March 15, 2024


Throughout my life's journey, God has faithfully provided me with nurturing, love, encouragement, and guidance of other mothers - women who graciously walked alongside me - sharing life’s little and big moments, offering support and wisdom midst the painful times and just a lot of love to carry me through.

Sometimes mentors are a grandma or an older woman across the street who has taught you to bake cookies or make the best chicken soup. Mentors sometimes come in for a season and sometimes for years. 

Grandma Leary, my mother's foster mother, stands out as my first key mentor and source of love. As a little five-year-old, I would often get lost in the chaos of three younger brothers, and it was Grandma who intentionally and regularly scooped me up. Ice cream and shopping dates for new patten leather shoes and the Lancaster County (PA) the annual fair was a date always with fluffy pink cotton candy and those salted soft pretzels. We'd have dates going to the Amish Farmer's market for Lebanon baloney and cup cheese. It was Grandma who shaped my spiritual journey in knowing Jesus and loving the Bible. And when I spent the night at Grandmas house, I remember kneeling beside her bed and praying. 

My next significant mother/mentor was Nancy Fehr. Every week, she opened her home to a small group of women for a bible study. When I was able to join the group, I was a very young mom and at that time my youngest was six months. I didn't know how much I needed Nancy in my life - in that season and for many to come. Nancy poured into me and other women from her own brokeness and quietness of soul.  She became my rock, my anchor and no doubt lost sleepless nights from the situations happening in my life at that time (story for another journal post). Just the other day, I pulled out one of my journals from what I'd learned from Nancy. One thing I learned was to love the mystics. To this day, I recall many little spiritual truths Nancy would say to me. Those truths held me and often I offer those nuggets of hope to other women.

So many young moms/women miss out on that needed relationship. It's never to late - and if you're a young mom - watch the life of an older woman. Listen her speech (out of the heart the mouth speaks), what is the relationship with her husband like - is she respectful of him or does she boss him around? Is she submitted to authority? Pay attention to those sorts of things and If there’s one life being well lived - ask her to speak into your life and walk with you - even if it’s for a season.

We need these precious woman to woman relationships. I believe you need a woman at least ten years older to receive from, you need one around the same age as yourself to experience the give and take in life and then you need one at least ten years younger so you can learn to give to.

Fortunately, there are still a few older women being willing to spend themselves for the younger. Mary Beth is one of them. 

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Mary Beth for the past few years. She’s been pouring into and mentoring moms in a study group at Scottsdale Bible Church.  A few of her “moms” have shared just how much she is needed, appreciated, and what she means to them. Read here.