1. When life presented Mazy with the unexpected sale of their home and the arrival of her mother and her own injury, what strategies did Mazy use to keep from changing? Did any work for her? Why not? What choices did she have she didn’t take? Would her life have been better if she had chosen one of those?
2. Sister Esther noted that we always have control over our attitude. Do you agree? Do we control anything else in our lives?
3. When you enter a wilderness area-in the landscape, relationships or of the spirit, do you have a favorite strategy you keep repeating even though it doesn’t get you what you want? What might it take for you to try new ways to deal with disappointment, frustration, loneliness, guilt and fear?
4. What is “community” in your life? Is it different from “family”? What does it take to form kinship in this age of frequent and distant moves, of technology, and many fractured lives?
5. What made it possible for Tipton to “move on?” What barriers does Suzanne face in finding her pleasant places? Is it realistic that merely reaching out to another person in their wilderness place could bring them to the pleasant places of their lives? How common is it for us to want to go back to the way it was, to “go back home?”
6. What boundaries or barriers keep us from moving forward in the wilderness places of our own lives?
7. When the Israelites gathered at the Jordan, prepared to finally-after forty years-cross into the promised land, why did Moses make them go over the stories of where they’d come from, what had happened to them, and of what God had done for them? Did these women find ways to be healed from the stories of their lives?
8. What kinds of emotions were the people of ALL TOGETHER grieving? Can you identify the challenges of the spirit that grief sometimes brings into our lives? Who brought hope to help each woman through it-or did they allow grief to change them?
9. For the women of ALL TOGETHER, what role did the “necessary circles” play in their journey?
10. Have you ever changed the boundaries of a pleasant place as Ruth did by doing something that took you back instead, deprived you of staying in or moving to a “better place”? What is it about a familiar place that makes us want to return or stay there, even when it provides us pain, even when it wasn’t all we told ourselves it was?
11. What allows us to wander in the wilderness even when surrounded by abundance?
12. It’s been said that in a time of crisis, people seek three things: sound information, a sense of connection with others, and spiritual support. Pick a character and talk about how these three needs materialized in the life of that woman or what got in the way.
How have those yearnings been met in your own life?
13. In the 1800s, Samuel Johnson wrote, “To be happy at home is the result of all ambition.” Do you agree? What is home? What was Mazy’s true home and how did it change when she moved to a different place?
14. Talk about the phrase from poet Rainier Rilke’s poem, that “God is the great homesickness we can never shake off”? How does that apply to ALL TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE? Does it apply to your own life journey as well?