Here is a blog post from my friend Janet Thompson about the importance of mentoring. She has written a new book called Mentoring for All Seasons. You can purchase it from amazon or from her website www.womantowomanmentoring.com.
I grew up in Southern California where, with few seasonal exceptions, the weather was consistent year round—sunny and beautiful. Sunny and hot with morning fog near the beach in summer. Sunny and warm with occasional Santana winds in the fall. Sunny with a few storms, rain, and overcast days in the winter, when the temperatures might dip into the 60’s. Sunny and colorful in the spring. Those were our seasons.
Then we moved to Idaho where we have four extremely distinct and different seasons, each one lasting about three months, except last winter’s snow went from November until a few snow days in April! The biggest difference I’ve noticed about the four climate “seasons,” is that the year seems to fly by in Idaho!
During that heavy snow winter, everyone could hardly wait until it was summer. Then when summer brought high temperatures and smoke from forest fires, everyone could hardly wait for fall. Now that fall has finally arrived, in just a few months we’ll be right back into winter snow again.
We’re continually coming out of one season and going into the next completely different season—a great metaphor for our life seasons. Many of you have experienced the blessing of having a mentor in the changing seasons of your life, or long for a mentor to help you through a new life season. That’s when those with experience in a life season can reach out and offer counsel, support, prayer, and God’s wisdom to a woman in a season we've experienced. Mentoring is that easy.
When we moved to Idaho from Southern California, we had never lived in the rural mountains year round. We had a lot to learn and there was always someone willing to mentor us; all we had to do was ask and be receptive to what they had learned from living here. Now that we’re a bit “seasoned,” we can help others moving here too.
One woman emailed that she and a group of friends call themselves “Seasoned Veterans of the Word,” and they’re anxious to learn more about mentoring from my new book Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. Author and speaker Pam Farrel has several stories in this book where she tells of forming a group of “Seasoned Sisters” to prepare for menopause and midlife together, a season I’ve definitely included in Mentoring for All Seasons.
So that’s my challenge to all of us, let’s look for those women and young girls God puts in our path and share what we’ve learned from our life experiences and how God and His Word helped us and will help them too in whatever life season they’re going through now. And if you’re going through a difficult life season or are new in your faith, ask God to help you find a mentor. Mentoring for All Seasons encourages women to intentionally share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. I’m not just talking about women; we need to mentor our tweens and teens too!
You may encounter a woman in a season you haven’t experienced. Mentees come from all walks and seasons of life, ages, and spiritual maturity. Even if a mentor doesn’t share the exact life experience of her mentee, the mentor can provide spiritual guidance, do research, and pray about how to address the specific issues her mentee is encountering. Some mentees might even be seekers or brand new believers who need to know how to live as Christian women today.
In Mentoring for All Seasons, sixty-five women share their mentor or mentee testimonies, along with my own personal experiences, helpful tips, and suggestions will guide women in how to connect and nurture each other through mentoring relationships, as a mentor or a mentee from tweens to twilight years. There are Scriptures for each season to help guide the discussion to God’s Word. Mentors don’t have all the answers, but God does!
Mentoring for all Seasons is a reference, application, and coaching tool for a mentor or mentee as they traverse life’s journey together. I pray for Holy Spirit inspiration for some women to become mentors. I pray for courage for others to take a step of faith and seek out a mentor. I pray for all to enjoy the blessings of trusting God and watching how he honors your obedience to becoming Titus 2:3-5 women.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 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.
Throughout our lifetime, we vacillate between being a mentor and needing a mentor, depending on the season of life. I pray whatever season you’re in today, there’s someone walking beside you, and you’re walking beside someone who needs you in her season of life.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of nineteen books including her latest, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.
She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet and her husband Dave relocated their empty nest from Orange County, California to the rural mountains of Idaho, where Janet writes and they love watching the deer frolic in their yard.
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