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. “Lovie”, that’s the name graced upon my mom from my daughter. Not Grandma, Granny, Nana, or Mamaw. And now, 20 years later, everyone calls her Lovie. That’s a gift, to be named by a child, the purest heart. I smile everytime I think about it.

  2. Oh, how SWEET, Del Marie :). I want my grandbabies to call me “Lovie” one day :). Did you see last month’s (in)post of mine? I talked about the name my grandmother happened to earn (from her first born grand, my cousin): http://bit.ly/KOq1dZ

    Being named by a child…that IS a gift :).

  3. Back in 1998 I worked in the inner city coordinating a drug and crime prevention program for kids living in government-housing. Each day, we passed random bits of trash lying on the ground as we walked the kids back to their apartments. We also saw lots of spare change on the ground — usually pennies — and I could never pass them up. I always bent down and put the pennies in my pocket.

    When we moved a few states away, one of my staff members framed a beat-up penny for my farewell gift. The penny represented hours and hours of pouring into children. The coin represented many of the kids, too — forgotten, neglected, often abandoned, scratched up. I still have it today. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received, and it cost the giver, a college girl, practically nothing.

    Oh, to be so thoughtful in our interactions with others. Love God. Love others. That pretty much sums it up.

  4. A cup of Tea…but not just any tea!

    In dark days when my baby boy was struggling with a long list of scary things, I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours at a time for 11 months, I couldn’t leave the house, my husband was deployed, I’d just heard that my little boy needed another surgery, and there was family drama…

    In those days…I got a horrible cold…go figure! No sleep + more stress than I knew was possible = ?

    It wasn’t a time in my life where I felt I had anything to give or could chase friendships, but amazingly, God had blessed me with a couple. I called Sarah, whose husband was also deployed.

    Within an hour she was at my house, in my kitchen (tears coming now!) cutting up lemons and brewing tea and spooning out gobs of honey. She gave me the best gift ever! -Some amazing tea, but better than that: When I was down and out, she was the hands of Christ….alongside me loving me!

    Thank you, Sarah!

  5. Beautiful gift! For Christmas this year my friends who taught my daughter preschool gave me a framed piece of my five year olds art. She is the baby of the family and getting ready to go to Kindergarten in the fall. She was so excited when I opened it. A cherished, “Mommy I love you” gift.

    • Melinda,

      Which reminds me, I have a stack TO frame…from YEARS ago. So wonderful that you have a piece of fine art already framed :).

  6. Beautiful gift! For Christmas last year my friends who taught my daughter preschool gave me a framed piece of my five year olds art. She is the baby of the family and getting ready to go to Kindergarten in the fall. She was so excited when I opened it. A cherished, “Mommy I love you” gift.

  7. While I was on bedrest with our triplets, I began to refer to them as “My 3 Peas”. One day while browsing the net, I came across an auction site with an antique gold pin in the shape of a pea pod with 3 green stones in it and showed it to my husband in passing. Soon after, I moved to the hospital for the rest of the pregnancy and during the first week of May, the babies were born, a total of 9 pounds between them. They were healthy and strong, just tiny and still developing, so we had a 6-week NICU stay ahead of us. However, I was discharged from the hospital (after the 5-day stay for a c-section) on Mother’s Day. It was the most surreal experience…I had just become a mother 5 days earlier, but I went home to a house full of babyx3 gear without a single baby to hold. I remember making my way to the couch and lowering myself gingerly onto the cushions, my spirits as equally low as I was feeling physically. My husband got me comfortable and then brought me a tiny box. I opened it and…. you guessed….it was the 3 Peas pin. He amazingly had remembered it and won the auction for it online. It was a treasure that day, when I didn’t have the real 3 Peas to hold. I bring it out every Mother’s Day now and wear it with such fond thanksgiving. For him, for my children and for God’s ever-present care during that tenuous time in our lives. He is good and all the time!

    • Oh, Jen…THAT is stinkin’ LOVE-jewelry!!! How sweet your husband remembered; how symbolic of “that” time in your life. Just beautiful (I’d love to see it!! 🙂 ).

  8. One of the best gifts I ever received was during a tremendously stressful and difficult move. I was leaving behind the best friends I had ever, ever had. We were moving 14 hours away. When the day finally came, Laura couldn’t even come into the house to talk with me. She called me from the car on her cell to tell me she delivered a gift to the front porch. She had prepared a large bag with notes and wrapped items. For every hour I was going to be on the road, she had a gift/note prepared for me to open (numbered appropriately, of course!). It was the most thoughtful and meaningful gift. Honestly, I don’t remember anything the bag contained, except the love she had put into each one. 20 years later she remains one of my best and closest friends.

    • Carol,

      Oh, my. That just gave me chills. Laura sounds like a wonderful friend, a treasure worthy of protecting. That gift would’ve been my favorite of all time :).

  9. I loved this post so much! I have received so many “best gifts” over the years but I have to say one in particular sticks out in my mind and it isn’t an object. It’s the gift of TIME given to me by my dear Mom. She often requests overnight visits with my special-needs son to give me and my husband time together. She plans fun things for them to do and he LOVES spending time with his beloved Grandma. My husband and I are blessed to be able to go out on a date or just clean out some closets. I’m thankful for these gifts of time.

    • Shelly,

      What a great point; best gifts don’t have to be a thing at all. What your mother is giving you (and your husband and son) is priceless.

      I love ALL these beautiful gifts :).

  10. I was just telling someone about how when we recently moved to a new home, in a new city, with new community, schools, stores (or the lack thereof ), new church home…etc., that we miscarried in the middle of all this upheaval. And as the new pastor my hubby had to announce to everyone that we found out our baby had not survived his/her first trimester and that we would be miscarrying the baby soon. It was gut wrenching and we could have cared less about settling our ” things” into our new home. People were so loving. But one particular family touched us unbelievably. They had been going through financial stress as organic farmers. Feeling defeated. Yet with tears streaming down her face after our announcement I could iterally feel how sad she was for us. She came up to me after service and said, “we’re bringing you food.” And I thanked her with much appreciation. Then she asked, “how about Thursdays?” I said Thursday would be fine. Then she clarified that no, not just this coming Thursday but for many Thursdays she’d be bringing baskets of fresh produce and such from their gardens. It was healing food, people. Inside and out. That family brought goods to us for months. And it was such a load off our minds to not worry about a lot of the basics. It touched us so down deep I can’t even do it justice with words. But what a blessing, that gift, like Robin described – it was a gift from above.

    • Kerry,

      What a blessing, over and over and over. The thing is, though it meant so much to you, I know it meant at least as much to the giving family. Doesn’t that act of kindness and generosity make you want to share it with others? 🙂

      xo

  11. 3 babies in 3.5 years is my story. And yes, it was hard…3 car seats, teachers’ conferences times 3. 3 sets of sporting events, 3 in high school. 3 IN COLLEGE!!!!! In 3 different states.
    And you do quickly forget the hard times. Now, it”s time to enjoy watching my children become incredibly successful adults. We have been blessed and graced with a grandson in a home where there are monkeys everyone where you turn. My husband and I have now been given a most priceless gift of joy. He is a gift from God that is a continual reminder that you can survive the tough times – even if you want to run away from it all.

  12. When I was young with two children and staying at home with them, I often felt like I just didn’t count for much! I foolishly thought that my life would be better as a career mom. (I now think, “Why didn’t I savor ever second?) One day my daughter came to me with a gift that she had made with her little Tupperware stencils. It was a slice of log with a red heart, and it said, “Home is where my Mom is.” I absolutely loved it, and have it to this day-about 20 years later. I’ve seen this saying many places now, but back then I had never seen it and I truly believe it came straight from my daughter’s tender heart, prompted by God.

  13. For my birthday this year, a friend sent me a birthday card. Inside the card was a note my Grandmother {Neenie to her grandchildren} had sent me back in 1995. My friend found the note tucked in a book of mine she was borrowing and saved it to send me on my birthday. To read that note, take in the handwriting that was still beautiful and strong, I felt for a moment that it had just arrived and Neenie would be following the note with a visit in a few weeks. Neenie died in 2003 and I still miss her every day. The unexpected gift of my Neenie’s note came from a friend who loves me and knows my heart. The gift of the note and the continued gift of precious friendship! It was a ghood birthday!

  14. Some of the memorable gifts I got years ago it’s from my late grandma. She stayed in our home for couple months then went back to Japan where she passed away after some time.
    There were her used vintage hair pins, a white cotton shirt and an old lipstick. She said to me:”These are souvenirs from me to you, so you’ll remember me”.
    I knew I may keep these things and never get to use them. Because they were more than accessories. They were memories. From someone who lost memories years later.
    I knew from my aunt, mom’s younger sister, grandma had Alzheimer’s before she died. She could not remember and recognize her daughters. I wonder if she did erased all the memories from her once adventurous life.
    I still have all things she gave to me. And these remind me of a special person that taught me so much in so little time we had together.

  15. The best gift I ever got was a surprise baby shower that came in boxes from friends all over the country. When I had my first child I was far away from anyone I knew and it was a very lonely time… although it was the time I learned what it really meant to surrender to Jesus and to trust Him to meet all of your needs ( and even some wants!). In the boxes, from people who did not know each other for the most part as I have moved a lot… was an entire nursery set… clothes… everything I could possibly need. The coolest thing was that I had seen this one bear pattern of sheets and towels and bumper pads that I liked and I got the whole set … but from all different people. They could not know. But God did. And I also got a Gund bear… a particular one I loved… and that was my focus point through 24 hours of hard labor. And my son got the blue eyes I wanted him to have (even though it was a recessive trait somewhere back in my family and the “scientific odds” were against it. I got the blue eyes like the little boy in “Braveheart.”) More than one gift… but it was “one” I will never forget.

  16. AMEN!
    it’s so true, and my heart is so feeble and has Alzheimer’s when it come to remembering how much and how secure His love for me is –
    reminders like these are the MOST precious!!
    And I’m one of the prayers…I have been there and know exactly what it feels like when the sparkle wears off!
    Hugs dear one!