Passion: Intentionally meeting daily with women to provide a safe place to share life’s difficulties and joys.
Robin and Mike, her husband of 51 years, have always had a passion for getting to know people and helping them in various ways. Robin credits Mike with influencing her through the way he has coached, taught, and as he served as a pastor. They have spent their entire lives investing in other people and you will hear Robin frequently reference her faith as a driving reason that she feels called to “Love God, Love People.” Robin’s gifts of hospitality, care, listening, and advising are not of the everyday variety. She is relentless in her pursuit to reach out to as many people as she can.
In contrast, our world seems to be pushing us to become more individualistic; remotely working, ordering, and automating away our human interaction. Even as someone naturally inclined to keep to herself, Robin fights this trend to allow her to speak life, love, and hope to those who need it most. She’s also careful to readily admit that sometimes… she is the person who actually needs community the most. Robin invites women (friends and those whom she’s never met) to share a cup of coffee to discuss hardships, differences, and life’s twists and turns.
As you’ll read, Robin doesn’t just hang out every once in a while, she intentionally meets with someone nearly every day to provide an ear and her perspective. She doesn’t see this as just something to do, but as the calling for the third phase of her life. She retired at 57, with a lot of time left to serve people. After babysitting until her grandchildren were ready for school, she was left with the question: “What’s next?”
I truly hope you hear Robin’s heart and see the value that she provides to an entire community of people. Today’s feature proves that you do not have to work with your hands or be artistic to be invested in a passion.
“Everybody has a story, and they’re almost desperate to tell you their story… without any kind of judgment or preaching. I am a Christian and I feel that I give people solid Christian advice. Regardless of that, I am here to listen. Just listen. It’s what people need.”
“When we had difficulties with one of our sons as a teenager growing up… I was a pastor’s wife, and I just wished I had someone that I could talk to, a safe person that could speak life to me. I felt like I never had that person in my life that I could be honest with and just tell them about the feelings I felt. I just thought things like: ‘A Christian shouldn’t feel like this… You're the pastor’s wife, you should have all of this together…’ Mike was always my biggest supporter, but he was living in the same struggles, and I never did have that person outside of Mike.”
“I meet regularly with about a dozen women, individually, of all ages, from teenagers to people my age who feel like they have no purpose. That was kind of how I was starting to feel, especially after my babysitting ended. And I believe this is what God wants me to do. Usually once a day, I meet with somebody over coffee, and I just let them talk. I have developed some wonderful relationships. I rarely say ‘no,’ if someone calls me and tells me that they want to get together.
I also love to put groups of people together. Last night, I had eight ladies here and we ate around the table, broke bread together. That group meets about every six weeks here, and it is always a really good time.”
“And I also love to entertain, so I often have couples in for dinner together. I love to put couples together that don’t know each other, but have something in common. For example, I know a family who adopted a child from Guatemala, and I also knew some people who had been missionaries in Guatemala. So, I invited them for dinner together. Small talk is not really easy for me, but I love to put people together where I can just feed them and the conversation takes off.”
“I want to finish strong. And what’s that look like? For me, it is to love God and to love people.
Periodically, I think I could run a cash register or get a part time job… but then I realize I love the freedom, I want to be able to say ‘yes’ to people when they want to meet.”
“I believe for as long as I can, that’s what God wants me to do. Build relationships. Sometimes, I work with divorced women, and others going through hard times. I always tell them, I am not a counselor, I’m just somebody who has lived a life and loves Jesus, and so I want to love you too.
If I notice that it might be something that needs more attention, I do encourage many of them to also go see a counselor. I keep the phone number nearby of the counselor that I’ve seen… and let them know of that reference I have. I’m beginning to think that maybe everybody could benefit from seeing a counselor, having someone to talk with. Counseling did get me through a really difficult time of my life.”
“Mike and I have been married 51 years, and what a blessing it is to hang in there through the good and bad… to be at this stage where we are healthy and able to do what we want to do. And we just want to be together. And he enjoys the dinner parties, being able to talk with people… his passion is the same as mine, when it comes to people.”
“If I see somebody on Facebook post something that just doesn’t seem right for who they are… I just pick up the phone and ask them if they want to get together and talk. And the majority of time, they say, ‘Yes, absolutely.’ You just see people pouring out their hearts on social media. I am a big believer in speaking life, not death. And people speak death to themselves a whole lot online. When somebody says, ‘I’m really struggling with this…,’ it doesn’t help to just hit them with random scripture. That’s not helpful at all. I just love them. And then when the opportunity comes, I share my faith with them.”
“The biggest thing for me right now is to remember, ‘Do not judge. I do not know. I do not know what has happened in that person’s life to put them in a place where they are making bad decisions, or are just so angry.’ Sometimes, I’ll approach somebody that I don’t know very well and offer to talk them through something I saw them say or do, and they never say ‘no.’
I have a certain amount of wisdom, just because I’ve lived life. But I never come in and say, ‘Tell me your issues and I’ll fix it.’ Because I can’t fix it. But sometimes, just verbalizing it to someone else can make all the difference.”
“I also have meetings where there’s no real agenda, but it’s time for me to meet with amazing women doing amazing things, and they’re so honest about what they are experiencing. I learn from these women. Sometimes, Christians act like they have everything together and others are so put off by it.”
“I’m not a person who necessarily has hobbies, and my biggest fear was that I would spend 30 years in front of the television set. I absolutely did not like that. Plus, in my family, I am from a line of depressed women, and I see some of those tendencies in myself. And I do not want to just give up, and sit here to let time go by for the rest of my life. I want to be a value to God until the day I die. If I’m in a nursing home some day, I want people to say, ‘Let’s go down to see Robin, because I always feel better afterwards.” That is my ultimate goal. When people walk away from me, I want them to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit.”