pitchers.jpgWhat does it take to pour into the life of another? The mention of it overwhelms us. We think we have to have it all figured out before we dare to think we have anything to offer. All the while, there are women who hunger  for the mentor/discipleship friendships that offer a safe space to grow.

Lean in as Tina shares her thoughts about mentoring.

At first mention of “finding a mentor”, the thought left me feeling like I was in middle school again without a date to the dance.

How would I FIND someone who could help me in all areas of my life? I started paying more attention to who I was hanging out with.

Maybe I would just ask one someone who was already close to me…seemed like a good safe plan that required little to no vulnerability on my part.

The only issue was, everyone around me was at the same place in life I was.

I started looking outside of my circles and found myself so incredibly fearful of asking someone to “mentor me / aka..go to the middle school dance”

because…hello!….. the thoughts of rejection were crippling. Seriously, the people who I would have loved to ask to mentor me were so busy in life already,

why would they make time for me? And that horrible what if, what if, what if….game always locked me down.

So I sat. I watched.

waited in the corner like a wallflower, hoping someone would come

my way and ask me to dance. Surely the look on my face read “hungry for more”. Yeah. No.

Just as I was ready to move on in life and just “be happy with the card I was dealt” and “do the best I could with what information I had”, I heard a message about mentoring…(wish I could remember who the speaker was) what they spoke opened my eyes and exponential possibilities. They said (paraphrased), “to assume one person is smart enough to mentor you in all areas of your life is to say that he is next to Jesus in perfection..there is no ONE person who could possibly speak into every area of your life.

Look for people who are at the place you want to be in EACH area of life and ask them questions about that one place.

Okay. That’s how to take a bite, I thought.

So I did. I got myself in the room with people who were stronger in a few areas of life and just listened to them talk to one another. It awakened my spirit to new possibilities and allowed me to see new things and experience one ah-ha moment after another…for example…This group of ladies seemed to have strong marriages and the more I listened to them…wow…they are actually speaking highly of their spouse when he’s not even in the room! Who does that!?

It set a standard of respect for me that had never been modeled to me before.

The more I learned, the more I craved. I started noticing changes in my attitude. The way I viewed my marriage, my kids, my career, my choices. The greatest thing about all of this? Every time I felt a need to change, it caused me to lean in to the Lord and get in His word to search for my why. That made my relationship stronger with Him and now in life I see THAT = my relationship with the Lord…is the root from which everything grows. It’s expanding.

He constantly leads people in and out of my life to teach, speak into and “mentor” me.

Gratefully, He has sent me tremendous women of God who have turned into the best friends I could ever ask for.

  • I have a few ladies who model true submission in their marriage without feeling like they are being railroaded.
  • I have a a few ladies who model Christ-like business practices and can help me understand why it’s okay not to always win or come out on top.
  • I have a few ladies that model what being a model parent looks like and that sometimes means denying myself and my own desires.
  • I have ladies who model what it looks like to be a servant of the Lord, because giving sacrificially is not how I naturally respond to giving up time and resources I feel like I’ve earned.
  • I have women who model discipline in their eating and exercise habits because as I was growing up, a healthy lifestyle was not ingrained in me.

Nothing replaces a great example. I’m so simple minded, I need someone to show me HOW to walk it out and even better, someone who is willing to walk with me until I figure it out. I wouldn’t call these people mentors necessarily…I much prefer to call them friends. I believe we become like who we surround ourselves with.

Growing up, I’ve always heard the expression, “you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”. The people who I allow to influence my life, walk their talk…their actions speak so much more loudly than their words. Those are the people I want to be on the dance floor with.

They really know how to boogie!

Dear Heart to Heart Reader,

Who has influenced your life? Who has God sent into your life to model that HE is the root from which everything grows? Please share with us.

tina 2

Tina Wilson is a wife to one man, mom to a boy and a girl, photographer for people who believe that images allow them to taste life twice. She describes herself as a wife, believer, children’s photographer, go-getter, cry baby and interior designer wanna-be. You can enjoy her breathtaking work at TinaWilsonPhotoBlog.com or follow her on Twitter @tinawilsonphoto.

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