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. As this is the HARDEST challenge for me I want to really focus on establishing healthy boundaries. For me this is going to have to start with my mindset of it being OK to have boundaries concerning my time and my mental energy. I am a very open person so I tend to allow other people’s stuff to enter my space and I have to put up the boundaries.

    I am great about always having a book with me to read during my unexpected downtime.

    My take away is” By UNAPOLOGETICALLY making priorities that include taking care of yourself and pursuing your passions, you are making an investment that no one else can do for you”. That is my charge for this week.

    • Your take away was mine as well and I love that you put “unapologetically” in all caps. I struggle with that part but this book is helping me realize that taking care of myself and pursuing my passions will only bring joy and happiness that will overflow to all the other areas and people of my life.

    • Elizabeth,

      I learned the hard way that I’m not a good boundary setter :). Books like this are so helpful in helping you realize how necessary it is! And yes–don’t we apologize too often as women? I’ve wondered if that’s a universal thing or a Southern thing… 🙂

  2. I frequently say yes to opportunities, and then sometimes regret them later. I am trying to be bolder and challenge myself in my career; however, I’m a wife and mom with baby #2 on the way, work full-time, etc, etc. I have to trust God and be okay with my limits, and with making “me” time a priority on the list.

    As far as what I have always have with me… Thank goodness for smartphones! I always have something to read, but I also get some scrapbooking work done by prepping and ordering photos with various apps. I also research recipes, work questions, and tutorials. I can even do my meal planning!

    • Dee–you have hit on something so key: trusting God in all this!! Love that.

      And you’re WAY more productive on your phone than I am :). Maybe I should re-evaluate my apps?

  3. I am inclined to always give a YES when asked to help or do something for others. I struggle often with doing things so that others will like me more or include me in something instead of doing those things that fulfill me or my family. I have now started to set up boundaries that puts my family first before others but I am still struggling with putting myself ahead of my husband and children. That feels selfish to me and I am still working on the guilt aspect. I want to be everything for everyone; after all I am Wonder Woman right?? 🙂

    • You look like you’re wearing red, white and blue to me ;).

      Your honesty and transparency are refreshing, Kendra. It’s a healthy thing to evaluate your motives, and you’re doing a great job of that.

  4. Learning to say No is a journey I have been on. My first big no was to volunteering at the school carnival. I was shocked to see if went off just fine without me imagine that. With 4 kids I have become so overwhelmed with things I have said yes to that I was a grouchy tired Mom. I have learned that saying. O to good things can be the hardest. But have really found creating margin in my day such a blessing to me and my family. Such great advice today from the video!

    • I heard something years ago that stayed with me, changing my MO: if someone else can do it, let them! We DO fall into the trap of thinking we’re the only one who can accomplish something or things will fall apart without us. How wonderful when we realize the fallacy of that… 🙂

  5. I’m the hesitant yes. I like to keep little on my to do list. I’ve said, yes, but regretted it in the end and had to pull out of the commitment.

  6. Ya know, I was always one of those kids who had to finish the whole coloring picture before I’d move on to another page. And, well, today, the coloring book (life) has changed, but the girl has not. How that plays out in my 40-something’ness is: I often don’t start things that feed me, because I know that I only have x amount of time. To quote my teens, “not cool”. 🙂 I appreciated the reminder that it does all add up. Something+something = progress. Nothing+Nothing = a whole ‘lotta coulda/shoulda/woulda’s. 🙂

    I tell my children that when they enter a room, if they take out what they took in, or if they take one thing out with them when they leave, the house seemingly cleans itself. Every time that I walk into my kitchen, without thought, I’ll spend (60 seconds) picking up whatever others left behind. It’s no big deal, and it keeps it from adding up, so that it’s not a chore when I start to make supper. I was thinking about that, in relation to personal fringe moments. I need to let them all add up so that, in due time, they become a whole. And, I need to not look at the whole as being more important than the parts. I need to learn to enjoy the process, not just the results. 🙂

    ~ A take-away for me was on page 149 where Jessica talks about the “wheels coming off the tracks” when adding in too many extras. Me too. Just because I (technically) can add in X, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cost.

    Thank you, ladies. 🙂

  7. Q1. I think its important to know what your spiritual gifts and personal priorities are, and to remember that family comes first — evaluate each opportunity prayerfully in light of those 3 things. — . If I say yes to everything, then I end up frazzled. Bruce and I agreed early on that we would try not to be away from home more than one week night, and that we would try to leave either Saturday or Sunday commitment free. This leaves us room to “just be.” — If I pack my weekends full of stuff (even good stuff), I end up dragging to work on Monday, and I am get grumpy much easier.

    Q2. We’ve had a lot of crisis in our family over the last 5 years — sometimes it’s hard to show up for things when you are hurting. At first, I tried to pretend like everything was normal and not back out of anything. But, I have learned to give myself grace now. I’ve learned to say, “I can’t make it to the party because life is a big hot mess right now, but please let me know what little Susie needs so that I can send a gift.” I think my real friends will understand when I have to say no, and they will still be my friends. We can always get together for lunch next month (and Susie will have a birthday again next year)

    Q3. I am finding pockets of time to read where I used to check Instagram. I am still checking instagram at red lights, but I am reading a good book or journaling while I wait at the doctor’s office.

    Q4. I always have my journal and a book in my purse. My best friend’s daughter loves to draw, and she usually carries around her sketch book and a pencil whenever they are out and about. I’ve also packed everything I need for a manicure in my purse and painted my nails during my fringe hours.

    Q5. I loved Jess Lively’s coining of the phrase “Private Victory Practice on page 137. I may just coin mine my Warrior Princess Training Time. 🙂

    • Real friends distinguish themselves in hard times…this is so true.

      I love the idea to keep nail supplies with you! That’s a perfect example of if you have the right “tools” you’ll be ready to work when given opportunity.

      And you KNOW I love anything with “Princess” in it 😉

  8. Q1. and Q2: I said in a previous posting how I do not really have a problem with over committing. I easily feel overwhelmed so I am careful not to do too much. My daughter is only 2.5 years old though and stays home with me so I have not had a ton of requests for volunteering or scheduling her for activities. Hopefully, I can continue to not overcommit as she grows in age.

    Q3. I do waste time with Facebook and Netflix. Those are my worst time wasters. However, a lot of time with Netflix I will be doing something else (like cleaning) while its on. And if it is a really good show that I enjoy that is my “me” time or I would read a book.

    Q4. I always take a book when I go by myself, or I try to take my work with me like grading or making phone calls (I am an online teacher). If I have my daughter with me I will try to take something we can work on together, like a preschool workbook.

    Q5. My favorite take-away is definitely about deleting apps on my phone. I have been thinking about doing that with Facebook for awhile, but it is such an addiction that its hard to give it up! Plus I contact so many people through Facebook. Its how we plan events and play dates.

    I would also like to say she talks a lot about doing something your “passionate” about, but I am still at a loss to what I am truly passionate about (I know this was reviewed in previous chapters). I guess hiking and running is something I am passionate about, but I need something I can do at the house while my daughter is sleeping or something. Reading is one and I am not into crafting. What are some things you enjoy doing besides reading and crafting?

    • I had to smile when you said Netflix. When I first got it, I binge watched a few shows, but only when I was working out. Somehow one justified the other :).

      I love baking and want to pick up photography–really learn what I’m doing. My SLR Camera is in bad shape, though, so it would require expense to do so….so, I’ll wait a bit. But I hear what you say about finding your passion…it can be elusive (don’t feel like you’re alone in that!!!).

      One think I’m growing in my affection for is pouring into younger women. I’ve started small but it’s becoming something I care deep and wide about….incredible blessing.

      • Pouring into younger women is great! That is something I feel like I have a deep desire for. I would love to find a mentor and be a mentor! I know an older woman who use to be sort of a mentor for me, but she went through some hard life events and has become so bitter that she rejects everyone now. One young lady was reaching out to her for support/advice and she basically told her “I did it by myself, I cannot help you.” I feel like that will just continue a bad cycle or older woman not helping younger.

        I also recently read “Desperate,: which was written by a lady and her mentor and I thought it is inspiring. Its hard to find a trustworthy and Godly woman to be a mentor though.

  9. My mom crochets and every where she goes, she almost always has something with her to work on – whether it is the doctor’s office or even when she is visiting family.
    I try to always have my journal and my kindle with me. One of my passions I have really wanted to get back into is art, specifically drawing. I loved to draw growing up and even as a young single adult was pretty good at making time for painting or crafting. But I have done very little since getting married and even less since having kids unless it was an art project with the kids. So I am working on getting a little drawing kit together – nothing elaborate, just a little pocket size sketchbook, a pencil, eraser, sharpener that will fit in a little zipper pouch. That way I can always doodle, draw, or sketch out any creative or craft idea that pops in my mind during those unexpected fringe hours.

  10. I like how Jess wrote about making something we love accessible, like how she keeps cards in her purse, briefcase, car, and different places around her home. I was a commuter student in college, so I spent a lot of time in the car because I either left early in the morning or late at night so I don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic. I ended up with a lot of fringe hours, and if I didn’t use it to study, I used it to catch on sleep in the car. Then I started reading the Bible and writing in my prayer journal when I found fringe hours between classes. Up to this day, I have a prayer journal and a Bible in my car for those unexpected fringe hours.

  11. Q1. I think that I need to spend some time reevaluating my priorities so that I know better where to set my boundaries. I just spend a lot of time second guessing myself and evaluate my yeses and nos based on other people’s priorities or what seems right for others rather than accepting the individual that I am. I also need to set boundaries on myself. I need to put things down and go to bed at a more decent hour. Sleep is healthy and I need to stop thinking that I am missing out or not being all I should be when I go to bed.
    Q2. When Tobi talked about the hesitant yes it opened my eyes to how I might need to listen to myself more. If the yes comes out hesitantly, then it may not likely end up well for me or for the person I am saying yes to. I need to really stop and think and give it some time.
    Q3.I am still working my way through the time tracking and figuring out where I might be wasting time as well. I left social media for a long time. Then I rejoined for the purpose of Bible studies. But then I was very specific about my friend list. I have let those boundaries go recently due to outside and need to reclaim them. I think I might need to do some unsubscribing on my email too. None of my subscriptions are specifically not good but maybe just not for this season.
    Q4. Along with a book, I almost always keep comfy exercise clothes, shoes, and my yoga mat in my car. That way if I get out of work a bit early or have a break between work and a meeting/class, then I can take a walk or do some stretching. I also carry some of my essential oils with me so that i can stop and smell or rub some on and just breath if I have a short break. This idea has really got me thinking about what I could bring along with me. I would like to start journaling more so I am considering carrying about a journal and some prompts.
    Q5.Chapt 7: The section about unreasonable expectations for what can be accomplished in a given time. I didn’t even realize how much I did this to myself. Adding in extras and increasing my expectations when things go ahead of schedule is something that I fall prey to easily. I find myself putting that expectation on others too. Ooof.
    Chapter 8: The section on multitasking was impactful to me. I thought I was a good multitasker and then recently felt guilty for it believing that it was bad and that I wasn’t giving my whole self. This section really helped me to clarify wasteful and helpful multitasking. “For each of us, multitasking is going to look different. But it is important to consider how you practice it to make a positive impact on your time and life.”

    • Rebecca!! I can “hear” how you’re really t h i n k i n g through all of this! You’re sifting these ideas and figuring what applies to you. I’m praying for you, that you have clarity and can see Christ in the midst…what a great season in your mind and heart!

  12. I am still learning the healthy boundary of when I need to say no.
    Part of the reason I have servant heart burn out overload is that
    I did 8 years of volunteering at my old home church for single
    moms. And I would also say yes to a lot of ministries, some to
    check them out and then I would not continue. Over time as
    the burn out reached overload, I started to stop all my volunteering
    and serving at ministries. My last ministry I left was been the
    church librarian.

    One thing that I found really made me feel resentful was the
    single moms, who in their desperation, would keep pushing
    for me to be their yes person. Since I was usually willing.
    When I started to say no, people who were used to my yeses
    started to persuade and persist.

    That’s when I started to feel the burn out overload. Taking
    breaks of not serving was not helping anymore. Everytime
    I started to serve again. I felt the resentment in my heart
    after saying yes.

    Now I remind myself not to volunteer, even thought I feel
    myself wanting to, when I notice a need. I used to be the
    volunteer that noticed a need and would volunteer even
    before the person realized they had a need.

    But I was at times becoming an enabler. People leaning
    on me too much. When they needed to lean on Jesus.
    Also, I was becoming co-dependant with them.

    Now, I entrust it to God. And stop myself and remind myself
    I am not responsible for everyone’s needs. Also, when I am
    doing something and people expect me to drop what I am
    doing to do their stuff. I am getting better at saying no. I
    still need to work on my delivery. I usually show my irritation
    in my tone of voice. And sometimes my wording is not as
    kind as I would like it to be. Sometimes I can speak firmly
    but yet kindly.

    Part of it was realizing I had heart wounds that are all related
    to unforgiveness. At myself for failing to take care of myself or
    making poor choices.

    At others for not respecting my healthy boundaries when I did
    put them down. And feeling like my needs were neglected while
    everyone else felt entitled to expect the yes from me.

    I am working on letting it all go at the Cross, into the tomb.
    Asking for healing from Christ. So that one day my wounds
    will be scars.

    And I will be free again to follow my servant heart. While also
    been careful to make sure my No stays No. And my Yes to
    others is aligned to the best yes to Jesus.

  13. Q4. Well for me when I was younger I would ALWAYS carry a book with me, especially in college, to read a few pages in between classes. Now I imagine I could start that habit again while I go out to run errands or to appointments. I’m also a fairly new knitter, so I will sometimes take whatever project I’m working on to an appointment. I also like Jessica’s idea about always carrying notecards with me to mail – that’s always been something I’d like to spend more time on but I’ve never felt the “necessity” of it, if you will. Perhaps if I try out her method of using fringe hours in this way, I could actually get some done!

    Q5. I just loved the discussion on eliminating technology waste. My husband and I have been discussing this actually quite a bit this past week for a few reasons, and this part of the chapter really jumped out at me. It gave me quite a bit to think about!

  14. Q3. Communicating with “long testers” in my life. I find myself giving in to a long texting session with someone trying to find connection, instead of being efficient with the conversation and my time and scheduling a coffee date wth them Instead… Or just being okay with allowing them to look elsewhere for that connection. I’m guilted even by that thought but some people can be time-suckers in your life, simply because You guiltily let them be. Yikes!

      • Actually, yes it does! Between that acknowledgment and the list of nos in the last chapter, I’ve created new healthy boundaries this week! Pretty excited over it!

  15. Love this discussion. I’ve already read the book and feel encouraged to keep thinking, planning and taking those times to refresh and enrich myself. Thank you!

  16. Q1: I do have a hard time saying no…I have come to terms with that! In my line of work, it is very easy to say yes to everything. Every vendor networking event, every evening that a client wants or “has” to meet, every obligation that deserves all of my time HAS to get done right now, and I feel as though it has taken away so much of my time of the last few years. It came to a head about 1 1/2-2 years ago where my husband came to me with a lot of angst against me and said, you work too much, you allow your work and clients to control your life and I feel like we are roommates. That broke my heart and put my plans into motion of how I am going to make this more manageable. I still struggle with not saying yes to everything, but I have to say, saying no to some obligations, not bending to a client whim that I have to meet at this time or this evening, not clicking yes to the invite that I received makes me do a little happy dance inside that I can spend time with my husband, go hang out with friends, sit at home and read a book, make plans to go out of town for a weekend I don’t work. Truly enjoy life’s little and big moments! I plan for no more than 2 nights a week to have a commitment, if I only have 1 or none that’s even better, but no more than 2 night per week that I am away from home. That is my goal and that is my “small no”, as The Best Yes says!

    Q3: Absolutely, hands down, social media is my biggest time waster and I HATE IT! I removed Facebook from my phone and I only allow myself to check it once a day, 5 minutes max, and only if I am needing to get with someone or post details for an event I am hosting. It is such a time waster for me and I would love to maximize that time with reading and TRY to get to 200 books like Claire with that better use of my fringe hours/time!

    Q4: For me and owning my own business, being able to use those few moments to send a quick email, allows me time later on to not worry about those responses! They’ve already been taken care of! I have really tried to be mindful about maximizing my lunch time to do a few quick “to do’s” so that those don’t pile up!

    Q5: I LOVED what Jessica said in Chapter 7: “We sacrifice the important on the altar of the urgent, and we never get to those things that really matter. That’s gotta be reversed if you’re going to make progress.” What makes that “thing” so much more important that what I truly love and enjoy to do? Does that email REALLY have to go out right this minute? Do I need to make that call back before the end of the day, or can it wait until tomorrow? Do I have to attend this thing or that, or am I only attending because I feel obligated to? Also, “Time is a gift that should not be wasted. Instead, it should be respected and used well!” Amen!!!