SheTaught Me about Mentoring

2 Sep

This is a very special post … but first, a Note:

Beginning on September 5, I (Dawn) will post posts once a week, rather than every other day. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to share so often, but I need to follow my own advice and pare down some of my schedule so I can move forward into what God has planned.

Thank you for your continuing friendship to Pam and I as we LOL together with you and grow in the things of the Lord.  We’d still love to hear your LOL stories … keep them coming! ~ Dawn

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John Lorenzen shared this funny story about mentoring:

When John was 12 years old, he and his dad were remodeling the back porch, removing furring strips from a Father and Son with Toolsbrick wall. Each strip had a lag bolt on the top and bottom. His dad showed him what to do ~ take out the bottom bolt and then the top. Unfortunately, John removed the top bolt first and then, as he tried to remove the lower one, eight feet of furring strip dangled above him.  Just as he was about to speak of his accomplishment, the furring strip detached from the wall and hit him on the head, crashing to the linoleum floor.

“You okay, Son?” the father asked, smiling. (John, in pain, didn’t see anything funny.) “What happened?”

John rubbed his head. “I don’t know.” John’s dad asked him if he removed the lag screws in any order, and John answered, “No, I just took them out!”

“Can you think for a minute which one you take out first?” Dad questioned. A light bulb switched on in John’s brain and he explained to his father that he should have taken out the bottom bolt out first and then stood up and worked on the top bolt.

“Why didn’t you STOP me, Pop?” John said.

The wise father replied, “I wanted you to LEARN something.” (1)

John’s dad mentored him in a simple teachable moment. That’s what good mentors do ~ they don’t just provide instructions, they teach. They model. They encourage.

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READERS, this may seem like a private post, and I admit it’s long … but please stay with me. (At least enjoy the photos!)

Pam and DawnPam Farrel has been my mentor for more than three years, and I want to share a tribute to her today. God brought us together, and I have learned so much from this sweet woman of God:  How to write succinctly, speaking skills, marketing wisdom, persistence, the value of networking, the importance of good training, the necessity of visionary thinking, the power of encouragement, the joy of an adventurous spirit, and the courage to step outside my comfort zone.

Pam rose from difficult circumstances into a place of influence, and she has not forgotten how others loved, encouraged, and mentored her to bring her to this good place.

In response, she now mentors others through a number of groups and “circles” (Seasoned Sisters, The Joy Zone, Circle of Influence, Young Circle of Influence, Linked for Purpose, etc.) ~ sharing her expertise, Seasoned Sistersencouragement, and godly example.

She takes to heart Psalm 145:4:  “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” She does this, certainly, in the lives of her sons and grandchildren, but also in the lives of women who are now, as she says, her BBFs (Best Friends Forever).

Yes, Pam has written a slew of books, and yes, she speaks all over the world … but I think a huge part of Pam’s legacy will be the individual women she has encouraged and challenged as she rubbed shoulders with them in ministry and mentoring. The beauty is, Pam is viewing some of the fruit of her labors now, but she will no doubt see even more in eternity.

Dandelion seedsIn Pam’s own words in Woman of Influence, “Mentoring/influence is like the helicopter seeds of a dandelion.  You don’t know the impact of the seeds you sow ’til they blossom in the garden of another’s life.” (2)

Not every Christian woman does what Pam does, and there’s a reason why.

I read a book by Donna Otto called Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor. She wrote, “The busyness of our culture [emphasis mine] keeps us from passing on spiritual principles and truths as well as day-to-day lessons…. The wealth of The Joy Zonespiritual knowledge and down-to-earth wisdom to be learned from women who have walked through the experiences of life is being lost at a time when, more than ever, young women need someone to come alongside them.” (3)

Though incredibly busy, Pam still takes time to pass down “spiritual principles and truths” as well as practical wisdom, not only to younger women (fulfilling the Titus 2:3-5 role), but also to those in mid-life who need a motivating kick to get them moving forward for God. Pam did that for me.

Although the Lord laid it on my heart to go back into college at age 48, Pam was the motivator to get me charged up for a unique ministry in my second half of life.

Pam And Dawn at Moms Inc

There for me!

Her mentoring wasn’t a simple “rah-rah” cheerleader thing. She was tough. She gave me a whole checklist of things to tackle to prepare me for all those next steps she encouraged. But Pam has been there with me, all along the way.

Mentoring is a deliberate transfer of one person’s wisdom to another. (In that sense, I’ve had many wonderful mentors, each specializing in an area of knowledge at specific seasons of life.) Mentoring is purposeful and planned … intentional. Otto wrote, “Mentoring calls for the commitment, focus, and single-mindedness of a person willing to pour his or her life, faith, and knowledge of God into another person.” (4)

Yes, that’s been Pam.  She’s exhibited some wonderful “mentor traits” ~Pam with Bible

She is vulnerable ~ sharing her weaknesses as well as her strengths, and how the Lord has helped her overcome.

She welcomes women into her heart, listening to each goal and dream and encouraging women to “go for it.”

She’s proactive, taking time to strategize with women and share helpful  resources.

She’s grounded. She keeps things simple while stressing depth. She exemplifies a woman with her priorities in order; and she loves the scriptures, because she knows they offer hope!

She’s fully alive! She helps women see the fingerprints of God all over their lives, and to go for the big adventure in following Him.

I would not be writing this blog, and I never would have written LOL with God without Pam. That, in itself, has been an Pam and Dawn and LOLincredible blessing!

There’s more that I could say … but you get the idea. Pam has given me one of the richest, most rewarding relationships a woman can have (outside of her relationships with her Lord and family) ~ a mentoring friendship. I’m sure that others  she has mentored would say the same …

Thank you, Pam!

Readers, have you thanked your mentor lately?

Do you have a mentor? If not, pray that God will give you one; or if God gives you direction, approach a mature woman in the faith to see if she will pray about becoming yours. But don’t forget that mentoring is a two-way street. Perhaps there is a younger woman or a new Christian that God wants you to mentor. GirlfriendsPray about it. Read scriptures about it. Read some good books on mentoring. (Share your favorites in a comment.) Pam has some excellent thoughts on mentoring and being mentored in Woman of Influence (pages 158-181).

Bottom line … we must ALL be more intentional about coming alongside women to encourage and strengthen them in these challenging days.

(1) adapted from material by John C. Lorenzen,

(2) Pam Farrel,Woman of Influence (InterVarsity Press, 1996)Available at Love-Wise.

(2) Donna Otto, Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor (Harvest House Publishers, 2001), p. 13

(3) ibid., pp. 17-18


4 Responses to “SheTaught Me about Mentoring”

  1. Lisa Prowell September 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    What a fantastic post today. Your words continue to encourage me as I go through the difficult time of adjusting to a cross country move and not being surrounded by friends and encouragers. Although I do not get a chance to touch base with her as much as I would like, I feel many of the same sentiments about Pam in my life.

    • Dawn Wilson September 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      Lisa, you are so right. I encourage you to find a mentor in your new city, and to also consider mentoring others. Pass on what you learned from Pam. New connections will bring a new sense of friendship and support. Blessings to you today!

  2. Paulette September 3, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Thanks Dawn for honoring Pam as an awesome mentor to so many women. She is such an awesime encourager, mentor, and she has made a change in my life. I thank God for her and her love for people. I love your LOL devotions – they are so helpful to me during a big transition time in my life and some difficult trials. God so awesome – He loves us unconditionally and is so patient. Thanks Dawn for sending out the blog each week. Blessings & love, Paulette

    • Dawn Wilson September 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      Thank you, Paulette. I’m glad you are enjoying LOL with God at this special time in your life. ❤ Dawn

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