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. Robin,
    I’ve always been a crier – tears come easily to my eyes. I’ve spent most of my life listening to people tell me to stop crying for this, that, or the other reason as if stopping the tears would somehow stop the pain?! I’ve come to realize and appreciate that, though I didn’t know scientifically, that stress hormones were being expelled and endorphins produced, I somehow knew that if I just let the tears come then there would be a release that was often followed by a sense of peace or calm. I don’t know why society wants to stop our tears. Your home where you raised your babies is an integral part of your life. If you cut off a limb of your body, you’d cry. Well, you are cutting off a limb of your life and it’s going to touch a wellspring of emotions. To me those tears say you cared, you loved, you gave your family your all – there in that home. It was the frame around your masterpiece called life. Grieve it as it should be grieved. Only then will you be able to embrace the next stage that God has in store. Praying for you sweet friend…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Is there a National Association of Lifetime Criers? There should be. And the first of the by-laws would be permission – even encouragement – to turn our backs on the anti-criers… They don’t know what they are missing!! xoxox

      • Ha, except THEN you’d be turning your back on me!! I am not a quick crier, so all these waterworks lately have been unfamiliar terrain :).

      • LOL Nancy!! There’s an association for everything so why not for lifetime criers??? Even when I was little and we’d go to part ways with aunts, uncles, and cousins, everyone would look at me because they knew the waterworks would soon flow. I shouldn’t admit this, but one time I even teared up during the Shamu show at SeaWorld (must have been the music)…my kids died laughing. So now when I tear up they jokingly refer to mom having a “Shamu Moment” lol. With hugs, kisses, and yes, tears…
        Bev 🙂

    • Bev,

      “you are cutting of a limb of your life….” <– whoa. 🙂 I finally started facing the tears as a GOOD thing, that they meant something special and were my body's attempt to release emotion. I loved learning more about the science of tears, though, too. So cool. Our God thought of everything!

  2. Thank you for sharing this it deeply touched my heart. Three years ago we made the transition to a larger home for our family of six. For a while I grieved the little house we left, at times so much that I wanted to move back. This caught me completely off guard. But it was our first house, we bought it six months after we were married. We slowly transformed it into our home with countless hours of sweat and hard work. We brought each of our precious babies home to that house and watched them grow. It was as if the memories lived within the wall.
    We started to create memories in our new home. Working to transform it into our own. My husband and father built our children a fort. It took time but it feels like home. Now we drive passed our old home and remember with joy instead of sadness. If we ever move again I will be more gentle with myself and allow for time to grieve the season that is passing while knowing that God has a wonderful purpose in the mist of change. It grows us, changes us, reminds us to be thankful for His provisions past and future.

    • Ashleigh, I can’t remember feeling so deeply with two previous moves of ours; maybe I just don’t remember? But this stage of life I’m in doesn’t have one thing going on, it has many. I’m pretty sure that’s a contributor, too. But yes, be gentle to yourself, always xo.

  3. Robin, thanks for sharing this post with us. We should cast all our cares on God. ..for He cares for us. Tears are cleansing for the soul.

  4. My parents were both criers. Dad always said that men should not be embarrassed to cry, tears were “like the safety valve on a pressure cooker”. I totally agree. Thank you for sharing this reminder. My husband and I just received word that we will be moving to a new state for his promotion. We’re excited, but it will be bittersweet. The great majority of our friends, family, and church are here. In my 55 years, I’ve only ever lived outside this area for 4 years of college and my first year of teaching. It will be an adjustment, but an adventure as well. I’m sure there will be tears involved!

    • Oooo, yes, Ellen, I bet there will be! ((hugs)) in advance. I love that your Dad modeled such a lovely and complete picture of being a man; my husband isn’t a quick crier, so all of this has taken both of us by surprise–especially since we’ve not lived in that house full-time in over three years! Crazy.

  5. “The physiology of tears is amazing to me.” — as it should be to all of us. I was captivated by this. To think that the God of the Universe who created all things for our joy imagined the best response to our pain and sorrow and ALL of the emotional buildup. He knew we would mess us – and yet made a way for us to rejoice in Him through it all. How can we not believe and believe in a Creator like this? Hallelujah, what a Savior…xoxox

  6. I can only imagine all the emotion. I’ve raised kids in a house Ithought we’d be in for 2 years…a short hop until we found our real home. Here we are 11 years later and so much life has been lived in this short hop. I cannot imagine boxing it up at this point. You’re right, tears are a beautiful Godly gift to help us process our sadness in a healthy way. Happy move to you and here’s to the next layer of memories in the new house!

  7. No wonder moving’s considered one of the major stress factors. It’s very hard especially if you’re leaving behind a Home, not simply a house. Tears are in order, Robin 🙂 Here’s to a wonderful next season of making new memories!

    • Sasha, once I finally understood what my tears DIDN’T mean, I readily received them for what they did. My brain just needed a slight adjustment :).

  8. Oh Robin, I praise the Lord that you put these words to page today. He made us to be able to cry; tears are such a gift. Jesus Himself cried at Lazarus death; how good it is that He shows us that He is with us in this way, crying with us, moved with us as you said. How I needed these reminders from your post of His tender empathy and love that led Him to enter into our mess, showing us to never be ashamed of these places. “These tears are evidence of a great love, and for life that has meant something special, even important.” I thank you, dear sister, for crying the tears that allow for a moving forward instead of a stuckness. May each of us pray for the tears we need to let go as we pray to be held in His tender arms today 🙂

  9. Robin, The sadness and the joy, the closing and the opening, the letting go and the uncertainty of the known and the unknown, the LIVING life, the remembering. I can only imagine….all of the things represented a memory and your descriptions of fiercely loving your babies who’ve grown to be young adults. How do you decide with your memories, say goodbye, let go, and move to the next chapter? I’m crying for you as I read this testimony of the change, the good change, the love of the life lived, not perfect, often hard, the change we work toward for our children to eventually become independent, Jesus followers, forming their own families being husband and wife and mamas and daddies. We the parents having to move in a different realm and place, sometimes physically, sometimes not. Tears are healing and therapeutic to live through this change. Beautiful, but change. Blessings, Joanne

  10. How I needed to hear your message of tears today. I too have cried more in the past week than since my husband passed away 6 years ago while also feeling guilty over the unjustifiable reason for them; our son is selling our boat. (Makes the selling of your home a little higher on the justifiable list?) My husband & I had struggled and saved to purchase his lifelong dream, a pontoon boat. How our family & friends enjoyed our fishing excursions, so many wonderful memories, especially with my youngest son who passed away a short 6 months after our purchase.
    After my husbands death I deeded the boat to my eldest son, who took over the maintenance and captaining of said pontoon. This month he arbitrarily chose to put the boat up for sale, and I was crushed, heart broken, tears flowing still. It’s just a thing! Get over it! It’s his to do with as he pleases! All the reality couldn’t erase what I felt (& still feel) , he is too carefree with our memories, he doesn’t appreciate our struggle to get the boat, he selling our family time together at the lake, erasing the memories of his brother & father, doesn’t he care? On & on the litany in my head spins.
    But then God steps in & touches my grieving heart; there is a time & a season for everything I hear deep within, the boat is just a possession, I will make new memories with you. I am learning to let go, and while I can’t say that the tears have all dried, I can state that I am at peace, and your inspiring message assures me that I am not alone in my struggles. Our sharing of our pain & emotions, no matter how inconsequential we may think they are, can be the balm that God uses to quiet the broken spirit of another hurting soul. Thank you for being that balm to me today.

  11. I just finished packing and moving after 27+ yrs in the house. My son was raised there and has been gone 10yrs from this earth. I thought I had dealt with alot but finding so many pictures and more school papers was exhausting. I didn’t know how many “landmines” I would have to deal with. Only because I would see the Lord’s hand in this journey and knew it was the right timing was I able to do all this alone. Now that the move is over I am sure this was good but also know I needed the Lord through every step.

  12. I have a Pinterest board called Tears in a Bottle. For years, I tried to be such a strong woman of faith, that I couldn’t cry. When I did, it was a relief. Everything wasn’t on me, Jesus bore it. Then I had someone tell me crying didn’t help, she was wrong, it is a release. Thank you for explaining the kinds of tears. God knows the sincere tears.

  13. Oh, Robin…how timely this is. The last two days, I’ve been cleaning out my closet, finally going through the few boxes and things that were unopened from our last move (six years ago..yeesh.). My goodness. Notes and letters my children had written. Baby-faced pictures from when they didn’t have facial hair. Cards in sweet little boy handwriting. Cards from my husband. My favorite being the one he signed — “our best years are yet to come.” Every item removed made me ache for a time long past…and smile all at once. As hard as it’s been on my sentimental heart, I’m so glad I went through them. It gave me fresh gratitude for this crazy-blessed life I’ve had the pleasure of sharing with these people. You aren’t able to truly appreciate these things when you’re slap in the middle of them…it takes having some grown kids to unlock these doors. My gratitude was more immature before yesterday. My heart has never been as thankful and humbled by the beautiful life and the beautiful people the Lord has showered over me. I’m glad to know I’m not the only nostalgic mama this week. Thank you for sharing your heart. ((Hug)) (Congrats on the house sale.)

  14. Robin, thank you for sharing what God has put on your heart. I had prayed this morning asking God to please let me see Him in the midst of what I’m going through (sell the house/move). I started down the road of how ridiculous I was feeling bc, like you everything in my life is great, healthy family great marriage, etc. And the move is for better – better schools, less traffic, a slower pace… And yet leaving a house I’ve lived in for 13 years (I’m 42 and have never lived in any house this long) I’m having a hard time. Living in a staged house when everything you own is in a box in the garage is like trying to live in a museum. The house has only been on the market 2 weeks. Unfortunately the timing coincided with many school graduations and Memorial Day weekend which has resulted in very few showings. Everyone keeps telling us, oh your house will sell quick and yet I had to ask God where He was hiding out because my idea of quick was last week. His scripture to me was, Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God. I am not good at still. When I’m still I cry. I don’t even know what the tears are for. And Knowing He’s God in my head is easy I know He’s in control, I know His plan is better than mine. But my flesh is fighting it every second with fear and uncertainty. I’m so thankful for your post it has shown me God is right here with me. Congratulations on your new season in life and new home! I’m excited for you.

  15. Robin,
    I am very emotional. It doesn’t take much for me to shed a tear or two. Life changes are hard. It’s tough to let go of the familiar and watch your little ones fly out into this world. You feel like part of your life (you) is missing and not sure what to do. You’ve spent your life raising the children. Now what?! Loved the physiology of tears. It makes sense that if God made us criers the tears would serve a great purpose.
    Blessings 🙂

  16. God’s wonderful timing is something to behold… and awesome! Had a weekend retreat with a few ladies, one of which I support in prayer while she ministers in Uganda and S. Sudan. Two other ladies there are headed to Malawi…where one of the ladies’ mother and father ministered…and where her mother was buried when was only 5 years old.
    Tears were prominent in my eyes, and mostly on my cheeks as we spent the time praying, sharing, singing worship songs and listening to all the miracles God has performed for these three ladies.
    When I am in gatherings like this, I always preface my ‘coming forth of tears’ by saying “I’m a cryer”. 😉 90% of my tears are from my overwhelming feelings of thankfulness to God for His faithfulness and goodness to me and to others.
    I so loved your blog today and the information on tears. One of my favorite authors and teachers, Liz Curtis Higgs has also mentioned the “Ministry of Tears”. So glad to know I actually have a “ministry”! 😉
    Also love this verse Psalm 56:8, one of my faves.
    Thank you so much for this and may God continue to bless you as you move into your next season with Him! He never disappoints.

  17. Yes, darling. Yes, yes, yes.

    I’m so glad you got a chance to do this yourself. Although it’s hard to do all that purging and packing yourself, it’s a golden opportunity to process those important feelings–to live through them now so that you don’t have to fight against them later.

    I have plenty, plenty of Kleenex, as well as a drawer of men’s handkerchiefs and a few of my mother’s pretty hankies left over from the 1950’s. If you need another good cry, come visit me! I’d never think you were crazy. 🙂