I remembering being eight months pregnant with Caleb. Nerves consumed me. Beyond my fear of labour and delivery were the echoes of every other parent warning me that I would never sleep again.
I was terrified.
Sitting at a table with some couples from our church, I began to share my fears with another mom.
The thing is, she didn’t look exceptionally sleep deprived and seemed very at peace with her role as a mother. I asked her how she was doing it.
That night I learned a secret that took me through all three babies. I discovered the Baby Whisperer book. And without even knowing it, that mama became the first in my collective of mentors.
One of the many times we were struggling through some parenting issues we looked around and noticed some parents further ahead of us that seemed to have really healthy relationships with all of their kids. Andrew and I knew where we were and it didn’t look we were on course for where they were. One night we met with them and asked them to be our parenting mentors. They walked with us through numerous ups and downs, shared their greatest triumphs and challenges, and have continued to invest in our children and in our family.
Flash forward to opening our business and being flooded with prophetic words and struggling to discern it all. I have someone in my life who has owned a business and is extremely prophetic. All teary eyed from my confusion and feeling all torn up, I stopped by the Regina Apostolic Church one day on a quick city trip and asked Pastor Rob to be my prophetic mentor. I knew he was and is someone who continues to walk in peace regardless of what was going on. I needed to learn that if I was going to successfully wear these different hats.
My latest adventure in homeschooling quickly brought to light my need for a mentor with a special gift for raising children. I looked around and saw a woman raising kids and homeschooling with beautiful fruit. Her family truly shines with love for one another and the world, not to mention they are all extremely gifted people. This amazing mom of eight took the time out of her busy life to give me homeschooling advice, and I’m honoured to have her on my collective of mentors.
I believe our willingness (or unwillingness) to allow people to speak into our lives and share their wisdom is going to be what either holds you back or catapults you further. Why wouldn’t you want to learn from someone else’s mistakes? I know I still make plenty of my own, so if I can save a few along the way, I’m all for that!
There is a difference between comparing ourselves to others and being inspired by others.
In a day and age where we can be publicly shamed online for sharing our opinions, we’ve lost a culture of mentorship. I know I’m scared to tell someone what worked for me and my babies in case someone jumps all over me. Yet my experience might truly help someone.
So here is my tried and tested advice:
- Look around you. Who’s doing what you want to do with excellence and integrity? Who has a marriage that exemplifies faithfulness and joy? Who has peace even though they have walked through difficulty? Who has great time management?
- Contact them and ask for 15 minutes of their time.
- Have three questions prepared to ask them. If you honour their time and affirm why you admire them, I know that they will be motivated to share with you their secrets and even better, their struggles!
Will everything they suggest work for you? Maybe not. But I bet you will learn something! I have more mentors in my collective that I haven’t mentioned and in different seasons I talk with them to varying degrees. Some were just a mentor for a piece of my journey. But each one has impacted my life deeply and to each one, I am grateful.
I hope you will be inspired to find someone you can learn from! As long as our heart is beating, we can continue growing!
P.S. Your brave yes might be agreeing to talk to someone who sees something they can learn from you! Don’t hide behind false humility, we all have something to offer!