Yesterday’s time spent hanging out with Melinda and the moms over at the Moms Together Facebook page was awesome. We talked about some wonderful aspects of mentoring and raising our tweens and teens, and it would be a shame if you missed out. So here’s a recap for you to enjoy at your convenience.
So, about More to Be…well we are a ministry passionate about impacting teens, influencing moms, and inspiring mentors. Yes, that’s a lot for one ministry to do, but we really have a heart for the next generation and long to equip moms as well as any other women to speak into their lives.
We go about this equipping process through providing resources steeped in relevant biblical truth as well as through offering mentoring training. We have free downloads, which are really curriculum-without-the-binding pieces, along with devotions and articles on the blog. We also offer Dig Deep guides and online mentoring training along with a mentoring network for women leading ministries or mentoring one-on-one.
It is our desire to equip women to step into relationships — with their own children especially — with significant impact and also being able to speak to the heart of teens and twenty-somethings. We’re not encouraging our community to do more, but to become more — more bright and more beautiful as they become more like Christ and impact the world around them (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
Elisa, as a young mom, I so badly wanted to make an impact outside of my four walls that I sometimes didn’t understand the depth of the impact I was making within them. God knew just how to slowly grow my ministry and opportunities, even as He opened my eyes and honed my focus to the incredible ministry I had with the little ones in my care. Would you please take a moment to encourage our moms in terms of mentoring?
If only I could reach through this screen, get us all together and have this conversation face to face, because I know so many moms struggle with this. As a life coach and mom whose been around the block a bit, I’ve seen how young moms feel the pressure to live a life of impact while taking care of their young families. There is this conflict of serving the needs and serving the dreams! And then I see older moms often struggling with burn out because they took on too much too soon. I’ve been both those women — and have even started to share about that part of my journey last week here… http://www.elisapulliam.com/2013/06/10/an-open-letter-to-worn-down-women/.
So what I would say to moms is this: God has a plan to use you first in your relationship with your children.
They are your first ministry. They have no other mom besides YOU! He will use you beyond, but there are seasons for growth and times when it feels like there is none. The best thing you can do today is draw near to God and dig into the Word, so that you can mentor your children with His truth first and foremost.
Soak in His principles and impart them naturally, conversationally, and purposefully. Your time to impact others will grow from the overflow of mentoring your children. Live from the overflow, asking God each day to show you His work and how to join Him in it. Nothing is wasted in God’s timing. What seems hard or pointless now may be training ground for the ministry He will have for you in your future. Trust Him with the process and do the next thing, right in front of you today.
Elisa, I think many women want to help other women, but they’re not quite sure how to be a mentor. They might feel they are being intrusive or that they don’t know “enough” to be a mentor. Can you tell us how you go about training and equipping mentors?
Sure! Our mentoring training is core to what we’re doing at More to Be and we go about it a number of different ways:
• We encourage women to read Impact My Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified, which is available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback, along with a Study Guide to use with the book. Impact My Life explains the philosophy of mentoring and describes the process in detail, with a special focus on dealing with excuses and encouragement to follow Christ distinctly!
• We offer a number of M2B Mentoring Training and Study Courses on an ongoing basis. These courses vary in length and depth, because they are designed to meet women where they are! Our next 4 week free course begins July 8th and a six week course begins September 17th. The response to these courses has been amazing!
• We also have our Topics & Truth Downloads, which are designed to hone in on biblical principles and personal applications using simple illustrations. These resources work great for one-on-one topical studies or for a group discussion, and are appropriate for teens through the senior most Titus 2 women.
• And we have three different ways that women can start mentoring groups using our ETC or Mugs & Mornings or Grace Chat Group for Moms.
It is apparent that the enemy has a bulls eye on teen girls — taking aim at the very heart of how they view and value themselves. What kind of emotional questions are tweens and teens, especially girls, asking themselves these days?
Melinda, I do have a heart for this generation of young girls (although with a growing son, my concern for the boys is equally as great). I do believe girls are facing the same core issues that are felt by every generation — a struggle to define their worth, identity, and beauty along with a desire to figure out their purpose in this world and if they are truly lovable.
Teen girls still want to know how to make themselves pretty and popular, and especially about how to get good guys to pay attention to them. While the core questions have not changed — and I’ve been mentoring girls for nearly 20 years — the core beliefs are so much worse thanks to the influences of media and culture.
• Girls believe that skinny equals no curves at all.
• They believe that beauty must be put on rather than brought out.
• They have a warped definition of love, shaped by the messages of sex and romance portrayed in the movies, TV, and music.
• They believe to be loved, they need to perform — in all sorts of unhealthy ways, especially sexually.
• We’ve got more girls cutting themselves out of a self-hatred because they feel they don’t measure up and struggle with the pressures upon them. “In the U.S., it’s estimated that one in every 200 girls between 13 and 19 years old…cut themselves regularly.” http://www.teenhelp.com/teen-health/cutting-stats-treatment.html. Most of us didn’t even know what cutting was when we were teens.
So as we look at the big picture we can see that girls want to know their worth. It also seems to me that the loudest voice wins their attention — usually the media and their friends. That’s why our goal at More to Be is to speak the truth into the lives of this generation AND to equip women, especially moms, to become the primary influence in their lives through spending time together.
It is this TIME thing that matters, because when you are in the same space focused on each other, you have the greatest chance of being heard and believed by your daughter (and son).
The older my kids get, the more I’m realizing that my influence and lasting impact in their lives has less to do with what I SAY and a more to do the daily living out of my faith through my actions. We’re going to mess up — repeatedly. Still, our kids are observing the general patterns and values we’re living out. Why is mentoring — from their moms and others — so vital for this generation, Elisa?
Mentoring can take on many forms and expectations, but from my perspective, mentoring is about intentionally investing in the next generation by doing life together, side by side.
As I describe in my book, Impact My Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified, my focus is on encouraging the women to follow Christ distinctly and overflow that experience onto her mentorees — whether that is her daughter or someone she meets formally with each week. The concept is to engage and connect, not only sharing faith in concept but also living it out.
It is vital to this generation of young women (and men) to be influenced by real life women (and men) because the message they’re getting from the culture and media often warped. Girls need permission to be imperfect and embrace grace. They need to learn how to walk humbly and extend forgiveness through seeing that pattern lived out in their moms and dads. And they need to learn about what it looks like to persevere through trouble.
Mentoring isn’t about preventing a problem. The mentoring relationship — especially with a daughter — will build up her confidence and sense of worth. It will also cultivate a strong relationship for those unfortunate times of crisis.
In a book I am writing for tween and teen girls and the women who love them, I share about how mentoring offers a connection time that is like oxygen for girls. Expert in youth ministries, Dr. Thomas Bergler, shares, “Young people need adults in their lives who are modeling a vibrant spiritual maturity.” Mentoring is modeling and teaching, giving girls principles and perspective for how to live their lives in the future.
What are you questions about mentoring your daughters and engaging with your sons in a similar way?
A Mom Question:
Where or how do you start?
Start by looking at your calendar and blocking off a time to spend with the Lord in prayer. Seek Him for what needs to change in your schedule or priorities to make time to spend with your children. Then follow through with making that time (think weekly, not daily) to be with them — to listen, ask questions, love on them, enjoy them — without it always being a chore (although chores can provide a great opportunity). You can be creative, seeing if they want to prepare a meal with you (keep it simple), wash the car, or go for ice cream just the two of you. Or maybe they are ready to learn how to have a quiet time and you can offer to teach them how. Look for their needs and respond with your time, trusting the Lord to lead you and provide.
Thank you so much for being with us today, Elisa Pulliam – Life Coaching and More. Your wisdom, encouragement and resources you shared today are going to help so many moms!
Melinda, it has been such a treat to be here today with all of you. There is nothing like moms coming together with a passion for our kids and willingness to learn and grow in Truth. May I leave with a blessing:
Heavenly Father, I give you all the moms that graced this page today. I humbly ask for you to pour out your love upon them. Strengthen them and equip them with your Truth and power to answer the mighty call of raising up their children. Give them your wisdom, Oh Lord, and a gift of discernment. Fill them with your love that they may overflow You onto their children. Please, Lord, bring community into their lives — bring friends into these moms lives to journey through motherhood together and bring friends into their children’s lives who love you, too. Surround these families with a hedge of protection and a desire to glorify you in all things. And may they truly experience the fullness of receiving your grace upon grace today. In Jesus’ Strong Name, Amen!