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. The “ministry of showing up” is wonderful and so promising, but the ministry of showing up with a casserole in your hands and orange solo cups to fill with bubbling deliciousness? Well, that’s just amazing.

    I am going to remember your admonition not to “say no for” someone else. That’s just rich truth and good sense.

    • Michele,

      Once you start the practice of not saying no for others, you’ll realize how often you do this (at least that’s been the case for me). 🙂

  2. Robin,
    First, the shrimp and grits casserole sounds yummy – gotta try it. I can honestly tell you, having been laid up for 6 weeks, unable to bear any weight on my foot, when friends have called, or just shown up with a dinner, a half a casserole, a yummy salad, soup, dessert, you name it….even a pb&j that was lovingly made and offered it was like a gift from heaven!! To me, I could hear the angels singing and the heavenly light shone round them when food was carried in ready to eat, or frozen for another day. One friend, who lives far away, even sent a care package on dried ice from Omaha Steaks. I literally wept over the kindnesses. This whole experience has reminded me that I need to ignore those nasty voices from the enemy that say this is a poor attempt. No gift that is humbly made and offered ever disappoints the receiver or God. If you had shown up at my door, Clemson orange cups and all, I would have hobbled over and hugged your neck. Hospitality doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be offered in love. I adored you post!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Well, that’s no good, Bev…SO sorry to hear you’ve been off your feet, but I do hope you’re healing now.

      Thank you so much for your kind, affirming and encouraging words. You know I consider those a gift.

  3. Love this. When we try to be “perfect” in serving, we miss the point. Sacrificially serving isn’t about our presentation, but about blessing the other person. Thanks for this reminder!

  4. The practical side of me probably would have also thought to bring over some toilet paper and paper towels! God bless you for not giving in to the thoughts that what you were doing was not enough AND going back for the ginger ale, etc. before leaving for your friend’s house. You may have saved her time and money, she may have thought about getting a fast food meal for her family. And with food in their stomachs it may have been easier to start unpacking boxes too.

    • Carol,

      Well, if I had thought about TP and PT, I would’ve added those–honestly, a great idea for someone who’s just moved. 🙂 Practicality is a GOOD and sometimes very NECESSARY thing!!

      Thank you for this smile :).

      xo

  5. Robin,
    You are a such thoughtful friend, and as time wears the impact of your gift will always remain. I am so thankful to those who gifted me in this way carried through. Thank-you for your sweet encouragement to be that gift, mismatched and all.

    Have a blessed day all,

    Penny

    • Penny,

      A neighbor just texted me to let me know how a simple meal taken to her when she had a baby had impacted her; we didn’t know each other but I saw the bow on her mailbox. Because I was brave and offered a meal without knowing her, she did the same thing for another new mom in our neighborhood!! THAT was like a paycheck, the best kind :). You’re right…impact lingers.

  6. “I promise you, the only one who is pleased by this is Satan; when we’re influenced not to love on someone, we’re allowing him to rob the joy and blessing from the would-be receiver.”

    There have been times I felt like giving to someone but wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do because it was so small. The person that was blessed with the smallest of gifts was truly happy because it was given in love. Thank you for the reminder to not let the enemy steal the blessing and joy from the person it belongs to.

    • Stefanie,

      It’s a reminder I clearly need to preach to myself!! But yes, DO hear that prompting as a Holy nudge to be brave, follow through, and bless someone else with your gifts. 🙂

  7. “Don’t say no for her.” That’s a powerful little statement. Will have to remember that. Meals are they’re own special kind of encouragement to me. With fast food and groceries on every corner, folks always have access to a quick meal–so taking a meal is less about the food and more about the remembering. Everyone needs to know that whatever their big thing is — they’re remembered. The ministry of meals is one that is near to my heart. In my early adult years, I’d often sign up to take meals to others who were in transitional times. Then, I had my first baby and was in my own transitional time—and no door bells rang. No sign-up sheet was passed. It was all crickets on my doorstep. — Later that month I volunteered to be the meals coordinator at my church. I knew the importance of being remembered. — That was 22 years ago, and still, I try to reach out with my little ministry of meals. Sometimes it’s much, sometimes it’s little. And, these busy days of my life, always it’s a sacrifice. But, people need to know they’re seen and remembered and they matter. The opportunity to “shine God-glory” is a gift. Lovely words today, Robin. Thank you. 🙂

    • Brenda, Your story is powerful! Please share it with others. Shout it from the roof-tops. I’m headed to your blog next. Hugs & Prayers ~

  8. What a wonderful story!! So many times we steal blessings from others by overthinking what we should do!!

  9. I love casseroles. And I like try out some new recipes. I had one sweet old lady when I lived in Atlanta, who would always bring me soup and cornbread. She even took time to make stuffed eggs when she heard I liked them. Don’t under estimate these small things. But I do have say no some because I tend to over do.

  10. Robin, thank you for this reminder that what we do doesn’t have to be elaborate and fancy. When we follow the prompting of the Spirit, we can make a difference!

  11. I LOVE this Robin!!! This gave me so much encouragement today! Our gifts are our gifts. They don’t have to be packed up in perfect matching ribbon packages. Thank you so much for this post today. God Bless you for your generosity!

  12. Thank you so much for these beautiful words, Robin. “If words, God’s words”. Yours are for me today.

    Today, I made the decision to surrender my pride and stay home, rather than help at our church Mum’s morning. I have been overwhelmed saying yes to everyone and everything and in the meantime neglecting both our home and time alone with God. I felt God’s gentle leading to listen to His voice above that critical inner dialogue.

    And so after dropping the kids at school I put worship music on and began to clean, sort washing and vacuum, while pouring out my heart to God. And then the words began to flow. He gifted me four beautiful poems in my worship. And then as I sat to read my Bible one of my verses for the day was:

    …”Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, come and give it.” (Acts 13: 15 NLT)

    I knew the poems were His gift to send to a number of different people walking very hard circumstances to encourage them. And so I sent them on their way.

    Your words have been a true blessing. They remind me that man may make His many plans, but it is God who orders our steps. God has us exactly where He wants us … and not always where we would prefer to go or be .

  13. Robin, I loved this! What an awesome thing you did. A great reminder of how a simple gesture can be a really big deal to the person on the receiving end. Thank you for writing this.

  14. Miss Robin,

    This spoke straight to my heart! Such a tough lesson I am learning lately… My heart and soul want to be hospitable and serve and help! …Buuut, often my mind (and a dash of fear and a pinch rebellion) gets in the way. I am learning that hospitality has no “open” or “closed” sign and that serving others out of love is a 24/7 job. (One that pays well and keeps your soul fed.) Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging and inspiring story with us; I pray your day is blessed!

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

  15. Robin, This brought tears to my eyes. It has taken many years to overcome those whispers of “not perfect, so rejection looms”….
    Over time, I have found other ways of giving and being there.
    Thank you for the encouragement.
    Thank you for your story.
    It matters.

  16. Robin,

    That meal looked delicious. People appreciate your helpfulness no matter the hurried, thrown together look. When my dad died earlier this year a dear friend brought dinner. It was store bought/cooked chicken, loaf bread & some doughnuts. No big deal, except one sister was coming & I had errands to run & didn’t feel like cooking. I thought it was sweet of her to do that for me. I don’t usually hesitate to feed others, if need be. It might be KFC, or grocery store made, but I know the thought & kindness are welcomed. Thanks for teaching us a great lesson.

    Blessings 🙂

  17. Anything given out of love is just flat-out gorgeous — no matter how it’s put together! Thanks so much for reminding me. 🙂

  18. Absolutely great encouragement!! I wonder how many times I’ve asked God to lead me and then talked myself out of His leading. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. When on bedrest with my second child still in the womb, the church my family attended made a couple of frozen meals for my family. In addition, my first born child’s God Mother had our family on her church’s prayer chain. When another parishioner learned of my situation she had several members make fresh meals for my family. This wasn’t even our church and they “gifted” us with free food for my family since I could not get up to prepare my family meals. My husband was busy working, taking care of the house and caring for our toddler son while I worked hard at keeping our unborn child safe. The Lord does bless us. I thank God for his love. Years later I started attending my friend’s church who provided those meals and then a year or so later began bible study from the same woman who made and organized the meals that my family enjoyed. What a journey… God’s plan is always awesome!