Mentoring

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You don’t have to be a mom to mentor. You don’t have to be a wise old sage. You can mentor in any phase of life. In fact, I believe it’s crucial to be in mentoring relationships of some sort at all times. These relationships can be give and take, and they can ebb and flow. They can be casual, or intentional. You can ask someone to mentor you and meet with you once a month, or every couple of weeks. May IΒ suggest you don’t do this:

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A casual mentoring relationship can be ongoing, or one-time. A mentor can simply be someone who is further along or more knowledgable than you in an area of expertise. This can be in spiritual matters, work/professionally, parenting, marriage, or a hobby. The sky’s the limit! The point is, it doesn’t have to be weird. Here’s an example of how a casual mentoring relationship could begin:

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Or you call and ask your friend to teach you to apply makeup because she is so good at it, and you’ve always been a granola kind of girl and you have no idea what you’re doing. She’s delighted that you asked, and you make a day of it, including lunch and coffee. Girl time, she shares her expertise, and you look and feel great. Win/win/win!

One of the great things about mentoring is that it is really a two-way street. Although as a mentee, your goal is to learn and glean wisdom from your mentor, they are also learning from you. I meet with a younger friend periodically in a mentoring relationship. Recently as we visited, I was telling her about a struggle. She posed a question as a possible solution that pierced my heart as soon as it left her mouth. Her words ended up being the very thing that catapulted me into freedom from that struggle. You may find, like I did, that if you are in a mentoring relationship, you learn as much (and more) from your “mentee” than you thought you would. Life’s kind of funny like that.

Some of my best mentoring relationships have been covert ones, kind of undercover. Let me explain. My kids are pretty much grown now, but when they were little, I would watch and observe my friends parent their young ones. Many of my friends mentored me in parenting even though they didn’t know it! I learned so much about how to discipline my children, parent them, and creative ways to teach them things I hadn’t thought of- just by observingΒ other families in action.

The same goes for marriage. We have several good friends with thriving and enviable marriages that are fun to watch. I glean so much from watching them do life together. That’s casual mentoring. They probably have no idea that they are mentoring me (unless they are one of my 50 readers, Ha!) Β but I have learned more from them than any marriage seminar could ever teach. Why? Because it’s real life. Practical. I learn from that.

What about you? Who is on your Mount Rushmore of mentors?

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