Tag Archives: mentor

Choosing a Path of Spiritual Direction…

     A few weeks ago, I met with my personal coach for our final session (at least for now). I mentioned to Jodi I’d been having vague thoughts that seemed bigger than my own imagination nudging me in a direction I wasn’t able to pinpoint. Jodi suggested working for a season with a spiritual director and gave me a name to contact.

     This recommendation has begun a new level of spiritual exploration for me. It just so happened (Coincidence? I think not!) the spiritual director lives in Springfield, Missouri, and Ron and I had a vacation scheduled to that very region. My husband and I enjoyed a great getaway to the beautiful Ozark region, and I was privileged to meet in person with Dr. Debbie, a spiritual director.

     I’m excited for this new segment in ‘listening on my journey…’ In addition to working with Debbie, I plan to join a group she’s leading on a spiritual pilgrimage study tour and prayer retreat to Spain in March, 2018.

     While in Spain, we’ll be visiting places significant in the lives of three influential 16th Century Christians: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Ignatius of Loyola. We’ll also spend four days in a guided retreat on contemplative prayer.

     This opportunity amazes me! I can say truly, I never even imagined the possibility of such an experience! I’ll travel with my husband’s blessing but also with trepidation. I’m kind of short and not so strong, and wonder if I’m going to be able to hoist my bags into the plane’s overhead bin without the help of my strong, tall man!

     Prior to the pilgrimage, I’m reading different books in preparation. Today’s post includes photos Ron took while we enjoyed visiting in the heart of the Ozarks. Along with several photos are quotes I’ve read from St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Ignatius.

My favorite travel buddy! Ron and I shared many special moments in Missouri, including time in a pristine nature preserve, Dogwood Canyon. Recently, I read this quote about marriage: Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s ours. That fits for us! Ron and I are two imperfect people committed to a relational journey that’s “ours!” This tall guy and our marriage are among God’s very best gifts to me.

“Act as if everything depends on you; trust as if everything depended on God.” …

~ St. Ignatius of Loyola

Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which, if admitted will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.

~ St. John of the Cross


“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

~ St. Teresa of Avila

God leads every soul by a separate path.

~ St. John of the Cross

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they

enkindle and melt the soul.

~St. Teresa of Avila

Suscipe

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Debbie introduced me to this prayer of Ignatius. Suscipe is a Latin word meaning “Receive.” I’ve been praying the Suscipe daily and have also listened several times to a beautifully sung version. If you’re interested, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrX_T5QLBXQ

I expect greater spiritual understanding as I enter through this new gate. I’m certain I’ll share aspects of my journey with you. My hope and prayer are that the Divine Spirit will use any word I write to bring glory to God and encourage you to pursue the special path on which God has chosen your soul to travel. I love to hear, and always honor, stories concerning your spiritual direction.

Sue Reeve

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Elijah Needed an Assistant…Elisha Needed a Mentor!

     When I wrote the last post about Elijah, I thought I was finished exploring 1 Kings 17-19. Then, as I re-read the final verses in chapter 19, I realized there were a couple additional points to consider. Two principles apply to us who lead. By the way, just in case you were about to dismiss this post because you don’t see yourself as a leader, I believe every one of us leads on some level. So, please keep reading!

     If you’ve read my past few posts, you’ll recall:

  • Elijah’s cumulative stress plunged the mighty leader into a pit of despair.
  • An angel began Elijah’s restoration by tending to his physical needs.
  • God spoke to his weary soul with a gentle whisper.
  • God revealed to Elijah he wasn’t alone.

     Elijah’s story wasn’t finished yet.

     The great leader still had work to do, and to do that work, he needed help. The final two verses of this story reminded me of a couple important principles of leadership. First, we all need to consider seriously the privilege of mentoring. Today, I’d like to take a peek at this principle. Secondly, we all need to be thinking about our ‘exit’ strategy, a topic I’ll explore in the future.

 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field…. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders….Then he [Elisha] went with Elijah as his assistant. (1 Kings 19:19 & 20 NLT)

     Several years ago our pastor posed a question during a sermon—a question I continue to contemplate. Pastor Miles asked,

Who are you mentoring?

     At first, I dismissed the inquiry with the fleeting thought, nobody, but as his sermon progressed, the question persisted. Well, I guess I’m kind of a mentor to my two daughters, I thought.

     By that time, though, I knew this wasn’t only a question the pastor asked, but it was a thought God wanted me to consider.

     Okay, God, is there someone else?

     Immediately, a woman came to mind. She was a bit younger than I. Our life journeys were similar. During that Sunday morning service, I realized that when this young wife, mother and marketplace worker sought out my advice, I was, in fact, mentoring her. Furthermore, God wanted me to take the responsibility seriously.

     After that sermon I became deliberate about our relationship. I made a point to reach out to her periodically. I became more intentional about my observations and ‘atta girl’s.’ I sent her an occasional note of encouragement. I made sure she knew I was ‘for her,’ and wasn’t using my position as a woman who’d ‘been there; done that’ as a license to criticize or offer unsolicited guidance.

     Eventually, the relationship transitioned. In fact, the woman I was mentoring surpassed my ability and expertise. I feel pride in her accomplishments. Even as I want my two daughters’ and three granddaughters’ success to surpass mine, I feel that same way when I’m honored to play a part mentoring any woman on her journey.

     In addition to benefiting a mentee, however, the relationship often serves the mentor. Elisha became Elijah’s assistant. From our previous glimpse of Elijah’s story, we saw the pressures of his prophetic duties almost destroyed him. Elijah needed an assistant! As Elijah’s assistant, Elisha would be learning from a truly great prophet. I’d definitely call that a win/win affiliation.

     Yesterday, an incident I had reinforced the reciprocal benefits for mentee and mentor. A young woman approached me after church, offering to help with some technological challenges I face in preparing an upcoming workshop presentation. You know what? I need that woman’s expertise! As we chatted, she expressed some of her hopes, dreams and challenges, and I realized I probably had some insights to offer her. I’m hoping our encounter will grow into a win/win relationship.

     In conclusion today, I want to ask you two questions. First, the one my pastor asked:

Who are you mentoring?

Next:

What steps are you taking in your mentoring relationship?

 

I’m praying God will give you the gift of ideas as you investigate the answers…

Sue Reeve

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Iron Sharpens Iron.jpg

Elijah Needed an Assistant…Elisha Needed a Mentor!

     When I wrote the last post about Elijah, I thought I was finished exploring 1 Kings 17-19. Then, as I re-read the final verses in chapter 19, I realized there were a couple additional points to consider. Two principles apply to us who lead. By the way, just in case you were about to dismiss this post because you don’t see yourself as a leader, I believe every one of us leads on some level. So, please keep reading!

     If you’ve read my past few posts, you’ll recall:

  • Elijah’s cumulative stress plunged the mighty leader into a pit of despair.
  • An angel began Elijah’s restoration by tending to his physical needs.
  • God spoke to his weary soul with a gentle whisper.
  • God revealed to Elijah he wasn’t alone.

     Elijah’s story wasn’t finished yet.

     The great leader still had work to do, and to do that work, he needed help. The final two verses of this story reminded me of a couple important principles of leadership. First, we all need to consider seriously the privilege of mentoring. Today, I’d like to take a peek at this principle. Secondly, we all need to be thinking about our ‘exit’ strategy, a topic I’ll explore in the future.

 So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field…. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders….Then he [Elisha] went with Elijah as his assistant. (1 Kings 19:19 & 20 NLT)

     Several years ago our pastor posed a question during a sermon—a question I continue to contemplate. Pastor Miles asked,

Who are you mentoring?

     At first, I dismissed the inquiry with the fleeting thought, nobody, but as his sermon progressed, the question persisted. Well, I guess I’m kind of a mentor to my two daughters, I thought.

     By that time, though, I knew this wasn’t only a question the pastor asked, but it was a thought God wanted me to consider.

     Okay, God, is there someone else?

     Immediately, a woman came to mind. She was a bit younger than I. Our life journeys were similar. During that Sunday morning service, I realized that when this young wife, mother and marketplace worker sought out my advice, I was, in fact, mentoring her. Furthermore, God wanted me to take the responsibility seriously.

     After that sermon I became deliberate about our relationship. I made a point to reach out to her periodically. I became more intentional about my observations and ‘atta girl’s.’ I sent her an occasional note of encouragement. I made sure she knew I was ‘for her,’ and wasn’t using my position as a woman who’d ‘been there; done that’ as a license to criticize or offer unsolicited guidance.

     Eventually, the relationship transitioned. In fact, the woman I was mentoring surpassed my ability and expertise. I feel pride in her accomplishments. Even as I want my two daughters’ and three granddaughters’ success to surpass mine, I feel that same way when I’m honored to play a part mentoring any woman on her journey.

     In addition to benefiting a mentee, however, the relationship often serves the mentor. Elisha became Elijah’s assistant. From our previous glimpse of Elijah’s story, we saw the pressures of his prophetic duties almost destroyed him. Elijah needed an assistant! As Elijah’s assistant, Elisha would be learning from a truly great prophet. I’d definitely call that a win/win affiliation.

     Yesterday, an incident I had reinforced the reciprocal benefits for mentee and mentor. A young woman approached me after church, offering to help with some technological challenges I face in preparing an upcoming workshop presentation. You know what? I need that woman’s expertise! As we chatted, she expressed some of her hopes, dreams and challenges, and I realized I probably had some insights to offer her. I’m hoping our encounter will grow into a win/win relationship.

     In conclusion today, I want to ask you two questions. First, the one my pastor asked:

Who are you mentoring?

     Next:

What steps are you taking in your mentoring relationship?

 

I’m praying God will give you the gift of ideas as you investigate the answers…

Sue Reeve

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Iron Sharpens Iron.jpg

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