I’m thankful for many people who have served as a mentor to me, even though we never called it mentoring. I can name pastors, teachers, professors, Bible study leaders, homeschool support group leaders, relatives, neighbors, and friends who have spoken truth and modeled godly living to me. Usually it was in a group setting — occasionally one on one.

I believe God placed those men and women in my life not only for my benefit, but also with the plan that I would pass along the insight and encouragement that was invested in me.

Perhaps I’ve been most intentional in my relationships with younger moms who educate their children at home. In fact, homeschool support groups depend on moms sharing their experiences with other moms. I taught my two children from kindergarten through high school, and during those years I was learning from some women and sharing my insight with others.

Eventually I became the editor of the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators bimonthly magazine, which allowed me to facilitate sharing families’ experiences and insights with a larger audience.

Recently I took a risk and tried something totally new.

I asked my adult daughter if she would study a book with me because of the impact it had on my life. She said yes and invited her friend to join us. So, almost weekly, those two gals set aside time to join me for a cup of coffee and a piece of dessert. We discussed what each one of us had learned from the chapter and then we prayed for one another.

The most fun part about that time was witnessing the relationship between my daughter and her friend. Nothing blesses a mother’s heart like seeing two young adult women pursuing God and serving him from the overflow of their hearts. (And it was precious to watch them laugh and whisper like school girls.) I loved every minute.

Was I their mentor? (1) We shared our love of dark coffee and sweet treats. (2) We met because there was genuine relationship already in place, so it was a joy, not an obligation. (3) We met pretty regularly, allowing flexibility for late work nights and travel. (4) We had fun and laughed. (5) And we extended grace — at least I felt grace.

I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t have the most Bible verses memorized. I wasn’t super prepared and organized. (A couple times I finished my reading assignment when our study was supposed to begin.) I felt unqualified.

Yet, I desperately wanted those two gals to know without a doubt that God really, truly loved them. So I stuck with it.

And they kept coming.

It was worth it. And I hope I can do it again.

{My 31-Day series begins at Midlife with Purpose, which contains links to all the blog posts.}

Mentoring: My Experiences
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Tracie grew up with three sisters and a brother in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and relatives. She draws on that early foundation to write about her Christian faith, creative activities, and family life.

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