Are You Too Busy?! And a Chance to Win an AWESOME Book!

CONGRATS to Gretta Johns for winning this book!

This morning, I woke up late.  Not pre-kids late (oh, those were the days) but I was jolted awake by the baby screaming at 7 am and shot out of bed to find my older kids eating goldfish crackers on the couch in their pajamas and my husband already gone at work.  I grabbed the baby and breastfed him (yes, that takes talent) while I made PB & J sandwiches for my kid’s breakfast.  I threw clothes at my older kids and found something (sorta) clean to put on myself and rushed out the door at 7:45.  By 8, the older kids had both been dropped off at their respective Vacation Bible School classrooms and we were en route to the baby’s pediatrician appointment.  After VBS comes gymnastics (for my three-year-old), tee-ball (for my five-year-old) and a work meeting where I’ll have to figure out a way to keep (read: bribe) all three kids silent while I pretend to be 100% engaged in the meeting.  Whew.  All that and my kids aren’t even in elementary school yet.

My point in telling you this? Moms these days are WAY, way too busy.

Which is why I was so excited when my amazing, smart, hilarious and talented friend Joanne Kraft sent me her book “Just Too Busy“– a story about how her family took a “radical sabbatical” and took a break from all extracurricular activities for an entire year.

I confess:  when I first heard the concept of her book, I was skeptical.  While business is a part of my life with young kids, I also felt my heart revolt at the idea of stopping all activities for an entire year.  I mean, what about tee-ball?  And ballet class? I wasn’t ready to give everything up…

But, after reading the book, I feel like I really understand Joanne’s heart and vision for Christian families.  She’s not asking everyone to give up all of the sports and hobbies and classes that they love, but instead to really think and pray about the vision God has for our families.  Does he call us to spend every night shuttling kids from youth group to soccer practice to the drive-thru?  No.  He wants us to live lives with purpose and love and with relationships that go deeper than a quick conversation in the minivan– and that’s what Joanne wants us to take away from her book.

Reading this book forced me to really assess my family’s priorities– even if I’m not ready to go as radical as giving up all activities from a year.  With Joanne’s help, I went from always looking for something to do to always looking for a way to connect.  And that shift in mindset is radical.  I also really appreciated Joanne’s advice on honoring the Sabbath.  Before, Sunday was just another day for us to get work done and squeeze in errands.  Now, we’re really working to honor God’s day and spend time together and with Him.

Anyway, if you’ve ever had a morning that looked like mine did this morning– or a week that felt like you spent more time in the car than at home– I highly recommend this book.  It’s funny, easy-to-read and poignant– and Joanne’s message is really life-changing.

Question for you: Are you too busy?  What priorities could you cut out to give your family a radical sabbatical?  Tell me in the comments and I’ll pick ONE commenter to win a copy of Joanne’s book.



  1. Oooh! I am so reading this book! What an exciting concept!

  2. I think most families today are too busy. My husband has often said if the only activities we were involved in were just the church related ones we would still be a super busy family. As parents, I think we need to seriously step back and look at what we are teaching our children is important….sports, grades, a busy social life, etc. and where the majority of our time each day/week is spent. I think we could all cut out certain activities/events to slow our lives down and get back to what really matters….faith & family! Thanks for the chance to win such a great book!

    bamagv at aol dot com

  3. I love the idea of this book!

    I think its so important to stop being overly busy, and just spend quality family time! It’s critical.

    There is a lot of money to be made by telling us the “right” thing for kids is to sign them up for lots of classes and activities.

    I have to remind myself that more than treats, toys, and activities my kids want attention from me. They want me to be present with them. Thanks for reminding me!!!

  4. “I went from always looking for something to do to always looking for a way to connect.” That is a powerful statement. I consciously did not sign my 5-year-old up for anything this summer. Now I’m with kids all day. Ahhhh. :) But we’re having fun. I heard Rachelle talk about this book during a session she taught at a writing conference… great to see it out in the world!

  5. My kids haven’t started extra-curricular activities yet, but I really do wonder whether we’ll have the time when they are interested. It’s a mad rush to get home, dinner, bath, and bed as it is!

  6. Wow, I don’t know how you did all that this morning! You’re a “super mom”!

    Our days aren’t quite that busy. My kids like staying around the house, playing both inside and outside. They’re low-key – kind of like me, I guess! :) But we do have busy days and weeks sometimes, with appointments and grocery shopping and trips to the library and park and looking for a house to buy (which I think we may have found!)

    But I’d still love to win and read the book, for when they get older and likely interested in extra-curricular activities!

    And thanks for commenting on my blog, Erin! Always great to have you!

  7. I love the idea of this book and would love to win it.

    When I first had kids, I couldn’t wait to get them involved in as many different activities as possible. Once my kids reached the age where they participated in sports, dance and the like, we endured multiple practices, games, AND recital times. I went crazy trying to keep track of it all. I found that I just spent a lot of time shuttling them to and fro. Not to mention trying to get their practice gear and game day laundry ready as well. Something had to change!

    We now limit them to one activity each per season. It keeps us (okay-me!) sane and focused on our family by providing more quality time together.

    As for Sundays, church is and will always remain our top priority. My kids have to know that God comes well before a baseball tournament or dance recital…:)

  8. Prior to being pregnant with #3&4 (twins), I hadn’t full realized the pull that activities, events, and other obligations were having on the lives of my family. It’s an interesting observation, now that I have had to step back because of needing more rest, that things were slowly getting out of hand. I want to avoid that in the future, especially after our twins are born. I do think that much of the mindset of bigger-city parents (I live in Dallas) is to take full advantage of cultural opportunities. I have heard from more than one mom in my local group of acquaintances who feels guilty for not being able to go to local museums and other public venues more often with her kids. I have another friend (or 2) that tend to unintentionally wear their children out with activities (meaning well, but over-committing). I want to find a healthy balance for my kids (and my husband and I, as well).

  9. Oh man…I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately…my girls are small (2 and 4) and already I feel busy, busy, busy with them…just trying to fit in the daily life stuff (grocery shopping, cleaning etc) with MOPS meetings, and church stuff and my husband’s ministry commitments, as well as book groups and exercise and my own writing/professional passions and desires…Oi! Sometimes I’m not even sure what I can give up…other times I just want to give up everything extra…like Joanne…I think I need to read this book!