Monday, July 11, 2016

Mentors I'll Never Meet

Back in the day, when I started my first blog, I spent a lot of time reading others. Funny and inspiring and those that encouraged domestic prowness, such as cleaning and cooking and organizing. I grew up knowing very little about how to care for or run a home, and there were a number of living breathing mentors, over the years, who helped me immensely. Some intentionally and some never knew I was paying close attention to how they did things. There have also been authors, back in the day when library books still had cards in pockets. More recently so many great blogs have been helpful and immensely encouraging - much like someone in the background chanting 'atta girl'.

The truth is I only follow a handful of blogs these days.When I started my first blog, back in 2006, I had more time. Cub Sweetheart would get up and leave the house 6 days a week to go to the office; and our nest was mostly empty. That changed in 2010 when he retired, and we were thrown into the same living space 24/7.

Any woman who has had their husband retire knows that changes everything. For me and for him. I kept up the blogging, more sporadically,  and not as much reading of others. He didn't retire to watch me sit at a computer - rather, we were on an adventure! Moving across states, lake living which included battling scorpions, water moccasins, fire ants and the heat, traveling more than we used to, matinees in the middle of the day or spur of the moment going out to eat - that sort of thing.

So here I am, ten years later from when I started blogging, and I'm not sure which number I'm on now. Which would explain why I never got a tattoo - I'm a girl who changes her mind too much to do anything permanent except get married and bear children.

A handful of blogs have stayed with me, though,  (shown on my sidebar). I don't read them daily, but I do still visit them now and then. They've become old friends of sorts.

The truth is I still need help. Help running the house, caring for it, developing character (I realized when I was about 40 that I had very little actually, but that's another story for another day), keeping track of our finances (If I'd seen into the future I might not have skipped bookkeeping class so much...), managing my time, working on a marriage (they never become self-maintaining), becoming a better friend, being a mother-in-law (whole other ball game) and being a Grammy (raising your own kids is a good place to start, but there's much to learn!).

So I still have my go to list of blogs I go to, depending on what the need is...

This one, Bible Gateway, is great for finding that verse I can't locate by using the references in the back of my Bible or maybe when I want to do a word or subject study on say, patience, gentleness, taming the tongue.....; this one, Knitting Help, has great videos to help me figure out what went south on my knitting (and something has ALWAYS gone south with my knitting.) This one, Pleasantview Schoolhouse, always makes me feel calm - like things are possibly right with the world after all. We could all  use a little more of that, couldn't we?

This one, Homespun Living, makes me want to sew and knit and bake something. This one, House on Hill Road, makes me want to sew dresses and quilts. (I just ordered THIS pattern from it this past week.) This one, Posie Gets Cozy,  makes me want to take photographs of our beautiful Littles. This one, Reluctant Entertainer, makes me feel like I can have others over for dinner, for something beyond burgers on the grill. This one, Sally Clarkson, spurs me on to read and be kind and gracious, grow in my mothering and grammying, and consider what God wants for me at this stage of life.

Which is why I still read blogs, albeit less than I did ten years ago when I started this. Reading words that pour from someone's heart is like having a window into their soul, however much of it they choose to share with us.

Dave Ramsey of Financial Peace, spoke this quote at a conference I attended more than ten years ago, and it still resounds with me:

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”


― Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

I'd add to that blogs. So who do you read? Who's mentoring you? I'm in the sixth decade of my life, and still have much to learn. How to grow as a woman, a wife, a mother, a mother-in-law, a Grammy, a friend, a neighbor, a Christ-follower. Some of it is done through flesh-and-blood people, and some through books from my shelves or the library's, but it also comes from these blogs I follow, even if it's just a little bit here and there.

I'm convinced we're all evolving on a daily basis, for better or worse. Much like a garden, if I'm not tending to myself, planting good stuff, pulling weeds so the harvest isn't choked out, then I'll find myself, another decade or two down the road to have become someone I don't want to be. We don't grow better by just waking up each day and living our life pell-mell. It has to be an intentional process of taking hard looks, seeing where I need improvement or correction, reshaping, and then celebrating where there's a wee bit of improvement. And I want that improvement to start inside me, then within my own doors, where it truly counts. With the one permanent choice I made 35 years ago, that I still am glad about, and spreading out from there. It's not done in huge leaps - rather, one day at a time. 

6 comments:

Karen said...

Bev, your blog is one of the first ones I started reading, years and years ago, when I started my own. I have been somewhat haphazard in keeping up with it (and in keeping my own blog going), but I always come back to reading yours. You have a way of putting things in perspective, pointing out what's important and even though we are the same age, in life experience you're a few years ahead of me, so I glean some good ideas on how to handle what's ahead.

I was so sorry to read about Barb's husband. Holding them both in prayer.

Bev said...

Karen, thank you for hanging in there with me for so long! Aren't we blessed that today's technology affords us leaning in and learning from each other? A modern day version of quilting bees, etc. I'll pass your thoughts onto Barb - I know she will be touched by them. xoxo

Karen said...

I cannot believe I found you, Bev! I was on one of those rabbit trails and found Sarah, then you. So happy to see that all of you are doing well. I am sorry to hear about Barb's husband, too. I will be praying for all. I have gone back and forth changing up blogs and limp along on the most recent one. Grandbabies keep me happily busy these days. Best wishes for a quick sale of your house! Good to "see" you again. My original blog was Kindred Haven if you're wondering who this crazy person is. :)

Bev said...

Karen, thanks so much for the concentrated effort to follow along! It's always nice to have 'friends' from long ago still with me. I'll pass your sentiments along to Barb, as I'm sure she'll be touched to hear. And yes, aren't grandbabies just the best?! Have to hug them while they're little, as much as possible, as they have a tendency to grow too fast!

Kelly said...

I have long loved reading your blog, and I miss so many I used to follow, but somehow lost over the years of new laptops and search engines... So glad you are still writing, you always encourage me, and inspire me to keep "being better". Learning, trying , implementing... you are a true do-er, and it motivates me to read here:-)

Bev said...

Kelly, thanks for YOUR encouraging words to me! So appreciated!