Everybody’s first mentor was, of course, their mother. Your mother was likely the first woman to have significant influence in shaping your life. My mother was no different- she had a tremendous amount of wisdom while I was growing up:
-I don’t care how tall you get, I will climb up in that chair and get you! (She is much shorter than me because I shot up past her at age 12.)
-You need to finish school before you start your family. (It took her 13 years to finish college)
But then, there were things that my mother didn’t tell me. It’s not that she didn’t try. You have only so much time, you know, to raise a girl into a lady. She got the big messages pounded in my head, but still, there were some things she failed to mention like..…
my pregnant belly- the day after I had my first daughter as I got dressed, I turned one way and my stretched, wrinkly, deflated stomach went the other way. What? No one had ever said to me (and I even read the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book and not. one. word.) “Listen, when you have a baby, your stomach skin will deflate like a balloon. But, it’s ok, hon, your stomach will shrink back….mostly”
Or….. hair growing in weird places. I admit, I have heard about this one. But, I didn’t think it would actually happen to me. Someone needed to say “Yes, you will grow hair in some places and lose hair in others. Yes, it Will happen to you”. Still. Shuddering.
And how can we leave out..….sagging skin. A few years ago as I climbed into the shower, I caught an accidental and very unintentional look at my backside in the mirror. I was shocked to find my rear end had fallen into my thigh which resulted in this hunk of skin bulging out. I mean…really! Where did that come from???
All I’m saying is that someone should have told me these things! At least I could have been more prepared.
Despite having to learn some of these lessons the hard way, there have been many women whose mentoring took me under their wings. Pastor wives, women’s ministry leaders, and older friends who would share of themselves in bible studies, prayer, sitting around the kitchen table talking, and listening.
I’ve been especially touched in the past few years by women who were God-sent into my life who’ve literally taken care of me. I had my oldest, Abigail in 2005, then in 2007 I had triplets. So, in two years, we went from 0 children to 4 children!! We needed help! There’s been Judy and Paola who cleaned house and babysat. Rebecca, only 14 at the time, would organize books and onesies and play with Abigail. As the years have gone by, there’s been women who’ve come into my life and have supported me in countless ways. Like Kim who knew times were tight for us financially and would quietly bless me with a shirt or piece of jewelry. Or, Nancy who would let me float at the pool with no kids. They have taken care of me at a time in my life (and are still) when I’ve had to focus so much on taking care of others.
Through the years, I’ve had women challenge me to pray for the tough, selfless prayers and to grow in maturity and to learn ‘it’s not about me”. I even had a friend look me in the eye to say the tough words…”I’ve been there…. don’t do it….. stop it.”
See, Women need women.
Women need women to pass down all this secret knowledge about being a woman and to encourage, teach, shape and inspire each other. I wonder…if Eve had ever had a mentor, a sister, or even a BFF, would that have changed anything at all?
“Girl, put that apple down this minute!”
Because….women need women.
Titus ch 2 reminds us that the older women need to teach the younger women. The older women should pass down their experience to the younger ones who need a little help along the way. Older women should realize that their ‘job’ isn’t done simply because their families are grown and out of the nest. There are SO many ministry opportunities out there for an older woman to ministry to a younger woman.
Younger women need to realize that they can’t do it all alone. You need support and an extra pair of hands sometimes. Younger women need to seek out and listen to the advice and wisdom that older can offer.
Is there some secret knowledge you wish had been passed on to you? Who has shaped you into the woman you are today?
As we finish up the month of May and the celebration of motherhood, what ways can you reach out to the women around you?