Tag Archive: friend


Mentor

As many of you know, I mentor a young lady named Hayley.  I’ve written about her before in my posts:  Watercolor Blessings  and  Stand up.  We’ve been meeting now for almost a year and although I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing when we began to meet…surprisingly I have been doing something right.

I don’t know how that happened…obviously God is VERY MUCH HANDS ON in this relationship because believe me, I am a huge mess and certainly NOT tooting my own horn here.  I am very capable of and am probably causing serious permanent damage to this poor, beautiful girl, so praise God He knows how to shut my mouth and offer discernment!!

Poor Hayley.

But…I was asked by my pastor to speak, along with some other people, in a sermon this past Sunday called:  “I’m going to get serious about my faith!”  from his “Next Year’s Going to be Different” series.

Different topics were covered: Prayer, Devotions, Discipleship, Evangelism, Memorization, etc… and he asked me to speak on Mentoring.  I was stunned to say the least.  “But I don’t really know what I’m doing!!” I said.  “I might be totally messing Hayley up!!”  He assured me he still wanted me to speak and suggested that perhaps I do some research on the topic.

Y’know what I found??

It seems that even though I am unsure, that I question why on earth God called me to mentor Hayley; What have I to offer when there are so many wiser, smarter, calmer, kinder, gentler and much more qualified women in the church than me? that He gave me reassurance.

What God has taught me through mentoring Hayley is that being a mentor is not the image I had in my head of the I’m-so-wise-and-holy-you-will-learn-amazing-and-wonderful-spiritual-truths-from-me teacher…

mean teacher

Because yeah, I am faaaar from that…

But instead, all I need to offer is a heart for God and my friendship.

As I researched, He led me to a great article How Christian Woman Can Mentor and Be Mentored, which reiterated that exact point.

Of course, being a mentor is a scary thing…

“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”   James 3:1

but God calls each one of us to it…

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”   Titus 2:3-5

So I encourage you.

We can be mentored at any age…I have several women in my life whom I look up to, respect tremendously and go to when I need advice or have a question about something.  We don’t meet regularly and most of them probably don’t realize that they are mentoring me, but they offer wisdom, understanding and clarity when I need it.

If you think you aren’t qualified to mentor someone, kick that thought right out of your head.  If you are asked a question that you don’t know an answer to, find someone who does.  If you don’t know what to say, ask God to give you the words.  Just open your heart, admit your failures, love unconditionally and I assure you, you will be blessed by it.

Hayley is nearly 25 years younger than me.  Uff…that’s a tough pill to swallow.  But what I have learned from her through this unlikely relationship God brought together is more valuable to me than I can even explain.

She is a gem and I am so blessed to be called her mentor…her friend.

Friends

As I continue reading the counsel of Job’s friends in chapter 11, I realize I could have clumped all of their responses together.

[cue: Zophar enters scowling, joining finger pointing already in progress]

Zophar lets Job have it.  “Liar, liar pants on fire!”  He practically sings as he echoes the words of Eliphaz and Bildad, encouraging Job to fess up.  [Job 11:4-5]

Zophar even goes as far to say that because of Job’s guilt, he actually deserves more punishment than what he has been given already! [Job 11:6]

The commentary in my Bible describes Zophar:

Zophar is the third of Job’s friends to speak, and the least courteous.  Full of anger, he lashed out at Job… his speech was by far the most arrogant.  Zophar has an answer for everything; he was totally insensitive to Job’s unique situation.

Which of course, may be entirely true… however, you know what it’s like when you and a couple buddies decide to approach a friend who is doing something you think is wrong.

The first guy approaches the subject carefully and gently but the friend gets upset and denies any problem. Then the second guy joins the discussion, a little more forcefully to drive home your collective concern for your friend, and again the friend denies any wrong-doing and tempers start to flare.

You’ve been sitting idly by watching the whole thing and you’re done with the shenanigans.  Your friend is not getting it so you come in guns-a-blazing to drive the point home.

That’s Zophar.

He and his friends are having an intervention.  Their view; Job is hiding something, he has sin in his life he’s not confessing and they are trying to help.

Isn’t that what an accountability partner is supposed to do?  Granted, not to approach with a baseball bat; there is something to be said for tact.

Listen and love first…

Smack down later.

But to have a person who isn’t afraid to tell us we have a booger hanging from our nose or that our skirt is tucked into our underwear.  A person who knows us well enough to give us a swift kick in the pants when we make excuses for not attending church or to call us out when we start eating chocolate cake every night for dinner.  Someone who asks us, out of the blue, if we’re reading our Bible or spending time with God in prayer.

Although, I’m not entirely seeing the problem with that cake one.

“… For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'”   Romans 14:10-11

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”   Mathew 12:36

We are to make good choices because…

“… each of us will give an account of himself to God.”   Romans 14:12

We are to help our friends make good choices because …

“… each of us will give an account of himself to God.”   Romans 14:12

Anyone see a recurring theme here?!!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a few good men who had our back?  Who told us the truth and wanted us to be the best we can be in God’s eyes?

Ok then, let’s get started.

How are you doing?
Are you reading your Bible?
Are you spending time with your Father?

Do you know Him?

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”   Jeremiah 33:3

“Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.”   Isaiah 55:6

Have you ever had a girl crush?

crush   noun   \ˈkrəsh\
Definition of CRUSH : an intense and usually passing infatuation <have a crush on someone>;
(Definition of INFATUATE : to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration)

You know, you’re a girl and you meet another girl and she’s gorgeous, friendly, funny, sweet, and totally in style.  You feel like you’ve known her your whole life; you have the same beliefs, same views on life, family and God and you totally “get” why her husband married her.

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”   1 Peter 3:3-4

The Urban dictionary defines it as:

girl crush
feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl. a nonsexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level.

These are the girls who are not related by blood and yet love us unconditionally.  They offer their shoulders freely for crying and their sleeves for blowing.  They act as a back board to bounce ideas off of and a coach to guide us.  They are a safe haven to run to in a storm and a gentle hand that picks us up when we slip.

This is a tribute to the girls in my life; those of you who make me want to act better, look better, love my husband and children better, portray Christ better, treat others better, and love my God better.

Thank you for the love and acceptance you have shown me, for the inspiration you have given me, for the wisdom you have shared with me and for the Godliness you have displayed for me.

I praise God for the girl crushes He has blessed me with, and although it is said that a crush is short lived, maybe these are the exception.

You know who you are… and I thank you.

“When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”   Matthew 10:19-20

Oh, I just praise God and His timing!!

I receive a daily devotional each morning from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Now, I don’t always get a chance to read it…but every once in a while I do.

A few days ago God prompted me to read one about loss and God’s plan.  It was called: “If God Loves Me, why…” by Renee Swope.

It touched my heart and I immediately wanted to share it, but God at that moment didn’t lay anyone on my heart to forward it to.  He just quietly told me to wait…

Save it.

This morning I got an email from a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while.  She confided in me that she just recently found out she was pregnant, and almost just as quickly was miscarried…for a second time.

She was very sad, feeling as if someone had ripped out her heart, and felt very alone because really, no one knew.

God immediately brought to mind the devotional I had stored away for another time…

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place… And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14

I read through the devotional again, and it wasn’t one on loss of a child or even a loved one.  In fact, it was about heartbreak and hurts in our past, so I wasn’t sure this was what my friend needed… but God continued to prompt me to send it.  It was about His plan for us through every trial, tragedy, and storm so I sent it…although I did warn her to read it when she had time, because I sent it to her at work!!

My friend’s response was awesome, and I praise God for His perfect timing and for sending her the right words…

“Ok so I couldn’t wait…..I read it choking down my emotions in between answering the phone.  You know what…..I am so glad I did.  I just sighed and thought, I can do this, I’m ok!!!  I have time in my life.  Almost a relieved feeling.  How amazing…..

Thank you again and again, I needed to read that today! 

It meant a lot especially because of my past.  I don’t know what I’ve ever told you but I had a bad history with my parents with alcohol in my past but didn’t let that slow me down.  But……as I was reading it, it touched home that way and what I’m going through now. ”

Praise the One in whose timing and words are perfect!!

I am blown away.  My blog, these measly, amateur scribblings of how I see God working in my life, was mentioned yesterday in a Lovebug‘s take of her most favorite blogs to flutter to!  I am absolutely humbled and in awe.

Not an hour before, I wondered if God really wanted me to write. I have been trying to raise money to attend a writer’s conference for several months now.  God has helped me raise nearly 70% of the total funds needed, but the $300 still left to pay is due next Tuesday.

{gulp.}

Then I got news that the flexible spending account I had through my employer had been canceled and I no longer qualify for the program because my hours at work have been significantly reduced.  Due to this sudden change, any funds I put toward my account have been forfeited, and now any chiropractic, optical, or major dental work will have to be paid out of pocket.  An expense that was surely not planned or expected.

{gulp.}

That was it…I lost it.  All the money I’ve been putting into that account from my paycheck, money we could’ve used for groceries, gas, lots of other needs, was gone.  I began thinking that perhaps this is God telling me He doesn’t want me to go to the conference after all, especially when it’s going to cost even more money just to travel there, when we could be using that money for better purposes…instead of me chasing a crazy dream.

I voiced my concern to a friend of mine when God reassured me through her response: “The Benny card has nothing to do with the conference.  God knew this would happen and He knows how you will get to the conference.  It will just make it more awesome!”

Then, God placed a beautiful reminder on another friend’s Facebook page:

Then, a Lovebug’s encouragement in her post Hey all You Bloggers…: “I have met some awesome bloggers and it still amazes me with all the wonderful things I read and come across.”  She even mentioned that my blog was her “inspiration dosage.”

Unbelievable.

It is amazing how God works in our lives. How just at the right time He sends a word of encouragement through a friend,

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”   Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

unveils His artistry in a sunset,

comforts us in a hug,

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”   Psalm 46:1b

reveals His power in a storm,

smiles as we enjoy a warm cup of coffee,

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”   John 15:11

uncovers His creativity in a flower,

and laughs when we finally understand and are in shock and awe of His amazing love, provision, and grace.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”   James 1:17

I love writing, receive great joy in it, and would absolutely be satisfied to just write my prayers and share my silly little stories with my family and friends.

But I pray that God uses the stories He gives me to allow even one person to see Him in a new light; that His amazing love is revealed, that eyes are opened to the truth of His Word, that He is seen as colorfully and amazing as I see Him, and that He receives all the glory from it.

“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”   Daniel 2:21-22

I cry…

I sing on the worship team at my AMAZING church.  I am blessed that God placed me on, allows me to be part of, and am able to sing praises to Him through that ministry.  However, I tend to get emotional when I sing.  Ok, that’s not true, I get emotional always.  In fact I have a running joke with my pastor that if he would just stop talking about Jesus, I’d be all good.

So…seeing as how this Sunday is Easter Sunday, and because sermons tend to be about Jesus on Easter Sunday, I am seriously considering tear duct removal.  Especially during the worship set.  We will be singing a new song:  “Worthy Is The Lamb, Crown Him With Many Crowns.”  Oh my word, I have YET to make it through without making that horrific-scrunched-up-overt-your-eyes-this-is-going-to-get-ugly cry face.

Just yesterday I was talking to a friend about that song, asking her to pray for strength to get through it, and she responded with: 

“I listened to the CD a lot last night, and had it on YouTube this morning.  And yes, LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that song!!!  I can see why you shed a few tears…but then again…it’s YOU.  Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!  Honestly, all joking aside… I WISH I could get that choked up over Jesus’ love for me.  I’m SOOO THANKFUL for what He’s done in my life, but I never had the life changing ‘Ah Ha’ moment.  Maybe it’s because I was saved at such a young age…?  Anyway, I wish I had your heart.”

I wrote a story about that exact thing a while ago now… wondering why more people don’t get choked up.  My daughter, Sydney, at the time told me, “it’s probably because you remember who you used to be and where you came from.”  (Yeah, talk about insight from a 9 year old!)

That’s definitely part of it.  I PRAY for a testimony like my friend’s for all of my kids.  I long for them to live a Psalm 119 life – without regret and to know and walk closely with Christ their entire life.  I do know I wouldn’t be who I am today, had I understood His sacrifice early on.

I have heard it said, “it is easier for a child to perceive and receive spiritual truth than an adult to do so.”  That’s where my tears come from… the fact that I could’ve missed it.

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”   Romans 2:5

I was like so many… I loved myself so much that I didn’t care about God, didn’t want Him in my life, and didn’t think I needed Him.  I am so grateful that God called, allowed me to hear and understand Him, and especially that He waited patiently and continued to call!

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”   2 Peter 3:9

My friend does have a heart like mine…she has just had it longer.

I Cry God

Why don’t more people cry at church?  Especially those who know Jesus personally?

I can’t get through a song, much less a sermon about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for me, without a tear.

Ok, that’s an under-exaggeration. 

I lose it when I think about what Jesus has saved me from.  I don’t just shed a tear or two, I sob.  And it’s not like those fortunate souls who look all beautiful; tears glistening down their cheeks and a grateful smile on their face…

No, I look more like the elephant man; face deformed and puckered up, chin wobbly, body shaking, long trailing mascara tears resting in pools under my eyes, silvery unbreakable strings of snot…

and not a tissue in sight.

People so often embrace me and lovingly ask if I’m ok, if I need anything, wondering what I’m struggling with and how they can help.

Oh what they don’t understand is that I am truly a mess and so unworthy…

“…you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”   Revelation 3:17b

 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;”   Isaiah 64:6a

Each one of those messy, slimy, dirty tears are in grateful adoration of the One who sees past the mascara stains, past the ignorance of my childhood, past the selfishness I harbor…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…”   Jeremiah 17:9

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”   Romans 3:12

Oh for the love that my God has displayed for me…

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”   Romans 8:32

For the joy that is so readily available and easily given…

“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.”   Jeremiah 31:13b

For the peace He so desperately wants us to enjoy…

“… we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Romans 5:1b

For the forgiveness He wants each of us to feel…

“He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.”   Micah 7:18b

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   1 John 1:9

Those messy tears of mine are because I know my Jesus loves me.  I know the muck He pulled me out of and continually goes back to drag me out time and time again. 

 “How many kings stepped down from their thrones?

How many lords have abandoned their homes?

How many greats have become the least for me?

How many Gods have poured out their hearts?

To romance a world that has torn all apart?

How many fathers gave up their sons for me?”

                                                       –“How Many Kings” by Christian Artist Downhere

Only ONE.

I know the unbelievable and horrific suffering Christ took in my place, and although I may look like a sloppy mess, my soul cries out in admiration and delight.  I NEVER want to take that gift for granted…

…and my God sees it as beautiful.

WYSO Peru Tour 2018

Follow WYSO'S Youth Orchestra As They Tour Peru

Barefoot Lily Lady

Before I Forget: Sharing my love for God, family, gardens and my sweet Momma

Teach Them

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Marilyn Horton

"The Most Optimistic Woman in the World"

His Holy Temple

2 Corinthians 5:17b "The old has gone, the new is here!"

Damn girl, that's a lot of fattitude

Healthy lifestyler and certified nutjob

Never2late4's Blog

Adventures in procrastination

likeafighterpilot

Working on the Mind, Body, and Spirit

DREADmill Diaries

Because I don't love running but am determined to get these 20 pounds off!

Running With'em

Another boring running blog

Women Writers of the Triad

community | craft | excellence

See Jain Run

striving for non-violence while trit-trotting through the mainstream

voxifit

The Voice of Fitness Blog

If there is any magic in this world...

The world can be amazing when you are slightly … strange!

Ugly Grace

Because sometimes, God's grace in our lives, starts first with an ugly story.

Godly Quotes

for the christian life

Rome Wasn't Built by a Day

Providing unsolicited two-sense and witty commentary since 2012

Michael Wilson's Blog

All things are possible with God

%d bloggers like this: