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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
96 pages
Jun 2007
Crossway Books

Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed

by Carolyn Mahaney & Nicole Mahaney, et al

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt



It's one o'clock on a Friday afternoon and the four of us, Mom and daughters, are sitting around Mom’s kitchen table. The grandsons and granddaughters have been deposited in various rooms throughout Mom-Mom’s house for rest times or naps. And we’re enjoying carryout from our favorite Greek restaurant down the street.

It’s girl time, for just a little while. And because we’re the best of friends, we’ve been looking forward to this hour at Mom’s kitchen table all week long.

Janelle has one eye on her French fries, which are crisping in the oven. Perfectly cooked fries are her idea of gourmet cuisine. Kristin’s already gulped down about two gallons of Mom’s southern sweet tea. To watch her drink, you’d think she hadn’t had a drop of liquid in two days, that girl. Nicole’s too busy talking to eat much of her meal. Mom, the steady, dependable one, is placidly enjoying her usual order—a Greek salad with grilled chicken. In the middle of the table, where the centerpiece used to be, is a giant container of feta cheese, which we all take turns dumping on our food. It would sound more polite to say we sprinkle it on our food, but that wouldn’t be quite accurate. To be completely honest, you’d have to say we like a little Greek food with our eta cheese.

Each daughter usually comes with her own agenda. Janelle has funny stories to tell and we laugh until we choke on our food (or drink, in Kristin’s case). Kristin seems to have an endless supply of heartbreaking tales, and we have to cut her off before we get too depressed. Nicole brings a list of serious issues to discuss, which sound very much like the ones she brought up last week (although she claims they are entirely different).

Mom is the listener and chief advice dispenser. And as fellow pastors’ wives and mothers, we daughters have oodles of questions we’ve been storing up all week. “What do I do when the boys won’t share their toys?” “How should I counsel a woman who struggles with condemnation?” “What is one way I can encourage my husband as he juggles his work and school load?”

When one of us asks a question, the rest of us jump in with our opinions—all at the same time. But in the end, we look to Mom, the wise sage-ess (what else do you call a female sage?), for the definitive word.

Today we’re talking about the e-mails we receive on our blog (, and specifically this one from a young girl named Kasy:

    Although I'm only seventeen years old and don't yet have the responsibilities of a homemaker, wife, and mother, I'm finding myself very overwhelmed with my current season in life. I am working about five hours a day, three days a week, trying to complete my senior year of high school, babysitting twice a month, attending a ladies' Bible study at church weekly, etc. And starting the Friday, I'll be adding three Friday nights and one Saturday a month with youth events at church. I've been so overwhelmed, and it's making me miserable.

Overwhelmed. Miserable. Exhausted. We know the feeling well. As wives and mothers with toddlers and teenagers, and husbands who serve as local church pastors, we often feel pulled in five directions at once. We’ve learned there is no such thing as simply a busy month or a busy year. It’s a busy life, pure and simple. Around every corner is another potential hospitality, another counseling opportunity, another church meeting, another diaper to change or carpool to run.

But we also have 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.

“Ha,” you laugh. “You’ve got to be joking! Do it all? You haven’t seen my to-do list. It’s longer than an unwound roll of  toilet paper!”

A fantastic claim, we know. But it’s true. We can accomplish everything God has ordained for us to do in this life. (Hint: It’s probably not half of what’s on your to-do list.) And we can do it in a peaceful, joyful manner and get sufficient rest besides.

But how? We’ve written this book to answer that question—for Kasy and every other seventeen-, twenty-seven-, and fifty-seven-year-old woman who may be overwhelmed, miserable, and exhausted.

So come join us at Mom’s kitchen table, won’t you? Pull up a chair. Here’s the carryout menu. Pick what you like; it’s on Mom. We’d love to have you be a part of the conversation as it’s bound to be a lively one. Oh, and please pass the feta.