Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finding a Mentor?

As "younger women" like Titus 2 talks about, how do we go about finding a mentor-- an "older woman"?

Here are some places I've found them:

  • In my local church
  • From neighbors & friends in community
  • Through books & biblical teachings
  • Over the internet
But I think one thing that can trip us up is if we are only open to learning one particular thing at a particular time.  When I think back about the women I've learned from, most of the mentors of my life have not come *at the time that I felt like I needed* to learn that particular thing.

Instead, I have looked for women who do anything well... some are lifelong learners and have some interesting topics/subjects to teach me about (for example, one friend is really into personality theory --like MBTI-- and so I borrowed the best books she had on the subject and she explained to me how to apply those things in real life), so I learn things like that from certain friends.  Three different families that I babysat for and spent time with when I was single raised their children thoughtfully & intentionally, and so I learned that from them even though I wasn't remotely near having children.

Some women I'm watching now have challenging/difficult marriages but persevere through them and I try to learn that even though I'm quite content & delighted in our marriage.   Another woman I've learned from lately is really faithful at Bible study and teaching and so I've been intentionally spending time to learn that from her.  A different woman I used to spend regular time with has an immaculate kitchen (despite having 4 busy children spread over 15 years) and is also an excellent cook.   I learned a lot just by watching her about food prep & keeping a kitchen tidier than I'd previously thought possible (not that I do that super-well now, but I do it better than I would've if I was only paying attention to try to learn one particular topic to learn from her and missed the things she did well).

If I purposed to only learn the one or two things I felt like I needed at a particular time in life, I might have missed learning from any of these women.  Instead, I try to focus on what other women do *WELL* and try to learn that, regardless of whether I think that's the particular thing I "need" at that moment in life.  

Look at what things a woman does "excellently" and seek to learn from her.  If we do that, I think regardless of our context (even difficult ones: overseas, with few friends/connections; in a small country church with few friends; in transition with no long-time friends, etc.), we can find a plethora of mentors even if it's not necessarily in the area where we ourselves are struggling at a particular point.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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