November 14, 2010
With our small group, we are reading through the book "Parenting Beyond Your Capacity" (thanks Kim!). I highly recommend this book - it even comes with great discussion questions for a group 'study'. One of the main points of the book is to emphasize the importance of intentionally having mentors in the lives of your kids because inevitably a time will come when they will need to talk to someone/seek advice from someone other than you (as the parent) and the book encourages you, as the parent, to be strategic and active in helping to set up those people in your kids lives so that you know and trust those people when they do get the chance to speak into your kids' lives. Talking this through with Ross and our small group, I realized once again, how thankful I am for the mentors I have had in my life. Many of these came from First Baptist Church of Newtown (Grace Point) in PA - Sunday School teachers (Mr. and Mrs. Weber, Chris), small group leaders (Rachel, Donna, Kara, Amy, Carlin, etc.), worship team members (Scott, Barb and Lisa), babysitters (Rachel), etc. Some of these people were teachers in school (Mrs. Hall, Mr. Rhodes, Mr. L, Mr. Bogle, Mr. San, Mr. Zwart) and private music instructors (Mrs. Sweetsir, Mrs. Benjamin). Others came from families I babysat for (Julie Petsis, Ruthie Keating), neighbors or friends' parents/friends' of my parents (Dorold, The Ames, The Elys, etc.). I don't mean to leave anyone important out, either! :) I still see several of them whenever I go home to PA and they still ask me great, relevant questions. I appreciate that my parents trusted these people to speak into my life as I progressed through the teenage years. I am thankful for the 'therapy' sessions/piano lessons they paid for with Mrs. B for so many of those years. I am thankful for the community I grew up in because I realize I had/still have an abundance of people who were looking out for me and helping to encourage my moral and spiritual development. Perhaps some of the richness of my experience comes from having lived there from age 3 until I graduated from college (minus the months spent at college). I believe a lot of the richness comes from real, authentic friendship, rooted in the love of a Christ-centered community that was growing in their faith while learning to deeply care for other people. So thank you to my parents and thank you Newtown/First Baptist ... I realize how rare a community like the one I grew up in is and I am so thankful for it and I pray E-man can have an experience similar to mine somehow!