I am so excited for my talented friend, Sue Moore Donaldson, to join us this morning on Peacefully Imperfect. I met Sue in July, 2016 at She Speaks. We hit it off immediately and I have been learning from her ever since. We both love to cook and write, not necessarily in that order, and we are prone to share what’s cooking in our kitchens on Facebook or texting. She is the queen of hospitality and she loves encouraging others to use their talents and abilities where God leads.
Table Mentoring: Me? A Mentor? Are You Kidding Me?
Who should mentor? You?
Who should be mentored? You?
Yes and yes.
Why the first “yes?” You are uniquely qualified to mentor another because your life experience, lessons, growth, family and education are uniquely yours. As much as I like to say, “That happened to me, too. I’m just like you!” I’m really not. And you are not like me.
That’s a comfort and a miracle.
A comfort because we need to know we are special, especially created by God in the womb with our own stamp of nothing-like-it-except-for-her. She’s the one and only one! One of life’s basic needs is “significance” and God made it so from the very beginning. Here’s why we are significant:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13,14
Others may know more than I do on a given subject, but only I know what I know. And God may want me to give that slice of knowledge to someone in need. Granted, it may only be a slice, but He brings fruit from the smaller endeavor, and I’m grateful.
Only this morning I read an excellent article on hospitality. I might know a bit about that topic, but I’m not the only one who does! (Just ask Martha Stewart!) I could say, “I’m not the expert, so I can’t teach someone else what I know.” Comparisons trap us inside our insecurities and keep us from mentoring when we get the opportunity.
So besides your uniqueness among millions, your confidence in God, and your humility before God, what does it take to be a great mentor?
A growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
That’s it. That’s the main thing.
I didn’t say a perfect relationship or sinless existence. Perfection and sinlessness is for later on when none of us will need to mentor or be mentored.
But qualified mentoring does take a pressing on mentality. Pressing on to know and love Christ better and deeper. As Paul, again the model mentor, cried out passionately to the Philippians:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Philippians 3:12-16 ESV
Paul put himself in the mature camp, but he knew he needed to keep pressing. And he did. “I press on to make it my own.” To mentor well means we keep on pressing to make it our own. We share our own stories, our own walk with Christ, our own victories and losses and pressings to know and love Him more. That’s all. A going-on-with God til He comes or we go.
Yesterday a conference director called about the possibility of my speaking and she asked me: “Tell me when you first fell in love with Jesus. When did He grip your heart?” She went on: “Tell me how He is entering your world right now and making a difference in your life?”
Both great questions and I loved answering them. I know I love Jesus more today than fifty years ago, but that’s when it started. I can tell you right now how He’s leading and training and teaching and loving me. Today. Right now. He keeps after me, and–by His mercy and grace, I’m keeping after Him. Not perfectly. I’m not finished loving Him. He still has mounds of work to do in me. But He doesn’t want me to wait til Glory to share my walk with Him with someone else.
Same with you.
If you feel God leading you to mentor, ask yourself:
- Do I love Jesus more today than ten years ago? One year ago?
- Do I trust Him for the unknowns in my future?
- Do I know some of His promises in His Word?
- Do I live like I trust in those promises?
If you answered: “Sort of. I’m working on it.” You are ready to mentor. Paul wasn’t perfect, just pressing.
If you think you know everything, think again.
If you know one promise in God’s Word, you are ready to mentor that one promise. Ask God for someone to share it with today.
Sue Moore Donaldson
Sue and her husband, Mark, live in San Luis Obispo, California. They have raised three semi-adult daughters who keep them at the bank and on their knees. Sue loves connecting women to one another, to God and to His Word, and has been speaking for the last twenty years or so with long pauses for babies, diapers, and soccer pasta parties. Sue’s practical books on hospitality continue to inspire men and women to open their homes and set another place for the sake of the Gospel and to come alongside. Come to My Table: God’s Hospitality and Yours and Hospitality 101: Lessons from the Ultimate Host–A 12 Week Bible Study.
You are an inspiration and loving friend, Mitzi and I wished we lived next door to each other! Thank you for helping me launch this book/topic that you do already as a matter of course. Looking forward to supporting your creative efforts in the future!
Betsy Cruz says
So happy to see Sue and her book at your place today, Mitzi! Mentoring is a topic close to my heart. I love spending time with younger women, and I love having on or to “go to” sisters older than myself, too. In fact, my spiritual mom unexpectedlly died last year. She was 78, yet the youngest, most energetic person I knew. I thank God for how she impacted me!
Thank you Betsy! I too have been privileged to have beautiful women of faith to mentor me along the way, and as a way to give back in their honor I love to walk alongside those who can use and appreciate the extra support. Thank you for your encouragement and support.