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...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • This sounds just like this story at the end of chapter 18! Here it is:

      “I remember the account of a Sunday school teacher who asked a boy in her class if he wanted to pray and invite Jesus to live in his heart. The boy said it wouldn’t work; he was small and Jesus was big and Jesus would stick out all over.
      This is exactly the point: Jesus wants to live in me and stick out all over.”
      (page 118)

  1. Am I going to cry in every video?! Thank you for these precious heartfelt words.

    • Nanette,

      Tears are magical water; they’re a physical expression of our hearts :). Beautiful.

  2. Oh my goodness – the part about frittering away an entire life was like a punch in the gut! I don’t know of any obvious traits in my life that will grow more solidified and worse as I get older (although I’m sure I have some!) but just wasting all the time between now and then hit home a lot harder. I’ve started to recognize it more lately, and am trying to stop just wasting so much of my day, week, year – so I’m really looking forward to this study.

    • Amy,

      Don’t you think simply BEING AWARE that this CAN happen helps to stave it off? Certainly, we need to cultivate intentional practices to avoid time wasted, but awareness, to me, is the first step of many :).

      • Knowing where to start is where I sort of blink like a deer in headlights and panic. How to begin is the one that freaks me right out. As a shocking perfectionist, I want to do it RIGHT, RIGHT AWAY. Y’know? And I know I can’t, so I get all churn-y in the inside and try and convince myself if I ride it out long enough it will fix itself.

    • That was totally for me — Here’s a verse God has been pressing on my heart: “A life frittered away disgusts God; he loves those who run straight for the finish line” (Proverbs 15:9, MSG)

    • Amy, you and me both. That had me (in the book and the video) diving for my pen to write. it. down. I fritter SO much! and I don’t want to and don’t mean to — it just happens! I wrote a prayer asking God to help me not scramble to keep up each day, but to be firm in my foundations so I can stride forward with confidence.

  3. I liked everything but the part about if you are frittering away your life now and it goes unchecked you will fritter away the rest of it. Also when she said that a lot of older women think that younger women don’t want to hear from them, that made me sad. I love my close relationships with my older women friends and yearn for more of them.

    • That makes me sad too, Kelly! I’ve had many lengthy conversations with our church’s women’s ministry director about exactly that. Any ideas on how we can encourage the older women around us not to think or feel that way?

      • Kelly and Monica,

        Since y’all don’t know me well yet (as far as I know 😉 ), you likely don’t know I’ve just relocated to a new place. At my new church, there’s a ministry called TAG–touching another generation.

        Now, I’ve been in other churches that have “Titus 2” type ministries, but this is the first time I’ve sensed it in the best sense–simply doing life together with intention. Women who want to participate sign up and make a three-year commitment; then, we meet monthly (but my group meets 2x a month b/c we really want to cultivate relationship). While we’re going through a book study together, my wise leader (about 15 years older than me) spends more time just hanging out w/our group. I can’t believe it. She’s not trying to over “religiousize” what we’re doing…her heart is our relationships growing. I guess there’s a presumption we’re cultivating our own relationship w/the Lord.

        Anyway…it’s a blessing…and it seems to be a healthy thing in our church :).

  4. Good morning ladies. Soooooo sweet is Jean. The question of, “What kind of an old woman will I become” has me wrecked. I’m 55 and I was just talking recently with friends about how in just 15 years I’m gonna be 70! It seems so old yet, it’s not. I’m thankful to sit at Jeans feet and allow her to wash over me all her wisdom. I’m gonna drink it all in. Xo

    • Me, too, Pam–thank YOU for again reminding me to be careful of the choices I’m making now, since they’re setting patterns for my future.

  5. I love hearing her speak. As a young woman who has had little experience with older women investing in me, it is like a balm when they do. Hearing Jean speak of these things is like getting to hear my grandmother again, and it is wonderful.

    Frittering is so easy to fall into, I find myself frittering away my time constantly, especially with all the technology and entertainment available to distract us these days, I personally am a video game and internet fritter-er, I was countless hours on these things. The rising knowledge of this being partly why this study became so appealing to me.

    I think, if I have to pick just one quote from chapters 1 – 3, it will have to be the last line in the prayer on page 17, “Please don’t leave me to myself”. That became my prayer for myself before I had even picked up this book, though not in those exact words. Reading that line jumped out at me, it is the boiled down, concise meaning of what I have been feeling. I don’t want to be left to my own devices, to live out my life in my own flesh. My grandmother passed away seven months ago, the pain is still fairly fresh, and there are many aching moments thinking of things unsaid and undone and I realized that I did not want to end my life that way.But, I am rambling. I can tell this study is from God and I cannot wait to get all the way through it and see how He works in it.

    • Aubrey,

      Thank you for sharing so much of your heart here! It’s not rambling–it’s precious!

    • “Frittering is so easy to fall into, I find myself frittering away my time constantly, especially with all the technology and entertainment available to distract us these days, I personally am a video game and internet fritter-er, I was countless hours on these things. The rising knowledge of this being partly why this study became so appealing to me.”

      I can relate!

  6. It’s so funny, and so God, that this is the book we are studying. This is the first Bloom session I’ve participated in, and the subject of this book is something I’ve been wrestling with for the past few months. I’ve been so angry, and shut down and bitter ever since I miscarried my twins last year. A while ago, I wrote this on my blog:

    “I’m asking myself a rhetorical question. Bad things happen to everyone. At some point, if you don’t pick yourself up and move on, is that the point at which you become a bitter old hag for the rest of your life? When you see miserable old ladies, and you’re like “Man, what happened to her to make her so grumpy,” is it because something bad happened to them at some point and they held onto it so hard that it destroyed them? I definitely don’t want to be a bitter old hag. I want to be a happy old lady who wears those giant red hats.”

    • Sharon, I am so glad you are participating in this book club. The past year and a half was one of the worst ever in my life. I questioned so much of what I thought I knew. But God always has a plan and it is filled with love, even when bad things happen to us. Angie Smiths book “Mended” ministered to me a lot at that time. Now I am standing on the edges of joy and fighting for it every day. I’m with you. I want to live a joyous life. Praying for you today.

      • Paula,
        Thank you! I will pray for you too. I’m right there with you, standing on the edges of joy! Let’s fight together.

        • Oh Sharon…Paula…

          I’M so glad you both are here! Really, truly, hearing your voices affirms our choice for this book. I can’t stop talking about it to people…it’s that key to me.

          Thank you for being open to the Lord’s leading. His way is revolutionary and I’m thankful he chose Jean to steward this message :).

    • Sharon, I’m so sorry about your miscarriage. I really LOVE your last line. I totally agree, I want to be happy and wear a giant red hat with you.

    • Sharon,
      First, I want to offer a heartfelt hug! Sending prayers on your behalf. I too suffered a miscarriage and was so lost in my hurt. I also did not have a personal relationship with Christ at the time.

      As I read your post I thought of Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile.” You’re right, if you continue to hold onto the anger & bitterness it sets the tone for your life. You do need to time to grieve but God wants you to find joy in Him. Make those changes so that you can be the joyous old lady wearing “giant red hats”.

      • Nanette,
        Thank you for your encouragement. That verse in Hebrews is one that has “stepped on my toes” probably more often than any other verse I’ve read! Also, this one:

        “The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.” Job 36:13
        This is the most accurate description of bitterness/resentment I have ever read. The bitter root grows up in us undetected (if we’re not careful) and by the time it’s matured we are so ensnared and sick with it that we don’t even know how badly we need rescuing. At that point, we hold on so tightly so the bitterness that we don’t cry for help–we just stay there, convinced in our pride that our bitterness is justified and unaware that it is slowly poisoning us.

        At least, this has been my unfortunate experience. I pray that when I feel myself becoming bitter or resentful that I ALWAYS cry for His help.

    • Sharon, do you have an extra hat? Gimme one of those big red hats! 🙂

      Jean has a chapter on bitterness: “Growing Sweeter Through Life’s Bitter Times” (chapter 27).

      And . . . do you like to listen to music? One song that deeply ministered to me after my two miscarriages (and still does minister to me) was “Glory Baby” by Watermark (Nathan and Christy Nockels). (((Sharon))) Here’s one on YouTube with lyrics:

      http://youtu.be/e01hk1BRYqM

      • Monica,
        I do love that song by Christy Nockels. My husband and I listened to it on repeat the night we found out our twins didn’t have heartbeats. It is such a wonderful song.
        It also reminds me that they really are in the best place. Would I really, if I had the choice, demand that they come be here with me instead of in heaven where we ALL belong? They’re just fine and safe with Him. They’re better than fine.

        • Don’t you find such comfort in God’s word speaking directly into your life? What perfect verses to share.

          And? {{hugs}} You can never have to many, Sharon.

  7. It does my heart so much good to hear that she ministers to women in their 20’s. In so many areas of life, I’m the youngest; and for this oldest child, it can be so humbling. But I have loved my relationships with older women, and I am loving this book. I have definitely found another favorite author!

  8. Good morning from Georgia!
    Q1&2: The “loudest” comment from Jean was the one about frittering life away. So many days I look back before husband comes home and feel as if I have frittered the day away. This season of emptying nest makes me feel that way so often. I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing some days, but have a very full list of necessary and not so necessary to-dos that I end up avoiding as I fritter. So, I’m praying to not fritter but hit them full on and be free.
    Q3 – (I’m marking up my iBook copy and have ordered a hardcopy…I can tell it’s a keeper for a long time). I could have underlined all of chapter 2, so rather than quote all of it, let me just say that I was moved by her intentions for writing the book and this has inspired me to set up a Pinterest page for growing old with grace. I also plan to keep a journal/folder as Jean did in order to have that anchor in the storm. More importantly, though, I love her getting to the heart of the importance of God’s Word above all others in preparation for growing old.

    • Where are you in Georgia?? I’m in middle GA, recently transplanted :).

      And…….you just inspired me to begin a pinterest board, too!! 🙂

      • You are in Georgia, for real? Awesome! I’m in Columbus, GA, which is below Atlanta on the Chattahoochee River near Ft. Benning. We are on the border of Alabama. Where are you? Been here all my life. When you wanna come visit? : )

  9. What stood out to me in the video was the part about the older women not fitting in. I must admit I keep asking, “Where are the women my age on the blogs and in groups like these?” I was delighted to know that Bloom chose an older woman. Having said that, at 61 I have learned and been encouraged greatly through the younger women online and in their books!
    My favorite quote is on page 23. ” when something ends, there is the possibility of new beginnings.” As I’ve grown older, there is the temptation to lose sight of this. No one mentions that the ability to dream is threatened by aging because the possibilities seem limited. That excitement over buying your home or stepping into new things is dampened by hard life experiences or the thought that those times are passed. I don’t believe that is so. God always has new beginnings for us, maybe just in different areas. We have to be more intentional about this thing called life.

    • Paula, that part of the video stood out to me, too. But I’m excited at what God will do from here. I think He will use the (in)courage community (not just this book club) to move us in the direction of connecting older and younger. And perhaps that will overflow into the churches and in-person communities of each (in)courage reader.

    • Paula, that is my favorite quote as well. As my husband and I have faced several changes the past couple of years and we have some “endings” I need to look for the “new beginnings” I’ve worked with children at church for over 25 years and due to health issues I had to step down, I just didn’t have the energy anymore. I’ve always enjoyed and felt blessed to be able to help grow the little ones in the Lord. I’ve been trying to seek what the Lord has next in line for me to do. I don’t want to just fritter my life away either! At 53, maybe it’s time to get to know some young adult ladies and use what God has taught me through the years to reach out and mentor them. That will take some getting use to, I’m more comfortable with children than adults, LOL!

    • Paula, That was beautifully put, “No one mentions that the ability to dream is threatened by aging because the possibilites seem limited…God always has new beginnings for us, maybe just in different areas.” Thanks for sharing.

      I am turning 50 on July 28th. Lost my ovaries to cancer 13 years ago and have not yet met my earthly husband. I want to continue to believe for good surprises from the Lord. Life’s trials, disappointments, and failures tend to beat us down. I want to focus more on the Ebenezer’s…and the good that has happened and expect more for the future. We can expect more because of God’s nature and the strength He breathes into us.

    • Paula,

      You mentioned one of MY favorites from this section; in fact, I almost selected that for our image quote. I’m 52 and I’m a champion of women who’ve seen that hilltop :). Glad to hear I’m in good company, and it’s pure delight to hear those still climbing wanting to sidle up next to us :).

  10. 1. Jean’s comment, “As I look around I see relatively few older people who are joyful, radiant, engaged, excited about life, advancing God’s Kingdom, or concerned with His glory,” paired with “I still see things in myself, that I think left to myself, would derail me,” struck the deepest chords for me. Three months from today I’l be 59. In some places I can get a senior discount (!), but in others I have a while to wait. It’s like being a “tween.” Maybe I’m a MOLD (between middle age and old). My goal has always been to be joyful, radiant, engaged, excited about life, advancing God’s Kingdom, and concerned with His glory, but I feel too often derailed by myself. Being an adult is the hardest thing I’ve ever done; it is so different than what I ever expected! I don’t ever want to give up seeking God and being molded by Him.

    2. I definitely see the possibility of people frittering their life away. In our fast-paced world full of things to do, places to go, and so many distractions, it is far too easy to miss the most important. I love Jean’t idea of a project to overlay on the Scriptures. My One Word has helped me in this area–looking not just at Scripture, but using that word as a lens to see each situation, test every thought and word. This year my word is glorify, so I hold that up and ask, “Does this glorify God?” When I don’t glorify Him, I can go to Him and learn how to do better next time–because He always gives me another opportunity in the same area where I stumbled.

    3. My favorite quote in the book were the final two lines: “…I need not fill every space. Instead, I must cultivate a leanness that leaves room for reflection.” I am a space-filler, a fuss-budget. Here is an area where I do NOT want to distill into who I am as I continue to age. To be joyful and radiant, there must be time to be still and know He is God, to trust He is working all things for good, and then to faithfully continue to take the next step.

    • Debbie, you cracked me up with your “MOLD” acronym. I guess I am a bit moldy myself. 🙂

      I loved that quote about “not filling up every space,” too. I think I am way too busy sometimes. I need to create more space for Him in the quiet.

    • Debbie, I chuckled at your Tween comment. You made me smile. Sounds like you are doing just fabulous in your season – your heart is open and your passion is strong. Love that line… “do not want to distill into who I am as I continue to age.”

    • Mold? Tween? Oh my…YOU are becoming a FUN WOW woman (My word for women of wisdom…those who’ve lived long enough to have laughing lines grooved at the corners of our eyes 🙂 ).

      I love reading this comment thread–it reinforces so many of the thoughts that captured my attention in these chapters :).

    • My one little word for the year helps me too. I changed mine in May to Wholehearted. It has been a tremendous help.

      • You changed yours in May and I added one in June. I still want to GLORIFY God in all I think and say and do (this idea came from Andy Stanley and a study I did a year ago called Your Move). I teach 7th grade and am on break for 2 glorious months. I thought I needed a summer word, so I added STOP–stop trying to do everything; stop trying to micromanage my life; stop trying to go too many things and stop being so task oriented. This was before I started reading Pursue the Intentional Life and realized I needed to STOP going full speed ahead and START doing more reflecting and sitting at the feet of Jesus.

        • I, too, have a word. Right now it is humility….not just for the year, but for as long as I think I need it. I “use it as a lens” and try to come back to it in lots of situations. I like your word “stop.” I have, in fact, been telling myself to stop replaying negative situations from my past when the come into my mind.

  11. The theme that struck me most in this section is just how important it is to examine your life. It is so easy for me to just get in my routine and suddenly it’s June! I need to be better about making sure my moments count and that I am not going to have a ton of regrets as I look back.

    • I agree, Marjorie. At one point, Jean used the word “comfortable.” I don’t think that’s the life God has called me to, but it’s one that I tend to live in if I don’t shake things up by taking a look inside.

  12. Oh.my.goodness! I am awestruck by the wisdom that Jean is offering. Sunday, I turned 54 and I want what ever years I have left to make a difference for the Lord. I am super excited to read her book if I can get my hands on a copy!
    One thing she said that hit me hard was when she said how you act now, is how you’ll be when your 70 (or something like that.) The last 5 years of my life have been filled with sadness and stress. I do not want the next 5 to be filled with sadness. I need to smile, no matter the circumstances, because after all is said and done, I still have Jesus and I should be filled with joy for that reason!

    • Robin!! Happy belated, friend.

      SO thankful you’re joining in this study! We’re so close to the same age…maybe I knew that before, maybe not, but there’s a niceness to finding it out now.

  13. Q1. I jotted a few key things down from the video as I listened (I think this is the 1st time I have ever taken notes during a Bloom video! I want to have coffee with Jean!)
    “A weakness unchecked intensifies.”
    I don’t want to “fritter away” my life.
    If I allow myself to get “comfortable,” I will probably not end up where I want to be.

    Q2. For me, this ties right back to our theme verse in Psalms 90 — I need to number my days. Today is a gift from God, and I should not waste a moment. Make it count.

    Q3. Last line of chapter 3 : “I must cultivate a leanness that leaves room for reflection.”

  14. I loved how on her birthday, Jean took a long walk with the Lord and the fruit of that walk is the wonderful book we are reading together.

    The timing of this book is perfect for me at 51. As women it is easy for us to have a ‘frittering’ pattern regardless of our age. It is never to late for change!

    Chapter One, page 16. “Patterns of thought and practice will either serve the Glory of God or hinder them”. My desire is to bring Glory to God with my thoughts and my actions. It all starts with setting my mind on ‘things above’ and having the mind of Christ.

    • Cathy–woot, woot! Another contemporary of mine!! I promise, I’m not playing favorites…it’s just nice to see the 50+ crowd active in Bloom 🙂 (I’m 52).

      You added a comment that rattled me; and it reminds me to “take every thought captive to Christ”; when I don’t, I can end up in a downward spiral that serves no one!

  15. Towards the end of chapter 2 she says: “Revelations are graces from God not to be received lightly.” She talked about being good stewards of the insights God gives us. So I’ve found in the last few months that the Spirit will just speak to me while riding in the car or while I’m in the shower – ya know. 🙂 – connecting a verse or word to some message he is speaking to me, teaching me, calling me to write or teach on. And if I don’t press in right then – I forget the deepest part of the Word. He really spoke to me once – a great revelation when talking to a friend and I should have written it down. Now – to be a steward as a SAHM of twins – I keep notecards handy and sometimes record on my phone the thought – so I can come back to it later and remember. I want to steward the encouragement He speaks to me and exhort others with it. Yay for Jean!

    • Ginger,

      Yes!! This is a stewardship issue to some degree–how we steward our time, thoughts, and talents. So often we think of stewardship only in terms of finances, so you’ve made an excellent point!

  16. I love hearing what is connecting with you all. Thanks for engaging with the book. I know your comments will take me deeper with the content and the Lord.
    jean

    • JEAN!!

      SO glad you’re following along to “hear” the response to today’s video and post! I can only imagine how it honors your work, all they way bringing glory to God.

      Blessings, dear friend :).

    • Jean,
      I’m so enjoying the book and reading it slowly, savoring it. I appreciate your approach to the topic and the value you place on keeping the Word front and center as THE book to truly advise us as we grow gracefully into our senior years. Your book from your filings serves as the arrow that keeps pointing us to relationship with Christ.

      Thank you for taking that walk some 20 years ago as you turned 50.

      I just turned 50 in December and appreciate your words at this point in my life. But, they are fitting no matter the age or season of all of us reading along together.

      You’ve inspired me to keep a journal, file, and/or a Pinterest board on aging gracefully and graciously. : )

    • Jean, your last sentence reminds me of your “Lifelong Learner” chapter. We’re all thanking God that we can learn from you, and then you come along and say you’re learning from us!

  17. I am 31 but I think it is great to learn from someone who has been there before me! What I got from the first three chapters was #1. Tune in and #2. Reflect. So often we busy ourselves with this that & the other we find ourselves jumping from one task to the next. We live in an age where pausing and resting May seem unproductive & lazy but in fact The Lord orders it! I think from the first three chapters that was my biggest lesson learn. Slow down, tune in, ‘ reflect.

  18. On Question 3, you’re making me choose just ONE quote from the book? Okay, I’ll limit myself to this one. From page 26: “I will not live wisely or well if I just barrel (or shuffle) thoughtlessly through life.” (I tend to be the barreling kind.)

    • You made me grin, Monica. Listen, honey, I’ve learned from experience: if I don’t limit all of us, we’ll list half the section covered! Which isn’t a BAD thing but it makes keeping up with comments hard! Plus, I like the exercise in choosing ONE thing to focus on. I think it serves us, yes?

      And your “one quote”? Yep…another I could have mentioned as I was writing this post; it’s highlighted in my book :).

  19. Something Jean said, When you have children in the home, you know what you’re supposed to be doing.”

    This statement is so true for many!

    I however am from a background of young mothers who were not raised in Christ o the word. I also am surrounded by many young mothers now who lack the knowledge and disregard our Lord because, they just don’t know, don’t get it, or just think it’s corny and wrong. These young women are mom’s who lead very self serving life styles. It breaks my heart for not only their children but, them as well.

    As a young mother (25) of 3, this book solidifies the choices I have made in my life as a young woman and mother. It is so encouraging and motivating. (You really can get it from just the very first 3 chapters! Wow!)

    Many women 18 through mid to late 20’s are not concerned with what I am and matters of the soul when not raised to know Christ our Lord. This is why I am so grateful for Jean and her Book! She really truly is the type of woman I see myself striving to be like.

    What a lovely heart!

    For question 2. I feel for me, it connects to my daily frustrations and feelings of being overwhelmed. I get in my moments of wanting to escape, I see all these young mom’s who are single and going out drinking and clubbing and in my weak moments I wish I could just go out and be sexy and wanted that way. (Not so much as before I was baptized.) Then I realize That those lives are all lies and are so empty. I lived that life early in high school and all it is is an escape from reality when God is so much more and is reality. that would all just be a waist of time and pull me from my true love, the Lord.

    Question 3 would be… “I hope to organize the material for easy access and reference – something to return to over and over, something to build on the rest of my life.”
    Ch2.

    • Oh, hon…you are living some busy, demanding years with three young ones! I hope Jean’s book provides a framework for your future; and I’m thankful the Lord has touched your life.

  20. I’m sixty-seven years old and wishing I could go back and do things differently. However, I am encouraged to know I can make changes even now so that my life counts for something of eternal value. I am loving this.

    • Linda,

      Oh, I bet if you asked Jean, even she would admit there are things in her past she might do differently with the knowledge she gained after the fact; I know I would. And yes, the beauty is that our futures are before us! I pray this word inspired by the Lord will alter your future for God’s glory :).

  21. I am new to a book study on-line. After reading 59 comments, however, I understand how meaningful it can be to share something good with people I don’t know. Thank you 59 ladies for your insights.

    I was surprised to hear Jean say that she it “a fearful person”. I am fearful, too, but I do not have her spirit who writes “…I want my remaining days to be days of ascent, days of learning You and knowing You better”.

    I am guilty of “frittering” (too much television). However, sometimes watching a good TV program (preferably commercial-free) with loved ones and sharing together afterwards can be a blessing. Perhaps there is healthy and unhealthy “frittering”.

    There is one quotation (among many) that opened my eyes wider: “This book is the tangible result of my rumblings and stirrings as I’ve pondered life on earth, LIFE WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE, and life eternal with Jesus in heaven. (Capital letters are mine.)
    This is the invitation to read and acquire a new perspective about living from Jean’s newest book.

    • Linda…Welcome!

      Just wait, friend. There’s a line coming up, similar to the one you capitalized…that made my eyes almost pop out my head! I wonder if anyone else will have the same response.

      Stay tuned…. 🙂

  22. Monica,
    Losing a child is the hardest thing that ever happened to me. My daughter was 32 when she passed away unexpectedly from complications from juvenile diabetes (she was diagnosed with that when she was 9). There are many days I wish she was still here to talk to and hug, but in the five years since she went home, I’ve dreamed about her only twice. Each time, she clearly didn’t want to be here, but where she belonged, casting her crown at the feet of Jesus. I don’t know what it’s like to miscarry babies, but I imagine the pain will never leave you. Ann Voskamp says, “Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” God knew such pain Himself; He turned away from His Son when Jesus took our sin. Your experience will be used by God to make you more like him. Praying you know His peace and feel His presence in your life every day when you think about your babies.
    Debbie

  23. I liked when Jean said that she loves being with younger women because she is in touch with issues and pressures that they may have and help dilute some of them. I like it! I feel that this will help me see things in a different perspective.
    “Setting a pattern to fritter away”, to me means that women are not actually living their lives for gods purpose. They are not enjoying it. Women are living a life of “survival”, getting by day after day.

  24. Q3.
    Pg 20 “I want to become the person God had in mind when he created me.”

    • Amen to that! But it means walking in places you don’t want to go and don’t think you’ll survive. I want to be like Paul and Betsey ten Boom, singing His praises in the dark and scary places. That is my intention, but it is harder to do than I want it to be. God keeps providing me the opportunities to do what I claim I intend to do. I am trying to respond intentionally, joyfully, radiantly. I’m not there yet. I “lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over {me} will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over [you]–the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm121 NIV)

    • Cindy,

      It’s sad…frightful to think of falling short of His best for us, isn’t it?

  25. #1: (paraphrasing) Watch out for what would dilute your life–what might make you comfortable but lands you in a place you don’t really want to end up

    #3: “This book is the tangible result of my rumblings and stirrings as I’ve pondered life on earth, LIFE WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE, and life eternal with Jesus in Heaven. It is the material evidence of my longing and intention to live in Jesus, with Jesus, and for Jesus to the end of my life.”
    LOVE that! I say that I’m hungry for that, but my actions tell a different story. How committed am I to truly, intentionally change? To wake from my sleepwalking and diligently live as He beckons me to live? To run this race with endurance and hear His “well done” at the finish line?

    • I think reading this book and asking that question are steps showing your heart commitment to truly, intentionally change and diligently live as He beckons you to live. And, since God looks at the heart, you will hear His “well done” at the finish line.

  26. What am I doing at 43 that I will regret at 63? I don’t want to fritter away at things and there are major time wasters in my life. My procrastination to even get food on the table in a timely manner for my tween/teenage boys is uncalled for. I didn’t do it when they were little so why have I become so lazy with their growing needs. Writing that hurts but I want God to meet me in this study.

    • Pam,
      I suspect you’re not lazy at all, but that you just need replenishing at the fountain of life. Jesus invites us to come and drink. Soak in His love. John 4:13,14 may be good verses to chew on, pray over, marinate in, wear, huddle under, jump off a cliff with. Consider His tenderness with this woman. He is tender with you, too. He called her higher; He is calling you higher, too. Blessings on you.

      • Jean, thank you for your encouraging words. I have never applied that scripture the way you say it. I want to be replenished. I need to be replenished. I’m exhausted with many things. I’m so thankful for this book study because I need to hear from the Lord.

        • Pam, for years I thought of myself as being lazy, too. I know now that it was something else, something deeper. I don’t know if I would have called it a need for replenishment. I heard recently that we make major changes in our lives either from desperation or inspiration, so I have been seeking inspiration.

    • This is the first time I’ve done more than read through the comments (an introvert, even online), but when I read your comment, Pam, I can so much relate to what you are saying, I just had to tell you that you aren’t alone!!! I’m 42 and I find that as my kids are getting older, I tend to be less intentional than I was when they were younger. I waste so much time in my day…maybe because after all the years of meeting the immediate needs of young ones, it’s the first time I find myself with long stretches of unstructured time and I’m still learning how to manage it… (I’m seriously considering ditching my iphone, it’s a plethora of distractions). I’m also finding that this is just a strange age anyway. It feels “in-between” just a bit. Jean’s comment is something I see the truth of in my life, though, for sure…The days I don’t come and drink from his fountain, sit at his feet, those are the days I “fritter” away the most…

      • Gina you said all the things I am feeling. I recognize that it is my time with Him that I long for. When I let life take over I am so out of sorts and I come to Him desperate. Thank you for your encouragement.

  27. I am so excited to join your on line book club! I am a rookie, but so happy to have found you. Jean is such a light beam from Jesus. I am 67 years old and have journeyed with Jesus for 60 of those years. I so want to grow old gracefully and with the intention of finishing the race strong. Intercession and mentoring feed my passion for Jesus. Love the book thus far and reading all the comments are nuggets of gold. This is going to be so much fun.

  28. I am so happy to be following along with the Book Club, and have enjoyed reading through everyones thoughts and comments.
    Jean is such an inspiration, and I especially agreed with (and was also pretty convicted by) her comment “I will not live wisely or well if I just barrel or (shuffle) through life” I am so prone to doing both, and I’m also praying like you Pam, that God will meet me in this study.

  29. As this is my first electronic book group I was uncertain whether this format would work for me. I am now very excited and enthusiastic and am eagerly awaiting the next installment. I feel blessed by the knowledge that many other women are struck by the same points and /or struggling in the same areas. Surprised by how meaningful sharing with people I do not know is.
    Thank you all.

  30. I’m a bit late to the book party and new to online forums in general. I thought I would just read the book and peruse the comments (jumping in takes me out of my comfort zone, even online) but I am already so excited about this book, I can’t help but jump in! 🙂
    QUESTION 3: My book is so highlighted that picking a favorite quote was hard, but I think it has to be this part, from chapter 2:
    “Much of what is ahead is unknown, but the known part is meat and bread for the soul. The known part, what God has revealed through His Word, is food for the journey, whatever my age, whatever twists and dips life takes…I believe God wants me to feed on His Word and be shaped by it, to take His promises, warnings, and instructions seriously. I believe He wants me to tune in. TUNING IN MAY BE MY BEST PREPARATION FOR LIVING THE REST OF MY LIFE WELL”!!!
    My family is in a time of waiting and unknowns. The night everything changed for us, God gave me this promise from Isaiah 43:19: “…For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” I don’t know what his plan is in and where our future is headed, but the KNOWN, is meat and bread for my soul, my food for the journey…it allows me to live well, even in the waiting!

    • Gina,

      Well, now…your comment brings such joy, too. That you can’t help but share some of yourself? A blessing. I feel led to pray for you right now; I don’t have to know the specifics because the Lord already does.

  31. Frittering away. I’d like to think I am not doing this but I know if I truly analyze my life, there are plenty areas where I am doing this. I do not want to be this kind of woman. Sometimes not wanting to be this kind of woman and realizing it are two different things and someone pointing it out with a reminder is of great help. Thank you. I need to get off that track and start on a newer and more productive one that glorifies God.

    • Vanessa,

      I often say awareness is the first step. Jean’s book is FULL of opening my eyes!

  32. I do love this book and so glad Monica’s blog guided me to it (I never did get around to thanking her!). I had a good idea of where God wanted me in my 20s, and then in my 30s. Now in my 40s, I find lots of things bring stripped down and wondering what God wants me to focus on next. The last couple of years have definitely felt frittered away. Praying that I won’t be all about being busy that I’m not tuning in to what God wants to work in my life.

    • Interesting, Erin….while I loved my 40s on one hand, it was a decade of stripping away for me, huge voids. Thankfully, I’ve always felt those things were allowed by God to do an unforgettable work in my life.

      In week moments I’ve been defeated and disillusioned; which makes me even more thankful for victory and clarity.

    • Hey, Erin! We should get together!

      I imagine the things being stripped down is part of God’s plan for you to focus on what happens next. Praying.

      So very, very good to see you here.

  33. in the video jean points out that you do not see many joyful older people. i believe this is most likely due to fear, which can so easily intensify the older you get. as long as i can remember i have had a fear of death. as a child my parents would comfort me by telling me that i still had a long life ahead of me. i am now 47 years old and no longer want to live in fear. i feel like my fear makes it easier for me to fritter my time away. i am numbing instead of living. i still have unfulfilled hopes and dreams and my biggest fear is that i will still be thinking about those same unfulfilled hopes and dreams at the time of my death. i pray that God gives me the courage and strength to intentionally pursue a joyful and fulfilled life.

  34. Kimberly,

    Hon, I’m praying that over you right now! Take those first steps, THE first step toward ONE of your dreams. Then tell us about it. Then take another step. Then another.

    This is your wake up call, a call by God to ARISE sweet sister! He’s ready for you to join him in these nudgings you’ve been feeling for a long, long while :). To Him be the glory.

  35. What an amazingly, inspirational book, so timely for me. This is my first venture with Bloom book study. I am 58 this month and facing up to many of the topics that Jean Fleming has written about with such honesty and wisdom. The video interview made a big impression on me.
    I wanted to try and answer a few of the questions from the first 3 chp’s of the book..hopefully I am not to late.
    Q1- As I am approaching the end of my fifties and facing the next decade of my 60’s I reflected on the chord that struck me most from the video conversation.
    “When life opens up sometimes without boundaries, we need to construct for ourselves what the boundaries are going to be!”
    So over recent years I have been encouraging myself with something similar.. that I have to find meaning and purpose in the smaller details of life. The smallest thing can be done ‘ as unto the Lord’ and can bring joy.
    Q2- Jean alludes to ” setting a pattern for frittering away” our lives, whatever stage we are at.
    I know that I have in the past, in my younger years, where I have let opportunities come and go, when I could have made a difference to myself, to others and my future.
    The healthier patterns that I have established in my older years are basically to set my priorities right.. Starting each day with reading the Bible and a thankful prayerful heart . Simple , but the most important thing. All else grows out from this simple act, it is where I learn to hear God’s voice to my heart and where I gain the courage to live for Him, then go out and express His love to the world around me ( family, community etc).
    Q3- My favourite quoate from chp’s 1-3; ( reading Kindle edition)
    ‘ Though the circumstances remained unchanged, David placed himself, perhaps still anguished and fearful, in the hands of God. HIS EMOTIONS WERE NOT A RELIABLE GAUGE OF HIS SPIRITUAL CONDITION” ( from heading ‘ My emotions are not a gauge of my spiritual condition’) .
    I found this statement a big encouragement in the difficulties I am facing. I can still pray, praise, hear God’s heart for me and be thankful ,which indicates that I have inner strength when all else is fragile and shaky emotionally. What a relief to read those wise words from Jean.

    • Christine Ann,

      WELCOME! I can tell by your comment this was the perfect study for you to start on :).

      SO glad to hear how, already, your perspective is shifting and God is working! That is no small thing :).

  36. I am so thrilled to have a woman older than me speaking her… I too had this moment when I turned 50… I told The Lord I wanted to be gray and gracious woman… I saw too many older joyless, woman lacking in grace… I am graying slowly for a woman my age….so I do t know what that means about my progress☺️…. It looks like Jean has arrived

  37. Several things struck me in this video. I have known the Lord for 16 years now, a few months over half my life. When Jean said she had known him for 55 years, I got so excited about the things to come.

    What dilutes your life? Wow, that cut me to the quick. I’ve been working on one of the things that dilutes my life – television in the background. I’m not talking sitting with the family for movie night, or with my husband for something we enjoy. I’m talking about turning re-runs on with the laptop in the kitchen while loading the dishwasher, making supper, catching five minutes here or there. I have been intentionally leaving it off. Using the silence, or putting on some music, or catching five minutes in the word or a good book. I need to turn off some of my white noise. But, yes, what Jean said, it dilutes my life, and I want to live concentrated.

    I also want to take a long walk with the Lord with just a pen and paper!

  38. What struck me was to be “a good steward to insights.” So often I get struck by truth, something impactful, only to forget it the next week, or even the next day. I don’t act on it or carry it through. To me, part if frittering away my life is going through life without having these insights affect how I live. The thought of having resolutions in my life, revisiting them weekly, is something I’d like to implement in my life, so I am a good steward of insights. Next step: to implement this idea and not fritter it away!! 🙂

  39. I think the thing that struck me most on the video, was the love of Jesus that oozes from Jean. That’s the kind of person I want to be.

    Frittering away my life was certainly something that punched me in the gut. In my head I’m still in my 20s with lots of life left. In reality I’m 37 and though I may have lots of life left, I’m not sure where those almost 20 years went, and I know for a fact they weren’t spent living to be the person God created me to be. Thankful it’s never too soon to begin.

    Favorite quote…wow just one? I have to say I underlined more in the first 3 chapters of this book than I have in any book I’ve read. But the quote I’m going to put on a card and place around my house as a reminder is on pg 20. “I want to become the person God had in mind when He created me.”

    It certainly impacted me. I quoted it twice in this comment. ha! I have also been reading A Mother’s Heart. I keep coming back to the idea that to teach I must learn. I have to spend time in God’s word, building a relationship with Him in order to guide my children in that same direction.

    Thank you Jean for being obedient to the Father. You are a blessing!

  40. Hi all!

    Finally getting around to catching up and taking part with you all now that I’ve got my book – I have been quite unwell recently so that’s partly why it’s taken me so long to contribute. Still not 100% but I think now we know what’s going on, things will start to pick up rather quickly.

    Q1 – When Bloom announced the book this time around I was a little worried that I was too young to fully grasp what Jean was writing about but really felt led to take part even if I was the youngest reader. That worry was certainly answered in the video by Jean expressing that it’s a book for ALL ages, and I am now even more encouraged by the idea of reading it so I can *intentionally* plan ahead…and who knows maybe read the book again when I am in my 30/40s to re-evaluate.

    Q2 – I’m a little of both in this sense I think. On good days, I’m up like a shot and *intentional* with my Devotional time, housework, and day-job tasks.
    It’s the weekends that get me. That’s when my trouble starts, I find that I just flounder about and sleep in way later then I would ever admit to. I then get grumpy because I’ve “wasted” the day away!

    Jean really struck me with the quote “…tangible result of my rumblings and stirrings as I’ve pondered life on earth, life with an expiration date, and life eternal with Jesus in heaven.”

    There’s an expiration date. It may be incredibly soon like a bottle of milk, or in the distant future (think canned goods!) – but time is ticking away and I want to live my life to the fullest and much like Jean prays about at the end of Ch 1 “…I want my remaining days to be days of ascent, days of learning You and knowing You better” I want nothing more than to KNOW and LEARN from Him who loves me unconditionally ready for my life eternal with Jesus.

    Q3 – I’ve mentioned a few quotes that I loved above but I think my most favourite has to be;

    “I long to see Christ’s life formed in me. I want to become the person God had in mind when He created me.”

    Jean continues to say “I yearn…” I would actually substitute “long” for YEARN in this prayer because my “longing” to become the the person God made me to be is just so intense.

    I particularly love how she goes on to say “what lies ahead is unknown…” I completely relate to that. I never for a moment thought I would have faced depression and anxiety as I have, or that I’d have buried my baby girl before I even got to hear her cry.

    I am strong in my belief that trials given to me are to be used to refine and strengthen my Faith and that He wouldn’t give me anything I’m not strong enough to cope with, I just hope that my actions to deal with what I have been dealt are actions He had in mind for me.

    Excited for Ch 4-7 now!

  41. I’m also only started the study today due to a problem with my ebook… Luckily it’s resolved now, jippee!!
    Some hard hitting words in these first chapters, and we just got started… It’s definately easy to just fritter along… 🙂 It’ really great to be called to a halt… ‘What am I doing with my time and my life? I really need to think about that… Am I living the life God intented for me?

  42. Hello Ladies!
    This is the third bloom study that I’ve participated in, and though I’m jumping in quite late, the timing is perfect for me. As a 50 year old, full time working mother of 4 kids, I thought I would have to pass on this study because I didn’t feel that I had the time. One week ago though, I was in a frightening car accident, which has imposed an unexpected need for quiet, rest and recovery time. This study is turning out to be a wonderful way to help me heal.
    Q1: When Jean said that she was 55 years with The Lord, I realized that she’s had her faith longer than I’ve been alive. Her faith shines through in her gentle voice, wise eyes and thoughtful words. I love the example she sets for a faith well lived!
    Q2: Setting a pattern of frittering my life away has definitely been on my mind since turning 50 in December. I think my fears of not being good enough that are rooted in my childhood have kept me from being a risk taker all my life. Since turning 50, I have seen a change in myself. If not now, then when I realize. I do worry a lot though about my tween and teen children as it’s even easier today to fritter your life away with all sorts of instant electronic gratification devices.
    Q3: The quote that struck me the most is at the end of chapter 3: “In the frantic pace of life, where do I find the time to reflect? I don’t find it; I work at reserving and preserving it…” I try to start my busy days off with a quiet time of a Bible Study and reflection, but I am not nearly as deliberate about this as I wish to be. I’m grateful that recent circumstances have imposed lots of time to reflect.
    Finally, I want to share a verse from yesterday’s quiet time that I am pondering. “Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter, ‘ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.”. – Matthew 9:22. Reflecting on this verse is a wonderful reminder that I don’t have to be good enough to get Jesus’ attention, He’s just there, ready to heal me. Resting in my faith provides healing for all of our human weaknesses and fears. 55 years of resting in faith truly has helped Jean’s light shine brightly! 🙂