About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Blog looks good, Robin. Giveaway sounds like a fun thing. I will check in for that too as well as your posts.
    BTW-42 is not so bad either! Loving life from my neck of the woods too 🙂

  2. I love this Robin – and I love that this is the year that God has chosen to make us friends.

    Happy Birthday!

    Best. Year. Yet.

    • Hey Leslie,

      I’ve pulled up your page to check it out and it sounds like we could be serious friends. Thank you for your prayers; I really AM finding joy in this season! 🙂

  3. Wow, today is my 51st birthday and I love your post. The Lord had put that verse on my heart 2 months ago as I was readng through the Bible. I love it! I continue to seek for more and more freedom from old habits and beliefs that wear me down and keep me from experiencing the fullness and freedom God wants for all of us, but I’m A LOT closer now than I was in my younger years. Happt 50th Birthday fellow sisters in Christ!

    • Happy belated birthday, Laurie :).

      Don’t you love seeds of encouragement when you don’t necessarily expect to find it?? My faith is SO different than it was even ten years ago; mostly I realize I know less now than I did then 😉 :).

  4. This is so much the story I am going thru Right now. I have always been confident and composed but I had a sudden thing happen a few weeks back that has rocked my world to the very core. I know God is in charge and that ultimately He will reign. I think He would like me to do some work along the way. Not that I will ever be Him or even like Him but that that is what I am supposed to strive for in this Christian life.

    I will probably be going into the hospital this afternoon. While I am there I am going to do that best I possibly can as I want to get back ASAP to my family. We all sat down together again, as after my initial visit to the ER a few weeks ago we thought I could probably do without as I have past experience. But, things seem like they have gotten a teeny bit more this week so it is probably best to just hang it up and go in. Hoping that I may be home by Easter. I know my family will visit on Easter and probably during East week as well but it is still such a HUGE decision for me.

    • Hi Paula,

      SO sorry I am only now able to reply to your comment; though I don’t know your circumstances, the Lord does and I’m interceding on your behalf *right* now. I hope you’re home and that you’ve made the progress you seek.

  5. Oh my gosh this post really leapt out to me .
    I was also born in 1963 , January 7th to be precise. Thank you for scriptures about jubilee I will be reading them later.
    If you have time check out my blog I posted a pic of me at party.
    Your blog is so refreshing and enlightening. Some days when. Can’t get into the bible you pop up in my email and have a precious pearl from God.

    • Belated Jubilee greetings to you, Tracy. And THANK you for your kind words; after I finish this comment I’m going to pull you blog up and take a look :).

  6. The year I turned 50 I rode in 3 bike tours supporting MS. Riding a total of 350 km…after not riding a bike for 35 years…at the end of the year I started healing my relationship with God and at the beginning of my 51st. Year I recommitted to God and accepted Christ as my saviour…all in all a memorable year:)

  7. Beautiful sister–50 sure looks good on you! Sacred indeed. Following not far behind in your footsteps and holding these words dear today.

  8. Hey – I like the term Golden Girl – it’s so positive! I feel your words mirror my experience these past months too! Including the words darkness and defeat but I too have been aware that these are appointed for a special work the Lord is doing that will end up for my blessing and His glory – He certainly cares about our character no matter what our age! Your words went deep into my heart today – thank you for sharing your experiences and the encouragement it gives others and me!!

  9. This is my 50th year as well, celebrated it five days post-op in a neck brace after cervical spine surgery…what a way to start! To say it was defeating was an understatement. I am so blessed to say now seven weeks later, throughout the Lords healing and grace, I feel almost like new. It certainly is the time for jubilee! Thank you that verse, it’s going to be posted in my home the rest of this year.

    • Mary Beth,

      I’m SO thankful for your surgery’s success; and it was the Lord who gave me that verse first so I think He wanted you (and others) to see it, too. 🙂

  10. Robin Dance… I pretty much love this.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I am so EXCITED for you, for all that God has for you this year!! I so love who you are, how He’s made you, how you so freely, honestly share who you are with all of us. As you embrace the wild, crazy, joy-filled FREEDOM He has for you this year, I can’t wait to see how all He’s put in you and your sharing of it grows…. expands…. how freedom and this contagious joy just overtake you and ooze out onto all of those God puts before you.

    Trusting Him for all of this with you.

    Annnnnd… to answer your question… this is not my 50th year… but my 32nd. And my husband (who’s going on 35) and I are in a season of letting go of big dreams. Our age, a recent miscarriage, an insanely slow adoption process… all of these are reminders that our dreams for our family, for what we thought it would look like? they are seeds that have to go into the ground and die. This is a “challenging life season” in that way. But we trust Him. The Hand that covers the seeds with dirt is tender and trustworthy.

    Man… that feels raw. But wanted to answer your question because your post struck a chord in my heart.

    Blessings and love to you Robin… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY again!!!!
    xoxo
    Dana

    • Oh, Dana….I am only now reading your response; do you know what an encouragement you’ve already been to me? Your encouraging words, enthusiasm, kindness…love? You’ve done my soul good in so many ways.

      What a tough season for you. Truly. I realize when we start making comparisons, it could always be “worse”, but yours is truly trying. It sounds like you’re growing in your faith through all of this, a blessing of eternal value. I’m praying for you lovie…mostly that you know God in ways more intimate than you realized were possible.

      {{hugs}}

  11. Robin what a story of hope, encouragement and reality. I can relate in many ways. Not long after your birthday, I got that news, shocked, but dealing. God showed me how He answered my hearts desire prayer to draw closer to Him and spend more time in His Word. My husband is a pastor and I, a women’s minister. I felt I was losing my edge. Thank God as I turn 55 in the summer, He and I will be closer and my ability to relate to others, much stronger.

    So awesome meeting you through this forum. I’m hopping over to your blog and subscribing.

    Blessings for your best year yet.

    • Debra,

      It is such blessing to see the GOOD in our trials; God really did create us to NEED one another, didn’t he?

      Thank you for visiting my blog!

      🙂

  12. I am coming to believe that every year is the year of Jubilee, really every day, as I let go and let God. Discovering some great books : “Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser” and “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live” by Brene Brown. God’s insights to you are mine too. Yours just happened 10 years earlier than mine. But it’s not when, but grasping it and living it is the gift. I made the decision to return to school for a second degree and I turn 60 this year. It is the greatest thing because it is exactly where God has called me. I praise God for loving me and everyone the way God does! Thanks for being vulnerable! God has done great things through you and will continue to do so!

    • Suzanne!!

      I am SO proud of you for returning to school! And realizing it is God leading you to do so. Thank you for sharing your story of STRENGTH to me–it’s beautiful. 🙂

  13. When I turned 50, God began a whole new chapter in my life…one far beyond my wildest imagination. Just when you think life might be slipping into the abyss, God will give us refreshment, renewal and a reason to celebrate. Welcome (soon) to the 50+ club!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  14. Sometimes God delivers an Ancient Word exactly when a 21st century girl needs to hear it…

    Love this! : )

  15. Love this!

    My “go to” verses for the start of a new year are

    Psalms 65:11 (NKJV)
    You crown the year with Your goodness,
    And Your paths drip with abundance.

    Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
    Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

  16. Baby Girl (yes, it’s me again), Happy Birthday!!!!
    My life changing birthday was at 40 – I didn’t know what to expect, & here are just some of the things that happened that year.
    1) My hair started curling – from plywood straight to “holy cow, where did all these curls come from?” curly
    2) I started singing. Not in choir, the way I had been, but out there alone. Just me & a mic. God’s plan, completely.
    3) Voice lessons (everyone needs a little help fine-tuning) that lasted 8 years (maybe I needed a little bit more tuning!)
    4) I found a purpose in church-life: from being just a Sunday School teacher of kids (not that there’s ANYthing wrong with that – I love it!) to leading a ministry of encouraging others in their death-losses.

    Now, by my 50th birthday, it’s like things started reversing: I had my singing oppportunities taken away from me (NOT by God); I started gaining weight; I started getting grumpy with church (see 1st thing at 50); and I’m t-i-r-e-d of working in my real job.

    But pay no attention to me – enjoy your Jubilee year, and know that it just gets better!!

    • Elaine,

      Hmmm…I wonder what God’s up to in you. I’m thinkin’ He’s preparing you for something you never saw coming. I can’t wait to hear about it :).

  17. A challenging life season is threatening my spiritual, emotional and physical health.
    I too got a phone call from the doctor. It was this past Tuesday, and he said the words I have waited for, for years, but never expected to hear. My mom and older brother both died of cancer. So, you know what he told me. Cancer. It’s non-Hodgkins lymphone B cell. It’s early and can be conquered. The hardest part? Telling my dad, hubby and kids, brother, other family, friends…. My daughter encouraged me to blog my way through recovery. So, I am. Through it all I hope to bring God the honor and glory.

  18. 48 is proving to be rather interesting in a difficult way. Work is becoming super stressful and added to that I have torn a tiny hole in the lip my right shoulder & been to many a doctor. The rest of the year will bring celebration and joy from healing and back to exercising again.

    Looking forward to 50 in 2 years!

    Happy Birthday Robin!

  19. I love this, and I so needed to read this! I’m a 1964 girl but I can already feel 50 looming ahead, and I’m honest enough to admit that it bothers me some. My husband and I had some delayed parenting and waited until our oldest was nearly 13 before we added another child to the mix, and then another after that. My youngest was born the year I turned 40, so sometimes it seems the parenting is never going to end for us, but in a way it helps keep me from focusing on my own aging process. Thanks for reminding me that NOW is the time to dance!

  20. I love being 50! My birthday was on January 29 and I plan to celebrate all year long. I have a birthday event once a month-go somewhere, have a special meal, buy something just for me and every quarter I have an actual event planned-vacation to the beach in April, huge cookout in July and a party with my sister in October (because she will be 57 on the 29th). I have had some challenges and God is taking the scales off my eyes so that I can see myself as He sees me. There truly is freedom and liberty under the covering of His love. I am so glad I lived to see 50! Thank you Lord!

  21. Happy birthday!
    My birthday is 9-11. In 2001, I turned 22 and it was the first birthday I didn’t look forward to. It ended up being the worst of my life.
    I learned that life should be cherished. Every birthday is a gift.
    Lots of gifts and blessings to you today!

  22. Happy 50th birthday! I am 54 and have been experiencing a season of change since losing my job and ultimately struggling to find comparative employment. I eventually let go of my dreams of a job and applied for disability after numerous health problems. Hence, my seasons of change began, and continue.

  23. Thanks for this post…I really needed the reminder that God can redeem this brokenness…
    My 50th birthday was mid year 2012…and I didn’t celebrate…no friends to come to a party…joined to a husband who doesn’t seem to understand how to be married…born to a Mom who never got beyond her disappointment in my looks…and 50 years later celebration just wasn’t part of my life.
    But God sends His own unique ambassadors at times…and last year it was a baby who just lights up at the sight of me…a daily celebration that he initiates…a reminder that life itself is the beginning of redemption.

  24. Oh my friend, you know I needed this. And that scripture? Absolutely printing it out and keeping it in front of me all year. Thank you for that.

    Thank you for your optimism. Thank you for your sense of joy. Thank you for your example of trust in a God who is bigger than anything this world can throw at us.

    Love you, dear!

  25. Robin,
    Wow. So much goodness in that post! I am a 1973 baby…so I just turned 40! And yes, it has been a huge birthday. I was a desert wanderer for most of those 40 years, but finally I turned north. : )

    Our church reads through the Bible every year, and the coolest thing is the reading for my birthday (the reading doesn’t vary from year to year), is Leviticus 25! So, your post really speaks to me! “God redeems the broken into a thing of beauty.” Yes, yes, yes!!! HAPPY 50th Birthday!!! : )

  26. I just turned 51. 50 was super hard. And yes, it did mess with my mind – a lot. Combine that with my second child going off to college and there’s an underpinning of sadness. I have one still at home, but I can still feel the change of seasons. It hurts. Loved having my kids around everyday. Trying to lean into this. Embrace it. Otherwise I’ll wear myself out and lose the joy of today. God is good. I trust He has much more in store. Sure appreciated your post. Glad to know I’m not alone in these struggles.

  27. Robin, I am enamored with your story and your attitude and your encouraging lesson from this ancient Word. This line right hear shouted to me, “Sometimes God delivers an Ancient Word exactly when a 21st century girl needs to hear it.” YES! Yes. To. This. I pray God reveals more to you throughout this year of celebration than you could ask or imagine. Last year I officially entered into my 40’s and it kicked me hard. I’m over it now. And moving forward in faith that it’s gonna be great! God will make it all great – even if only He sees the greatness. This post so resonated with me. Thank you Robin!

  28. I am so glad you are writing for (in)courage! It’s been much too long since I’ve visited your blog but now I must hop over. I was born in 1953 so I am ten years older than you. I have to say that the fifties are pretty good but hitting 60 really impacted me. But then again, I do believe it’s important to age gracefully. We may not look like we did years ago but the beauty of Christ can still shine through. It certainly does in your Robin!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  29. I’m a few years behind you, but not too far. I am loving reading your blog, and I think 50 should indeed be the year of jubilee. Isn’t it great how God knows our needs and meets them, just like giving you the right verse at the right time? Wishing you a glorious 50th year!

    • Thank you, Lisa :). Just a little bit into this year…I am thrilling to the joy I’ve been given. I’ll write more about that, but for now, it’s good to sense it spirit-deep :).

  30. Robin, you are beautiful. And may I just say, as a girl who was born in 1963 herself, I think you look gloriously, wonderfully 50?! I know, I know–the real compliment is that we don’t look 50, that we couldn’t possibly be 50, that we look much too young to be 50! But why is that? I think 50 SHOULD look like you or me. There, I said it. For myriad reasons, I’ve never, ever been able to feel good about the way I look, but as I grow a little older, I’m finally getting there.

    Hey world! The way Robin Dance looks or Richella Parham looks or Shelly Wildman looks (and other Golden Girls, throw in your names, too)–this is what 50 should look like! Lovely and confident and fun and able to bear up under even the most difficult of circumstances, which we’ve now been around long enough to see. Here we are, fully alive and beautiful.

    Because you know what? You don’t have to be young to be beautiful. You just have to BE.

    • I love this, too, Richella. And with your great example, and Robin’s, I will choose to embrace all that this year has for me. Wouldn’t a 50-nifty-and-thriving meet-up be fun?? 😉

    • Richella,

      When’s your birthday, lovie? Shelly, you, me? Yes! Let’s THRIVE together! Let’s be grace-filled women who shine from the inside out!!

      For the very best reason of them all!

      Thank you for this CHEER today! It’s nothing short of a beautiful warrior cry. Love to you both. xo

      • My birthday is 9/5/63, so I have a couple more months before my celebration. You lucky girl–you get to celebrate at Easter time; I’m stuck with Labor Day. Oh, well. It’s all part of a glorious year of Jubilee. 🙂

  31. I named my daughter Jubilee after the same scripture for the same reason-Joyful celebration and new beginning! 🙂

  32. I re-read entry about your ‘knee’…that’s where I am TODAY! Sitting here on Resurrection Day, icing my knee, wrapping my knee, moving at a snail’s pace down the hall, hoping to keep the stab of pain at bay… knowing all the while – He Lives! He is Risen! And whatever I am going through, He is there with me through it all! I am trusting and believing for my healing…not knowing what is wrong inside the knee yet… knowing full well He has got it covered! Watched a great message with Pastor Bill this morning at Refuge Calvary, Huntington Beach, CA. If you are ever stuck at home on Sunday morn. seek it out online, so you can go to ‘church’.
    Blessings to you Robin, and all who read this- and may each of you know- He is Risen indeed! 🙂
    Susan G.

  33. I heartily agree with Richella. You look wonderful!

    As for me, I’m 32. Every birthday leaves me rattled. Every day leaves me rattled. My entire adult life has been marked with defeat. I’m still working on my college degree, I still have a mediocre job, my bank accounts are almost empty, I recently moved to a town where I don’t know anyone, and I’m still very, very single. I feel like I missed the boat, like I missed all the boats. Maybe there is possibility for redemption here? I don’t know….:(