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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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for your story I was a nurse for 20 years and have had to leave this field due to a chronic illness but the one thing that was always on my mind as I dealt with difficult patients, once I became a Christian…was when we care for people we should do it thinking they are Christ himself…it was an eye opening experience for me.

    Bless you for mothering to Christ’s child!

    • Karen,

      Another thing I’ve realized is there’s a reason some people are difficult; my over-arching hope is that I always remember to seek to understand before I seek to be understood. It helps.

      How lovely to have had the perspective you did during your decades of nursing service. It changes everything.

  2. Robin,

    This almost made me cry! So sweet… I think you WERE loving on an angel that day! What a blessing!

  3. going to write today about not giving up meeting together. so your nod to how satan delights in tripping us up in that was timely! and speaking of timing….glad god put you there! –kris

    • Oh, Kris…timing is everything! When things don’t go my way (or it feels like it), I try to so hard to remember that nothing escapes God’s eye, events come as no surprise to Him…and if things are they way they are I should pay attention to what I might learn from them. I’m so glad you’ve received a little nudge to write!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. Satan sure does know how to dig in when we are trying to serve others (and get ready for church), and then, there comes our hero. Our God to save us with gifts, that at first don’t seem like gifts, and we can give while we receive. This is beautiful and such a great reminder that our lists, while important, shouldn’t be in control of us or they become tools used by satan to derail us from what is true and good.

  5. I loved this! It is hard to realize that your children no longer need you in the same way they used to and now what happens to those nurturing skills! My 4 daughters are grown and now I have grandchildren to care for! Am loving it! Thank you Lord for these little angels in my life.

  6. I don’t know why but this brought me to tears this morning. I’m at work. I have been struggling with some personal things this week and somehow this hit me straight at my heart. What a lovely story.

    • {{Hugs}}, Lissa. Praying that you’ll see Christ at the center of your struggle, and that the tension will be softened in light of his grace and for his glory.

  7. Robin, how beautiful. That simple phrase “I’m a mom” is so powerful (and empowering). Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I felt the Lord lay it on my heart today, unexpectedly and quite heavily, that I need to cherish people and relationships over “things”. How beautiful to see how He equips us in our lives to do JUST that, even when we least expect it, even when it scares us, even when we think we can’t do it, and yet, we can. I’m sitting hear with tears, yet they are joyful and encouraged tears. Thank you again.

  9. Wow. Robin. I was just riveted by this story. You have an incredible gift for both storytelling AND compassion. What a blessing you were in your calm and reassuring response to that man. And what a blessing, it turns out, he was to you.

    Thank you for this, lovely friend.

  10. Robin, You just produced a good ole cry from me this morning. What a sweet sweet story. I follow your blog and always enjoy…but this just really “hit” me this morning.
    Understand the Christmas freenzy ..stress of preparing a meal for a crowd….then feelings of not being Needed by your children like you once were then…wow..love the fact that you were able to be calm, to be a rock for this man at his time of need.
    God bless & keep up the wonderful writing.
    (by the way, I am born/raised/still live in Georgia …1 1/2 hours from UGA)

    • Donna,

      Forgive my delayed reply (I’ve been traveling!) but thank you for your always encouraging words. They mean so much. And……Georgia girls rock!!! xo

  11. Robin,

    Years ago I witnessed an accident where an SUV flipped over on a major road in my hometown. I kicked off my high heels and ran to the vehicle. The driver was bleeding and attempting to crawl out of the wreckage. I got on my hands and knees and crawled into the side window and did my best to keep the man still and calm until paramedics arrived. I’m still thankful to this day that I was there to help this gentleman, who could have very well been my own father.

    Years ago our church held a children’s Sunday school class on an old school bus parked behind our church. One night a young homeless girl snuck onto the bus for shelter. I arrived early the next morning for church and saw this girl. I invited her into our service and she reluctantly accepted. She smelled bad. She looked bad. But once our congregation saw her people brought blankets, clothes, food and toiletries to help this girl get back on her feet. She ended up moving in with family and is doing well now, years later.

    Years ago I took a walk at a local park. A young teenage girl sparked up a conversation with me while walking. As we were walking she got a call on her cell phone. She excused herself and took the call. The call was from her boss telling her he had to let her go. This young girl just lost her job right in front of me. I invited her to our small group bible study at our church that night. She came and that night in the dark parking lot leaning against my Ford Escort I lead her to The Lord.
    My son Santino just turned one year old on January 10th. Since having him it’s been nonstop feedings, changing’s, baths, rocking, and soothing him. While also, washing dishes, doing laundry, vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping, going to work, going to church, dropping off at daycare, picking up at daycare, going to functions and a few times a week attempting to reconnect with my husband who is also running around doing all the aforementioned tasks. I’ve been so inundated with this new thing called motherhood I worry that I may never again impact someone’s life other then this little child who needs so much from me. I sometimes fear that I’ve forever lost my identity in sea of child rearing. I sometimes feel like I might never see land again.

    After reading your wonderful post I’m encouraged that in God’s time He will once again put me in a position to help people someday. Perhaps, all these new challenges and skills I’m learning as a mother will come in handy on that day like they have for you.

    Thanks for your post,


    • Dear Sheena,
      Before I got married, I wanted to go to Zimbabwe and DO something great for Jesus.
      God had other plans – He wanted me to BE something great for Jesus.

      Over time, He gave me a husband and 3 precious girls. I remember being where you are now. Please know that God has a plan for you now. The impact that you can be in the life of your husband and son is mind-boggling. You are the best-shaped tool in the Father’s hands to bless and minister to them, and they are the best-shaped tools in His hands to make you more like Jesus.

      You truly won’t ever see land again, at least not the land you left behind. You have been promoted to Motherhood, and there is no going back. Your heart will forever walk around outside of you, and the new challenges and skills you’re learning will be ready – every time you need to apply them! You are, after all, a Mom! :o)

      ((((((Hugs)))))) to you, dear one.

    • Sheena,

      With the examples you’ve shared from your “pre-mom” life, and likely others you didn’t include here, it’s understandable how you could feel the way you do. When my youngest was born, I had three babies four and under, and life, FOR YEARS, was exhausting! I loved each season I was in, but those were hard years. Just because you love your babies doesn’t mean that it can’t be great challenge.

      But I’m with TN Lizzie…these years are accomplishing refinement in you, softening edges that wouldn’t be touched by anything else. You have to be intentioned in the choices you’re making (time for your husband, where to say “yes”…etc.) but none of your life experiences are wasted! God can use your struggle, your doubt, to serve as encouragement to others….all for His glory.

      Considering you’re metaphor, you will see land again…it’s just gonna be on the other side of the ocean.


  12. Well, I love the name you *did* choose, it seems fitting. This piece of writing had me laughing and tearing up at the same time. Storming furiously with $5 lights… ah, yes. And asking if he was “sure” about his age? It would seem that God provided just the right needed one at the right time of need. I so loved this story.

  13. Robin,

    Thank-you for sharing this amazing experience,it deeply touched me.
    There is so much to be learned from this.

    I admire your compassion and composure.You were in the right place at the right time as you were meant to be.


  14. I love this life story! YAY for God using “us overgrown moms” in ways unaware. I can’t help but think that it sideswiped the gloom off your morning and created some great fellowship that afternoon.
    Praying now for that man, that his health issues are resolved, that He felt God’s presence in a new way that day too.
    I thought that your photo pic was interesting too…we moved this past year, selling a home in KY and moving to AR for hubby’s job. Our selling agent (a believer) told me that there were some odd things in our photos that she took of our house for the listing pics; little light orbs that normally showed up where there was water or reflective light – but there were no sources for that in our home pictures. Not even flash was used. She believed they were angels – and in one photograph there were over 5, in different places, on opposite sides of the room.
    I’ve always believed in angels, and angels unaware, but never thought of them as the light refractions in photographs. As a photographer, I always saw them – usually ruining my photo! Now I see them differently. And while that may not be what they truly are evidence of, it’s a good reminder for me that they ARE there. That HE is HERE. NOW. ALWAYS.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Funny you should mention the picture I chose, Marina; I wanted to use one with Christmas lights but then decided since it was January, that might be odd. I took this one in my car while my husband made a Starbucks run one night (it was raining and I was scared I’d melt 😉 ). Something about it made me wanna use it…and NOW you have me thinking differently about lights!!

  15. A lovely story to share Robin about this God appointment. How wonderful that you were there for the gentleman to fall on. You weren’t the everlasting arms, but close enough. 🙂 Isn’t that humbling in a way and awe inspiring that God put you right there at just the right time. He is good like that isn’t He! If only we would just remember that. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings to you. And, oh, I’m southern too, and I love my sweet iced tea. http:www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com

  16. “How were you so calm? How did you know what to do?”

    “I’m a mom.”

    Ain’t that the truth, sister! Society has minimized the importance of being a mom. It’s all about go to college, establish a career, find your passions, do what you want…oh, and then maybe think about having kids…but don’t you dare let that keep you from doing what YOU want! And we wonder why there are so many struggling, selfish parents out there whose kids don’t feel loved. Moms are IMPORTANT. Good moms are essential to any society. We need never feel minimized or like we’ve been shunted to the sidelines. And your story about what happened in Walgreens is proof of that.

  17. Just came across your posts recently but this one really surprised me – yes it brought me to unexpected tears at the ” I am a mom” line which is where for many reasons it resonates in our hearts. I have some friends, who like me are empty nesters and who have been bemoaning of late their lack of post education degree and worldly valued experience and I have forwarded this to them to remind them that it is truly who we are and our availability no matter what the present chaos that makes us ‘valuable’ to Him and others. Thank you for reminding us that no matter what it looks like, and what we are ‘going through’ at the moment, He may just be manoeuvring us to the right place at the right time in the right season for the right reason!

    • Oh…Kathy….

      I’m honored that you would share this with your friends. This year is a BIGGIE for me…the big 5-0 is looming. So you’d better believe I’ve got a lot going on in my mind. And I hope I have the eloquence to share it…for my good and God’s glory.

  18. Absolutely loved the story. Praise God you were there with calmness to help the older gentleman. My pastor’s wife and I tend to call acts like that “God things”. Where God orchestrates our lives for us–He had you in Walgreens for just that purpose!

    My God things are when I get to assist my aging father with tasks or be there for him when he’s not feeling well!

    • {{hugs}} Beth; helping an aging parent is HARD. I used to romanticize what that looked like until I was a caregiver during my father’s last 14 months of life. There was nothing “pretty” about it…but it WAS beautiful.

  19. Beautiful post, Robyn. Being a mom later in life, this brought me to tears. To care for anyone — even for a few moments — is a gracious gift. Thankful for this reminder. Bless you!

  20. Truly enjoyed your story. We get so wrapped up in our own problems that we forget there are others out there that are hurting. Thank you for reminding me of that and thank you for reminding me that being a Mom never stops.

  21. Thank you for the reminder this morning that the little things I do as a mom matter, and even though my kids are still little I will never stop being a mom.

    What a precious encounter, and how wonderfully God used you-even though your morning was rough, even though it was a hard day, even though…. I’m so grateful God uses us even though.

    And ps, I had the same white light issue…all mine dead and not a single strand of white lights to be found at any store! We went for a colored tree, and it was beautiful 🙂

    • Gina,

      I never got around to writing about it, but my tree ended up being layered; a foot of white lights, then a string of colored…all the way to the top. I had the colored lights and used them after one of those blasted boxes of $5 NEW WHITE LIGHTS didn’t work!

  22. Robin, my sweet father of 83 years passed away Dec. 20, so I am particularly ” little old man sensitive” right now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness & loving spirit you offered to “Mr. Hendley”!! Sometimes, these days, I think we as a society seem to forget that the elderly weren’t always slow- shuffling & coin-dropping their way thru life as they may be now – they were once spry & eager & ambitious & busy as we “youngsters” are. Let’s all strive to be open to loving them & helping them & cherishing them a little more. After all, with God’s grace, we’ll all be little old folks someday!!! Special hugs to you, friend!!! I think Mr. Hendley would say YOU were the angel!!!

    • {{{Jan}}} Oh, hon…my sympathies for your loss. My father passed away 5 years ago and it’s still hard to think about….. Thank you for encouraging me and please know I’m praying for your peace and comfort right now.

  23. Thank you for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    It also reminded me of an encounter I had 2 years ago with an elderly woman who fell a few feet from me on a city street, breaking her glasses. 3 of us strangers tended to her, and she was so grateful, asking if we were angels. (Hardly!)
    Sometimes I think we are the more blessed ones when we reach out to help others.

  24. This was so sweet and touching. It was what he needed…to have someone know he was coherent and to be tender about it. No wonder there were a few tears in his eyes and mine.

  25. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Yes, we are Moms. We are calm in storms, yet other times, we let the storm sweep us along and our actions bring about new storms. I am ashamed of myself when I lose control. I have been blessed with 3 children. I am their Mother by appointment from God. He gave them to ME. I AM CHOSEN for THIS. I need to remember that. Your story helped. Thank you.

  26. Thank you, Robin.

    I think the Lord knew you needed this gentleman as much as he needed you….and that we needed to read this as much as you needed to share it. Tears are still in my eyes.


  27. Robin,
    What a wonderful way for God to use you and bring about a halt to your stress and change it to thankfulness and a reminder that smooth or bumpy, the road we walk should be a reminder that sometimes our “list” of to do’s is not necessarily on God’s. I am in Germany right now and looking forward to returning this yr to the states….my to do’s are piling up already….

  28. Dearest Robin… I loved this story. Whoever said above that you’re an incredible story teller… they were right. Love how the Lord just busts into our lives in our moments of weakness and uses us RIGHT THEN, as opposed to when we’re feeling all strong and spiritual, so that HE gets glory…. So beautiful.

    I know I say this often… but… I so appreciate your heart.

  29. Dear Robin,
    This really touched my heart today. God always sends the exact person or thing that we need at the the perfect time. Thank you for reminding me.

  30. Your story made me cry. My kids are grown, in college and don’t need me anymore. I have been feeling so down and on top of that I feel so selfish for feeling down. I have not accomplished anything important nor will anyone miss me if I were gone.
    I have gone to several places after work to try to volunteer but no openings were available that worked with my schedule. Maybe God will send me a Mr. Hendley. My husband is not able to do much except get up in the morning and he has to go to bed early. He has been dealing with chronic pain for the past 20 years and due to addiction issues is not able to take pain meds so he is miserable 90% of the time. Not much of a marriage, no talking, no intimacy, not able to go places. I am just not sure how much longer I can go on. Being a mom was so fulfilling and now that is gone. Wish i was.

    • Oh, SLU. Your comment makes me SO sad I’ve been traveling for most of the time since my post was published! Please know I would have replied sooner if I had been able to sift through comments and discover yours.

      Friend…you ARE needed. Please don’t believe those lies! You’ve fallen into a pattern of negative thinking based on your experience…but those feelings are faulty. You matter. You’ve given life to others! THAT is the most important thing of all!! The enemy delights in your defeat and you are not hearing the Voice of Hope! Maybe you did through my post (or more so, through others??).

      You’re struggling with things I’m not experienced to counsel, but please know I’m praying for YOU right now. Please reach out to a local church, maybe one you’ve never visited before. Someone local CAN help you. I’m praying God’s peace, wisdom and grace over your broken heart now.

  31. Loved this! How often we could be used by the Lord if we just asked and watched for Him working! Seems like He gave you a perspective change that Sunday. So wonderful!

  32. Robin: I was drawn to the title of your post because it contained the words “angels” and “mothers”–two very important things to me. As I read through your story, many of your experiences paralleled mine—the argument with the husband, the need to run to the store for one more thing, the general chaos, but then I got to the end…”I’m a mom.” The tears started to flow. My only daughter recently moved 5 states away to attend college and live in the state she was born and raised in. Since she left, I have been struggling with the hole in my heart. I miss her so much it hurts. I’ve been irritable and in a funk and probably not the nicest person to be around lately. I’m thinking it’s because I haven’t fully “let go” of my daughter. I haven’t been trusting the Lord and his plans for her. I’ve been so selfish by focusing on my own “loss” when in fact I should be rejoicing in the beautiful ‘adult’ life my daughter has started for herself. It doesn’t matter if she is near or far, I will always be her Mom. Thank you, thank you, thank you for waking up my Spirit.

    • Kimberly,

      Well, now. If this story did that for you? I’m so happy Mr. Hendley prompted the whole thing (with a little help from the Divine). My own daughter is 10 hours away interning at a missionary training facility…and I know she’s “gone” in so many ways. Yes, yes, REJOICE in who your daughter is becoming! I was encouraged to hold my children loosely when they were so young, and had I not been preparing for this for over a decade, I’m not sure I could do it without becoming a basket case. I’m praying over your heart now, that you see the plenty and not void. You’re off to a good start, friend…continue what God has begun in you xo.