Friday, January 9, 2009

Mentoring part 2--The Titus Woman

The bible talks in Titus about older women teaching younger women (and older men teaching younger men). It is the basis of many women's ministries. When I was in MOPS they referred to the woman who taught us as the "Titus Woman". In each stage of my adult life there has been someone who in a big or small way has encouraged me along the way. I think of Bonnie from MOPS who encouraged and inspired my inner homemaker and Mary and Carolyn who model for me what it is to be a homemaker after your kids have gone to school and grown up. They have inspired me in my home and ministries as well as in my faith. So I rarely think about needing to teach because I am still young and being taught. But I do love getting older, love distancing myself from my foolish and awkward youth and embracing the wisdom and maturity of my age and the contentment and self assurance that, for me, has come with it. As I come in contact with those who are still behind me I am seeing an opportunity to help them through those challenging years, the years I have past. Both the teenagers I encounter through my son and the 20 somethings I encounter in other parts of my life. Surely God has put them in my life for a reason and surely I have something to offer them.

As I go forward I am finding it takes a more purposeful thinking to do for others what that 5th grade girl did for me. When I leave my home I am still that insecure little girl intimidated by everyone around me afraid of rejection. Yet I am learning to suppress those voices that question my abilities and want me to continue to be afraid. I am learning that those voices are much quieter when I shift my focus from myself to others and in doing so I am able to see their needs. I am praying that God will use me to encourage and support other women I come in contact with. It is a little scary thinking God might ask me to do something too big but He meets me where I am at and is letting me start small. So far it has been as simple as encouraging another woman having a bad day or sending a note to a friend or just listening. I can do that. And when God is ready for me to do something bigger I will be ready.

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