Just Too Busy – Book Review

by 5 Minutes for Books

Did this title scream out to you from your feedreader? Are you too busy?

I honestly feel like I try to guard our family against too much busyness, so why are we always on the go? Since my kids are over 5 years apart, it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve had to juggle activities for more than one.

Because even though it seems like caring for little ones who can’t care for themselves takes a lot of work and attention, it seems to get worse. In Just Too Busy: Taking your Family on a Radical Sabbatical, Joanne Kraft says:

Little ones are an insane amount of work. There is no book out there that is going to solve that. The busyness I needed help with came as my children got a little bit older. . . Things didn’t slow down. As a matter of fact they began to move at warp speed.

Band practice after school, baseball games and practice, AWANAs, Youth Group, time with friends, concerts — all of these activities keep my family in the car. This spring there were several days that we get home, ate dinner at some absurdly early time like 4:45, hopped in the car to go to baseball practice or game where my husband joined us straight from work, and then I left to pick up or drop off my daughter at church, and it was 8:30 before we were all back home. It drove me nuts!

The busyness of that sort of Spring schedule left me craving rest. The kids have been out of school for a couple weeks and we’ve binged on doing nothing! It turned out to be a great time to read Joanne Kraft’s Just Too Busy: Taking your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. Yep, Joanne took her family on a radical sabbatical for a whole year, cutting out all extra activities. That meant no voice lessons for her teen daughter, no baseball for her teen son, no soccer for her tween daughter. . . . nothing.

In spite of Joanne’s choice for her family, what makes this book so valuable is that you see that it’s not all or nothing. That sort of approach would have been overwhelming and offensive to most readers, so I love that Joanne bit the bullet and did it for a whole year so that she could learn a big lesson and share it with her readers. She shared a lesson about how one of her daughters turned to books over at 5 Minutes for Books today. Please check it out.

The tone of the book is not judgmental. Joanne Kraft guides the reader by sharing a closing prayer that the reader can use to seek God’s wisdom on each particular area, and then asking some questions for the reader to discern what small changes she can make.

That’s right — you don’t have to do as Joanne did and take an entire year off from every single activity to benefit from her advice.

I loved this book. Joanne is funny and real and realistic. She doesn’t live in some alternate universe totally cut off from the rest of society. She’s real. Her kids are real. But she make a big radical change in response to the disconnect that she saw in her family, and helps readers identify the areas in their families that might need some tweaking.

This would be a great book to read with some girlfriends. You can download a free leaders guide here.

Find out more about Joanne Kraft at her website and blog. Also, read her great guest post for us at 5 Minutes for Books: Too Busy to Read?

Leave a comment here and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Just Too Busy (U.S. residents only). We’ll announce the winner on July 4.

The winners of our previous giveaway for two Outdoor Exploration books are #5 Jenn and #72 Christopher.

Original post by 5 Minutes for Books managing editor Jennifer Donovan who also blogs at Snapshot

Email Author    |    Website About 5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Books is the 5 Minutes for Mom sister site devoted to reviewing books for adults -- fiction, memoir, and nonfiction -- and kids of all ages. Managed by Jennifer Donovan, other contributors are Dawn, Lauren, Nancy, and Elizabeth. Follow us @5M4B on twitter and subscribe to our feed or like us on Facebook so you don't miss a thing!

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa June 20, 2011 at 12:48 am

Yay – I’m reviewing Joanne’s book later in the week! It is such a good book with lessons that many moms can take from it whether or not they choose to take a total sabbatical. I had the privilege of meeting her and hugging her in real life at her book launch party!


2 Cleo June 20, 2011 at 12:48 am

Ooooohohhhhh…how I would LOVE to win this book! :)


3 Makennah June 20, 2011 at 12:52 am

I’d LOVE to win this as well (:


4 Tina Phillips June 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

I NEED this book!! LOL…I’m a mom of five boys and they are all in different schools and doingf different things and wearing me out!! Thanks for a chance to win!!


5 Vilmarys June 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

I would love to read this…..our family is all over the place and would love new ways to reconnect. Thanks!


6 Melissa B June 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the chance to win this book! Im a Single Mom – my son is 20 years old and mildly Autistic . He does really well! My Daughter is grown and married – and even though they are older..it seems like life is still very busy! =)


7 Ticia June 20, 2011 at 9:01 am

Oh, I could use this book!


8 Pam M June 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

I would love to read this book and then pass it along to some friends!


9 Katrina June 20, 2011 at 11:50 am

I’d love a chance to win this book. It lines up with what I “believe” I’d like for our family, but don’t always seem to implement!


10 Joy June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I’m throwing my hat in the ring to win this book. We need it. Our lives are overscheduled and any little tips or changes will be welcome.


11 elaine June 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Great review! Love Joanne and her new book so very much. Readers can hop over to my blog as well and enter for a chance to win a copy as well. “Just Too Busy” is well worth the reading.



12 Krissa June 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Sounds like a great read!


13 Natalia June 21, 2011 at 12:26 am

Would like to win


14 Shelly Ballou June 21, 2011 at 12:56 am

This is an area that the Lord is constantly dealing with me on. I can’t wait to read it.


15 Alyse June 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

This sounds like a great read! Sounds like a great way to reconnect with your family and your values. Finding the time to slow down and live meaningful lives really resonates with so many people, and I like what you say about her non-judgmental approach. I can’t wait to read it!


16 June June 21, 2011 at 4:49 am

Sounds like a good one.


17 Tammy Gordon June 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

Would love to win this.


18 Nancye Davis June 21, 2011 at 11:23 am

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


19 Mary H June 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

Would love to win this. Maybe it would give me some ideas for slowing down. Every time I try, we just seem to get busier!!!!!!!!!!!!


20 Leah Courtney June 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Oh, I’d love to win this!


21 Idaho Jill June 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Looks super interesting, thanks!


22 angie June 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

love the name of this book as it is how my life often feels


23 Alison S. June 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Sounds like a book I need to read.


24 LaVonne June 22, 2011 at 1:12 am

Thanks! I think this sounds great.


25 Hailey June 22, 2011 at 7:59 am

I would love to win this!


26 Angela June 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

Sounds like a good book to read.


27 Nevine Spicer June 23, 2011 at 5:44 am

I’d love to win this book. Definately a topic to which we all relate.


28 Mommyteaching.com June 23, 2011 at 5:46 am

Love all the useful information on your site. I’ve been back a few times.
Thanks again!


29 katklaw777 June 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Great review…I think I would find this book helpful, thanks!


30 riTa June 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm

I think my DIL could relate to this book enjoy and benefit from it. This past year with two different sports scheduled and an 18 month old have been hectic!


31 John June 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Please enter me


32 Terra Heck June 24, 2011 at 5:01 am

I’d like to read this book. Thanks.


33 Ruth Hill June 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Please enter me. Thanks!


34 Staci A June 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm

It sounds like a perfect book for our family. I’d love to read it!


35 Nancye Davis June 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


36 Mama Zen June 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I would love to read this!


37 Mia Dentice Carey June 27, 2011 at 2:32 am

This book looks VERY INTERESTING!


38 Ellen C. June 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I’d love to win. Thanks!


39 Kate June 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Oh man, I think I would be too busy to even read this book! But I definitely need some help.. I am a single mom trying to balance a demanding career and I just feel too busy to even deal at times. Would love to win it though. :)


40 Liz June 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm

This past week my husband and I have been away for an anniversary celebration. Not having all the distractions of our normal life has been eye-opening for me. We’ve literally had to drive into town once a day just to “connect” to our email and our online lives. I’m looking forward to reading Joanne’s book! It sounds like just what the Lord has been laying on my heart lately and this week has confirmed it.


41 Mozi Esmes Mom July 3, 2011 at 12:53 am

I’d enjoy reading this – it certainly fits my life at the moment…

janemaritz at yahoo dot com


42 Bluerose July 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I would love to be entered. :)


43 apple blossom July 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

love to win thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com


44 Tracy B. July 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Sounds like a great book!
Where does the time go? I look at the clock and then look back a “few minutes” later to find that it’s been much more than a few minutes!


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