Mentoring 105: Hope

Mentoring 105: Hope

We are continuing our mentoring series with the topic “Mentor for Hope.”

Don’t miss out on Parts 1 through 4: Mentoring 101: Freedom, Mentoring 102: Mentor for Joy, Mentoring 103: Love, and Mentoring 104: Peace.

One of my mentors recently emailed me about a public confession she made indicating the countless hours she spent in prayer and Bible study. I guess she was concerned that the statement would come across as self-righteous or prideful. I can’t be too sure but I responded to inform her that people need to see and hear about folks who are committed to basic spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study.

She is not the kind of woman who spends her life pinned up in a room for quiet time. However, the time she spends in this devotion informs everything else she does like being a care-giver, loving wife, serving her church and community, investing in the next generation, and being a generous giver.

Every day, I watch and hear about Christians living defeated lives. So often they walk in defeat because they don’t know who God is, they have not affirmed their identity in Christ, and they don’t know what tools to grab hold of when the enemy comes knocking at their door. It is hard, if not impossible, to remain hopeful if you constantly feel defeated.


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Letter to Your Younger Self

A portion of the Greatest Commandment is for us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we read the statement again, we will see that the assumption Jesus is making is that we already love ourselves. On some level that is most certainly true for each of us. On another level, however, we can observe when people don’t love themselves well. This is evident when a person can’t cultivate or maintain healthy or long-lasting relationships, or if they struggle with honesty. It may be observed by a person who is a gossiper, or someone who constantly compares themselves to others. If we canvas the world of entertainment and celebrity, this self-loathing is apparent when people are constantly changing, monitoring their appearance, or getting surgeries to make themselves be something they are not. And there we observe. We cannot love what we don’t see, and we must learn to see beyond the physical or what is only evident on the outside.

If we really want to love ourselves, we must regularly take inventory of our inner person—what is happening in the innermost parts of our minds and hearts, and how God is shaping and changing us through time and space. Self-reflection is an important leadership practice. It is also a means of monitoring our course—whether or not we maintain focus and continue in the pursuit of our lives’ purpose. Personal reflection is a discipline to cultivate because it also brings us to a place of thanksgiving and causes us to glorify God.

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Mentoring Together through Relationships

It has been another long and cold weekend in North Carolina. We woke up this morning to a dash of snow and ice on the ground, but these past couple days have been filled with snuggles in bed and on the couch, warm teas and hot chocolate, aromas from the crock pots, and a gentle reminder from God that we are not alone.

I also took some time this weekend to finish reading my book, “Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship.” This time, I did not read the manuscript. I did not read it on a screen. I did not read it on print outs of paper all over my desk or on my bed. I read it, the real book with its pretty cover, and my name on it. I read it from cover to cover, remembering the stories and lessons that filled its pages. I remembered with gratitude and thanksgiving to God for all of the people he has divinely and strategically put in my path to live this life, and to share this space and mission together. I am indeed thankful.

Suzie and Natasha at MissioOne of the relationships I am so thankful for is that of my dear sister, friend, and prayer partner, Suzanne Burden. Suzanne is the part-time discipleship pastor at Three Rivers Wesleyan Church, fellow Redbud writer, and co-author of the book, “Reclaiming Eve: The Identity and Calling of Women in the Kingdom of God.” I am so glad to recommend her book as a mentoring framework resource. The mentoring framework outlined in “Mentor for Life” is holistic and progressive with each of the three pillars building on the next.

The first pillar is “Knowing and Loving God.”

The second pillar is “Knowing our Identity in Christ Jesus.”

The third pillar is “Loving our Neighbors.”

This framework highlights the importance of the Great Commission to make disciples and the Greatest Commandment to love God and love others. For us to love God and love others well, we must affirm our identity in Christ. Suzanne and her co-authors articulate this need and this message so well in their book. It is affirming and liberating for women, and for all those who love them. This idea of mentoring, affirming our identity, and being in Christ is not just something that Suzanne and I write about, it is something that we challenge and encourage each other to live.

Whenever, I speak with this dear sister, share my heart, hear her prayers of intercession, and her affirmation of my personhood as an image bearer of God, daughter of the great King, and redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, I know that I am known and loved by God because I am known and loved by her. We mentor each other, and we mentor for life together.

I am thrilled to share this recent GirlfriendIt interview that Suzanne and I did to talk about mentoring together through relationships and affirming and edifying each other as sisters in Christ. 
Leading and Mentoring with Suzanne Burden and Natasha Robinson (air date: 2/11/2016)

In anticipation of my March 1, 2016 book release, I have also designed some cool t-shirts for you to rock with your friends. Grab a “#WeMentor for life together” t-shirt this week!