Mentoring Resource…Adorned- Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together

I have been waiting years for a women’s mentoring resource like this.

This post was previously written in Mandy’s older blog GGMandy dot com. This is an excellent resource of which I still highly recommend.

ADORNED

Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

{There are affiliate links on the page}

{I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review}

As a pastor’s wife, I have tried different times to encourage our ladies to live out the Titus 2 woman model. I used Bible Studies on the topic but I never seemed able to really get the point across. It wasn’t easy to explain nor or to share why we should live this kind of life. Partly, I had older women whom I respected questioning the principle. I didn’t know how to answer them. But mainly, I didn’t have the right mentoring resource to help me.

Today, we have millennial women begging for direction. But the situation is worse. The older women think the younger women do not want their help. They feel the young women do not want to hear their message. But this is not true.

And I believe “Adorned” is the mentoring resource we need.

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becoming sage

Midlife Crisis: Becoming Sage

There’s a lot to deal with in midlife. That empty nest syndrome for one can really take you for a loop. But that is not the only crisis you are looking at as you are “becoming sage”.

What does that even mean? “to become sage“. You might have thought about the herb. But the first definition listed by Webster is actually “wise through reflection and experience“. My thought was similar to this …something like Michelle Van Loon said”to cultivate fresh growth and ongoing fruitfulness for those of us growing through the latter seasons of our lives.

becoming Sage

So, What is Becoming Sage?

As our children grow up and leave the nest, we find ourselves struggling to figure out just what or who we are. We have spent the past 18-20 (or more) years raising kids. Life has pretty much encircled our children. So now, if we haven’t been careful, we end up asking ourselves, “Now What?” We may not really even know that guy sitting on the couch across the room, typically referred to as our husband.

At church, we may feel lost because we have spent all our time in the children’s department. Honestly, though I was a children’s director most our my ministry years, I believe that we have got cdoing church all wrong. We separate out into age groups; never intermingling with others and having no intergenerational contact. How can we learn or grow if we are never around older people?

The churches where my husband pastored wanted this type of organization calling this a “family church”. NO! a family church worships together as a family. I altered this with once a month family day where everyone worshiped together and children’s visiting days where we went to visit shut-ins. Oh anyway, I am getting a little off track. 🙂

a FAMILY CHURCH worships together as a family. #worship #intergenerationalworship Click To Tweet

Maturity. Yes spiritual maturity is what I am talking about. It could be that if you were teaching in the children’s department all those years that your faith has become stagnant. ouch! But seriously, how often did you get any real challenging teaching? I might be time to take a look and make some changes.

If we are becoming sage, we are also coming to terms with the fact that filling a church org chart my be a sign of a person’s church commitment, but it is not a measure of their spiritual maturity.

Michelle VonLoon, Becoming Sage

From Teacher to Learner

becoming Sage

As our family relationships re-shape, we must also reshape our personal relationship with God. Yes, it is a little sad to give your daughter away and feel that lonesomeness. But we must find the silver linings. Find those things that make this time in your life even better. Now can be a time where you really focus in on God. I know for me, that I have had much more time to spend in the Word and get close to God. And I am loving it.

Think about how you can make this the best season of your life. First start with this: Ask God to reveal what He wants you to learn in this stage of your life. Remember that verse you taught your kids?

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7, NLT

Here are a few considerations as your search your heart

  • Gratitude. practice it. Look for joy every day. Start a joy journal. Every day, list three things that make you happy or you are grateful for. Offer these things to God in praise. You could even place these things on cards in a big jar. Then when you have a not so joyful day. Just pull a couple of cards out. You’ll be joyful in no time.
  • Consider your Fears. What are your fears during this time? Talk with God about them. Look up some verses about how God deals with our fears. Here is one of my favorites.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

More Ideas

  • Talk with your friends about these changes. It could include marriage issues, divorce, aging, and dying parents, illness, prodigals, grandchildren. You will probably find you have a strong enough group to start a support group. 🙂 Then go out and find the resources you all need.
  • Deal with loneliness head-on. Reach out to friends and recultivate those friendships or make new ones. If we ever get past this pandemic, utilize those coffee shops that are popping up everywhere and make appointments to have “a cuppa” together on a regular basis. Just having something to look forward to can make a world of difference. In the meantime, you can still have meaningful conversations on the phone, texting, messaging. I’m talking private discussions, not with the whole world.
  • Mentoring. Turn around and see who is following you. You have things to offer others, so offer them. There are a lot of young moms who have no one nearby to help them out. Go help. Think back at what would have been a great help to you and then do it. There is one thing I have found that giving is way better than receiving.
Giving is way better than receiving. #mentoring #friendship Click To Tweet

Becoming sage relationally includes learning to be along with God, leaning into times of deep loneliness, remaining open to new connections, and nurturing or renegotiating old friendships in the context of the security we have in our friendship with God.

Michelle VanLoon, Becoming Sage

In Conclusion

Well, friends, these are a few things that inspired me in Michelle Van Loon’s new book, Becoming Sage ~ Cultivating Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality in Midlife. You might want to go pick up a copy.

Mandy Farmer

Many thanks to Moody Publishers for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

My first impression of this book was not that great. It was almost depressing because I saw where the church is failing its people. But then I looked through again, looking for the answers she offered. She does have much to offer but you might have to read it slower or actually do the activities at the end of each chapter. 🙂 – Mandy



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Effective Discipleship

Effective Discipleship for Teens

Kandy Chimento

This is my sister, Kandy Chimento. Years ago, she developed a wonderful discipleship program for teen girls. It was an amazing program and I have asked her to share a little about it. {Originally posted October 7, 2016, on ggmandy dot com}


You can follow Kandy at Gettin’ Back to My Roots

“Women of Virtue”

Effective Discipleship

One of my favorite endeavors is discipleship.  In my own experience, I became convinced that effective discipleship can be more of a life-changer than a hundred sermons.  One of my prime times of spiritual growth came through a small discipleship group I belonged to in my 20’s, and by the on-going mentoring of an older godly woman. When we were youth pastors in Kansas City, I felt led to create a discipleship course for high school girls.

My vision for this course came from Titus 2:3-5,

“The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Effective discipleship can be more of a life-changer than a hundred sermons. #discipleship Click To Tweet

How it Started

I wanted to especially invest in older teen girls who would soon leave the family home and be out on their own, so the group was composed of junior and senior girls in high school.

The only qualifications were that they were

1) believers in Christ who had made a commitment to follow Him, and

2) willing to be mentored by women in the church.

The group met bi-monthly and I designed each meeting to have the spirit of a type of sorority – a sense of belonging and comradery.

Subject Matter

Discipleship Teen Girls

The teachings centered around 3 different areas of life:

  • personal discipleship,
  • practical homemaking, and
  • social outreach.

Though the topics in each area differed throughout the years, they all fell into one of these 3 areas. Different women in our church taught the lessons.  We elected officers and also included scripture memory in our curriculum.

Some topics included

  • maintaining a daily devotional time,
  • meal planning,
  • finding your spiritual gifts,
  • raising children,
  • scrapbooking and
  • marriage, to name a few. 

Various outreaches included

  • collecting and delivering needed items for a women’s shelter,
  • helping out at Ronald McDonald house,
  • and participating in a political event.

We also attended a formal social event together, such as the ballet, and hosted a spring tea for the girls’ mothers.  One woman in our church hosted an annual formal Christmas dinner for the girls.  We ended each school year with a presentation service, highlighting each girl and her gifts.

Commitment and Accountability

The years of this mentoring program are some of my favorite memories. There was a strong level of commitment in each group of girls that developed throughout our year together.  We experienced some wonderful times of bonding, as well as challenging life events which proved to draw us closer together.  But one of the most unexpected discoveries was realizing the gifts and knowledge that dwells in our “more mature” women.  There are naturally some people that we gravitate toward for spiritual wisdom and knowledge, but the Lord also led me to people who had an abundance of other skills and experience that translated well into mentoring young women.  I believe that many of my mature “mentors” also discovered that they had important gifts to share.

Favorite Memories

Consequently, the years of this mentoring program are some of my favorite memories. I believe that these experiences had a lasting effect on the lives of these precious young women as well. 

The years of this mentoring program are some of my favorite memories. #mentoring Click To Tweet

What are your gifts and how can you share them?

Kandy Chimento

Since this post was published three wonderfully helpful books on mentoring have been published. I have written book reviews, just follow these links.

Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Table Mentoring: Blessed to be a Blessing

YOUR TURN

legacy link-ups

Finding a spiritual Friend

Five Factors for Choosing a Spiritual Friend

Friends.

We all have them but do we have a spiritual friend?

spiritual friends
images created in Canva

-That someone we sit down with from time to time who challenges us in our faith? Someone whom we trust with our secret thoughts and even goals – someone who will pray for us and check up on us to see if we have made any progress in our spiritual life.

“Accountability breeds response-ability.”

 — Stephen Covey

The best way to ensure that we continue to mature in Christ is to have someone that we are accountable to. Then when we begin to slip, there is someone there to steer us back in the right direction. I have found that when I tell someone my plans, it keeps me working toward that goal whether or not they ever challenge me on my actions.

We see many in the Bible that had someone guiding their lives. Paul was this for many, even for us today, but he was especially a mentor to Timothy. He reminded him to live the life taught to him by his mother and grandmother.

Many of us have had a grandmother that would always speak to us about spiritual things. Ii hope and pray that we are doing the same for those following after us.

Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine and learn from those who follow our example.

Apostle Paul, Philippians 4:17
1 Corinthians 11:1

We were made for fellowship, especially a fellowship that encourages and gives us accountability. This is the definition of a true helper that God spoke about for Adam. (Genesis 2) My daily read in the disciplines encourages me to find these types of people in my life and possibly BE this type of person as well.

Begin to pray that God will lead you to someone with whom you can be open and prayerful about both the efforts and progress in spiritual life. For someone with whom you can begin to be mutually accountable for each other’s journey in faith.

Bob Benson, Disciplines for the Inner Life

Here are a few qualities you might look for in a spiritual friend.

Age

Maturity is an important characteristic here. Possibly, one would not look specifically for physical age here but for someone who is spiritually more mature. When I was young, I would sit right up close in the sanctuary. There were many reasons I did this, but mainly, I wanted to be near those saints that always seemed to get blessed. Yes, I wanted to get near the spout where the glory comes out.

Get close to the spout where the glory comes out. #spiritualexample Click To Tweet

Sex

There could be times when someone of the opposite sex would be a great fit for you; however, it is typically better for your accountability person to be of the same sex. This removes any temptation for attraction to fall into the mix. I would suggest that unless this person is your spouse, choose someone of the same sex.

Experience

Seek out someone who is confident in experience yet humble in it. The confidence will free you to relax and be vulnerable. The humility will give you room for letting your own confidence rise; you won’t be intimidated by your own sense of spiritual distance. Their humility should display a gentleness and subtly in advising you. Your friend should be a listener, one who can draw the light of the Spirit out of you in your discussions.

pattern your lives after me #spiritualfriends

Personality

This is a place where opposites attract. Having a spiritual friend with complementary traits will help you both grow in grace. If you want to get really serious in this area take a personality test. There are several free ones online, such as the enneagram.

Spiritual Path

What area is God calling you into? What are your spiritual gifts? Find someone that will have knowledge and wisdom in this area. Someone for whom you can be an apprentice. They will be attuned to where you should be directing your life and keep your eyes on the goal.

You can have more than one!

You don’t have to find someone that fits all these characteristics. It’s even better to have more than one. Just find them and tap into what they can offer you.

Your Spiritual Friend!

Mandy Farmer

The above post was inspired by the reading of Bob Benson’s Disciplines for the Inner Life and Tikden Edwards’ Spiritual Friend.



And don’t forget to pay it forward.

Look behind you and see who is following you. Then get alongside them and do some encouraging yourself.

You might find a spiritual partner in some authors.

C.S. Lewis

Susie Larson

Tilden Edwards

Elizabeth Elliot

The Preaching of Greg Laurie

Table Mentoring book

Table Mentoring: Blessed to Be a Blessing

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid to write this or being told what to say.

 

 Table Mentoring: A Simple Guide for Coming Alongside by Sue Moore Donaldson.

I’ve had a desire to come alongside others for years now. (And have actually been doing it) But I really didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing. This little book gave me assurance that I was doing the right thing plus a few more pointers as well.

I’ve heard the admonishment that each of us should not only have a mentor but be a mentor as well. Are you turning back to give someone behind you a hand? This little guide will help you do it.

Here’s an excerpt Sue asked me to share with you …

In my early 20’s I met Jeanne Garrison. Jeanne was wise, gracious, funny, and for some reason, loved me. She showed it by pouring her wisdom into me, her time into my time, her life into my life. Living life with Jeanne alongside made all the difference.

I was a new college grad, starting my first whirl into the real work world—single and facing my first career, a new roommate, a new town, and a new church family. Not floundering exactly, but needing emotional, practical and spiritual support.

Meeting my Mentor

I don’t remember how we first met one-on-one. I do remember sitting at Jeanne’s table, talking and talking, usually a cup of tea in one hand and a pen in the other. (It was good to have a pen when I spent time with Jeanne.) I also remember Jeanne’s response: spoken with a smile, a gentle word, often a chuckle of understanding–never a judgment:

“You know, Sue, this is how it was with my mother.”

“Sounds like you could use help in this area – let me get this organized for you.”

“The most important thing you can tell your students is that God is your most important thing.”

You see why I was grateful. Everyone needs a Jeanne.

In my late 20’s I met Karen and Carol, Debbie and Gerri. They were high school Juniors—smart, motivated, filled with dreams and goals, and for some reason, they loved me, too. I asked them one afternoon:

“Would you like to meet with me after school some day–say, Wednesday? We can talk about your dreams and goals, your guy-relationships, your mom-relationships, and most of all, your relationship with God?”

They said, “Yes” and off we went. We met three months, once a week, and then, I sent each on their way: to meet with a Freshman girl. Fresh from our three months, on to a new three months. Table mentoring, one-to-one, one-to-three. Passing on what they knew, what I knew and now, I pass it on to you.

Table mentoring worked.

For me, for Jeanne, for high school girls ready to fly. And it can for you, as well.

Do you need a table to Table Mentor? No. But a table imbues intimacy—an elbow-touching-grab-a-hand-in-prayer type of closeness. Maybe not at the first meet-up, but definitely in the mix along the way.

Table, bench, back steps, dorm hallway, coffee house

—choose whichever promotes the progress of a hearty sharing. The place or porch doesn’t matter. Taking the time to listen does. Tell a story, gently nudge, cry some, laugh a lot, and give all to the Mighty Counselor before and after and maybe in the middle. Coming together until the misery is out of the commiserate as you both sit at Jesus’ feet.

I love to describe MENTORING as “to come alongside”

which is found in The Message version of I Corinthians 1: 3 and 4–

“God comes alongside us when we go through hard times,

and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else

who is going through hard times so that we can be there for

that person just as God was there for us.” 

I Corinthians 1:3,4 MSG

 

Two things to consider:

  • We mentor another from our own experience of being mentored by God. As we experience God’s “alongside-ness” in our up’s and down’s, joys and sorrows, we can more naturally share His overflow with someone who is where we have been.

 

“God comes alongside us when we go through hard times…”

  • We mentor another by getting close enough so that mutual vulnerability is natural and trusted. Authenticity is the vanguard of artless discipleship.

“…He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”

 

You don’t need a table to be a Table Mentor.

You do need an ongoing relationship with the Ultimate Mentor, and a bold desire to get close to someone who needs to hear what you’ve learned.

-Excerpt from Table Mentoring: A Simple Guide for Coming Alongside, Sue Moore Donaldson

Are YOU mentoring someone?

How about giving it a try? Come alongside someone who is going through something you have gone through in the past. You won’t regret it.

Also, check out my review of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s book Adorned: Living Out the Gospel Together

I’ve been coming alongside people with Fibromyalgia.

Fibro is one of those Invisible Chronic Illnesses. It’s so hard for family and loved ones to understand what is going on. I have created a Facebook page to help the friends and family of fibro warriors. Come join us over at Fibromyalgia – Is It for Real?  Maybe we can answer some of your questions.

Mandy Farmer

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Twenty Things We Would Tell Our 20-Something Selves

20 Somethings

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. However, the views are my own personal thoughts about this book. Links to purchase are my affiliate links.

What would I tell my 20-something self? 

[ctt template=”8″ link=”d97WS” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Don’t waste this decade waiting and wishing for what you are hoping for.[/ctt]

Go out and grab it because life will all too soon get full and busy and the next thing you know your 20’s will be twenty years ago. I waited till I was 28 to start planning great vacations and fulfilling dreams. No sooner did I plan a trip to Taiwan, then I met and married my husband. Never made it to  Taiwan.

Excellent Resource for Your Life

I found this book chock full of excellent advice for any of us. Possibly, even those who are looking back and wondering what has happened to all your hopes and dreams. It’s never too late to take a turn for the better. And this book can help you do it, so purchase this book today. Dog-ear the pages that are important to you and start taking stock in your life. Store this book on a convenient shelf so that you can go back and read next year, and the next year, and the next. You will find ways to improve your life every time. Continue reading