**I was asked by dear Kristin Lemus to host week seven of the Women at War Bible study here at kjtanner. The study is based on the book by Jan Greenwood and let me tell you, it is making me think and God is using it to change me and my heart. It's about to get real honest up in here. Thanks for joining and if you like what you read, you can subscribe by clicking here.**
More than once I've walked away from a conversation with the thought, "I really dislike women." The cattiness, the backbiting, the competition and the one-upmanship that seems to rear its ugly head in a group of women leaves me utterly content to sequester myself in a corner with a good book and a journal. However, as Beth Moore says in her study on James, "Immunity from community means no ministry."
Ladies, my ministry probably looks different than your ministry which looks different from her ministry which reaches an entirely different demographic than her ministry. Even so, if you are drawing breath, you are called by God and frankly, your ministry will involve people...probably women. The beauty of this is that we each have something unique to bring to the table. Let's stop the competition and instead augment each other with our individual gifts and talents.
I recently read an amazing book. Maybe you've heard of it. It's called Lean In and it's written by Sheryl Sandberg, the CFO of Facebook. In it, Sandberg encourages women to quit competing and instead take their place at the table. To accept their callings, identify their goals, whether they be family focused, career focused, or both and get to performing to the best of their abilities. While not an overtly Christian book, Sandberg's principles would be well-applied in our ministries.
Back to Jan's book.
One of the biggest associations with being a woman is that of being a mother. In Christendom (can I still use that word?) every woman is called to be a mother. Some of us biologically and others of us spiritually. The Bible is big on adoption so it would make complete sense that as women we can adopt fellow women into our family as we mentor them. In the same way, we are mentored by others.
Mentoring sounds like this big scary word, but here's what Oprah has to say about mentoring--"A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself." The only requirement to be a mentor is to be able to point out the hope in others, the good in others, the potential in others. I'm pretty sure that since we carry Hope Himself in us that every single one of us as Christians qualifies as a mentor. We each have something to offer. I don't care if you've been following Christ for one month or one lifetime--you can and are called to offer hope; to be a spiritual mother to someone else.
The entirety of chapter seven (my assigned chapter) was about mothering and I could blather on and on about it, but instead, I'd like to hear from you....and I'll answer my own questions as well because well, it would be no fun if I just asked and didn't volunteer my answers first...so here goes....
1. Have you ever been mentored? If so, by whom and what were the effects?
Honestly, I have about four women that I consider to be in my mentor group. These women know the good and the bad--the ugly and the beautiful and they never stop seeing the potential in me. These women have covered me in grace and are the ones that continue to tell me that, "You can do this." One of them is about thirty-five years older than me, the other is about fifteen years older than me, and two are what I would call peer mentors. We are in the same stage of life and are doing this mothering thing together.
2. What is a dream that God has placed in your heart? How could someone come alongside you to help encourage that?
I want to write. Thankfully, one of my peer mentors helps me do that. Just to hear her voice saying, "Keep writing. Someone needs to hear/read this," is extremely encouraging. We are both writers, both bloggers, and yet there is no competition. We both encourage each other and pray for each other's platforms and influence. This friend is the real deal, y'all.
3. Just as you are being poured into are you pouring into others? Is there someone in your life that you could encourage?
Mentoring can sound so scary. Sometimes just a note or a voicemail of encouragement is all that is needed. Instead of thinking about mentoring as this huge responsibility, just think about it as encouraging someone else. If you can't think of someone off the top of your head, ask God to reveal someone to you in the next week that he would have you pour into. Then do it. :-)
4. Lastly, take a moment and think about who God has positioned in your life as a mentor. Then write them a note, send them a text, email them and just let them know that they are important to you and are making a difference in your life. We're all women and we can all use a little encouragement.
***Thank you so much for joining us here for today's study. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments so feel free to interact there. Jan can be found here and on twitter. Kristin Lemus has been orchestrating this amazing blog study tour and you can follow her here. Lastly, if you like what you read, you can subscribe to kjtanner here or you can follow me on Twitter.***