Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey

Mentor Monday: My Friend Gina

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Never underestimate the power of friendship in the life of someone else!

At age 17 I had just been through the one of the most painful and difficult times of my life as my family had left a legalistic, spiritually abusive religious organization.

Not only that, but I was at an awkward stage, without any direction for my future.  I didn’t have a job (long story), wasn’t going to college at that point (another long story), and was basically at loose ends.  I was depressed.  Life felt meaningless.  I had no confidence that I could do anything.

That’s when I met Gina.

We started attending the tiny church in our equally tiny East Texas community.  Gina was our pastor’s wife.  A few years older than me, she was pregnant and on bed rest with her fourth baby.  I jumped at the opportunity to give her a hand.

Like my friend Natasia, Gina mentored me just by being who she was: a faithful follower of Jesus, a loving wife and mom, and a kind friend.

She reached out to me and believed in me.  I remember her suggestion that I apply to substitute teach at the local public school.  It was beyond my comprehension that anyone would think I was capable of doing such a job.  That one small comment boosted my confidence a thousand fold.

I noticed how she interacted with her children—loving them, caring for them teaching them.

One small statement she made changed the way I viewed children altogether.  She mentioned in passing that her goal was to help her children become independent.  I came from a narrow subculture where the goal was actually to keep children dependent on their parents as long as possible (strange as that may sound), and it was revolutionary to me that independence was a worthy goal.

We became good friends.

The best part is that after Gina and her husband moved away, they introduced my husband and me.  If our friendship wasn’t set in stone before, it certainly was then!

She also recommended the Bible study Search for Significance to me, which completely turned my life upside down in the best way, and helped me grow from fearful and insecure to strong and confident in my identity in Christ.

And after coming from a religious background that eschewed makeup, she gave me my first Mary Kay samples and showed me how to apply it.  (I owe her!)

She’s still one of my very dearest friends.  I go to her with questions about everything from teaching my kids to read to how to talk to my children about sensitive subjects.

Not only that, but four of her nine children are the same ages as four of mine—and they are close friends too.

What a joy to continue that legacy of friendship!

So you see, Gina didn’t necessarily set out to mentor me in any kind of rigid, planned fashion.

She was just my friend.  And because she was my friend, she changed my life.

Who has mentored you just through their friendship?  Who can you befriend today?

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Please feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!  I would be thrilled!

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Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, this fall!

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Linking:

Better Mom Monday

Miscellany Monday

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7 thoughts on “Mentor Monday: My Friend Gina

  1. What a wonderful post!!! That is true friendship…being a friend and teaching by example…and sometimes even the teacher becomes a pupil so that each party is giving and taking as necessary. I have a couple of friends like that here — they mean all the world to me!

  2. btw: here is where I do the “tweet this” link: I found it through another blog (can’t remember which one…) http://clicktotweet.com/

  3. I love this! We all strive to be that kind of friend who mentors through faith and friendship. I have some of those in my life, too!

  4. Rebekah, that is awesome!

  5. Rosilind, I agree, friendships grow and sometimes the mentoring relationship becomes more mutual. I would say this is what has happened in my life. Thanks for the “tweet this” help!

  6. I think, in my life I have had ladies mentor different Proverbs 31 charator trates to me at different stages in my life. My mom showed me the joy in music – all kinds, my mother-in-law showed me how to sew, my father-in-law and mother-in-law taught me how to knit, the parent of one of my lunch friends in high school showed me what a quiet spirit looks like, an older lady in the church taught me how to quilt and scrap book to preserve memories for those of us to have a pictoral memeory, and now I have a blog friend who encourages me in the art of home making and homeschooling. I am thankful for the seasons in which these ladies have shown me these different things some by complete accident and others intentionally. I am thankful for the teachings as they have helped me become the lady I am today.

    You said her goal is to raise independent people and I thought I was odd until I met my blog friend because I have those hopes and her chidlren are living it. *smile* I go about it in a different way though. *smile* I have goals that our two growing blessings will be more of a help as they grow and as they learn to obey they gain more pleasures of being a part of the family team in a more active way…kitchen rules and the like. *smile* I hope our children will know how to cook, clean, and mend as well as change a tire and build a … whatever they may need when they are called by the Lord. I want to know that I have given of myself in every facet of who I am not just physically, but spiritually as well. That they would see that once you invite Christ into your heart you just keep growing in His ways. I want them to see that I am still growing and that I hope to continue to do so until He calls me home. *smile* I don’t want them to have anyone on a pedistal but to look up to the Lord only. This is why I blog surf, it’s what I hope to see in other moms of grown or older homeschooled children. *big smile*

    Sorry this is so long, I am glad that you have such a great kindrid spirit and that you are both growing together in His ways. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

  7. Yes, we don’t want to pedestalize people, but we do want to have people in our lives who are mentors an examples! Thanks for sharing!

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