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. Robin,
    I’ve been feeling a little like you were lately….lacking community on “my terms” or what “I” think it should look like. I’ve done my years of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), Bible studies, small groups where I have basically been poured into by others, God’s Words, Beth Moore, etc. Now, my community is not so easy to reach out and touch. I have a community of readers on my blog with whom I have developed friendships. Handwritten notes in the snail mail have replaced hugs. I Skype with the children of our school in the Middle East. I talk on the phone with the director and teachers. I send “cyber hugs” instead of being able to hug in person. I try to encourage a community of people that I can’t necessarily reach out and touch. I pray for others’ needs much more than for my own. It’s not better; it’s not worse; it’s just different. I believe that at different stages in our lives,, community is going to look different. I am learning that I can either fight it or I can embrace it. So thankful for the women here at this (in)courage site – you pray for me and encourage me. As always, Robin, love your insights!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev,

      ” It’s not better; it’s not worse; it’s just different. I believe that at different stages in our lives, community is going to look different.”

      That will preach :).

      Also, Bev? You are such a lovely supporter of incourage! We’re grateful for how you engage the words and readers “here,” “there,” and everywhere! xo

  2. Ha! Yes! Moving!! Frequent moving is undermining my ability to find community!!

    Not really though, it’s just different, and the best friends come on along with me in my prayers and long distance communications!

    In each of our 6 moves in the past 7 years, community has looked different than we expected. Yes, we sometimes find it with ministry- sharing people in our age and stage, but a few moves immersed us in college-age mentoring that fed us deep, and this past year my deepest relationship has been an elderly woman that God has given me as a surrogate mom, to fill a spot in my heart that’s been empty a LONG time. Such a gift!

    Since she and we are selling our homes at the same time, I’m being available to intentionally BE with her. It’s been little things that I’ve needed to be present with her through, helping mulch leaves, access her email, let her rest in our home while her house is being shown by a realtor. I’ll be sure to bring my grandgirl over to see her “Omi” every chance I can, and taking time to pray with my “heart momma” to remind her that “This is all His, and His will be done!”

    It’s not often easy to leave community, on top of the “work of moving,” but it’s always worth it!

    • Marina,

      Mercy…six moves in seven years? Wowza. Your attitude is wonderful, though, and I KNOW it makes such a difference. You’ve happened into a special ministry, too, with Omi :). That even blesses my heart to think about!

  3. Wow, what a bull’s-eye! Thank you for your transparency and an excellent sharing. Truly it happened to us too. As a foreigner to this nation, I probably have a different yet similar type of experiences. Searching for depth of community like you wrote, we didn’t realized God had actually used us to bless the community. I’m grateful for such a timely reminder. God bless you richly as you continue to share on the profundity of community living from a divine perspective.

    • HI Serena,

      You reminded me of our year in Germany, how community is really challenged when language, culture, and customs are foreign.

      And yet, God doesn’t change. Keeping my focus on Him and not the unfamiliar was so helpful to me during that season.

      How lovely to here “this” came at a perfect time for you to read :).

      Blessings to YOU!!

  4. Robin,

    I always thought community was being with people my age (50s). God had other plans. I now see community with the aging population. I visit my dad at the assisted living 4 times a week and talk with some of the other residents. I try to make their day a bit better. My little church is full of older people (60-80s). It is strange but I get along with them just fine. We do things together, pray for each other and enjoy fellowship. I would never have imagined this in a million years.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth,
      I can totally relate to your community experience. My mother is 102 and has been in a long term care facility for the past year. I visit her almost every day because she won’t change her clothes or take a shower and on the days she doesn’t want even me around, I get to spend more time with the other residents. I attend a church of mixed ages, but my relationships are being found in the place I never desired to be a part of. While some see it as a place of death, ministering to the other mothers has given me life. Jill Briscoe says that ministry is in the space between your own two feet and I’ve found community is in that same space as well. Who would have thought?!

    • Oh, what a mutual blessing, Beth. I worked as marketing director for a retirement community ages ago, and I promise, your ministry is needed, wanted, and precious. The Lord has the sweetest way of moving us where we “need” to be. 🙂

  5. Robin, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this spoke to me today. I sat at my kitchen table with a friend this Sunday evening, sipping tea as we talked about the community we’re involved in regarding the youth group in our local church. Things have felt stagnant. As though I’m still searching outside where He has me. While your situation is a little different, it spoke to me very clearly. I feel as though I have answers that I’ve been diligently searching for quite some time. Thank you for this… <3

    • Jennifer,

      Well…new friend…your words here are such a gift to me. Thank you. Isn’t it lovely how God can speak to us through the voices of others? To encourage, help you see, re-align your perspective?

      Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts…it thrills me to think I’m challenging you to see your circumstances a bit differently. Only God…what a grace <3.

  6. Thanks, Robin. I totally get this post. I have been working on a project for some time now, and I have had to make sacrifices to do it. It has been God-directed, but unfortunately, I have felt that it has made me miss out on other things I have wanted to be a part of and left me feeling sometimes very isolated, even as we are involved in church events. This has helped me see that sometimes what God doesn’t allow makes it possible for what He does. Very poignant.

    • “This has helped me see that sometimes what God doesn’t allow makes it possible for what He does.”

      Oh…that gives me shivers! Yes! Let’s see our circumstances with new eyes! What a prayer…what a blessing….

      xo

  7. I really need this. I have really been struggling with not feeling a part of a community. I have prayed and asked God to help me see through His eyes. Just maybe I’m not as useless and alone as I think I am.

  8. I understand the safe harbor. I had a neighborhood girl get locked out of her house and come her to use the phone, before everyone had cell phones, and I had only met her once. The Lord must have directed her her. Another neighbor with four boys would come in sprawl out on my couch and say it’s so peaceful here. Givng your time and really listening, people understand that.

  9. Dear Robin,
    “simply BE with the people God has put in your life”. Besides the home as being a refuge for the teens, what a blessing that you were the refuge for others to enter safely with questions or their stories. Thank you for a beautiful sharing, very insightful. May the goodness of the King always be the kindness recieved by others through you. Blessings
    In Faith

  10. THE LORD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS TO YOU ROBIN. THANK YOU FOR SHARING SO MUCH OF YOUR HEART AND SPIRIT WITH US. I CAN SURE UNDERSTAND ABOUT COMMUNITY. 1 AM A 63 YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN-WHO IS CRAZY IN LOVE WITH JESUS. I LIVE IN A NURSING HOME BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE FAMILY AND I AM IN A WHEELCHAIR. I HAVE PARKINSON’S DISEASE, FIBROMYALGIA, CHRONIC HEPATITIS C, AND ARTHRITIS IN MY HANDS. I HAVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN SINCE 1984- PRAISE GOD. I CANNOT GET OUT TO CHURCH BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITIES, BUT AT THE NURSING HOME WE HAVE SEVERAL DIFFERENT DENOMINATIONS COME OUT TO DO SERVICES HERE IN THE HOME. I HAVE BECOME VERY CLOSE WITH A SISTER IN THE LORD FROM THE PENTACOSTAL CHURCH, WHO COME OUT TO THE NURSING HOME EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY FOR SERVICES. SHE ALSO COMES TO VISIT WITH ME AND WE HAVE WONDERFUL TIMES OF FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER. I HAVE SO MUCH TO THANK GOD FOR. PRIOR TO 1984 I WAS INVOLVED WITH DRUG DEALING, MOTORCYCLE GANGS, THE OCCULT, AND SATANISM, AND WHEN I WAS 18 YEARS OLD, I SPENT 3 YEARS IN THE PENITENTARY. SO YOU CAN SEE HOW GOOD GOD HAS BEEN TO ME. I KNOW HIS GRACE AND MERCY, AND LOVINGKINDNESS, IN A DEEP LEVEL. I WAS LOOKING FOR LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. EVERYONE HERE AT THE NURSING HOME KNOWS MY TESTIMONY OF HOW GOD MOVED IN MY LIFE AND SAVED ME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. SEVERAL COME TO ME FOR PRAYER, AND I AM ALWAYS HUMBLED AND IN AWE WHEN I SEE THE LORD ANSWER PRAYER. I HAVE A COMMUNITY ALL AROUND ME OF PRECIOUS PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, EMOTIONALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY. I AM AN INTERCESSOR WHO LEARNS DAY BY DAY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BRING OTHERS TO THE THRONE OF GRACE. SEVERAL HAVE ALSO ACCEPTED JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS ALSO. GOD ALLOWS ME THE PRIVILEGE IN THIS COMMUNITY TO PLANT SEEDS, AND HE WATERS THOSE SEEDS AND CAUSES THEM TO GROW. WHAT AN AWESOME GOD WE SERVE. AGAIN YOU DEAR SISTER ARE A BLESSING TO ME AND TO MANY. KEEP SHINING WITH THE SON-LIGHT OF CHRIST WITHIN YOU. SHALOM WENDY MACDONALD

    • Wow, Wendy…what a testimony to God’s amazing grace. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your story, and for encouraging me in the process. Blessings to YOU, sister!

  11. Robin’s you are such a beautiful writer. I can only imagine how difficult the move must have been. But I love the things God showed to your heart in the process.