I’d like to introduce you to my friend and author, Janet Thompson. She is joining us on the blog today and sharing about mentoring which is near and dear to my heart. Her newest book, Mentoring for All Seasons, just released yesterday. I am honored to have some of my story included in the preface of her book. If you’ve ever wondered if mentoring matters or how to go about being or finding a mentor, be sure to grab a copy of this wonderful resource. It will bless and encourage you. Here’s Janet:
Tracy and I have never met face-to-face, but her story of comparing her spiritually seasoned mentors to a beautiful righteous oak (Isa. 61:3b) in a blog post she wrote, captured my heart. I asked her if I could include it in my new book Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness, and she agreed.
Tracy’s story first started out in the Appendix under Advantages of Having a Mentor. But you know how we start rearranging the furniture because something feels wrong, out of balance. Sometimes you just need to move a picture or chair, other times it’s a major redesign to get that ah ha feeling, this is perfect. That’s how I felt about the location of Tracy’s story when I received the first edits back from the publisher . . . something didn’t feel right.
I knew her sweet story needed to go in the beginning of the book where I introduce the reason I wrote the book, not in the back. I moved it to the Preface and that’s where you’ll find it and where the editors left it.
Tracy’s plea was for spiritually older women like her mentor to realize how badly the younger women all around them needed godly role models. Women who would invest in the life of spiritually younger women and help them grow in their faith, make righteous decisions, or maybe recover from choices already made that were messy and painful.
But mentoring is never just a one-way relationship. Women who notice the hurting or spiritually younger women around them find their lives are blessed and richer because they followed God’s mandates in Titus 2:3-5 and in Psalm 145:4 which says, “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”
Mentoring is simply sharing your own life experiences with someone experiencing something similar. It really is about assuring your mentee that the Lord helped you and He will help her too, and that you’ll be there to walk beside her as she grows in her faith.
Life is full of changes and different seasons, but God has given us the tools to help each other through them. We just need to be willing to do what he asked of us in the Bible. I was incredibly blessed to have sixty-five women, including Tracy, share their mentoring stories—both mentees and mentors—in Mentoring for All Seasons. These women had experienced the blessings of mentoring and wanted to encourage other women that they can do it too!
Be encouraged, for you don’t have to have all the answers because God provides them all in the Bible. We’re always coming out of one season and going into another. Mentoring changes and helps to redesign hearts and homes.
In reflecting on the many women in my life who have helped me through all kinds of seasons . . . I’ve been blessed to have many women speak into my life and influence me in different ways. From the way I entertain using their examples of hospitality to my deeply, personal involvement in my friends’ lives, I have had beautiful, courageous women of faith who were there to teach me and train me. They helped me with my floundering anxieties as a young mother, supported me as friends during my children’s busy school years, and many are faithful friends who have stood by my side in ministry for decades now. Where would I be without these generous-hearted friends? I’m grateful I’ll never have to know. ~Joneal Kirby, founder of Heartfelt Ministry, endorser, and shares a story in Mentoring for All Seasons.
Janet Thompson, 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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