Do you have a mentor? Do you have someone that you are currently mentoring?
People often ask me how important are mentors? My answer, very important.
The concept of mentorship is nothing new. Even though the titles have changed over time, the practice has been around for as long as we know, and for good reason!
A mentor’s goal is to help you take the next step with confidence. The best form of mentoring exists without the expectation of what the mentor might get in return.
Over the years I have had several mentors; they have been women I have both observed, listened to, and witnessed the results of their work. Whether it was for professional development, gaining business savvy, learning to be a wife and mother, or maintaining overall balance in life, they were there for me freely sharing their insight, knowledge and wisdom.
Each of my mentors have this common motive: to listen, encourage, and share their knowledge with me (without expectation or hidden agenda). They impacted my life forever, and consequently the lives of my children.
Are you building your family on a solid foundation? Do you and your children know and agree on the core values your family holds? These are some of the basic building blocks of a family that can be achieved wherever you are, whether you are starting your parenting journey or if you are in the home stretch raising teenagers.
Setting core values is a full family event – you cannot set them and let your family know what they are – you all have to develop and cultivate them. Think first about the values and character your family wants to reflect. What’s important to you? How would you like others to view your family?
Some of the core values we’ve established in my family are:
Love one another
Treat each other with courtesy and consideration
Take care of each other
Treat others with respect, patience, kindness, and goodness
There are a number of ways your family can model your values once they are established, and you can help keep them consistent. For instance, if you had the values above and your kids are bickering over a toy or a particular TV channel, you can remind them that one of your family’s core values is to love one another, and help them find their way back to that. If someone is under the weather, you can tuck that family member into bed with a blanket and a cup of tea because one of your family’s core values is to take care of each other.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and a new year, it is easy to get caught up in the stress and anxiety of creating those perfect memories for your family. Kids are overtired, everyone is home together more often, extended family sometimes comes to stay, schedules are different, and the stress of it all sometimes has mom exhausted!
If there’s one key idea I’ve learned during my parenting journey, it’s that we should not react in anger to situations that come up with our children. Too often we do react in anger, and we hurt our children with our words. The best advice I can give is to s-l-o-w- down and take some time to really listen to your children. God’s word clearly says to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). So make sure you take the time to truly hear what your children are saying. This must be done intentionally. That’s right – you must put the iPhone down, disconnect from that tablet, look up from your stack of post-holiday bills and really focus on your child, face-to-face. (more…)
Learning to listen to your children is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your relationship. Your children need you, no matter their age, and will continue to need you even as they reach adulthood and begin their own families. One of the ways you can be there for them is to listen to them. Truly listen.
This is difficult, I know. There are a lot of people and activities competing for our time that create a number of hindrances to really listening. Here are a few I’ve noticed in my own life: (more…)
In a world full of devices and non-stop connecting…They still call Mom.
One day you are wrapping your arms around your child to comfort them for a skinned elbow, or making them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or putting on a colorful Band-Aid that fixes anything. Now, you are receiving late night texts from your young adult child asking for prayer about a heart-breaking relationship. It appears our older, wiser mentors were right when they said, “Challenges of parenting do not go away when the kids get older; they just get more complex.”
This is what I was told many times.
Now that my children are older I find myself echoing similar statements.
In my early years of parenting, when I passed up opportunities to be more involved outside the home, I questioned my decisions.
Invitations to sit on boards in the community or serve on committees at church were carefully considered so that I could have the time, and energy to avail myself to training the hearts of my children and cultivating our relationships. The early morning time readings, conversations and prayers, the talk-time in the cars on the way to co-ops and sporting events, the hanging out on the couch in the very late evenings because that’s when they liked to open up and share their deepest thoughts—all these cumulative moments and hours helped cultivate a heart in my children to maintain a relationship with me even now.
When they were younger, the focus was on teaching worldviews, Biblical truths, and basic life disciplines. That focus continues but now with more emphasis on listening, encouraging and supporting. It is a rich blessing, a high calling and a beautiful ministry.
Why do we pray for the Lord to lead and then doubt when He does?
Do you struggle with this? I’d like to think of myself as a faithful daughter of the King, but I discover time and time again that I question His providence. I have to give myself the proverbial slap to refocus my proper perspective. Here are His promises:
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave your nor forsake.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“For we are God’s Masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Eph 2:10
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
He promises to go before us (and our children). He planned good things for us (and our children) long ago. He promises prosperity, safety, hope and a future for us (and our children). Yes, I believe this Lord. Help me in my unbelief! (more…)