Eve DeBardeleben Roebuck

Eve lives on a farm in the northwest Georgia mountains with her husband and various other family members as they wander in and out, transitioning between homes, jobs, schools, or naps. Eve loves writing what she learns of God in her daily life, and says, "My life is a wonder-full mix of family and friends, football games and diapers, gardening, chores, church, and faith."

Have You Waited Too Long to Thank Your Mom?

Dear Mama, I’ve been cleaning up the Christmas tree this week, sweeping pine needles and thinking of the things I’ve never said to you. They are the very things no one says to me, that I would so love to hear. I’m late telling you what I’m about to write. Really late. I have grandchildren now. But I hope that “better late than never” holds. Thank you for all the years upon years of Christmases when you decorated the house and the tree, cooked the holiday meals, shopped for the gifts, set it all up, took it all down, and cleaned it all up by yourself. Christmas is a lonely time for mothers, I think. So much to do, and so much […]

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older woman staring off to the distance with a contemplative face

Empty Nesters, You Have a New Purpose Now

Our “baby” of five kids is just two short weeks away from being 21. It occurs to me that even though he’s living with us temporarily and working, he’s for all intents and purposes grown, though maybe not entirely gone. It also occurs to me that it’s the first time since I became a mother 37 years ago that I’ve felt completely free to do exactly as I please with my time every single day. I haven’t had this kind of freedom since, well, ever. After my college years, there was the teaching job and the wedding and the children who began showing up. After three, I was unable to have any more, so we adopted two, mainly because I couldn’t imagine

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woman who learned how to overcome feeing nervous as a leader behind a cafe window smiling with hands clasped

How to Overcome Feeling Nervous as a Leader

We remodeled bathrooms last winter, taking out an upstairs hall and adding its space to one bathroom, gutting a second, and updating a third. It was a project Alejandro promised to finish by late February, just in time for a women’s retreat scheduled to take place there. But February came and went, and the retreat got put on the back burner, while installing vanities, lights, and faucets became front and center. I let the pastors know we’d have to postpone the retreat until summer. But I got to thinking: The winter retreat topic was more suited to gathering around a fireplace than around our porch, so I sent an email to the powers-that-be about another idea more suitable for summer. When I

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God Led Me to Find Rest in Chautauqua

God Led Me to Find Rest in Chautauqua

I hadn’t really wanted to get up when the alarm went off, but I did because she’d asked me to come. This was the daughter who’d recently begun to like me again, and I wasn’t going to miss it. Josie Love was in art school for the summer and had invited me for her mid-summer show at Chautauqua. Our friends had a 100-year-old summer home just off the lake there and offered it to me during my visit. I had no idea what an offer it would be, except that I had the entire place to myself. Once I saw the sleeping porch on top of the house, I knew this was my choice for where I’d spend my time. The view

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I Found Freedom After Sharing My Painful Story

I Found Freedom After Sharing My Painful Story

What do you do when one of your best college friends moves to the beach? You round up the rest of the gang and head down to see her. This is just what we’ve done for the last several years, and it’s come in the nick of time for some whose lives are wearing thin. While we’re often in touch with updates and prayers, getting together yearly at Fernandina Beach as we’ve just done last week is the highlight. We spend evenings outside after supper, catching up as the sun goes down. One night, there was such an astonishing sunset, no one thought to snap a photo. We gaped instead. Later, when the moon rose and the clouds parted and the light

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Could It Be God Who Stirs Me From Sleep?

Could It Be God Who Stirs Me From Sleep?

I’m awake and up before my husband—The Cowboy—has gone to bed. It’s 1:21 a.m. and too darn early. I went to bed at 10, but I’m wide awake now. I’m afraid I’m getting weird. Unbalanced. And while I really love getting a jump on my day, I’m also afraid I’m getting pulled out of sync with the rest of the world, who’s mostly awake when the sun’s up, not the moon. It sounds silly to write that, considering that I’m checking in with you, the one who put the sun and moon in place and never sleeps. But really? Up until now, my early rising has felt like you were waking me up to hang out. Now it’s beginning to feel like

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I Made a Change—And It Brought My Prodigal HomeLove, Not Judgment, Brought My Prodigal Son Home

I Made a Change—And It Brought My Prodigal Home

This is a story about me and my baby, who’s now 22, and the misery we walked through together to find a love connection. It’s a story of our mutual failure, but it’s a story with a happy ending. I lived the miracle. I watched it change me. And then I watched it change my prodigal son. Stone’s given me permission to tell it with all the sordid details—I love a blank check—but I’ll just hit the lowlights. How the Separation Started In the summers before his junior and senior years of high school, Stone got drunk on our family’s lake vacations. Both years, he also drank at his proms, letting us know his plans beforehand. He was proud he hadn’t drunk

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If Your Past Isn't Pretty, Then You're Just Who God's Looking For

If Your Past Isn’t Pretty, Then You’re Just Who God’s Looking For

I don’t want to look at what’s inside the Tupperware at the back of the fridge. But once I brave it, I’m relieved to start the task and be done with the judgment lurking behind the hummus and pimento cheese. There’s no guilt in dumping rotten food. After all, black spotted soup is obviously trash, regardless of how wonderful it was when it started out. There’s no need to remember whether or not it was supper last week or two weeks before. If you’re like me, sometimes the ooze in the container-turned-petri dish is so disgusting, even the Tupperware has to go. Can I get a witness? How delightful it is to have this task handed over to my daughter who is

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Sometimes I Get Angry With God

Sometimes I Get Angry With God

We had a threat of frost predicted for 2 a.m. Unsure of whether or not the pots I’d planted at church would make it—with our big spring event coming up, it seemed a shame to risk it—I grabbed garbage bags and shish kabob skewers and headed out. I hadn’t bothered to unload the yard tools that were in back of the car—my chainsaw and trimmers, trowels and work gloves. This time of year, I laugh when I’m asked if I need plastic for the new plants I purchase. I could almost plant them in the amount of dirt I carry around inside my car. After covering the pots with the bags and sticking the skewers in the dirt to secure them, I

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Wildflowers When You Need More From God

Wildflowers: When You Need More From God

The sun was blinding me through the library windows. We’ve had rain, rain, and more rain for weeks on end, so the sunshine was a big deal this morning and was more than welcomed. It was worshiped. It felt like a long awaited vacation, like springtime and flowers, like a throwback to “normal life” at a time when I was forgetting what “normal life” felt like. I couldn’t wait to grab my gloves and trowel, get outside, and dig around in the sunshine. Nobody bothers me when I’m in the garden. I was about to transplant some Sarah Bernhardts into a sunnier spot when I got a text from our daughter-in-law, our next-pasture neighbor. “How about a hike?” And Then She Said

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A Bed That Wouldn’t Fit Taught Me God Loves Me, Just Because

I ordered my dream bed from a shop on Etsy, a carved and distressed French Victorian fit for a king and queen—or wannabes. I ordered it in late February and received it 16 weeks later, a sign that unless the New Jersey shop owners were felling trees and building beds on demand, my bed was more likely shipped from overseas. By raft. I had checked on my order often and consoled myself in its delay with how pretty the bed was and how well worth the wait it would be when it finally came. Our box springs and king mattress, stacked and waiting on the floor for their placement on their royal throne, began growing fuzz around the edges, the linty-soft, grayish

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You Can Turn Back to God, No Matter What—This Is Why

When I stumble in my spiritual life, whether it’s a whole-hog wallow or just a baby toe in the dirt, my comeback is the same: I turn around and head home to the Father. And I receive his love and forgiveness. And then I head into the after-party. Pretty simple, really, regardless of whether it’s just a little trip or a full-on face plant. The Story of The Prodigal Son These pieces of coming back to God come right out of the best Bible story I know about restoring a broken relationship with God, the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. Since it’s familiar, I’ll briefly summarize: a younger son asks for his inheritance while his father is still alive,

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10 Truths I Found to Lose 75 Pounds

10 Truths I Found to Lose 75 Pounds

I’ve discovered a pandemic phenomenon: The Covid-19 10 is a 10-pound weight gain that creeps on in quarantine. In my defense, let me say that the fear of not being able to get my beloved treats at some point during quarantine had me pack-ratting Dove Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Promises and Moose Munch as if they might become as scarce as toilet paper. The question then became, what do I do with the stockpile? Just eat it? These extra pounds prompted me to consider how I lost 75 pounds 20 years ago without dieting and kept them off since then. I want to remember the steps. It’s what we do when we try to lose weight. On paper, it makes sense. Eating

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My Embarrassing Moment at Church Changed Me (for Better)

My Embarrassing Moment at Church Changed Me (For Better)

I was dragging my feet getting ready. For as long as I can remember, we’ve had an open mic for folks to share their thank you’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Children often go first and warm up the crowd with sweeping praises: “Thank you, God, for the whole wide world,” and with smaller ones—“We have a new baby. She smiled at me.” I was dragging my feet because I’d stepped behind that mic two Thanksgivings before this one, and the memory of it still made me miserable. Maybe I should just stay home again this year like I’d done last year? I wanted to believe that everyone had forgotten it by now. I sure wanted to forget. At the last minute, I

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