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. I’m really enjoying the group that you picked for the video discussion! 🙂 It is fun getting to know them a little bit!

    • Tami,

      Thank you for specifically mentioning that!! Jessica knew what she was doing when she pulled this group together :). You’re going to enjoy them through our study even more!

  2. Q1.I am not finding knowing the benefit of making time for soul enriching activities a hurdle. The hurdle I am finding is much deeper and subtle but very much there. I think on a subconscious level I do not feel that “Me time” is productive thus selfish thus not a good thing. Intellectually I know this is untrue but it is the little unspoken words I hear in my head. I am dealing with this false guilt at this point by acknowledging it exists and that it is self made and that as I give myself grace my perspective will change. What makes me me is an ever evolving exciting journey of discovery I am traveling every day.

    Q2. The light bulb moment for me is that as I look back over my lifetime there has been some consistent things I adore doing and enrich my life every time. I have had some consistent passions throughout my life. I can return and include them more in my life now and benefit greatly.

    Q3. The revolutionary teaching I am going to think about more this week is to pursuing my passions is worthy, will enrich my life thus my family’s life, is possible, can done. and is not overwhelming.I do not have to do anything major or radical, no remodeling of any rooms is involved, no trips to the local supercenter needed. I can just tune into parts of myself and allow them to flourish.

    • Elizabeth,

      False guilt is a bully! So good to hear how you’re dealing with it. Also I love the idea you set forth about flourishing–it IS possible for us! It’s like we need to quiet the noise in our head to be able to hear it…!

  3. Yes, a great group! – related a lot to Leigh’s focus on how self care “looks” can change and evolve (truly, over the lifespan). And remembering childhood joys – wandering around outside – with NO agenda – it was ecstatic. I like to “be” that time rather than over-thinking how to “do” it. This study continues to bless, thank you.

  4. I really LOVED how Jess said that when you are making time for yourself, you are making your life more beautiful. I am one of those OCD/Type-A people who grew up surrounded by disorder and dysfunction, and as a result, as an adult, I crave orderliness, and routine and I have a hard time letting things go, especially to make time for me. If there is “one more thing” that needs to get done, I will HAVE to do it. As the oldest of five, and a mother who had her babies at a young age, I have spent my life putting others first, and I am learning now, at the age of forty, that I HAVE to make time for me. I am coming out of a season of life driven by busy, and stress and that ended with health struggles. I am getting ready to learn how to eliminate distractions (hello social media), and be able to make time for work, college, household chores AND myself, because I know there are enough hours in my day. I just have to reorganize them, and use them better. Part of the problem is I also have too many hobbies, and I don’t know which one i want to focus on first, as most have sat on the wayside for such a long time 😉

    • Beth,

      I’m smiling with the thought of “drinking out of a fire hydrant” :). Now that you’ve put your finger on so many things, it’ll take real discernment to bring them all to life :).

  5. Q1. Working in full-time ministry as a Christian educator, I learned the importance of this the hard way. I crashed and burned. — For years as a single gal, I was focused on challenging my students, working with the youth group, grading, planning, attending the sporting events my students were in, and pretty much everything else but me. When the “crash” came, I had to learn how to slow down and say no. I couldn’t do everything for everyone else, and forget that I needed some TLC, too. — I think in ministry sometimes we get a “Savior complex” honestly. We think that if we don’t show up and put a smile on our face, then the world will crash, and it will be our fault. We forget that Sabbath is a commandment for a very good reason — you need rest to refuel. — I am thankful that I learned to “unplug” before I got married. As a married chick, it’s harder to do this (especially because it’s hard for my husband), but free and fun time is worth fighting for. It will save you from all types of unhealthy thinking and living.

    Q2. I am so thankful that Jessica included health in this chapter. I just got off the phone with a friend (a mom of 2) who admitted to me that she had not been to the doctor in 3 years. I need to buy her this book. — I would especially like to AMEN the portion on getting enough fluid into your body on a daily basis. I ended up in renal failure for a few days after emergency gall bladder surgery in 2012. The Nephrologist told me we need 80 oz of fluid a day to maintain healthy kidney function. This is so incredibly important to your long-term health.

    Q3. I loved the insight that Jessica drew from Bene Brown’s TED talk — “… when women make time for what they love, they become more compassionate people.” This flips the perspective that I think most women have — that people will view us as selfish.

    • “Free and fun time is worth fighting for.” A to the MEN!

      I bet your remark in Q2 will get some people to fill a glass of water right now! You go, girl!!

      🙂

    • Lyli, teachers and mom’s fall into that same trap. The hard thing with educators, is that we often HAVE to attend that after school function, or music event, or thing that draws the parents in. Plus then there are the things that our own children are in, which is even harder if they are older and in a different school.

      Your water comment hit home with me, as i take meds that filter out of my kidneys and am supposed to drink plenty of water. I thought 64 oz was enough (which I admit I don’t always drink).. I had no idea it was 80! I need to step up my game.

  6. Q1. I’m working on that shift in perspective. My mother retired from teaching to stay home when my parents adopted me, and her house was spotless, she cooked two hot meals a day, she sewed, she was the nursery director at our church – and she never, ever stopped. When I first got married (and even still), I wrestled with the fact that my house didn’t look like my mama’s house. My first husband pointed out to me that she was home during the day, she didn’t work outside the home, and she still never stopped. I couldn’t expect myself to do all that she did, to keep a perfect house, when I was out of the house for a good ten hours a day. But I still seem to come back to trying to hold myself to that standard, even though I work outside the home (where she didn’t), and I have two rowdy, loud, and proud boys (where she had one bookish girl). I struggle with the guilt of leaving a chore undone, of feeling like my kids will somehow suffer if I don’t keep the house immaculate and then devote every spare minute to them (even though my mother didn’t devote every spare minute to me because she didn’t have many, and because I entertained myself). So yes, that shift in perspective is something I’m working to achieve. It clicked with me for just a moment while I was reading, and it made me want to cry, just to think that it’s okay to do something for me.

    Q2. One light bulb moment for me was actually in Chapter 4. When I read what Jessica wrote about how you’re never too busy to make time for what you love, it hit me, POW! How do I spend so much of my extra time? Derping around on Facebook, playing little time-waster games. How much of that time could I use for myself, for doing something that I’m excited about, rather than just something to fill the time while my kids are winding down in front of the TV? And in going through the list in Chapter 5, I realized I don’t think I really get wound up about volunteering (except maybe in certain limited applications like things for my kids’ schools). I keep thinking I *should* volunteer, it would be a good thing to do, serving others, and so on, but it’s not something that I get really excited thinking about. So for now, perhaps I can just let go of that one and move on.

    Q3. The idea that my kids won’t remember what the cabinets looked like, but they’d remember how the house felt, whether mom could relax and do something to feed her soul, or whether she was constantly striving to clean up “just one more mess”. I feel like I tend to the latter end of the spectrum a lot (as does my husband), that we’re always riding the boys to pick up this, clean up that. Yes, some of it is just what goes along with being part of a family (you can’t leave your dirty dishes on the table, they’ve at least got to make it to the sink!), but it feels sometimes like every free day we have, we’re pushing them to clean up their rooms, straighten up the game room, etc. If I lighten up a little more, perhaps it will have a positive effect on the family as a whole.

    • {{Hugs}} You sound like you’re on your way to that perspective shift. Way. To. Go. It’s not easy but you’re already acknowledging how it might be done, what it might take, and the REAL benefit to you (and your family). That’s exciting! I love how readers are challenging themselves in healthy ways, really seeming to look at themselves and consider what change might look like, what changes are needed for good health and well-being. 🙂

  7. Q1. I think I’ve always been good about knowing that I need “me” time – time to rest, read, unwind. But, I do love this discussion as it’s opened up more possibilities to me, so rather than watch TV all evening, I can take time to spend on some other hobbies, like knitting, instead. I’m in a preparing season right now though – early stages of preparing for a little one that’s expected in early September! So I’m finding that I really value the huge amount of time I have right now for myself, because I know it won’t last long!

    Q2. I think this chapter was more a kick in the pants for me in terms of procrastination – because honestly, with it only being my husband and myself right now, there are hours and hours of free time that we have! It can easily, so easily, turn into just lounging around all day – but that’s not really how I’d like to take care of myself! I’m learning that I need to have a change of perspective in how I spend my time, but in a slightly different way than I think Jessica discusses – learning how to fine tune my free time into something that’s more life-giving and meaningful to who I am.

    Q3. Karen Walron’s quote on p. 109-110: “First of all, nobody is not creative. There is no such thing. I think there are only people who don’t exercise their creativity … if you don’t exercise your creativity, there is a part of you that’s going to atrophy. I think we are all creative beings … and we’re supposed to be creating something.”
    This quote really stuck out to me because I always say that I’m not a crafty/creative person. I joke that I’m nowhere near crafty enough to be considered a good teacher! But, over a year ago I picked up knitting thanks to a generous Christmas gift from my husband of supplies and beginner’s classes. This is just creative enough to really start getting my juices going, but I also have the structure of following patterns that I enjoy too. The quote above echoes a thought that I’ve been having since then, she was simply much more able to put it into words!

  8. So I thought I was someone who didnt have a hobby. I have tired numerous things, but nothing stuck. However, I have realized I am just not a “crafty” person. I do not enjoy gardening, scrapbooking, knitting, painting, or etc. I just feel I am not good enough to do them or do not have enough patience. These chapters have just helped me learn that my hobbies are more reading, hiking, running, teaching, organizing, beauty/at home spa treatments, (and does watching netflix count? lol!) I just need to make an effort to feel not guilty about doing them and that they do count as a hobby because they are something I enjoy!

    My major issue though is that I dont feel like I can have hobbies/activities that take me away from the house. I can really only do things while my daughter is sleeping. My husband’s schedule changes weekly so joining a class is impossible.

    • I totally see Netflix as a hobby! When Jessica talked about guilt in the previous chapters, I realized that I would feel very guilty when I watch TV shows (I stream online, too). They felt like a couch potato thing, instead of a fringe hours thing, which was why I was feeling guilty. But watching shows is like reading a fictional book for me because it plays with the imagination. I enjoy it and it helps me unwind after a full day.

      • I am glad you agree! I like to veg out. Sometimes projects like crafting or even taking a bath (with candles, etc) seems like too much work at the end of the day!

  9. Q1. All of our guests seem to have had that shift in perspective where they understand the importance of making time for the things that feed their soul. Is this a mental hurdle you need to overcome? How are you dealing with false guilt? What makes you you?

    In my head I know that I need to make time for the things that feed my soul, and I have great intentions to do that, however the days seem to get away from me. I get busy running from activity to activity, task to task, and by the end of the day I am 1. exhausted and 2. unsure where my day went, I look around and I don’t “see” what I have done that should have taken all day. What makes me me? Im not sure.

    Q3. So many inspiring and motivating take-aways in this section, aren’t there? Share the most revolutionary idea that struck a chord with you.

    I am always conflicted about many of the things in these chapters, but the part where you said that the children will remember mom getting all worked up about another mess. I want to be the mom with different priorities, I want to be ok with leaving the fort up in the living room. My perspective is very warped sometimes and I have friends in real life who remind me of that often

  10. I love how you said “when you invest in yourself, in the fringe hours, you’re making your life beautiful! ” I have begun reading and going to the gym during fringe hours I never noticed before and I truly feel that I’m discovering a new side of myself and I’m really excited. Life feels different, my perspective is changing and it feels good!!

  11. When Jessica started talking about taking care of our health and asked when the last time we went to the doctor, I knew I was busted! It’s been years because I haven’t had insurance. Now I do, but I still haven’t gone in for a check-up. That’s really the part of self-care that I need to work on because I’m not a generally healthy person even when I was a child. When Sarah talked about picking up exercise in her fringe hours, and she said that it has to be something that feeds our soul (not something we hate), I remembered the dance classes I used to take. That form of exercise feeds my soul and something I can do for my health and in my fringe hours.

  12. Thanks to Jessica’s amazing book jam packed with wisdom and all of your powerful prayers, God is helping me overcome now, and It has been amazing. Thank you Jessica, and all you ladies for putting together for this book club community (including all you behind the scenes people- we can’t forget about you). I went from working out approximately 1 day per month to 2-3 times per week~ and I make it fun by taking a book to read each time and just do something simple like treadmill or bike. Also have been more productive in morning and at work ~ so I have a lot more time than I even thought I had. It actually seems like a mini miracle. I’ve been wondering: are lots of people praying over us, or is it just God’s timing or what? or both? Either way, God is doing great things and filing my heart with more joy. And guiding us (my husband and I) to live our passions even more. 🙂 So thank you for your ministry! God bless you all!
    *P.s. LOved the video! Thanks ladies for being open and honest about your lives. You are inspiring.

  13. Q1 For me reading, exercising, taking walks, or just being quiet are things that I like to do in my “me time”. I learned from reading how different my “me time” is from others. And thats okay. I think that will allow me to give myself and my friends more grace in regards to what “me time” is chosen. “Time is a sacred gift and should be spent well.” But that “well” is not the same for everyone. One thing that I know is that I need to encourage and give my husband opportunity to spend his own “me time” so that I can have my “me time” with less guilt. We will both be happier together and better parents.
    Q2 The section on fear clued me into some things that might be holding me back from being able to put a finger on my some of my passions. Jessica’s enthuasiam and passion for this topic have really made me want to pursue this until I can overcome those fears.
    Q3 “Many things we think matter actually don’t.”

  14. Q1: For me, over the last several years, I have very much limited the “me time” because I was trying to create a successful business and my version of “success” was being everything for everyone and always on when they needed me to be. It was a false sense of accomplishment, the busy to cover up the feeling of loosing myself and what I truly enjoyed. I have to rediscover what I truly enjoy, what fills me up and when I need to make that time for self care.
    Q3: I found that several of the items that I truly enjoy align with one another. I love traveling and want to pursue what that might mean in my life just a little bit more. I love learning about new places and telling those around me about those places, so discovering what that passion might reveal… One statement that really resonated with me was “when women make time for what they love, they become more compassionate people”, and I do find that when I don’t find time for doing the things that I enjoy, even the mundane things, that I become a crabby person. I need to shift my perspective that all of these little things are important things to who I am as a person!