Guest Posts

Mentors Matter Monday ~ The Pointer

imageI am pleased to introduce you to Holly. I met her through a friend. We attended an event Holly planned. My friend and Holly were both speakers at this event. It became clear to me as I listened that her desire to mentor is lived out in everything she does.

Lean in as Holly shares her heart to invest in the generation that comes after her.

A few years ago my entire family decided to go on a family vacation. The destination? None other than Walt Disney World. There were 18 of us! Lots of chaos, laughter and a ton of bathroom stops but in the end it turned out to be an incredible trip.  A few weeks prior to the trip my daughter’s school held their book fair and I bough a pointer. I had no idea how much that purchase would benefit our trip. I literally would hold the pointer high in the sky and say in a loud voice “if you can’t see the pointer than you are lost”.

We would all laugh but it did keep everyone from getting lost and most importantly it kept us all together.

This is a beautiful picture of what mentoring looks like.

I spent many years in youth ministry without anyone pouring into me. That led me into a season of burnout and loneliness. Unlike the pointer that was leading my family through major theme parks full of people, rides and chaos, there was no one I could visibly see leading me through the ups and downs of ministry. I felt like I was lost in a season of ministry that should have been rewarding. Instead I was on complete empty.

The church is made up of all different types of people, each with different type of gifts, all for the purpose of growing the body and bringing hope to a world that has none.  The exchange of our gifts wrapped in encouragement, lifting one another up and cheering each other on is what strengthens the body. It’s so important to pour out the truth of God’s word and to share struggles in my life that have shaped me into I am. It’s that transparency that pushes those younger to live out their faith real and unmasked to the generation below them. I currently mentor 4 ladies and our time together consists of me listening, loving them no matter where they are spiritually, spending time with and pointing them to God’s truth as I walk beside them to the cross.

The pointer at Disney kept us together and without it we could have really been scattered. Mentoring keeps the body together locking arms and truly enjoying all that God has for us within ministry and just living life.  The ladies I pour into are all in their 20’s. They also pour into teen girls.  I love watching those girls bloom and grasp at such young ages the importance of discipleship and kingdom building.

I started pouring into Brittany when she was only 13 and I watched her go through some very hard seasons of her life.  A lot of adults talked about her clothing, who she was dating and how she conducted herself all the while never reaching out to her. I was drawn to her mess and her sweet hidden spirit. I couldn’t stay away. What started as me just loving her like Christ led to not only her clothing changing, but it led to her surrendering her life to Christ. She stands beside me today in ministry.

Mentoring leads to life change which leads to world change. A willingness to share our stories, pour ourselves out and point people back to the cross.  That’s what it’s all about. Psalm 107: 2 (NLT) says this… “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.” What an incredible nugget of truth to lead you and I as we lead others.  Share your stories today. Reach out to those who surround you and pour truth into them, walk beside them and point them to the cross and leave the results to the Creator.

Are you leading someone toward the Creator?

Do you need someone to lead you?

What does Holly’s story speak to you?

photoHolly Myers is the Fields of Hope Site Manager for the Charlotte, North Carolina location. Fields of Hope is a program of  On Eagles Wings Ministries that provides paid educational fellowships to survivors of Domestic Sex Trafficking. Holly works directly with the girls in the program by teaching curriculum, mentoring, and giving oversite to the assembly of beautiful handmade products. Holly is also the president and founder of Unbound Ministry. Holly desires for girls and women of all ages to understand what true beauty really means. Connect with Holly at Unbound Ministry Revolution Church.

Your Story – Much Needed

You have a story others need to hear. I feel certain.

I have spent the last several months posting stories from women whose lives have been influenced by someone who took the time to notice them. These stories have been called Mentors Matter Monday. Each story is unique to the women involved.

Why is it that to many women, even the word “mentor” is intimidating.

It’s really about a willingness to share a friendship.

These chairs sit in my yard,  an invitation to connect, converse, or be still.

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Would you risk inviting a younger woman to join you in a space like this?

Face to face.

Have you already?

Please share your story with Me. I would love to post it in the Mentors Matter Monday section of the blog.

Coast to Coast for 40 Years – Mentors Matter Monday

I am pleased to introduce the woman whose sofa I sat on as I first acknowledged my need for a Savior so many years ago. Lean in as Linda shares about the woman who has influenced her life for forty years.  The same woman who would, through Linda, impact my life as well. Even now.

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As I try to introduce myself to you, it is hard to imagine who I would be without the woman that faithfully mentored me from age 13 until she lost her battle to breast cancer 3 years ago.

I came from a family tree that was loaded with alcoholism, with a dad who worked 3 jobs and was gone all of the time, and a mother who worked because she did not want to be poor and she did not enjoy parenting.

My Uncle who was only 7 years older than me, decided to become a Christian at a young age and shared his experience with me as a young teen.  When he married,

I am guessing he told his young bride that I could really use her help and guidance.  Fortunately, she agreed to be a mentor and share her life journey with me.

Because they were missionaries to the rural areas of the northern part of this country, I never lived near them.  And in those early days, there were very few phone calls because of the expense making it necessary to use the old fashioned kind of communication through hand written, sometimes type written, letters.

My first visit when I was 15  took me to Maine and my last visit 6 weeks before she died took me to Wyoming.  I traveled from coast to coast  for 40 years seeking her attention and soaking in every word that she so generously shared with me.

I think her job was pretty challenging.

I did not come from a Christian home and yet I wanted to live a Christ-like life.  I would say that she influenced all of my decisions and encouraged me  from high school to college, in marriage, in having children, through divorce and  returning to college to get  degrees in special education and family counseling, to experiencing my children getting married and having their own children. She did all of this while raising her own 3 children, struggling with her own challenges as a wife and a missionary.  I know I was hard.  I was sad, lonely, lacking in a strong sense of self, yet wanting so desperately to do what Jesus would do.  I had millions of questions and I wanted her to have millions of answers.  And she did with huge amounts of grace and patience and I am guessing with great sacrifice.

So, today, I am a gramma, still struggling with many of the same issues I had when I was 13 and certainly missing my mentor each and every day.  But, I am so blessed that I can hide in my heart and recall , her words of wisdom.

At the same time, I can cherish this image that she gave me; I can see what  happens to a woman who takes what she has, the weak and the strong of it, and shares it out of obedience to her Heavenly Father with a younger struggling and often broken heart to see what God can do.

The gift is life-changing for the one that is mentored.

It seems that being obedient to God’s assignments and experiencing what He does when we “share” holds blessings that cannot be measured in any earthly way.  I am eternally grateful that she was willing to share and I was willing to receive.

 

photoLinda Pulver is a Health Coach. She has received a Master’s in Agency Counseling. She has 20 years experience in educational consulting, teaching, tutoring and helping families heal. In addition to her business as a personal and family counselor, she currently volunteers at Walnut Grove Christian School with the responsibilities of assisting in initial student evaluation, classroom character building lessons, teacher support and classroom discipline issues.

Dear Heart to Heart Reader,

Have you had someone who has given you this life-changing gift?

Oaks of Righteousness – Mentors Matter Monday

Each Monday women share their hearts with me concerning the mentor/discipleship relationship. Today Tracy shares a letter written to the “older woman”. You will NOT want to miss drinking in each word as she speaks.

Lean in…

IMG_0800“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

~Isaiah 61:3b, NIV

Dear Older woman:

I remember when you came and stood next to me during the Sunday worship service, leaving the pew you had occupied for years…

Perhaps you were scared to venture across the sanctuary, but the Holy Spirit prompted you, and you obeyed. You knew I was single,and could tell that it hurt to attend another church service all by myself.

You are an oak.

I noticed your tears as you prayed for me. Yes, I know my head was supposed to be bowed like yours, but I wanted to see the expression on your face as you poured out your heart and petitions before the Lord on my behalf…

As you know, some of our requests were answered with a “Yes”, and some with a “No.” If you were disappointed in God’s “No” to me, you didn’t show it. You praised Him regardless and kept on praying.

You are an oak.

I will never understand the courage it took to admit your mistakes to me. I am sure you wrestled with the desire to be perfect in my eyes, but know that the examples of God’s forgiveness in your life will stick with me forever…

Thank you for trying NOT to be all things to me. I have everything I need in Jesus. (You were faithful to remind me of this.) You patiently invested in me, because you rightly understood that our relationship was never about you, but about you showing me Jesus.

You are an oak.

I remember when we discussed God’s calling on my life. You affirmed my spiritual gifts. You helped me to write my first Bible Study, and purchased one of the first copies. You pushed me out of my comfort zone, because you knew it would be for my good, and ultimately for God’s glory…

I know that you probably thought I was crazy for leaving the corporate world for youth ministry, since women did not attend seminary when you were my age. Yet, you realize things are different. You trust that God will open the right doors in my life to accomplish His perfect will for me.

You are an oak.

I remember how excited you were about my first date with an Air Force pilot. Over the years, you lovingly listened to my anxieties about spending the rest of my life alone. You held me as I cried through countless failed relationships. You held me accountable for my purity, and for the way I conducted myself around my Christian brothers.

Thankfully, you counseled me not to break up with the Air Force pilot when I started to doubt, because you just had this feeling. And, you were one of the first people I called after my Air Force pilot got down on one knee and proposed.

You then hand tied hundreds of white bows around chairs for my wedding reception, and you watched me say my wedding vows before a God who gives good things in His perfect timing.

You kept on believing that my Chad would come. I know you were sad when I moved away to be with him. But when you still call now,4 ½ years later, I still hear your love for me through the phone.

You are an oak.

As you may have heard, my mother recently entered Heaven. Can you believe it has been 11 years since her breast cancer first reared its ugly head? What the field of medicine said was impossible, God easily made possible. You and I celebrated when she was at my wedding, and because she was there holding my hand as I gave birth to Jackson and Katie. How good and merciful God has been!

So thank you for walking through her final weeks with me. I want you to know that my mother was grateful for you. She knows that God placed you in my life to help me go forward without her now…

I appreciate you letting me process and grieve with you as I have watched my mother suffer. We both know you will never replace her, but I hope you know how thankful I am that God placed you in my life so I will never feel alone now, as a wife and a mother.

You are an oak.

Older woman, I am writing this letter to you because young women need an oak. My prayer is that you will heed what is written in Psalm 78:1-8 and Titus 2:3-5. Do not allow fear, busyness, or inferiority to stop you from letting me, a younger woman, learn from you. Nourish us simply with your presence and prayers.

You are not here to warm a pew, precious oak, but to warm our hearts towards Jesus. The future of the church needs you.

All my love,

Tracy

This post was previously posted by Tracy. I am grateful she would share with us today.

Tracy Bio PictureTracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (4) and Katherine (2), throughout their toy-infested home.  Tracy graduated from Phoenix Seminary in 2005, and served as the Director of Student Women at Scottsdale Bible Church from 2005-2007. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at http://www.onedegreeministries.com.

Rise & Shine – Mentors Matter Monday

Every  day I long to hear stories of women whose lives have been changed or are being changed because someone takes the time to invest in them.pitchers.jpg

I look for these stories because I want to share them with you in hopes that you will see the very real impact mentoring and discipleship can make in the lives of those hungering and thirsting for more of Jesus.

Lean in today and give God the glory as you hear from Laurel.

Mentor.

The word might conjure up images of an elderly woman sharing all of her wisdom with a member of a younger generation.

As for me, I have had mentors of all ages. (Hey, I am even learning a lot from the Godly, hip teen who lives down the road from me!) But, today, I want to share about a mentor that has been in my life since I was 13 years old.

“Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory!”

This is the first line to the song she would sing bright and early as she awakened the gang of girls every time we had a sleep-over event as a youth group.

Boy, was it obnoxious.

Yet, this morning, as I was getting ready for church at the age of 31…I started singing this song. Writing about it brings tears to my eyes. Why? Because I learned and continue to learn so much about being a Christian from this awesome, Christ-centered woman.

I am reminded of Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your hear, as working for the Lord.” That is my mentor. Whether it’s preparing to lead a choir, finding furniture for the elderly in need, or mentoring an assertive (ahem) young woman. It was and is all for the Lord. Always with a smile on her face. Even in moments of frustration, she does not complain. She does not grow weary. She just. keeps. going.

Yeah, I have learned a lot from her. Grace. Humility. Patience.  At least, I see those things in her and want to emulate her because I know that her fruit overflows because of her focus on the Lord. She does nothing out of vanity, and she always puts the needs of others ahead of her own (Phil 2:3-4).

Over our 18 year relationship, I can only recall one time where we slightly disagreed. The gist of it was that she wanted to be more loving towards someone than I wanted to be. Wow. What a lesson in all those awesome qualities I’ve already mentioned.

Yeah, I want to be her when I grow up. I want others to see in me just a fraction of what I see in her.

I have been blessed with a number of awesome mentors. Without their guidance and discipleship, I don’t believe I would be who I am today. A sinner saved by grace trying to live a life pleasing to my Savior.

Dear Heart to Heart Reader,

What have you learned from someone who has taken the time to walk through life with you?

Who do YOU want to be when YOU grow up?

Laurel_Shaler_pro

 

Laurel Shaler is a licensed social worker and counseling faculty member. Additionally, Laurel strives to help women anchor their emotions to God, improve their relationships, and develop an abundant life in Christ. Laurel can be found blogging at http://www.drlaurelshaler.com. You can also follow her on Twitter  or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/drlaurelshaler. 

Drawing Water – Mentors Matter Monday

pitchers1.jpgI was MIA last week. It happens every now and again. My humanness gets the best of me sometimes.

Today I am refreshed and excited to offer to you the heart of a beautiful young women so that you might glimpse just a portion of her heart. I have known Lana since she was two years old, clinging sweetly to her mother’s leg – her safe place. She has grown into such a beautiful Daughter of the King. She encourages me on many levels as I watch her walk out her love for God with actions that  leave a fragrance of Christ Himself.

Lean in…

Since my earliest memories, I remember longing for Jesus.  I don’t know why or how, but somehow I just knew that I was for Him and He was for me.

It is one thing to long for Jesus, and another thing entirely to live for Jesus.  That was going to take more than just a feeling.  I knew I needed help in this journey to really flesh out the desires in my heart to live and breathe for Him.

For much of my life that help has come from books.  Authors, ranging from the first century to modern day, have become my in-house mentors, always there for me at a moment’s notice.  That sweet gift that has helped me through many seasons, and is one I still utilize and cherish today; however in my reading I began to long for a face-to-face person to talk to about the specific issues and questions I was facing in life.

So, somewhere in my college years, I began praying for a mentor.

For months I prayed, “Send me someone in the flesh to talk to who can help me in my walk with You.  Send me an Eli.”  Later that same year, He not only sent me one, He sent me four!  Each was sent to me for a different reason, and they all had different personalities and strengths, but they offered the same thing:  their time, their heart and their treasures of wisdom picked up along the way.  These women were further along in their walks than I; I knew they had water in their wells I could drink from.  And drink I did!

In Proverbs 20:5 it says “Counsel in a man’s heart is deep water; but a man of understanding draws it out.”

The first step to drinking that water was to recognize others had treasure to offer, even those I least suspected.  I’m not saying we should open our lives to just anybody, but we should pray and ask God to lead us to the mentors He chooses for us, then be ready for anything He brings!  In my case, He brought a medley of characters, and their input in my life in that season was invaluable.

One woman walked me through how to receive deep inner healing of past hurts through Jesus, and led me into the crucial forgiveness of those I’d been hurt by.  She taught me how to find Jesus in those places and memories that were most painful, where I had felt most abandoned.  And to my glorious delight, I discovered He really was there in all of them.  Always there.

Another woman talked and laughed with me weekly over lunch as we swapped stories of trials and triumphs.  We didn’t go into deep healing by any means, but just her presence and listening ears were so beneficial as we talked about everyday life.

Through these spiritual mothers I was encouraged, counseled, comforted, corrected and greatly helped.  The enemy wanted to isolate me, and at times I wanted to isolate myself, but these relationships protected me from that harmful temptation and kept me out of pits of despair.  Their prayers and wisdom were birthing seeds of life in me that continue to bear fruit today.

Now, a decade later, I still have these types of relationships in my life.  They are vital.  I pray when I’m 90 I will still be drawing water from others wells and drinking deeply, and in the meantime I want to readily pour out the water from my own as the Lord brings the opportunity.

LanaSUtshirtLana Shaw is co-founder of homeless ministry Speak Up Magazine of Charlotte, NC, and serves in many capacities within the organization.  With a degree in Print Media she has worked as a freelance writer, editor and researcher for organizations such as the American Association of Christian Counselors and the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.  Speak Up combines her love of the written word with her passion for the disenfranchised.  While not in the office, a coffee shop or on the street, Lana can be found at home with her husband Matt and two children, Isaac (age 6) and Isabel (age 3).  Lana loves diversity, the stillness of very early morning (when she gets up for it), music, books, new food, bonfires, the outdoors, unabashed worship, and supporting local and organic efforts. She is especially excited about loving on the orphans, the trafficked, the outcast, and those who have lost hope… and she dreams of one day going to Africa.  Follow her personal blog at http://www.stepsandbits.com or Speak Up at http://www.speakupmag.org.

Mentors Matter Monday – Exponential Effects

The impact of mentoring reaches far beyond what we can ever know.

When we offer our lives in relationship to another who desires to grow with us, we offer, offer,

perhaps unknowingly on our  part,

a safe haven that might not be found any other way.

Lean in as Amanda shares her heart for mentoring.

I love the subject of mentors. I love everything about it… the definition alone simply screams positivity!pitchers.jpg

mentor |ˈmenˌtôr, -təәr|
noun
an experienced and trusted adviser

Isn’t that fabulous? The idea of someone that is experienced AND trusted? Yet I wonder if most people today realize the power that is really behind a mentor.

I’m speaking from my own experience when I say that a true mentor can absolutely determine the trajectory of someones life. Let me try to explain (while hoping that I keep this short & sweet)… as a young girl I experienced what one would possibly consider a traumatic upbringing. (Parental divorces, adoptions, giving up of kids… throw in some abuse and that’s what I classify as traumatic.) I often think about what it would have been like to have had a mentor. What if, during one of the divorce periods of childhood, someone would’ve taken notice that I had gone from an all A’s & B’s student to a loner that received multiple failing grades? Or, suppose someone would’ve pulled me aside when my family fell apart and my siblings ended up living somewhere other than home, thus leaving me all alone at home for the first time ever? What if someone would have taken notice?

I know myself well enough now to know that it wouldn’t have taken much positive affirmation to have directed me towards a healthier path. I know this because I was hungry for ANY kind of attention. When I think about my regrets, I usually always follow those thoughts with this one sentence “I wish someone would have told me.” Fast forward to my adulthood, and God was gracious enough to allow me to have people that actually did care about my life and the outcome of it.

THANK GOD. As an adult, I have a circle of friends that will ask me the hard questions, that know when something seems ‘off’ with me and they are willing to say ‘Ok, what gives?’ I have amazing women, like my friend Karen, who will open up and share so freely of their own experiences… good and bad… and they are so willing to lay down their pride in the hopes of offering some sense of restoration and healing. I’m not even sure if these women realize that they are ‘mentoring’ me… but I am listening, and I am learning from them. I am clinging to every word of advice and every ounce of compassion they pour into me… and then I am compelled to make my choices based on their integrity and experiences. It has saved me from untold amounts of regrets. And I am grateful.

My point is this, if you are willing to be real, to be honest and to share what you have learned through the good and the bad, then you must know that girls are watching. And listening. And making decisions based on what you pour into their lives. It’s exponential, the effects mentoring has. In the few short years that I’ve actually been mentored, I’ve made the wisest choices of my life with little regrets. Mentoring is that powerful. Be willing to receive it. And then be willing to give it away.

amandaAmanda Bracken is a wife and mother of 3 (so far). She lives in East Tennessee where her and her husband enjoy working together on training and developing leaders, both locally and globally. She is passionate about relationships, madly in love with her family and desperate for God to use her for His greater purpose. Aside from making sure her children get to their dance and taekwondo classes on time every day, her goal is to bring a greater awareness to the needs of orphans and to help families willing to bring orphans into their homes so that they can experience the unconditional love of a ‘forever family’.  She is also proud to say that she has just completed her first book! (Although it still has no title, or chapters for that matter, and is completely unedited). You can find out more about her heart for orphans at Hope 221. 2 continents. 2 histories. 1 future.

“James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Dear Heart to Heart Reader,
I would love to hear  your thoughts on Amanda’s heart for mentoring.
Has she encouraged or challenged you in any way to be involved in a mentoring relationship?

HIS,
karen
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Mentors Matter Monday – As If In a Mirror

Taking time to invest in the generations that come after us…it’s what really matters. Can you remember a time in your life you needed encouragement and perhaps even accountability as you stretched and grew? Maybe you still do. Whether we are 18 or 88 or somewhere in between, there is another woman who has gone before us who can speak truth into our lives.pitchers.jpg

Lean in as Courtney shares about the impact it has had on her as a few of those women have realized that sharing what they have learned in life sows seeds of hope into another.

Reflecting on the impact mentoring has in my life, at the very least, it gives  me the opportunity to evaluate how I am doing life. The mentoring relationship offers me the opportunity to evaluate, by voicing to another, how I have been living life.

The mentoring relationship has done many things to encourage my growth, but the most valuable has been having someone with whom to share my thoughts and actions.  Being intentional in doing this with another person provides the safety to think through those actions and thoughts. It’s also helpful to be able to receive feedback; to hear what my thoughts sound like to another person. I see, as if in a mirror another perspective, and that is invaluable.

I have had several women invest in me at one time or another. One shared with me about ten date nights she had done with her husband, and she told me which ones failed and which strengthened the relationship. Another told me about how her mentors helped her grow to be who she was.  Another gave me an established consistent time to leave my kids with my husband and “vent” while working through challenging situations.

Over the years, I have asked women to mentor me and I have been turned down. It took me awhile to ask again after hearing “no”. The shock and shame cut deep.

During this “mentor-less” time I experienced desperately slow growth as a woman. I had young kids and I knew I was not the mother I wanted to be but could not single-handedly pull out of my unhealthy patterns.

Perspective can only be found outside of ourselves.

The beauty of the mentoring relationship is that we work with another person to form unfinished ideas, identify patterns and evaluate what is best moving forward. I would not have experienced the same growth had I not been involved with mentors during the last thirteen years.

 

It has been well worth the journey.

Court & Juan Carlos Pic

Courtney is a daughter, wife, missionary, mother, teacher and artist. Daughter of two parents and a Father, wife of one husband, missionary to Latin America, mother of three children. Courtney is a teacher of many and artist to herself. She loves to sit with a cup of tea and listen to others stories as they grow and stretch. Sometimes she choses to sit and listen to herself as she grows and stretches and is thankful for those who have poured into her life.

 

Please share what part of Courtney’s story YOU can relate to.

Have you been mentor-less?

Have you been on a journey that you would say is “well worth it”?

I would love to hear.

Karen

Mentors Matter Monday – A Step Ahead

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“A Step Ahead”

She graduated in 19-something and I was born the same year.

She’s a Grandma and my baby hasn’t left the crib.

Simply put, Leanne’s a step ahead!

As I walk the road of life, she gives me steps to follow.  I don’t actually see them, but she is willing to share what’s brought her to where she’s at.  This guidance and advice point me in the right direction as I build my marriage, raise my children and walk in faith.

It’s not just her wisdom that guides me down the path; her perspective helps keep me out of the ditch.  At times the daily tasks and stress of raising a family can be overwhelming.  Occasionally they even leave me off balance.  As Leanne looks back and sees me standing in her old shoes, she reminds me these days won’t last forever and assures me the work is worth it in the end.

On the days when it seems I’m walking uphill, she encourages me to take the next step.  Leanne shares her journey with me in a way that is real.  Her admitted mistakes remind me I’m not alone and convince me to stand up after a fall.

Then in the moments when the walk gets dark and times are tough, she shines His light and helps me through.  Whether it’s death, miscarriage or everyday struggles Leanne’s experience has taught me much and strengthened me as well.

As I travel there are moments of success and times of sadness.  She is there to share the joy and one of the first to listen and dry the tears.

Titus 2 is true, “the older women shall train the younger” and when the one who is a step ahead reaches out to the one following behind both women are blessed.  Why? Because it is a command and when we obey, God will bless.

This training includes the daily tasks of life, but it’s more than laundry, meals and money.

Titus 2:4-5 states, “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (NIV)

Consider where you are on your walk along life’s path – there is someone who is a step ahead.  One who’s done the things you have yet to do, she’s answered the questions you’re beginning to ask and she’s passed the test you are preparing for.  Look to her, talk with her, learn from her.

At the same, take a minute and look where you have been, someone is following in your steps.  You’ve walked the road she is on, your example can show her how to live and your advice is guidance for her day.  Share with her, spend time with her, teach her.

My guest today on Mentors Matter Monday Is Jill Beran. I am grateful to her for taking the time to share her story with us. Please feel free to share your take-away after reading her story. Leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of her book.

 

~ Jill Beran is an Iowa farmer’s wife, homeschooling Mom and child of God. She has a passion to connect women with God and one another. She is blessed to be a part of the ReNEWed Life ministry team. Jill is the co-author of Letters from Leanne – The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship and blogs at Titus24U.blogspot.com.

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Nothing More Confusing – Guest Post

Tracey is a young 20 something wife and mother who is full of life and loves her family. She is passionate about her growing relationship with Christ and how to live in such a way that the Word of God is evidenced in her daily moments. She shares today in a very straightforward manner her longing for older women to understand what she and her peers need.  

You have often heard me speak of the value of investing in the generations that come after us.

Young woman have great need for older women to pour wisdom into them – to be available to “do life” with them.

At age 22, my friend Tracey responded to an email I sent her.

Would you mind putting into words your heart about older women investing in younger women.

Share please what you wish that our generation would understand about your needs & desires to be mentored / invested in / discipled.

She shared…

“There is nothing more confusing than being a young woman living in today’s society. This world offers a very twisted view of what a woman is supposed to be like.

I believe that because of the media and a lack of discipleship, many young women, including myself, have either strayed from the truth or have a total misconception of its value. I know that as a young and relatively new believer in Christ, I have had numerous conversations with my friends about the desire for a more authentic relationship with the Lord. However, we all have found that we are not sure what that looks like because we aren’t around it enough to receive the wisdom, discernment, and accountability necessary to become whom both we and the Lord desire for us to be.

Today, most women my age are finding their identities through success in the labor force, their bodies, and how many men find them attractive. It may be slightly unbelievable to consider this true- but trust me it is. We no longer look for respect because we either stopped receiving it long ago or we never even knew what it felt like to begin with.

In this, it is my desire to plead for myself and so many others whom have no idea what it is like to be a Godly woman through both the peaks and the valleys in life.

If I could share one truth with an older woman that was interested in investing in a lost generation, it would simply be that we NEED your commitment.

We need someone to stand by us like Jesus stood by his disciples. We need older women to be honest with us and not feel inferior of the so-called “age gap”.

Every woman alike faces the same temptations, same battles, and same triumphs; a woman, whether 18 or 82, is still a woman. We need advice on everything! Since older women have experienced much more in life, younger women look to them as examples.

I beg the older generations to please be the disciples that you are called to be, take up your cross and invest in the future. It takes commitment, patience, and perseverance; sounds like something we all have in common- Christianity. You never know, the women you invest in today may turn around and invest in tomorrow’s generation.

And Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to be my followers you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me.” -Matthew 16:24”

Yours in Christ –

Tracey

Can we take her words to heart and see what value we have to offer the generations coming after us? We don’t have to have the answers. We have to be willing to walk with them toward Christ in a very real way as we share in very natural relationship.

Let’s listen together and respond to the needs of Tracey and her peers.

HIS,

karen