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. QA1 – At an earlier point in my mothering I was very interested in quilting and in its pursuit I discovered a church women’s group offering morning coffee, book discussion and hands-on quilting instruction – a morning I anticipated each week!

    • Wow, those sound wonderful.

      And I LOVE the banner in your doctor’s office! What an interesting place to have that message; but what a perfect place when you really think about it.

  2. Q1> I am an introvert by nature, so seeking out community does not come naturally to me. It’s something I have to work on. I have been much better about seeking out professional community through meetups and other groups, but I haven’t done that with my passions. I think it’s a great idea, though. I wrote down a few activities and the names of a few friends that I can do things that I love with — just need to take the next step of reaching out.

    Q2> The section on Sabbath was so, so good. My family is pretty well worn out right now from all of the running and doing throughout the week and on weekends. My husband and I had a rare few minutes of quiet before our daughter woke up on Saturday, and I read the section to him about how being tired leads to other unhealthy choices. It inspired a lot of great discussion and ideas about how we can simplify and slow down.

    Q3> I loved the whole last section because it really brought home the idea that this is not about being more efficient or getting more done, but about being able to enjoy the lives we have been blessed with, about being more fully ourselves and who God made us to be. Make self-care a priority is a crucial step in that direction.

    Q4> It’s hard to pick one thing, but I loved the part about joy being unwavering trust… and about every single thing in our life being a gift. I remind myself often that my daughter is a gift, but I forget about all of the other little details. I think the next book I pick up will be Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts..

    • Dee,

      Writing down activities and friends to do them with is the baby step to the bigger step of following through; I just know it will be a mutual blessing when you do.

      I couldn’t help smiling when I read your answer to Q2; that it spurred great conversation with your husband is just too cool.

      It’s so lovely to see how this book is impacting the way you live; and that you see God in new ways. 🙂

  3. Q1- I have joined a couple of crafting meetup groups. Due to the intensity of college, I find myself reading college textbooks for 7-8 hours a day. I realize that I need to have proper self care. I recently hesitated to buy myself a journaling bible. I did it knowing that I can make a special treasure that someday my youngest son will cherish. I realize that I definitely need to take a Sabbath. If I don’t take time out for myself, I will burn out. I have a blog that I have neglected this month. I love to write and encourage others. Someday I would love to write a devotional. For me…..living well means taking care of my whole body, mind and soul. My favorite quote ” We have journeyed to identify our passions and find time to make ourselves a priority. ” Every day is a journey. A journey unlike any other. Every day I play a game….Talk to three strangers. A few days ago I talked to an elderly woman. She said ” I like you because you understand me.” The real reason was……because I listened with my heart. I can honestly say that this book study has open my eyes and heart to a whole new understanding for God’s purpose for my life.

  4. Thank you Jessica, Angie, Leigh, Sarah, Tobi and Robin. ((Hug))

    Q1 – This may sound odd coming from someone who’s spent the last few weeks saying how busy her schedule feels, but this topic watered as seed that the Lord planted in my heart months ago. Funny how I somehow managed to pick up the parts about community in the previous two chapters, when we hadn’t even gotten to the actual chapter on community yet. (Promise I didn’t read ahead…true confession…I just read these three chapters
    before watching the video this morning. :/ ) I guess I was Gretel, and was picking up those crumbs that were being left behind that led to the actual chapter on community. 🙂

    We’ve moved a lot, and with that comes a lot of starting over in community. This time around, I feel like I’ve really struggled to find my place in Godly female community. That can be a lonely place, at times. Last year I was talking with a friend about this, and sensed the Lord asking me to step out and start *something*, but wasn’t sure what that something was. I’ve been waiting on the Lord for His leading and timing. This chapter on community whispered to me ~ spilled a little water on the seeds that God planted last year. Perhaps, it’s springtime in the sod of my heart, and He’s planning to grow little fledgling sprouts…perhaps. It will be interesting to see what harvest season brings. Whatever the Lord is doing, I’m sure that a lovely blossom will bloom forth – in His time. 🙂 Thank you, today, for being a watering-can in my life. 🙂 (Bet you’ve never been called a watering can before. *smile* )

    Q4 – All of the discussion today was wonderful, but since I blabbed so much on #1, I’ll skip down to #4 briefly. Sara’s quote on p.242: “…Trading every complaint that I have for something beautiful in my life that far outweighs it.” A lovely legacy. 🙂

    • Brenda!! {{hugs}} back! How exciting to see where you’re headed; you’ll have to let us know somehow (Facebook page? Not group…) or a comment or SOMETHING when you start your “something”. That everything is leading you toward leading out to others is exciting. Can’t wait to learn what “it” is!

      And yes…that is a worthy trade :).

  5. Q1. Have you found community pursuing a passion of
    yours? Which came first for you–intentionally looking for community
    around a particular interest or pastime? Or pursuing a special interest
    and then finding community? One thing Jessica talks about in the book is
    a support community; was this a new idea for you? Can you think of what
    a support community looks like in your life? Or if you don’t have one,
    identify ways you can begin looking for this important help and tell us
    about it. — I love girl time, and believe that it is essential for my mental well-being. So, I calendar time with my friends regularly. I used to lead a small group Bible study in my home, and I was also a member of a book club. When life got a little crazy, I had to step out of those groups, but I am now a member of several online groups that have filled the gap beautifully for me — because I need the interaction. So, I lead a Love God Greatly bible study group, and I am also helping to create a community called Consilium for Christian women called who are over 45 in a group started by Diane Bailey. I have “met” so many amazing women through both of LGG and Consilium.

    Q2. I find it amazing that we know that God Himself “rested” on the 7th day of creation, but we think it’s not necessary to take a day off. I mean, it’s a commandment… right up there with don’t kill people. — I try to keep our schedule clear for one of the 2 days each weekend. Then, I spend most of the morning in bed reading and journaling and just “being.” I’ll have a simple lunch with my husband, and then we either go for a drive or sit outside or watch a movie. I think if you view Sabbath as a way that you “refuel,” it helps to change your perspective from “I can’t just sit around and do nothing.” — My hubby is quite a workaholic, so this is something that we have worked on quite a bit as a couple.

    Q3. Living Well means that I am in tune with my God, my soul, and my people. First, I must make it a priority to be intimate with my Savior — I need to be in the Word and praying. Second, I try to be balanced physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally and set intentional goals in each of these 4 areas. Finally, I choose to invest in people over projects. I don’t want to live a life that is successful in the world’s eyes, but empty in light of eternity.

    Q4. “If you don’t take proper time to rest, you’ll pay the price in one way or another” (p. 237) — Confession: I read that at midnight (talk about convicting!)

    • Lyli~ good morning to you! I read your post, and really love how you think of Sabbath as a way to refuel instead of sitting around and doing nothing. I hope to remember that each Sabbath. Blessings! 🙂
      Amber

      • The ironic thing about Sabbath is it IS active in a real sense; you must guard and protect it or it simply won’t happen.

        It’s so lovely to see you flourishing in leadership online. I know firsthand how well you love and lead, Lyli xo.

  6. As the Children’s Ministry Director of my church, I can’t make Sundays my Sabbath especially when my church started a 2nd service recently. I’m still figuring out what Sabbath looks like in my life, so I love that Jessica wrote, “Sabbath rest can take many forms, but at its core, it is about slowing down, peace, and prayer.” I’m looking at Mondays to do all that, which might actually turn out awesome. Who doesn’t love a non-work Monday? 🙂

    • Gosh, it makes me sad to think how some view Sabbath as only taking place on Sunday; so wise of you to realize you need it and to begin finding a way. 🙂

  7. Q1. Last year I began knitting, and through a friend starting going to some knitting nights organized by some young women in another church. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t been to one of these nights since this past Nov/Dec, and as I’m finding more community in a new church, it’s tempting to write this knitting night off. But, with the encouragement of my husband and also this discussion on community, I plan to make this more of a priority. I think there’s a knitting night planned for this Friday!

    Q4. I LOVED that Jessica ended her book with that quote from Marianne Williamson. When I met with my mentor for the first time this past fall, I shared with her some of my fears and she sent me this same quote, which just blew my mind because it encompassed exactly how I’d been feeling at the time. I love this reminder to tune into how God has created each of us individually, and how we can call out that beauty, that light in each other.

    It’s been such a pleasure reading and discussing with you ladies on this book! Blessings as we each take this message and apply it to our own lives!

    • Kathryn, I would love to attend a knitting night with a group of diverse-aged women–how cool! I hope you DO pick that back up because it’s good on so many levels.

      Yes! That is a great quote! Isn’t it affirming to have it shared in more than one place?

      We’re grateful you’ve been a part of Bloom this go round :).

  8. Thanks for this awesome study, friends! It’s been wonderful! God is transforming things in my life and my husband’s life for the better. I’m thankful for you and mostly to our Lord Jesus Christ! Excited to write a blog about it tomorrow night (even though I’m only on Chapter 7, I will do my best). I’ve already learned a lot. So glad I took the time to watch the video. Love it!!
    Q1-One of my passions is writing and it’s been such a blessing to communicate with other writers, bloggers, Proverbs31 ministries, and this ministry “(in)courage”. For me, what came first is blogging, and over the years the Lord has opened doors for community with many writers, authors, and online bible study groups. It has been one of the greatest blessings to have community in this area – which leads me to answer Q3 right now~ as one thing that helps me “live well” is to remember that I am working together with many believers as One (the Body of Christ) for God’s Kingdom and God’s Glory. When I separate myself or think of myself as separate I can get very prideful or feel competitive (which is very unhealthy and leaves me feeling drained). So I “live well” in “community”, and I don’t live well “alone”. 🙂
    Q2-For years my husband and I took Sunday as our day of rest, but with both of us serving a lot in the church it really didn’t feel like rest. We worked hard on Saturdays – sometimes our hardest day of the week. A pastor’s wife suggested we take one “Full” day of rest. This was a few years ago. I got really defensive and said “I feel like there is no way, I don’t have time”. (That was the old me, often trying to get “ahead of God” if that makes any sense). Over a year ago, my husband and I felt so burnt out on ministry~ we decided to take a full day of rest – Saturday~ and Wow, it has been breathtaking and wonderful. I found out that God is way smarter than me (I knew that but I thought I was smarter in this area). Our life is now filled with much more joy, we both feel so grateful and content, and God began blessing us more in many areas of our lives as we obeyed Him with giving Him a full day of rest. Praise God~ He is so faithful!
    Love you all! Be blessed!

    • Amber,

      Thank you for your encouragement and enthusiasm; they’re a sweet blessing.

      To me, it’s important to realize how isolation can affect you. I remember thinking when I was younger that I didn’t need people. Mercy…I was brought LOW on that one! I thrive in community, too, but it took some hard lessons to recognize that fully.

      Yours is one more testimony to the blessing of Sabbath rest–your lives are richer in so many ways and you’re leading simply by living :).

  9. Q1: I love learning and studying the Word, I’ve had more of a passion for being in the Word the last 6+ months than I have my entire Christian life. One thing I am working on is finding a group of women to study the Word with me…I’m working with a small group now, but I have such hope for a bigger group!

    Q2: I feel like that Sunday’s sometimes becomes my overflow day to get done what I didn’t get done during the week or on Saturday, and that’s not what it should be. It should be a day of being in church, being with family and friends and relaxing. Pouring myself into what fills me up! I am learning to do this more and more, not using that “off” day as a day for finishing up work, but maximizing my fringe hours during the week when things need to get done and savoring the Sabbath!

    Q3: Living well to me simply means finding joy in all of the moments of life and cherishing the time that we have with family and friends because this life on earth is fleeting!

    Q4: Narrowing it down is definitely hard….but I would say my biggest take away was: Perhaps the most important step in this journey is recognizing that through prayer we can ground ourselves in who God has created us to be. In doing so, we can more fully live our precious lives well. I related to the thought that I needed to be 100% in my prayer, knowing the right answers and having full dedicated time and that’s not what I need in order to talk with my Heavenly Father. He just wants me to come to Him with whatever words I have, whatever feelings I am feeling and truly bare my soul, my worries, my concerns, my praises, my gratitude in order to live well!!