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SheTaught Me about Mentoring

2 Sep

This is a very special post … but first, a Note:

Beginning on September 5, I (Dawn) will post posts once a week, rather than every other day. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to share so often, but I need to follow my own advice and pare down some of my schedule so I can move forward into what God has planned.

Thank you for your continuing friendship to Pam and I as we LOL together with you and grow in the things of the Lord.  We’d still love to hear your LOL stories … keep them coming! ~ Dawn

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John Lorenzen shared this funny story about mentoring:

When John was 12 years old, he and his dad were remodeling the back porch, removing furring strips from a Father and Son with Toolsbrick wall. Each strip had a lag bolt on the top and bottom. His dad showed him what to do ~ take out the bottom bolt and then the top. Unfortunately, John removed the top bolt first and then, as he tried to remove the lower one, eight feet of furring strip dangled above him.  Just as he was about to speak of his accomplishment, the furring strip detached from the wall and hit him on the head, crashing to the linoleum floor.

“You okay, Son?” the father asked, smiling. (John, in pain, didn’t see anything funny.) “What happened?”

John rubbed his head. “I don’t know.” John’s dad asked him if he removed the lag screws in any order, and John answered, “No, I just took them out!”

“Can you think for a minute which one you take out first?” Dad questioned. A light bulb switched on in John’s brain and he explained to his father that he should have taken out the bottom bolt out first and then stood up and worked on the top bolt.

“Why didn’t you STOP me, Pop?” John said.

The wise father replied, “I wanted you to LEARN something.” (1)

John’s dad mentored him in a simple teachable moment. That’s what good mentors do ~ they don’t just provide instructions, they teach. They model. They encourage.

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READERS, this may seem like a private post, and I admit it’s long … but please stay with me. (At least enjoy the photos!)

Pam and DawnPam Farrel has been my mentor for more than three years, and I want to share a tribute to her today. God brought us together, and I have learned so much from this sweet woman of God:  How to write succinctly, speaking skills, marketing wisdom, persistence, the value of networking, the importance of good training, the necessity of visionary thinking, the power of encouragement, the joy of an adventurous spirit, and the courage to step outside my comfort zone.

Pam rose from difficult circumstances into a place of influence, and she has not forgotten how others loved, encouraged, and mentored her to bring her to this good place.

In response, she now mentors others through a number of groups and “circles” (Seasoned Sisters, The Joy Zone, Circle of Influence, Young Circle of Influence, Linked for Purpose, etc.) ~ sharing her expertise, Seasoned Sistersencouragement, and godly example.

She takes to heart Psalm 145:4:  “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” She does this, certainly, in the lives of her sons and grandchildren, but also in the lives of women who are now, as she says, her BBFs (Best Friends Forever).

Yes, Pam has written a slew of books, and yes, she speaks all over the world … but I think a huge part of Pam’s legacy will be the individual women she has encouraged and challenged as she rubbed shoulders with them in ministry and mentoring. The beauty is, Pam is viewing some of the fruit of her labors now, but she will no doubt see even more in eternity.

Dandelion seedsIn Pam’s own words in Woman of Influence, “Mentoring/influence is like the helicopter seeds of a dandelion.  You don’t know the impact of the seeds you sow ’til they blossom in the garden of another’s life.” (2)

Not every Christian woman does what Pam does, and there’s a reason why.

I read a book by Donna Otto called Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor. She wrote, “The busyness of our culture [emphasis mine] keeps us Continue reading

The Power of Example

5 Jun

Author Bill Dodds writes humorous books on parenting. One of my (Dawn’s) favorite quotes by him is this one:Eating from Mom's Plate

“The best way to prevent your children from eating fatty, greasy, disgusting, unhealthy food is:

Don’t let them eat from your plate!” *

In other words, be a good example.

A friend of mine used to speak to youth groups. I traveled with him for a while before I was married.  One time, he told the teens at a church to listen very carefully to his instructions. He said, “Are you listening? Are you listening? Do exactly what I say. I want you to put your right hand on your right ear. Ready? Go!”

Only my friend didn’t put his hand on his ear. He put it on his chin. And almost all the teens touched their chins, not their ears. They’d heard his words, but they also saw his action.

The power of example.

I remember thinking  that, no matter what I would tell my children someday, they would be more swayed by my behavior ~ what they saw me doing in the everyday routines of my life.

Fast forward a few years to when I had children. I wish that I could say that I modeled godliness and good choices for them all the time. To be honest, many times in my spiritual immaturity, I left it to the church and Christian youth activities to “teach” them how to live for God in practical ways.  I was far too casual in my commitment to God as a Christ-follower. My light for God didn’t shine brightly at home (Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 5:8).

All of my talk was pretty empty without the power of a godly example. Now, don’t get me wrong; I did many things right. But I really messed up in some key areas. I thank God that His grace worked in my children’s lives in spite of me in those early years. And I’m thankful for godly men who taught my sons to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1-2), following His example.

I’ve watched Pam with her sons, too. Although I think she’d also admit some areas that could have been stronger ~ every parent has at least a few ~ she and her husband made some powerful decisions together that impacted their children’s walk with God.

I like what Pam says in her book Got Teens, in the section, “They Are Watching You.”

“To raise a child who hungers for God,” Pam says, “you must Continue reading

Who’s UR Cheerleader?

1 Jun

Cheerleaders in RedQuestion: How does a cheerleader answer the phone?

Answer:  H – E – L – L – O!  He-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-llo!

Question:  Do you know what a cheerleader’s favorite beverage is?

Answer:  Root beer!

MegaphoneCheerleading has evolved over the years. When I (Dawn) was a cheerleader, my big focus was making sure I didn’t fall down while jumping up and down and yelling “Push ’em back; shove ’em back, wa-a-a-a-a-ay back!” Cheerleading was pretty simple ~ cute little ditties while clapping hands or using pom poms.

Pam was a cheerleader a decade later, and cheerleading was already changing, with far more physical skills and gymnastics thrown in. Pam is a born cheerleader, and I can just imagine her enthusiasm!

But what used to be simple cheering on a team or getting an audience to participate is now an art form with intense training and competitions.  Cheerleading is an exhibition that garners its own applause. On ESPN2, those who are interested can even watch hour-long exhibitions for recognition and championship trophies. Cheerleading has become a “sport” in and of  itself.

I’ve been thinking a lot about cheerleading lately. I’m beginning to realize how much I need other people, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, because we were not meant to be “solo Christians.” I am so thankful for my cheerleaders.

One of the mentors in my life is Pam. She’s been a spiritual “cheerleader” par excellence! She pours her life into many women’s’ lives, cheering and encouraging them in their life adventures. She encourages persistence, faith, and living life to the max ~ all to the glory of God. She encourages women to choose joy and live in wisdom. And Pam inspires me to encourage others … to pass on the blessing I’ve received.

Renee Johnson is another friend, a young woman who inspires 20-somethings; and she has encouraged and motivated me for a couple of years now. Every time I think of her, I think of the way she ends her Devotional Diva newsletters ~ with this verse: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 NLT). Other versions say “stir up one another” or “stimulate one another.” The idea is that we care about someone’s spiritual growth and ministry so much that we try to figure out how to cheer them on!

Cheerleading doesn’t have to be all rah-rah, though. One of the most powerful cheerleaders in my life Continue reading

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