Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
- M odel - A mentor should model behavior and techniques that the mentee would aspire to. For example, if a parent is having difficulty with having a reasonable family life with a child who has ADHD, they would want to connect with a parent who is modelling the type of family life they'd like to have. So often, valuable tools are more caught than taught. Modelling shows an effective method in action.
- E ncourager - The mentor can relate to the mentee's feelings of defeat or inadequacy. Cheering another to the finish line can often be the only thing that helps us to hang in there on difficult days. In the Christian context, pointing the mentee to God's promises and stories from the Word that mirror our own experience can be a great lift.
- N ot Out To Impress - The mentor is willing to be transparent, to share their own struggles, to discuss how they got through a similar challenge. A mentoring situation cannot work if there is going to be "window dressing" or acting as if life is under control at all times. A mentor is most useful by being vulnerable themselves.
- T eacher - Explanation, referral to resources or introduction to other friends can render the mentor a wonderful instructor. How often do we joke that we need classes & a license to drive a car, but there is no school & license to become a parent? When a mentor comes alongside another person, the student becomes the teacher and learning gets passed down the line.
- O vercomer - Mentors are individuals who refuse to throw in the towel and walk away from a trial in defeat. They know God has a plan for their lives and that their struggles can be recycled for good. They hold tight to promises like Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The mentor is on the other side of a situation or has learned to thrive in the midst of it.
- R elying On God - The mentor knows their own limitations. In their humility, they realize that it's the Good Lord who got them through trials that were too big for them to manage on their own. They point the mentee to a wisdom that is beyond the human. And they pray for God to direct them as they mentor that fragile student.
Oh, how rich is the value of that mentoring experience! It may be another couple that helps you and your spouse to adapt to the unique struggles you face. It may be an individual who has a listening ear and a heart for what you're going through that points you in the right direction. I personally grew from parents who went before me in the overwhelming world of raising a child with a bleeding disorder. I also feel I could not have made it through without a woman who was my "big sister" all during my youngest child's high-risk pregnancy. Those people are still dear to my heart as friends today.
If you are in need of the lift of another person's valuable life experience, I encourage you to seek out a mentor today! If you have made it down some rough roads in life, why not use that to bless another by mentoring them? Either way, it can be one of life's greatest gifts.
*For more information on connecting with a mentor, contact us through our website at www.snappin.org
Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
- Stop holding grudges and be willing to courteously express to your partner the difficulties from your viewpoint.
- Don't have these conversations in the middle of a heated argument or at a stressful time.
- Set a time where all is calm where you can sit down with paper, pen and hash out the details.
- Be willing to hear what you spouse has to say even if it's not what you want to hear.
- Controllers, be willing to adopt the "Good enough is good enough" attitude towards the other spouse handling care of your child. (As long as it isn't gross negligence!)
- Those who are checked out, it's time to be a responsible adult and get involved.
- Squeamish types, plug your nose, swallow hard and help out once in awhile. We all have grotesque parts of life that we need to handle.
- Make it a regular habit of reviewing what you're doing. You don't need to formally schedule a meeting, but touch base with your spouse to make sure they're satisfied with how things are going. If things aren't working out, speak up in a polite manner.
Above all else, pray! Spending time together in prayer will definitely build intimacy in your relationship. It's also valuable time away from the kids.
If you are finding these things impossible, save your sanity and your marriage by getting a mediator involved. There is an overwhelmingly disproportionate amount of stress on a couple with a special needs child. God gave us fabulous resources to use including psychotherapists, support groups, and marriage counselors. Take hold of any of these helpful tools to make you into that strong, three-stranded cord that God intended you to be!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
- became a pro-active advocate for our child, trusting those God-given instincts we've been blessed with rather than relinquishing control to medical, educational or social providers?
- took care of ourselves without guilt, connecting with others like us who need support, watching our nutrition, exercising, getting proper rest and enjoying a hobby?
- got off of ourselves and volunteered, not making excuses, but giving back because we know how blessed we've been by receiving?
- educated ourselves on laws, programs or innovations so we can be an informed consumer ourselves and in turn, educate those around us?
- loved our families and friends while we have them, cherishing each moment instead of focusing mainly on the burdens in our lives?
What is the "new thing" God is doing in your life in 2010? You can only discover that by carving out time to be quiet in His presence. Daily, or at least attempted-daily, time in His word will guide your steps, clear your mind and help you to learn from others who have gone before us since time began.
My prayer for each of us in this new year is that we would have a fresh start, approach things with a renewed joy and know that we don't have to stay stuck in the same old rut!