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. Wow, Robin! I’m from the Philippines. Glad to know that God has led your daughter to our country. 🙂 And thank you so much for these ideas; my cousin is currently on a six-month firefighting training so I might as well surprise her with my love language–words–and some of her favorite goodies. It’s a good way to share the Gospel to her, too! More blessings to you and your family…

    • Hi Calvin! Rachel LOVED spending time in your country; and it was a tiny way for us to see a glimpse of Filipino life, too–through her eyes.

      And, yes! Your cousin would be ever-grateful for a stack of love from you :). What a nobel profession she’s pursuing, so brave. It makes me so happy you’re considering do this for her…even more so if you follow through ;).

      • That is so sweet of your daughter. Please thank Rachel for us. 🙂 And thank you for the encouragement to go ahead with my plan for my cousin. Sometimes, I need some pushing to do these acts of love/service, being the only Christian in a family where love and acts of kindness are quite reserved.

  2. Robin,
    I LOVE this…and no surprise it comes from You! I relish the idea that we are image bearers of Christ and He IS the Word. How fitting it is to use words of exhortation and encouragement to lift up those spreading the good news of the Gospel. My main “love language” is words – no surprise there – so this is right up my alley. This would also be a wonderful gift for college students, because sometimes the college years can be a scriptural wasteland. My daughter, who has served in Haiti and Kenya, is now a teacher of middle school children. Oh how she could use a gift like this. Thanks for the dynamite under my backside to use my writing gift in a whole new, and creative way!!
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev

    • Bev, I would agree 100%–“words” are your love language (I know I’ve been the recipient of many 🙂 ). It makes me downright giddy to hear how you’re seeing new ways to minister with words. GREAT idea, too, to “gift” this to college students living away from home; I meant to add a note in my post about long-term missionaries, too. Both are perfect applications for this kind of care package :).

  3. What wonderful ideas!! Thank you for sharing. SOOO creative. My daughter, Lauren, just graduated from UGA and left a few days ago with a few friends to travel around Europe. She could only take one small bag and her satchel, so I knew she could not fit her Bible or daily devotional. So I created a mini devotional for her. She has a Scripture for each day and it all fit on one sheet of paper, front and back. that she could stick in her wallet or purse. I prayed for the Lord to meet her in those living and active words each and every day.

    • Oh, Wendy, what a beautiful gift–wise, and so encouraging. I had to smile, too, that Lauren just graduated from UGA; my youngest is headed there this fall! 🙂

  4. Robin this is a lovely post. When my husband and I led a mission trip to Africa we collected letters for our team members – one for each day from family and friends. We gave our team one letter per day for the duration of our trip. It was a sweet moment each day to read those letters from home. I absolutely love the intentionality and creativity behind your letter writing. I will definitely remember and use your ideas in the future!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Robin,

    You do have a gift of using your words to encourage other people. You do it right here with us women with your (in)courage contributions. 🙂

    I like the idea of letters, it can be re-read for a gentle pick-me-up. Also the way you assembled the box would be a gift, two love languages for those whose love language are gifts.

    I know a young lady who is on an assignment for two years in Thailand working with orphans in an orphanage. I will have to do this for her. My son knows her better than I do. But I could still send something as a remembrance of we are thinking and praying for her.

    As I go through my days with my littles, I HAVE to remember the weight of my words. It is way too easy to get cross, and impatient when they have plans other than mine. I know both boys love getting “mail.” I could give them little notes on pretty stationary from “Mom.” It doesn’t matter they don’t read yet, they still would enjoy the stickers, notes, little pictures to color, etc. I know they would relish me reading to them the notes I wrote to each of them.

    This is such a lovely idea for those of us in the trenches yet. I have recently “run across” more grandparents who have adopted, have kinship care, or have legal guardianship of their grandchildren too. It is such a different change from when we were young and raising our families. I could write them a real note instead of an e-mail or facbook. I think a note to open is much more personal.

    I really appreciate this post. It has my mind going of the various ways to just let someone know they are being thought of and remembered.

    Blessings,

    Joanne

    • Awww, Joanne, thank you for such a thoughtful comment. You’ve pressed me deeper and in other directions, an encouragement from you, indeed. Blessings to you in this season!

  6. Your daughter is blessed to have such an involved and loving mother. Thanks for these great tips. 🙂

    I love encouragement — it costs nothing to offer, but it can be such a profound tool of God’s voice, grace, love.

    Thanks for this lovely post today.
    ((Hug))

    • Brenda–you are SO right! It costs nothing beyond intention and kindness! And yet it can be such a significant gift! Glad you pointed out the obvious :).

  7. Yes. Yes. Yes!! Wonderful idea that we share with family and friends of short term and long time workers.
    We even send them over with people to be hand delivered to long-term global workers, and put on the front of the envelope the certain days to be opened (Birthday, Anniversary, Open on a Difficult Day, or When You Need a Giggle…etc).
    This should have been shared a month ago, as many summer internships started over Memorial Day weekend… but it’s GREAT that you’ve shared it!! 🙂

    • 🙂 Maybe we’ll make sure to re-share it NEXT May! I love your idea for opening on special or needy days. GREAT idea to give, but also for the writer to write!! Thanks, Marina!

  8. I think it’s a wonderful reminder to those of us who are blessed with words to use them in ways beyond the obvious (our blogs, our emails, etc) and get back to pen and paper and make some people encouraged and happy!!

  9. For me, the gift of meaningful words is like no other…….

    Your idea is so thoughtful Robin and your daughter will be able to hold on to the memory throughout her lifetime.

    Thank-you for sharing your idea with us….
    Have a blessed day,

    Penny

    • I guess those of us whose love language is “words” believe that to our core. Others maybe not so much, but it’s still a lovely gift no matter when :).

  10. Robin, I loved the great ideas you used to convey love to your daughter! My husband just returned from a 6 week business trip abroad. I bought six cards and wrote letters in each of them. Some cards were funny, some more serious . . . all conveyed some aspect of my love for him. I was also able to write notes based on what I thought he might be doing. 🙂 I dated the envelopes for when I wanted him to open them (I”m not a control freak . . . really! 🙂 Okay, not always).

    I love how you showed your girl how she bears the image of Christ. I’m going to have to try that with my boys.

    PS—I had the privilege of going to the Philippines on a missions trip years ago. Some of the most life-changing days of my life happened there.

    • Jeanne,

      Yes!! What a precious way to “be” with your husband while he was gone. Working abroad for an extended length of time can be lonely. I just KNOW your words were a sweet ministry to him. So wise and thoughtful.

  11. My daughter is in the Peace Corp in Morocco for three years (she extended an extra year) and prior to that she went to South Korea for a year. I faced the same issue, mail would take too long to get there so I sent her with a stack of cards with instructions on the envelope to “Open When,.. you are discouraged, need a word of encouragement, to celebrate, just because, whenever you want and so on. She had the card she needed when she needed it. For her it is one of the most meaningful gifts that she has received. When I send her a care package I include another stack of cards to replenish the ones she has opened.

    • Suanne,

      Beautiful. I would’ve probably doubled my letter stash if I had thought the way you and several others have mentioned :).

  12. What a wonderful idea! This would be a great idea for a wedding gift/bridal shower gift/ baby shower gift as well! Thanks for sharing.

  13. This idea can be turned around as well. One of our youth is in Zimbabwe for three months. She knew her mother was going to have a hard time having her half way around the world. So she wrote letters and cards and left them with her mother to open at specific times. Her mother carries them with her all the time, opened and unopened. I know they mean a lot to her.

    • Oh my word, Kat. What a WISE, BRILLIANT youth member! Yes–I treasured every word from my daughter, but that kind of gift would’ve been GOLD.

  14. No surprise this email is written by you miss Robin! You always know how to encourage people! I totally agree that we should send “care/love” packages to people on mission trips, college students, military, etc. Everyone needs to hear that they are loved and thought of.
    Blessings 🙂

    • We DO, Beth…we do! Every once in a while I’ll receive snail mail from someone that almost feels like it’s from God himself (b/c of the timing). I’m really trying to be a better letter writer/card sender in general these days…

  15. Oh, what fabulous ideas to bless just about anyone who could use a dose or TEN (!) of encouragement! Thank you so much for sharing. What fun for the giver as well as the receiver! Thank you, Robin!

    • Nancy,

      Like I said, I’ve been “sitting” on this post idea since I did it. 🙂 Maybe I SHOULD have written it for April instead of May… Oh well, gotta believe “someone” read it right when they need to, right? 🙂

  16. A wonderful idea for a departing college student or child leaving home for an out-of-town job (kind of expensive and bulky to mail 🙂 ). An intentional idea!!

  17. Recently I was at a local pharmacy. I watched a little girl standing on her tippy toes watching the photo technician. I struck up a conversation with the little girl’s mother. It turns out that the little girl was making a photo book for her grandfather who was going overseas for two months. I thought that was a fantastic idea.