Thursday, February 2, 2012

A short season

9:31 p.m. Today's project was to say goodbye to Jung, our student from Korea. We drove her over to the University of California Riverside this morning as usual, only this time I handled her rolling suitcase, while she carried her tote bags to the student courtyard, where we parted ways with a big hug. I'm going to miss her! Hopefully, in the short season she was with me in our home, an impact was made--of encouragement, and an example of joyful living during a trial.  I pray this 30 day period in our home will be something she'll remember when tough times come her way. And we long-time Christians know those times will come!

Since it is highly unlikely we'll meet again in this life, Steve and I are happy to be absolutely guaranteed to see Jung again--one day in heaven  at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9)!

Part of the call on my life from the Lord Jesus is not only to teach women's Bible studies, but to mentor those women, whatever their ages, in living a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life as a believer. God has also continually shown me to be open to the women He brings into my life in other settings. Women just seem to see something in me and begin to confide their deep hurts, fears, dilemmas and victories, too. It's the Lord sending them! Whether they are my nieces; colleagues at work before I retired; district administrators during my school board tenure; and now in Mary Kay, I prayerfully listen, share, laugh, cry or give scriptural counsel to them, as I do with my own daughters. Since only the Lord is truth, and is the Source of all knowledge and wisdom, I am merely a vessel God has decided to pour His life-giving words through. I, Dana, have nothing of my own that would benefit anyone! Even the daily experiences I recount in small part here were God-ordained and by His hand arranged, before the very foundations of the world were created!

Some seasons of mentoring are many years long, such as with Bonnie who mentored me as a new believer with a teaching gift; and Honey, who prayed with me every day and set an example of outstanding Bible teaching and wifely graciousness to her late husband Joe. Yet, life moved my mentors on, including my late mother and mother-in-law. So God has called me to step up further, to widen my circle of ministry. When He calls, what can my answer be but "Here I am, Lord, send me!" ?

Being a mentor, such as I am to the women on my Mary Kay team, most younger, some in my age range, doesn't mean I know everything, or that I cannot learn from them too. I love to hear my sweet ladies' suggestions and tips on everything from the fastest way to get to our meeting in Redlands to mastering a new eye makeup application. Our Sales Director, who will be heading up a national area one day, is the same age as my oldest son. But she is my go-to person and development trainer as I follow her in my own career path. But the tables get turned around occasionally as we discuss spiritual or life matters. We can listen openly to one another, with respect to each one's greater level of experience. Yesterday morning, Laurie, Cara, and I were in Laurie's kitchen before a meeting, and I had been explaining about the rise and fall of Moreno Valley economically. Cara (age 21 and very successful in our business) said, "Dana, you are such a huge source of information! How do you do it?" I answered quite honestly, "Just keep living!" They were rolling with laughter, but isn't time spent living and learning a huge part of knowledge? There's just no substitute for putting in the time. Honestly, I'm 60 years old--shouldn't I have a pretty good store of information at my disposal by now? Proverbs 16:31 says,

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness. 

And that's key to being a mentor, leader, or example: to live "in the way of righteousness," not perfection. My 19 year-old new recruit Bianca (who is a Christian) and I were talking about living with serious trials, and I freely admitted to blowing it at times with Steve. But we're both so grateful that we can pray, and that Jesus is always with us. She said, "I 'm so happy I met you!" That blessed me incredibly, and my heart is humbled to know of the responsibility there.

James 3:1 says,

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Though scared somewhat by that admonition, I am encouraged and challenged, too. Bianca, Jung, and the female caretakers who come into our home were not even selected by me--Bianca came up to my display table at the Chico's in-store charity event on January 12th; Jung was assigned by UCR; the Brightstar agency sends their CNAs by availability and perceived compatibility with Steve.

God sent them because He has a work in mind for their lives--and for mine!

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