Monday, March 03, 2008

Mentoring program...

I've showered, I'm wearing make-up and going-out-of-the-house clothes, I got the oil changed (with a $10 off coupon!), and we even hit the library for more books before nap. Things are looking up. My husband just might get a home cooked dinner tonight...

So, I now have time to talk about mentoring. Do it to someone you love today. Whether they want you to or not. =) Ha ha. Just kidding.

Last Thursday night, I went to an introductory meeting for a women's mentoring program at The Church We Are Currently Attending (TCWACA =). TCWACA has a well established mentoring program, so I thought I would check it out. My mom did a Titus 2 mentoring program a few years ago using a book called Apples of Gold, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Hearing her talk about it made me wish I could be there to do it with her.

So I walked into the fellowship hall that night a little bit nervous, all by myself, checking out the other women who were crazy enough to show up to tentatively commit to baring their souls to another woman they didn't know. I have to admit that no small part of my motivation for going was David's enthusiasm for keeping a sick baby so I could get out of the house. And they were serving cookies and Coke. I had 4 cookies. Chocolate chip.

We sat down and filled out a form, and they told us what we were letting ourselves in for. We would be matched with someone for the next 6 months. We would commit to calling them once a week and meeting with them twice a month. (My first thought when I heard this was "I don't call my mom once a week. When she hears this, she's going to demand that she can sign up and become my mentor.") The idea is to provide godly wisdom and counsel to each other, and those in charge emphasized that this was a two way street, no matter who had the designations of "mentor" or "mentee."

The thing I liked best about these lovely ladies who were in charge is that they assured us that we were matched through prayer. They counted on God to put together the women that he would have to grow together in the next 6 months. They said they'd be praying very hard about this in the next several days. I loved that! No figuring it out based on age charts or years of marriage or how many kids you have or don't have. I've seen God do some amazing things through women that He has put in my life in the past few years. He has provided some wonderful women from some unusual places to bless me, just when I've needed them. I'm excited to see what He's going to do through this mentoring program, and I'm thrilled that the people in charge acknowledge that He does it.

That's pretty much what I said when we went around the room and told why had come to the meeting. There were about 35 women in this circle. It seemed to me that there were more women looking for mentors than there were women who were there to mentor. Several of the girls were college students. A couple mentioned that they didn't have Christian mothers or other older Christian women in their lives. I shot up a quick prayer, thanking God for my wacky, yet sainted, mother. I can't imagine what life would be like without her consistent godly influence in my life.

On the form, I checked that I was willing to either be a mentor or a mentee. I feel kind of torn about this. On the one hand, I sure could use mentoring. There is a TON that I don't know, and it would be great to have a more experienced woman to give me some fresh perspective and advice. On the other hand, things are going smoothly in my life right now, and I've been blessed with a ton of godly advice from the Christian women in my life that I could pass on. I'm content either way. I'm just going to trust that God will place me in the role He has for me.

We have another meeting this Thursday night. This is the blind date part of the program. It's when I get matched up for the duration. This is a confidential thing, so I probably won't be talking about it much on this blog unless I get the other gal's permission, but I thought I'd let you know what I was dipping my big toe into these days.


Paula said...

Hey, sorry you haven't heard from me lately.  I haven't forgotten you.  I am glad to hear that you all are on the mend.  The stomach virus is one of the most hated sicknesses your family can get.  We have had it a couple of times with the kids.  I think it takes a little time for the their little systems to recover and the diarhea (sp) at the end is not uncommon as far as I remember.  I think the mentoring thing is great.  I am excited for you and I know it will be great, especially since you are allowing God to steer the whole thing.  I am going to send you an email.  I have been meaning update you on my life.  If not, I will call you. Haven't really been able to get online much lately.  Love you!

Anonymous said...

Ellen, I've been thinking a lot about Titus 2 and the older woman/younger woman relationship and how to do it. There are so many obstacles (who wants to say, "Hi, I've got something to teach you," or "Hi, I know you're busy, but would you pour yourself into my life right now?". That's why a program entices's a lot easier. On the other hand, there's a lot to be said about the organic relationship that grows up between an older woman and a younger one (age or maturity-wise). I've just started being mentored by my pastor's wife, and I'm excited about it. We'll see if it spreads in the church...

love, Terri