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Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT Be Overwhelmed - A Biblical Perspective on Time Management (Book Review)

Updated on October 13, 2011

Time management seems to be something that we all struggle with. There just seems to be an ever-increasing list of things that we have to do while time flies by at an ever increasing speed.

Just recently, I read Shopping for Time, a book written by Carolyn Mahaney and her 3 daughters. This book was a very refreshing read, as it brought me back to the heart of what matters most in life, which is so much more important simply achieving more and more and getting things done.

I found that Shopping for Time was a refreshing reminder of how Christian women should manage their time, especially in terms of how, who and what we place as priorities in our life. Needless to say, their tips are definitely not restricted to girls only, but are written from a ladies’ perspective.

Shopping for Time


I really appreciated this ladies’ perspective, as many other time management books out there seem to trivialize home making and other more ‘feminine’ activities as secondary or even unnecessary activities. But this is definitely not the case in God’s eyes. Christian ladies do play important roles in bringing up children (whether their own or someone else’) in the fear and knowledge of God. Outside the arena of home, working ladies and students like me do have special roles on our school campuses and in the office too.

It really was helpful to look at time management from a more spiritual perspective. Indeed having biblical priorities seemed to be the driving home lesson that I took away from this book, and the examples of how to put them into practice were really practical and helpful. One example of this was to pray with our eyes or walking around open when we found that waking up early and staying awake during prayer was a challenge. How true!

Have you ever felt bad for not being able to spend as much time reading the Bible? Felt bad that your quiet time wasn’t quiet as it ought to be? Or that you have not spent any time with others because of all your daily demands? We often have images of how we ought to behave as Christians, and feel ashamed that we can’t live up consistently to those standards. Shopping for Time really didn’t make me feel bad for being a busy student, and it won’t make you feel bad for being a high-achieving worker either... or an overwhelmed mom. Instead, it shows us how centering our days around biblical priorities not only gives a higher purpose into what we are doing, but encourages us to fill our days and schedules with meaningful and biblical activity.

Carolyn Mahaney, together with her precious daughters Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Cheesemore and Janelle Bradshaw also write a blog that gives us a little window into the Mahaney family. One of the suggestions in Shopping for Time is that you wake up early to start the day with God. This is what they call the 5’ O Clock Club. You don’t have to wake up at 5 am if you only start your day at 11am, but 5 am is a time that was chosen because it would be just a little earlier than the time the children would wake up for school, or to go to work; early enough to spend some quiet time with God, and to prepare for the day before the rest of the house arose. I find reading this blog especially inspiring, as many ladies have gone online to share their thoughts about the 5 AM club. Just knowing that there are so many who want to make a positive difference is so encouraging, and really provides a sense of sweet camaraderie.

Looking for a book to give a young mom as a gift? Looking for a practical gift to give a student, or a friend? I would recommend this book. It is written with so much biblical wisdom, yet with so much sensitivity and humor, I managed to read it all in one shot (but mind you, I didn’t have any interruption from any child). It is a light but inspiring and impactful read. Check it out! The problem of time management is a universal problem - this will also make a great book for Christmas, or for a small group fellowship.

Have you read Shopping for Time? Share your thoughts and comments below!


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    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hey Happyboomernurse!

      Yes you are absolutely right! There are definitely good suggestions in it that I found helpful. Thank you so much for dropping by, and God bless!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Great review. Sounds like the book has some practical suggestions that will help the reader get in touch with meaningful spiritual practices that can be folded into real life and set priorities for how time is spent. Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing this.