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. From Chapter 8, I was challenged by this suggestion on page 89: “Try to live one entire day in utter thanksgiving. Balance every complaint with ten gratitudes, every criticism with ten compliments.” Oh my! This equation is a life changer, I think. I can be such a whiner — especially on Mondays. 🙂

    Chapter 9 is such a gift! Yes, I want this! I especially want what Foster shared at the bottom of page 100: “In experiences of solitude we gently press into the Holy of Holies, where we are sifted in the stillness. Painfully, we let go of the vain images of ourselves in charge of everything and everybody. Slowly, we loosen our grip on all those projects that to us seem so significant. Gently, we become more focused and simplified. Joyfully, we receive the nourishment of heavenly manna.” — It’s so hard to let go sometimes… Frankly, I just wear myself out with the stress of it all. It’s so good to know that He does not desire this for me. He wants me to have joy and rest. Now, to put this into practice… Lord, help me! 🙂

    • Good point, well said. I feel the same way about loosening my grip on the busyness with regards to everything and everybody. I also wear myself out at times. Thanks for putting my feelings into words.

    • Lily, I loved that equation about ten in place of one. If only I forced myself to do this I wonder what my outlook and attitude would look like! I think the sad thing is that for the most part we all understand the power of gratitude, but we often rush through life and don’t think of it. I liked that this chapter made me think that this was a blessing to be given and received. Adoration is one tiny thing I can give to the one who has given me everything.

    • Lyi,

      I can’t help but think if God is giving you the DESIRE to live a day in thanksgiving, by golly (by grace), He’s gonna give you what you need to accomplish it; because it’s not about you, it’s about Him, right? 🙂

      And Chapter 9…s i g h….control is such an issue for so many of us; Yes–we can only surrender it when we PRAYERFULLY give it over to the one who is SO happy when we finally let go! I bet God is like, “NOW she’s getting it…!”

  2. The prayer of Adoration is the true”beholding” of GOD in all his glory.Sometimes quiet adoration captures me,most often the tongue will speak and sing! What a freedom to be able to adore God for who He is,not just for what he gives or is able to do.I need to learn this grace of adoration.I love the paradox that prayer of rest entails.Since practicing the seventh day Sabbath for about six years now,I can attest that the Sabbath for me and my family becomes the “center” from which we rest in God-trusting in His peace and provision.I love the “middle voice” concept-” we neither manipulate or are manipulated by God.”I think that the critical truth in this is that I need to abide by His presence to know my part,and to know when to surrender and let God have his way in me.

      • Hey Marilyn,

        The blessing came with the practicing…we took “baby steps”.We are still learning to observe the Sabbath “unto the LORD”.Time moves in a different way on the 7th day for us-it is truly set apart.

        May the LORD enable you in his desire.

        Sincerely,
        lalaine

    • Lalaine, you mentioned being captured in a moment of adoration and I also love when that happens unexpectedly. I personally loved when Foster mentioned joyous jubilation as one of the stepping stones to the prayer of adoration. I love when I am able to praise like that. Often times when I am alone and it literally rises up and spills out! Granted, I probably look crazy, but I never thought about the fact that I am joining the already ongoing praise of angels!

    • Lalaine,

      I find myself humming “…oh Come let us adore Himmmm, Chriiiist, the Lord…” More than at Christmas and especially when reading through this Chapter. And in those moments, adoration flows freely :).

      Rest IS paradox! (The life in Christ always seems to be.) I love that your family practices Sabbath rest; what a gift back to the Giver of gifts :).

      • Ooh Paula I appreciate your thoughts, rising up and spilling out and “I am joining the already ongoing praise of angels.” Wow.

  3. I was encouraged by Foster’s words on page 85 “Our God is not made of stone. His heart is the most sensitive and tender of all. No act goes unnoticed, no matter how insignificant or small.” It was nice to be reminded that God appreciates even the smallest act of kindness…that we don’t have to do some huge, miraculous thing to show Him we love Him. Seeing His beauty in every day life and being grateful for His blessings is what He wants from us.

    Furthermore, in Ch. 9 on page 99, I loved Foster’s reminder that we are not doing this alone…that we have the Holy Spirit guiding us along the way: “The point is that we do not have to have everything perfect when we pray. The Spirit reshapes, refines, and reinterprets our feeble, ego-driven prayers. We can rest in this work of the Spirit on our behalf.” As Lyi@3dLessons4Life mentioned above, God doesn’t desire us to be stressed. It’s important that we take the time to rest in His presence and not get caught up in the pressure of having it all together and being perfect in everything we do.

    As far as what I’m challenged by in these 2 chapters, I’m with Angie in that I notice that in adoration, I’ve got the thanksgiving part down pat but I definitely need to work on praising God for who He is alone.

    • Lynsie, resting or rest prayer in general is so hard to do and so hard to ask for. When Foster asked God, while in the canoe, “refresh me” I asked myself how often I’ve asked God that lately. I don’t know why I feel that sometimes we are led to feel guilty for asking for rest. Like that guilt when we’re away from our kids, etc… In the same way why do we feel bad about wanting a lasting rest. I loved that Foster said that rest does not promote inactivity but dependent activity. We rest IN God. This chapter challenged me and I intend on carving special, designated time to pursue this better. I know God wants this for me.

      • I totally identify with feeling guilty asking for rest. I think our culture so values productivity and having something to show for time “well” spent- like goods or money. Yet a soul refreshed is a precious “product” of time very well spent in the presence of God, even silently so. I need to learn this.

    • Lynsie,

      You’ve managed to remind me again of some of my favorites sections; thank you. When we let GOD guide our thinking, our doing, our motives, our reason to be….everything is just better!

  4. I really enjoyed both of these chapters. I felt challenged to really focus on this Prayer of Adoration, but also realized how necessary the Prayer of Rest is for each of us. I think I do okay with the “thanksgiving” side of the Prayer of Adoration, but I want to praise Him more, just because of who He is, not because of what He’s done in my life. I really loved the following quote, found on page 93:

    “We simply cannot say too much about God’s goodness or love. The most exaggerated things we can think of will still be far below what is actually the case.”

    I love how so much of what’s in this book stays with me throughout the day. I have moments where I feel overwhelmed by all we’ve learned up to this point, and I think “will I ever get there?”, but I mostly find myself more aware of how I’m praying and realize that progress is already being made!

    • Christina,
      Thank you for what you said! You echoed my thoughts exactly. It’s a lot to process and we can’t possibly put it all to practice right away… but, I have become more aware of where my prayers come from and there have been some moments when the Holy Spirit has shown me how to walk in what I am learning. I’ve loved what I’ve been reading and keep asking not to become overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christina,

      NO, you’ll never get there ;). But, I’m praise-dancin’-in-my-heart that you’re seeing FORWARD motion!! OH, how I hope that encourages you to press on, press in. xo

  5. I have been discussing spiritual growth and spiritual disciplines to that end with my granddaughters for several months now. Today I began talking through Ann Voskamp’s book. I challenged them to construct their own list of “insignificant” things to be thankful for. We plan to have 25 each by next week and then we will share them. All this to say that I am struck again by the way God teaches me the same things from many directions – Foster’s discussion of how to begin the discipline of the prayer of adoration by noticing the small things around us and using words of gratitude to acknowledge God’s goodness was so timely!
    From the prayer of rest, I am so reassured by the fact that there is no pressure to “pray rightly” but the three persons of the Deity are all available to help me. I do so like to do things right! And I struggle with getting prayer right…… I want to learn to rest in His loving care for me.

    • Susan,
      God is quite persistent sometimes in sending us the same message from different directions. I’m working on memorizing some verses and in these couple of weeks of study God has used these verses (picked months ago) to drive the point home. Also, I love the idea of what you are doing with your granddaughters. I think there isn’t a more important legacy that can be left to grandkids than a growing awareness of God’s work and a closer daily walk with Him.

    • What a precious encouragement to your Grands, Susan. You are treasure to them and I know the Lord is delighted with the way you’re mentoring them in the faith. Don’t you love it when the same theme is echoed back to you in so many ways?

  6. While I loved both chapters, I really loved the words in the prayer of rest. To me, you are either doing something or you are doing nothing. I can’t wrap my mind around being ‘actively passive’. I am so glad Foster offers practical tips and hope to evaluate life and see how I can make some changes!

    • Alyssaz,
      I know, right! Such a foreign thought.. from a practical perspective. How do I do and not do? Just like with everything in the Christian walk, there is a delicate balance. We are invited and then we come. He often says in his word, “if you… then I…” I appreciated the little explanation about the middle voice. Hopefully I can remember this!

    • It’s funny, alyssaz…when I’m outlining the chapters, reading and re-reading and sometimes re-re-reading, I realize how Foster provides outline and tips, sometimes subversively embedded in long paragraphs of text. But they’re there, and they’re helpful tools to practice our prayer life.

  7. Chapter 8 – Page 85. I especially loved the phrase, “Thank you, bless you, praise you.” This resonated deep within. As mentioned above, it has become easy to thank him especially with the tools provided by Ann Voskamp. This has been life changing to me. I will continue to do this for the rest of my life. However as he mentioned, “praise lies on a higher plane than thanksgiving.” I know this statement to be truth and I want to experience more deeply the pure act of “Praise.”

    Chapter 9 – The call to Sabbath rest is real; however so are the distractions. A true discipline to be sought is to quiet our minds before our Holy God. Help me Lord.

    This book is opening me.

  8. SUCH good thoughts, friends, and I’ll reply soon (keep ’em coming). I’m working on finishing tomorrow’s post and it’s SO good, so DEEP, it’s taking me a time to complete! Y’all are going to LOVE it!

    And DO invite your friends to join us, even if it’s just through these posts/videos and your comments. There’s so much to glean from that, even if that’s all people have time for, yes?

    {{holding you in my heart}}

  9. Once again, loved both chapters and was affected deeply by both. Hard to sum it up succinctly! In adoration, much like what others are saying, I was convicted that I need to enjoy God just for the gift of who HE is and not only for what He does for me. Both are good and so necessary, and of course, what He does flows from who He is. But just stopping and quietly adoring Him. I think that in order to truly adore/praise as Foster describes, I have to be practicing the prayer of REST. If I don’t slow down and find solitude and rest, there isn’t much time to reflect and to praise the Lord. Rest is a theme for this year and so of course I was soaking up every word of chapter 9. I loved the emphasis on Sabbath and it sparked some neat conversations with my husband about practicing the Sabbath and how to set apart the Lord’s day as unto Him. I was ROCKED by the section on pgs.98-99 about the activity of the trinity in our praying. WOW. That we are invited into the divine community, the divine conversation! That He desires my presence participating in His presence.. my mind is still spinning. Just struck too with the huge-ness of His mind.. that He can be praying for us constantly, interceding.. for all of us each, individually. This book/study is ministering such peace and grace to me. How much greater an act praying is than I thought, how much simpler too.

    • Martha,

      LOVE that you’re having these conversations with your husband! And yes! That section on intersession blew me away, too; though I know it’s an activity of the trinity, I’m not sure I KNEW it, not with that way of thinking, anyway.

      Thank you for letting us know that this means so much to you; THAT means so much to us behind the scenes :).

    • Martha,
      It’s absolutely not easy to keep the Sabbath, as God has commanded us to do it. Ultimately I have to believe that God doesn’t do anything “just because” or without reason. If he said rest on this day, it’s because He wants to do something in us or for us and our constant activity gets in the way of us receiving that. I want to second what you said about this book administering grace to me. I feel the same way. It’s been eye-opening and calming at the same time. I might panic a little as I read some sections but then when I meditate on it, I feel grace descend.

  10. I really loved both chapters this time around. One was a great reminder of how I need to be intentional in my thanksgiving and adoration all the time and the second was a heads up in an area I know I struggle with… me and everyone on here, I’m sure.

    A couple of things that jumped out at me: first, I thought about my grandmother all the way through chapter 8 on adoration. It’s strange because just a few days back, I had been remembering her and the fact that as the matriarch of the family, I know she was directly responsible for affecting the spiritual lives of 8 children, 20 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren before she passed. Through all the memories I have of her, the word that kept coming to mind was gratitude. She was ALWAYS praising God and thanking him from such a genuine place that I know she was privy to special mysteries. I want to be able to “adore” God that way. What a beautiful reminder.

    I also thought about greed and how, “one reason our addiction for more, more, and more destroys our ability to adore, is because it keeps us from reflection.” I’ve asked God to help me be careful in this area. How convicting to read this.

    Robin, I also had never considered this “greatful center.” I know a lot of people have a place they return to when in distress, but I don’t know which would be mine or how necessarily it would lead me to adoration. I suppose as a thank you for having experienced that.

    In chapter 9, for first time, I found myself asking ALL chapter through, “when did I last ask that? when did I last do that? Do I say that? Do I ask God for that?” Sadly, a lot of the answers were no. I really held tight to the section about the work of the trinity in helping my prayer of rest. I loved the way Foster explained the work of the Spirit – “When we stumble over our words, the Spirit straightens out the syntax, when we pray with muddy motives, the Spirit purifies the stream, when we see through a glass darkly, the Spirit adjusts and focuses what we are asking until it corresponds with the will of God.” I’m hoping what I read this chapter will encourage me to seek this rest.

    • Paula,

      PRECIOUS legacy from your grandmother!! Blessing, treasure, pearl…PRECIOUS. You are favored, dear one.

      One thing I told the incourage team today: that I appreciate how often this book is convicting me…yet I don’t feel condemnation! Foster asks questions, provides direction, leads and encourages us; and simply thinking about some of this FOR THE FIRST TIME in instances, confirms how THANKFUL I am to be a part of this with you. 🙂

  11. “open hands,” “letting go,” “loosening my grip,” “grasping.” These are all phrases that keep coming up in my reading/mind/prayer, over and over for the past few months. I know God is trying to teach me about my desperate need to control – even down to my need to get prayer “right.” It’s exhausting!!! Here is just another place where He is continuing to hammer this into my spirit…and I am continuing to struggle with the courage to just. let. go…. I was STOPPED and encouraged by the end of his story on page 97 “…She had let go of her tightfisted efforts to enter God’s presence and, by doing so, discovered God’s presence already there.”

    I also had a QUESTION raised for me…any thoughts on this quote? pg. 99: “When we speak to God it is really the God who lives in us speaking through us to himself…The dialogue of grace is really the monologue of the divine nature in self-communing love…We pray, and yet it is not we who pray, but a Greater who prays in us” Although I loved the ideas in this chapter about the spirit interceding on our behalf, and God already knowing our thoughts, this quote was confusing to me (maybe I’m reading it wrong?), because it made me question the “relational” idea behind it…as in where is the relationship if this is true? Also, I can’t imagine that some of my prayers (particularly the selfish ones) are God praying in me. I would love thoughts if I’m reading this wrong…and certainly don’t want to dwell here…there is so much good I am learning from Foster, but this idea did confuse me and I was wondering if there was something I missed?

    • Laura,

      Maybe it sounds crazy but I *like* this Holy Wrestle; yours, mine and ours :). It means we’re THINKING, processing, sifting Foster’s words through the sieve of the Divine, not relying on what he tells us (as a fallable man) but trusting God to lead and teach and maybe even throw out some of what we read.

      I went back and re-read that section before replying to you because I remember thinkin’ “Wha???” You make fantastic points about the relational aspect of it; and because that section was new thinking to me…I didn’t receive it as strongly as some of the other content. It doesn’t make full sense to me and I’m not sure I’m on board with it…but I’ll continue to ponder on it, pray through it and remain open to what God wants to stick for me.

      (I know my response doesn’t answer your questions, but I figured I’d think out loud with you :).)

  12. Sometimes I’m caught up, sometimes I’m behind. I find it ironic that I’m behind on reading the chapter on rest. I think I need to find the time to remind myself the power of rest in God and with God and through God. I’m learning over and over again that no matter what I give to God, it will never be enough, and he will bless me again and again.

  13. On the difference between gratitude and adoration, I found this quote at Christmastime really helpful: “Pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility… I have tried to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I do not mean simply giving thanks for it. Of course give thanks… But I meant something different… Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘how good of God to give me this’, Adoration says ‘what must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!'” (John Piper)
    It has been so helpful- now when I pray I try to go further than just thankfulness and dwell on what that gift/pleasure says about God himself- he is kind to the undeserving, he is abundantly generous to weak-willed sinners like me. Wow he is wonderful!

    • Ooooh Oooooh good about go further than just thankfulness and dwell on what that gift/pleasure says about God himself. Love your thoughts.

  14. Both chapters were equally impactful as I have been experiencing both “adoration” and “rest” for some time now. However, I would have to say The Prayer of Adoration resonated with me so much more.

    The last couple days or so while in prayer, I didn’t want to say or do anything that would hinder the Spirit. No talking, crying, seeking His face. Just feeling Him. I just wanted to sit and “reflect”, which turned my heart toward adoring my Father with praise within my spirit. My heart swelled with awe and exuberant silence. It was quite incredible.

    Favorite quote:
    -Adoration. Pg.85
    “God thirsts to be thirsted after.” So little amount of words. So many things said.

  15. I’m finally able to catch back up! This is the first video I’ve watched in a long time. I understand Angie and Jessica where you are coming from. Well, sort of, I don’t work outside the home but I am a student online. Go LUO! I have a break this week. I always feel so guilty if I don’t stay busy..with something. More often than not, I feel like the things I am doing don’t really matter. I am trying to come to grips with the idea of spending time with God is not time wasted. I have a hard time pushing through the feeling of just being silent and not having to have the tv or computer on.