.” We thought this outing sounded so fun, that it has become an annual tradition with all my daughters and daughters-in-law. We look forward each year to a weekend at the beach, with an Outlet Day as part of the activities!)
  • Consider people. This tip focuses on being more intentional and purposeful in our relationships, and offers counsel on friends to choose and friends to leave.
  • Plan to depend. Fifteen minutes of planning at the outset of each day will help us use time most wisely and avoid procrastination. The book comes to a close with a discussion of formal and informal planning systems, advice for dealing with interruptions (or “sovereign deliveries,” as they label them), a reminder that we can do nothing outside of our complete dependence on God, and a call to use the time God has given us in a way that will bring His “well done” when we stand before Him and give an account for the way we have lived our lives.

I read this book for the first time when it first came out in 2007. I’ve re-read it again since then, and writing this review has me all revved up to re-read it again! I’ve not engaged in a full-fledged personal retreat for quite awhile. It’s time to reevaluate as I enter a new, done-with-homeschooling stage of my life.

I can’t imagine a woman who would not benefit in some way from reading this book. It’s an easy 94-page read with life-changing potential!

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Customer Reviews

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  Organizing Kids Clothes/gear
Turnar0und of Ca, 7/17/2011
Each Sunday (after looking at the weather forcast) we select and arrange the girls clothes for the week using those cloth closet shelf organizers. I also have the girls sports clothes seperated and in cloth bins on a shelf from Target in the laundry room so they always know where to find their clothes and gear.

  Time Saving Tip
Pioneercynthia of Northeastern Indiana, 7/17/2011
I am easily distracted, so I try to get things around ahead of time. We have a shelf by the door where things that have to go out the next day go. Library books, video returns, mail, etc. It's saved my sanity a number of times just knowing that I don't have to rush around and find that one item that I've GOT to take with me.

  I Second Making Two Meals!
Erin of Colorado, 7/15/2011
This book looks great. My time-saving tip would be to make double of meals. I do this on days when I am bringing a meal to another family (new baby, illness) or just to put the other meal in the freezer for a busy day. Its good to know which meals are easily freezable (lasagna, pizza dough, burritos, meatballs, homemade chicken pot pie, etc.).
Thanks for a chance to win!

  Time Saving Tip
Mtngranny of Virginia, 7/15/2011
Many of us need to set a limit on how much time we spend at the computer. Setting a kitchen timer can be helpful in making me get off my laptop and be more available for my calling in my home.

  Recruiting the Family
Kate of Iowa, 7/15/2011
As a working wife and mother I find juggling all my tasks to be overwhelming. One thing I do to ease this burden is to post a list of all the "service opportunities" (Doorposts has a great chart!) that need to be done each day/week. Each job has a dollar amount listed with it...what my husband and I will pay for a job well done. With this method our two teenage sons know what needs to be done, they look forward to earning money, the jobs are completed and I don't have to nag them! Woo Hoo!

Disneymama of Mommyland, 7/15/2011
I would really benefit from this book. I have 4 children. I homeschool 3 of them. I am very overwhelmed! I try and remember that God gives each person the same amount of time each day. It's our choice what we chose to do with it. I make lots of "schedules" and "lists"> maybe this book will help me?

  Time Saving
Sarah of Kansas, 7/15/2011
I save time (actually, just use it better) when I keep a to-do list, but a different from the standard "this-is-what-has-to-happen-today" list. I keep one of the things I feel need to happen each, one for weekly projects, one for unusual projects that should be done, and one for more long term. So when I am not working on anything in particular its a lot easier for me to use that time wisely by glancing over those lists and picking something from one of them to tackle next. It also helps keep me motivated to have those lists around. In plain sight is obviously best. It helps me to keep moving from one thing onto the next and not waste time inbetween things wondering what i should do next.

  Time Saving
Sarah of Kansas, 7/15/2011
I find it helpful to keep a rotating schedule for housework and cleaning. that way the house doesn't get out of hand messing and require a massive clean up effort to be decent again. You can also happily invite unexpected company in when you don't let the tidying get too far behind. It also helps me know exactly what to do each day

It's something like that
Monday: Kitchen day: clean, stock, any special cooking projects, take any needed inventory
Tuesday: Bedroom clean/tidy and organize, sort accumulated piles
Wednesday: Living room clean, Organize and put away piles of stuff that accumulate
Thursday: Clean bathrooms
Friday: Sweep, mop and vacuum floors

  Shopping for Time
Donna of Florida, 7/15/2011
I've found it helpful to lay out my Bible, devotional, journal, etc. on the end table the night before, both to cut down on the noise of locating everything while my family is still sleeping and as an encouragement to actually get out of bed and have that quiet time.

  Homeschool Planner
Jessica S. of APO, AE, 7/15/2011
I use a homeschool planner (one I bought) and one free online (weekly) to plan out our day. The weekly planner has space for each subject for my children and me and it lets me know what needs to get done on a daily basis and my "big-picture" notebook planner gives me a sense of guidance. It really helps to plan out the day (concerning our homeschool schedule).

  Time-saving Tip
Jessica S. of APO, AE, 7/15/2011
To save on my food bill and time, I print out a free menu planner for two weeks in advance and then make a shopping list for groceries. I know what I will make for the day and what ingredients I will need. The days/weeks seems to go well if I at least have the menu planned out.

  Shopping for Time
Cara of NJ, 7/14/2011
To save time I put my sheets (top sheet, bottom sheet and pillowcase) into the corresponding pillowcase. That way I don't have to search around for matching sets. They are in a prepackaged case. Easy to grab and go make that bed.

  Time Saving Ideas
Ospreychief of Texas, 7/14/2011
Whenever I need to run errands, I make a list of the places I need to go and under each I list the items I need to get. I try to do it in a way that the stores are in some kind of order so it takes less time. With all of my items listed that I need, I can go right in get what I need and then be out of there quickly.

  Time Saving Ideas
Ospreychief of Texas, 7/14/2011
One thing I do is plan my families meals out for 2 weeks at a time. Then once I do that I post it on the fridge so our children can just look at it to know what we will be having instead of always asking everyday. It is very helpful in planning my grocery list right off of those meals. It is such a help in keeping my family of 7 organized.

  Time Management
Avr of Georgia, 7/14/2011 has tons of advice for time management. For example, do one load of laundry a day to keep CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) away.

  Time Management
Lucy of Zeeland, MI, 7/14/2011
One thing that has helped me a lot is to move items to locations in my home where I most use them. If I find myself always searching for an item or going to another part of the house to retrieve it when I need it, I try to remember to make a new home for it in a more convenient, ready-to-use location.

  Decreasing Meal Prep Time
Time Saver of Arkansas, 7/14/2011
I like to brown a whole bunch of hamburger and freeze it in usable portions. I also do this with chicken and shred or cube it, and I also do the same thing with a variety of beans. Then soaking/cooking time is completely eliminated from meal prep time!

  Time Saving Tip
Shana, 7/14/2011
I make up breakfast items the night before so mornings run smoother :)

  Make Two!
Psalm 68 of IA, 7/14/2011
Whenever I make lasagna, casserole, meatloaf, hamburger rolls or soup, I double the recipe and freeze for busy days. A lifesaver on those rushed 'what's for super?' nights and money saver... no pizza ordering :)

  Time Saving - Shopping List
Sarah of Utah, 7/14/2011
Here is the shopping list I"ve made for my meal rotations - it doesn't include the things I consider to be "on-hand" items, ones you have around and keep stocked. You'll have to make one that works for your recipes, but I hope this at least gives you an idea

1-2 lbs stew beef
2 chickens? (5 meals)
4-6 lbs ground beef
1-2 cans salmon
1-3 cans of corn
yams/squash/or other substantive side dish
Carrots, a lot of them
Stalk of celery
1-2 stir fry veggies (Optional)
1-2 turnips, parsnips, or rutabagas
1-2 can Pinto/northern beans
1 large can tomato sauce OR 1 can coconut milk

  Time Saving - Meal Plan
Sarah of Utah, 7/14/2011
Here is the meal plan I like to use, it helps to make enough for two days. I hope this is helpful to everyone and helps give you some ideas for how this might help you save time.

18 day Meal Schedule--Repeat
1.Potatoes and ground beef (add a can of corn sometimes) (make 2 pans)
2.Potatoes and ground beef, second round
3.Chicken stir fry and rice (is it possible to fit two meals worth in the skillet?)
5.Crock pot dinner with stew beef, corn muffins
6.Crock pot dinner, second round (add some water and quinoa to the pot from yesterday)
7.Meat loaf and potato wedges (2 loaves--1 ½ pounds ground beef)
8.Meatloaf and potato wedges, second round
9.Ground beef stir fry
11.Chicken dumplings in crock pot (Chicken, potatoes, carrots, add roux and corn tortilla strips, Corn muffins
12.Chicken dumplings, second round (add rice)
13.Squash/yams/mashed potatoes and salmon cakes with tartar sauce
14.Empanada pie (make 2) and leftover squash/yams from the day before for side dish
15.Second Empanada pie and _______
17.Rice/chicken/cheese 9x13 bake with tomato or coconut sauce (2 pans)
18.Second pan of rice/chicken bake
Avoids unused food hanging around (frozen a$$ests), shopping is simplified, won't have to plan or think too much about what to cook, and frequently repeated meals will mean you get a lot of practice and will become very efficient at making them (also good for teaching younger girls, once you cook a meal with them a few times they can do it (almost) all on their own!)

  Time Saving
Sarah of Utah, 7/14/2011
I have found making an 18 day meal plan saves me so much time. I know exactly what we are going to eat each day, have a shopping list already prepared (that never has to be rewrittin) and it even seems to save money because we don't end up with unused food hanging around or a freezer full of stuff I need to figure out something to do with! I'll post the plan and shopping list just to spur your ideas in post after this one!

  Time Saver
KCaughron of MI, 7/14/2011
Writing out a to do list the night before has helped me tremendously to avoid idleness. Before I would wander around responding to everything that would present itself. As long as I remember to do this one thing, I feel that I accomplish so much more in the same amount of time!

Janeen of Georgia, 7/14/2011
I create a schedule of chores for my kids to help with. I am not tied up with cleaning all the time.

  Frozen Food
Janeen of Georgia, 7/14/2011
One thing that helps me save time is preparing foods ahead and freezing them. I take one day and cook and freeze and it will last for a month.

  Plan Weeks in Advance
Tamara of Texas, 7/14/2011
when tryng to find time for personal planning, date nights with my husband or one on one outings with my children, i have found it works better to put it on my calendar several weeks or even months in advance. that way other activities and 'must dos' don't crowd those very important things out. however, i need help with scheduling individual days, so think i could really benefit from this book!

  Time Management
Michele M. of MS, 7/14/2011
To tell the truth, I stink at time management which is why I would benefit from this book.