Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Joys of Mentoring

Dear friends,

Yesterday, I had the immense privilege of taking part in two very special events -- one about giving mentoring, and the other a sweet reminiscence of receiving it many years ago.

From 9 AM to 2 PM, my friends Meredith Curtis, Cheryl Bastian and I presented the Finish Well workshops about high school home education. We didn't know how many people would show up, so we were so blessed when about 40 ladies arrived. We all had a lovely day learning together. I wish I could have heard Meredith's and Cheryl's workshop! Each of us treasures the opporunity to mentor other mothers. Soon, we will try to post our workshop notes, PowerPoints, and/or videos, as well other helpful web links, so check when you get a chance.

In the evening came another absolute delight for me! Our dear friends Roger and Mel Franks were in town, and about 50 of us got together for a reunion. (You can see pictures here.) I suppose I need to back up and explain here. In 1984, I started attending Northland, which at that time was a small community church meeting in the English Estates Elementary School cafeteria. Roger was one of our pastors there. I had started visiting Northland because I had heard him teach on John 1 at our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meeting at UCF.

I met my husband Thad there a few weeks later. We used to go to a Bible study at Roger and Mel's house during our courtship and engagement, and I grew to love and respect them for their wisdom and gentleness. They loved pouring their lives into others, which is the heart of mentoring. A year later, Roger left the pastorate and moved his family of five to Maryland to join up with the Great Commission Church there. Another year later, after Thad and I were married, we followed them up there. It was such a blessing to soak up their mentoring for the next seven years of early marriage, motherhood, and home schooling before we moved back to Florida. During those years, Mel gave birth to her final four babies (some of them premature, which required extended bed rest) and we had our first four. I vividly remember several instances where Mel spoke such words of grace and clarity to me when I was discouraged or confused. She is the one who taught me the concept of the "happy mess" -- how we should not to get upset if we see the remnants of our children's creative fun, though we should remind them to clean it up when they're done.

Mel mentioned last night at our gathering that a dear lady named Marge Nelson (pictured left) had mentored her during early motherhood. I turned to thank Marge, because mentoring is really a chain of love from older to younger, and on down the line as the younger becomes older, and then more younger women come along. So if I have mentored any of you in any way, you can thank Mel and Marge. And you can pass it along!

I think it is a tribute to Roger and Mel, and to the joys of mentoring, that so many folks would come to see them 25 years after they moved away. But you know, as precious as they are, they have been just one link in our chain. So many of you have shared your lives with us as well, and we are so very grateful to God for you!

Go explore the joys of mentoring!


1 comment:

  1. Virginia,
    Not sure if you remember me, but I was at Northland around the same time as you. I believe we were in the Singles group together.

    Thanks so much for sharing the photos from the get together. Wish I could have been there. Everyone looks so good!! I recognized all the familiar faces from those days.

    Debbie Kirkley


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