“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nurture: Bridging The Gap

Burnside Bridge, Antietam Battlefield
Sharpsburg, Maryland

We are heartsick and in need of intimate, safe connections so we can in turn heal and help others. 
~ Nurture by Lisa Bevere 

"Why me?  Why would two precious young moms ask me to mentor them? And what exactly does that mean?  Is a mentor like a coach?  Is there a class I could take to learn how to be a mentor?  What about a book?"

These were my thoughts last summer.  I had shared my home and heart with these two sisters through Bible Study.  They were anxious to have a deeper walk with the Lord... and there was something they saw in me that might help them along that path.  I was clueless about mentoring, but I knew I wanted this opportunity to be used by the Lord, so I accepted their invitation.

Stumbling along without help from a book or class, I began meeting with them one-on-one.  Learning more about who they are... how I could come alongside them... and basically just listening and encouraging.  I noticed that a lot of my mentoring had to do with affirmation or offering perspective.  And love and sharing life and hugs.

It is an honor to see these women grow in the Lord.  As they touch the lives of those around them.  As they dig deeper into the Word.  As they love and pray for their families.  They have so much God-given potential... it is a gift to be part of their inner circle and to be called their friend and mentor.

Still, I wanted a formula.  Perhaps a workbook.  I wanted to make sure I was doing it right.  I didn't want to let them down.  So, one of my goals this year was to learn more about mentoring.  And God was faithful to bring a resource into my life... through a woman who I consider to be my blogging mentor, Elaine Olsen at peace for the journey.

As I was passing through Elaine's profile page back in May to get to her blog (although I normally get there through bloglines), I saw a list of her favorite books.  Nurture by Lisa Bevere caught my eye. I had just minutes before been on my local public library's website looking for mentoring books.  I saw the cover of Nurture on the library's website but flew right past it. I about fell over when I clicked on her profile... saw Nurture... searched for it... and saw the exact SAME cover. I immediately went back to the library website and reserved it.  I contacted Elaine and told her the story and she said...
I'll one up you on this one... I have a spare copy of Nurture that I was saving for the right moment... that moment has come. It will be in the mail to you tomorrow! I LOVE that book. I think there's also a study to go with...
So I have been reading Nurture by Lisa Bevere over the summer.  Lisa Bevere focuses on mentors who nurture... almost more like a spiritual mother.  And as I read through the book, I realized that through my nurturing I had been mentoring all along.  In the meanwhile, God had brought me alongside a friend this summer who had been asked to oversee an upcoming mentoring program at our church.  Through prayer it was confirmed that I should join her as she begins this new adventure!  It is just a confirmation of how important it is to pray and then watch.  Looking to see where and how God is working.  He always seems to answer prayers abundantly more than I even ask.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord... 
Jeremiah 29:11a

Dear friends, would you please keep Elaine in your prayers?  She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Quite a shock to her and her family.  And in her words, “It doesn’t matter how long God chooses to preserve my earthly life. What matters is how I choose to preserve him in the earthly life I’ve been given.”


a portland granny said...

I love that website--I ordered two of her books in May I think and gave one to my friend H when she began the summer with her new medication. She told me she loved it. I was so hoping it would minister to her soul. I still am praying that she would be open to a visit from you--we shall see what doors the Lord opens.

Kathi Woodall said...

Sheri - I'm so excited to see you pursuing this area! It is so important and is not being practiced by so many Christian women today, leaving many younger woman trying to find their own way in a world of mixed up ideas. Also, I love the quote you started your post with. Everything that God does or grows in us is done so that we can reach out to others, rather it is faith, grace, wisdom, compassion, or security in our relationships.

May God continue to bless you, Sister!

bp said...

Hello Sheri, I had to pause and really look at the beautiful photographs with your posts, they are just amazing to look at and always fit so nicely with your posts. It's neat to read how you got the book and how you've been able to use it and follow God's leading.

Lora said...

I am blown away by the beauty of Anthony's picture of the bridge. Bridges have been on my mind lately. Wow.

Praying for Elaine. She is a dear heart.