Soaking Up & Pouring Out
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During my teenage years, I grew up in a very small town. So small, you had to not blink or you’d pass it as you drove through! I couldn’t wait to get out of that place! The one benefit for me was belonging to a church where everyone knew your name, gifts, talents, and weaknesses. It was there that I took notice of one particular lady.
Our friendship grew and she is one of the reasons I drive land cruisers! When I got my driver’s license she let me drive us in her car…excuse me, her white, soft creamy white leather interior, 2-door Mark IV Lincoln with the small oval windows in the backseat! That was in the ‘70’s. I’m spoiled & ruined forever! We would sing together at church and practice in the bathroom at her house. I was amused at her sunken tub and blue tile (I think it was blue!), but the acoustics in there made us sound so good! We shared many prayer request and special moments together in that powder room!
Over time, Mrs. Donnie became my dearest friend and I learned from her to continue to trust in the Lord. For and IN all things! Dream big and remember that prayer changes things. I don't get to see her as often now as I used to, but when I do, we always are able to pick right back up where we left off! Hers is a treasured friendship for sure! She was my first mentor. I'm not even sure she realized it way back then. We both grew in the love of the Lord and in our friendship.
“…teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live…Then they can train the younger women…” Titus 2:3-5
Mentoring seems like such a formal and scary word! But really, it’s not scary at all if you lay aside personal agendas, personal expectations, and realize that it’s God that puts people together. He is creating and designing something special with your unique combination.
“Let’s define the word mentor. In his book, Mentoring: Confidence in Finding a Mentor and Becoming One, Bobb Biehl says that a mentor “helps a protégé reach her or his God-given potential…Mentoring is more ‘how can I help you?’ than ‘what should I teach you’” This does not mean a mentor does not teach. The Bible specifically says women are to teach other women. ... keep in mind that teaching and modeling are involved in mentoring.”
I have been blessed to have many mentors in my life. Each one has brought a different gift into my life. Some, still mentoring me! I am forever grateful. Below is a picture of My Finger Print Party. I believe I have shared that topic before in another blog. But for those hearing of it for the first time, I held a special party and honored all of the women who have left their fingerprints on my life. I told you I was blessed! It is my prayer that I have touched these ladies in special ways as well.
Sherlene Carruth, Gina Anthon, Judy Snow, Kathy Drake, Bettejean Cramer, Susan Mayeaux, Clara Carruth Lawson, Jan Swetman, Donny Duffy, Delores Pedneau, Kay Broussard, Joyce Edwards, Carla Greggs, Mary Elizabeth Drake, Wanda Hornsby, Monica Wood, Hoppy Black, Kim Brennan, Janice Capone, Judy Ingle, Suzy Beck, Brian Barron, Nila DiMaria, Julia Johnson, Vi Atchison, Martha Rothkamm, Sue Woolery, Billie Sykora, Ken Drake, Melanie Ingle-Myers, Linda Holmes & Liz Kearney.
(I know I’m leaving out too many, so if you are reading this and don’t see your name, please don’t be saddened by my lack of recognition. I am forever grateful to you and the part you have played [or still playing] in my life!)
The special women in my life have been intrical in shaping me to become the woman I am today. Each act of kindness, admonition, or encouragement has broadened my vision and given me courage. These women have prayed for me and spurred me on to become something bigger and better than I thought possible for my own self. Likewise, I have spoken into their lives with the same fervor. I can just imagine women of the Word and how they mentored one another. As we face the same universal situations (maybe with a cultural twist), I'm sure the advice given was always one of seeking strength and wisdom from God. Hold tightly to faith. Pray without ceasing. Do all things will excellence as unto the Lord. Memorize and take heart to the Law (in the OT) or to the words of Jesus (NT) for in all these things you shall stand tall like a tree planted by the river and bear fruit in your season. (Ps. 1) Love the Lord your God...with your whole heart!
The result of all this influence and mentoring: a life rich and meaningful, full with examples of the Christian faith, and the continued prayers of many. God has deeply touched me with the lives of these precious women of faith. I find myself questioning why God would choose to bless me so abundantly. Then, because I recall my spiritual teaching (from my mentors) and His Word that has been poured into my life. It’s because He takes delight in me and desires that I should not spare any wisdom, words of encouragement, or admonition to the next generation.
"One generation will commend your works to another." Psalm 145:4
And so, I mentor with great delight those with whom God has placed into my life. Some are very intentional with study of God’s word, meeting as regularly as possible; and some are simply over coffee, Kool-Aid, lunch, a phone call, Marco Polo app, or short visits in our homes and on porches! Let’s not forget too, my many music students! I have been loved on and taught well, only to pass on and pour out what was given to me.
Mentoring…it begins with friendship.
It develops into trusted relationships.
These relationships are rich and refreshing.
They become long lasting!
“The Bible commands mentoring; women are called to it; they are qualified for it; it builds the church; and it benefits the mentor. How could Christian women possibly say no to mentoring when God says yes? Oh, how younger women are searching for mature, godly role models—a Sarah, a Naomi, an Elizabeth—to guide them in the truth of God’s Word. Women are ordained through Scripture, called of God, and in need of one another. A mentoring program is vital in women’s ministry.”
Maybe you don’t have a mentor and are looking…or haven’t even thought about looking for someone to “pour out” so that you can “soak in!” It’s vital! Women need connection with other women. Ask for God to direct you to someone that is perfect for you…and you for her! (Or him if you are male and reading this! Men need each other too! It’s not just a girl thing!)
“In all of your analysis, be careful not to forget the simple truth that what you're really looking for is a person who you know cares for you, believes in you, and encourages you. A good mentor is a person who you naturally enjoy being with, who has more experience than you have, who would be happy to help you win in life, to help you grow in sensitive areas most other friends simply "put up with" on a day to day basis. If you have found this person you have found a mentor."
Maybe it’s your turn to pay it forward! Is God nudging you to limit soaking and start pouring? (Notice that I didn’t say stop soaking…we all need to continue pursuing a life that is poured into.) It’s really not that scary or hard! And if you need help, there are many resources to help guide you. Plus, you can always ask Kathy or me.
This week, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time with my “mentee,” Neva. I’m showing you these pictures to encourage you to take advantage of one of God’s sweetest gifts, women connecting to women. It’s about just hanging…sharing God’s word…going for walks…praying together...shopping…lunch…coffee/tea…listening…encouraging…truth…study of God's Word...and doing what women do best…talking with one another! Holding one another accountable. Sharing your heart! It does take time and effort. But you realize that you can work out the details of time and study. It can happen if you both are intentional. What you begin to discover is that it's a blessing... for both parties!
God has given me the blessing of friendship with so many. It is my prayer that as we connect with one another, that God will continue to use me to speak truth and wisdom into their lives as I have received from a life of mentoring women in my own!
Please pray for Kathy and I as we minister during our Women to Women – Awaken to the Pursuit of the Bridegroom retreat this weekend. God has pulled together a unique combination of women. Some of these women have invested personally in our own lives, and also in the lives of the daughters of young women who will be attending with their moms. Some ladies are new to Restore Ministries Retreats and are coming alone. Whatever the case, we are all women connecting with women, who are either “soaking in” or “pouring out,” and each needing a fresh touch from the Savior. Thank you for your prayers. We may opt to skip next week’s blog, as we will just be coming back from a time of “pouring out!” Look for us the following week!
We’d like to hear from you. How has God connected you with Restore Ministries? In what ways has our ministry mentored you personally? You can leave a note in the comment box or if you'd like, send us a personal email at
Parts of this blog are taken from an article is adapted from a chapter written by Valerie Howe and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.
Janet Thompson – Began Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry – Saddleback Church, California
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