Finding my Fringe Hallelujahs


fringe hallelujahsI carried a book with me all day yesterday. We were at school at 7:15am and the bus dropped us back in front of the school at 8pm. It had been a full day on and off buses, chaperoning four 10-year-old girls. We moved between school buses and ferries, the Royal BC museum and the Legislative Assembly.

I said YES to being a volunteer parent for Telah’s Grade Five field trip to Victoria, BC, because I wanted to spend the day with her and her friends. I also had some ulterior motives. The last time I’d been in a parliament session, I witnessed the old Apartheid government of PW Botha in South Africa. All white. And all men.

On this trip, I wanted to see my local government. I wanted to see women like Premier Christy Clark and Speaker of the Legislature Linda Reid. I was also hoping to see the multicultural face of my province.

I also knew I needed to build in some down time. For me. I recognized that, as an introvert, I would be especially exhausted at the end of the day.

So, I planned an intentional companion for the day. I picked Twyla Tharp’s “The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life.” It’s a book that calls you to get comfortable in white space, blank pages and empty rooms. It compels you to go stand in your creative life, create solid habits and do your pliés. Dammit.

So, while I spent time connecting with the girls, talking with the teachers and other parents, I also pulled out my book whenever there was a free moment. Waiting in the ticket lineup. Waiting to board the ferry. Waiting in the lineup for our dinner.

I pulled it out during the little pockets of time that I would have otherwise stared into space or most likely, have checked Instagram. I was surprised at how much sinking into my book for even five minutes boosted my soul.

I learned this nugget from Jessica N. Turner’s book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.

Here’s her definition: “A fringe hour is literally a limited or appointed piece of time that is found in the margins of a day.” It’s how we use the fragments and chopped up small bits of our time and fill it with something that brings life.

I thought I was someone who read a lot. I usually carry something to read with me, but I don’t always pull it out. If Jessica hadn’t inspired me by her example, I probably wouldn’t have pulled it out in the ferry lineup or the food lineup. But I’m so glad I did.

“Activities and passions pursued during the fringe hours make a life more beautiful and the participant feel more alive and more uniquely herself.” -Jessica N. Turner

I was present for the field trip, but I was also deeply present to my own needs. I was mindful of what my life needs and how I need to fill up and restore my own soul.

I am about three-quarters through reading The Fringe Hours and it has been helpful. For a call to creatives, however, it’s a very right-brain book. This is not the kind of book that makes my soul go, Ahhhhh. But it is the kind of book that helps me clarify the things and activities that do make my soul sing, Hallelujah.

Even in that little pocket of time, holding a cafeteria tray and waiting for Caesar salad and chicken strips. I’m always happy to find fringe hallelujahs.



If you only have a few minutes to do something that makes your soul sing, what do you do?


Three books that have made my soul sing hallelujah this month are:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue

The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life, by Twyla Tharp



I’m honored to be part of Ellen Graf-Martin’s Ellen’s Picks community. Ellen sends us the book in her efforts to resource women leaders, we get to read it and at the end of the month, we link up with her.

*Just so you know, I’ve included Amazon Affiliate Links in this post. Any purchase from here supports SheLoves Media Society


  • Saskia Wishart

    I let myself look at the trees or the canals or the sky, whatever beauty I can sink into for a minute. Especially in a city where it is so easy to just get caught up navigating through crowds of people. Those moments I stop and stare at something beautiful are just pure goodness. Or I let myself catch up on all the unread sheloves posts just waiting for me! Also.. I remember my elementary school field trip to Victoria.

    • idelette

      Beauty totally does it for me too, Saskia!

      Awww, I love that you remember your Victoria field trip!

  • Sandy Hay

    Music makes my soul sing…classical or worship…but I’m quite particular. And always books. Today it was a book of poetry by Madeleine L’Engle plus the beautiful changing leaves in my neighborhood.

    • idelette

      So fascinating to hear + that you’re particular about which music.

      The leaves in my neighbourhood are stunning too. Every time I drive up the hill … I try and take a moment to soak up the beauty.

  • Loreli Cockram

    Good question, thanks for asking!
    I actually have a category of Notes on Evernote called, “Things to think about.” When I hear of a concept that interests me when I don’t have time to dwell on it, I save it for when I do. If I have an extra 5-10 minutes, I’ll choose something I’ve listed, and contemplate it for a while, turning it around and around in my brain and add questions I have about it or consider the scenario from various angles. It’s a different kind of prayer, as I ask God to give me wisdom and understanding. It also helps keep my brain from spinning when I know I can come back to it later.

    • idelette

      I love that, Loreli! I totally “get” those ideas that you want to explore further later. But a whole folder of them? Brilliant.

    • Ellen Graf-Martin

      Lor – this is (one reason) why I think you’re amazing. You are ridiculously thought-full!

  • Ellen Graf-Martin

    I had to really think about this question – it took me a few days! I think it’s connecting with another person in some encouraging way. I often feel too busy to pick up the phone, or write a whole email, but I’ve found that my heart feels more full when I’ve chosen to use my time to connect with another person’s heart. I’m loving Voxer, because I can just pick up the phone and leave a quick voicemail for those people who are on my heart and mind, and let them know i’m thinking of them and praying, rather than not doing anything because it might take too long.

  • Jessica Turner

    I’m so glad that you were inspired to read more in those times of waiting. Very, very cool. Good for you!