Four Guidelines to Choosing A Mentor

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We were never meant to walk through life alone, and mentors can help us through our struggles. God is always with us, and he wants us to be involved in each other’s lives, being encouragers of one another. As Proverbs 1:5 instructs, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

I was going through a very ugly divorce, something I never expected to do. I felt alone, worthless, and vulnerable.

My usually neat home and car were so disorganized and messy that a friend thought my place had been ransacked and the police pulled me over because they thought I was living in my car. Everything was out of sorts. I had a great many friends who let me cry on their shoulder and who would defend me to the end. But it took the words of a mentor to pull myself out of this mess.

“Kim,” she said, “Someone came to me about the way you are keeping house. I know that your environment at home is only reflecting how you feel on the inside, but you must sort through your feelings and your home. After all, you have your son to think about. Would you like me to get some girls together to help you?”

I wanted to run and hide. I was naked and ashamed.

Friend, will you join me for the rest of the story?

Soap and Shampoo, Elements of Communion

My office is an oasis. It is a place of refreshing for those who think they need money, but who really need a drink. Weary travelers call hoping that we can solve all of their problems. Instead, we are only allowed to provide a sip. Because to allow the parched to gulp only gives them more pain, and they are thirsty for so much more than provision.

We give them soap and shampoo, but then we give them a morsel of genesis life. It is a Eucharist of sorts; a bit of bread and a sip of wine; scripture and prayer.

The Word of God, Jesus, was broken as bread…and we live by this Bread of life. His Words are the sustenance our innermost being survives to hear. These Words spoken heal wounded hearts, souls and bodies….and the wine? His Spirit. Where two or more of you agree touching anything there He is…right there in their midst. There He is, right there in the Personal Care Pantry. Soap cleansing the body, God’s Word cleansing a soul and the intoxicating Presence to wash it all down.

The seed is natural, but the growth is supernatural. Soap grows into spiritual hunger when mixed with prayer and compassion.

Maybe if we can give a sip, the partakers will want more….we hope to whet appetites with soap and shampoo, with Word and prayer, and all in the Name of Christ.

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Kim Sullivan is the Executive Director of Love In The Name of Christ Tinley Park, Illinois. Love In the Name of Christ of Tinley Park is a group of Christian churches and church volunteers reaching across denominational lines to help people in need. People in need often end up on the doorstep of our community churches. But one church alone cannot deal with the complex issue of poverty. Love INC works by mobilizing churches and Christian volunteers to network with existing community resources and develop church ministries to fill the gaps where community services are not available.

If you are interested in donating to this cause or learning more visit our website at loveinctp.org

Sharing with Michelle.

And Emily who is releasing her brand new book, Mom in the Mirror today!

…and playing with Laura…

Picking up where I left off

#303 a robin named Baskin’ caring for her young…
#304 a call to warfare and the courage to answer
#305 a warm day…FINALLY
#306 work day epiphanies that keep me going
#307 a tenth leper phone call
#308 Divine provoked courage
#309 the conspiracy of the Divine

A Mother’s Day Visit

I’m visiting over at Stefanie Brown’s place, Uplifting Words, today. I am so honored to be part of a Mother’s Day double feature there!! I have found that each stage of motherhood is precious. Whether it’s staring at your precious package the day you’ve given birth, or shopping for college dorm rooms, every day has been an adventure. In celebration of the stages in life, and by Stefanie’s request, I wrote about what it’s like to be at this stage of motherhood…the almost empty-nester. I hope you’ll join me in reminiscing with The Seeds of Motherhood.

On In Around button

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

The Answer My Friend, Is Blowin’ In the Wind

In the distance, the hill glows gold with tiny sunbursts. I smile big, quite sure that the happy face was inspired by the dandelion…not Forest Gump. And yet, this felicitous flower brings great unhappiness to most people. My neighbors are constantly at war with them. They spray, dig and curse them. They give me the evil eye for not paying a man to spray toxic chemicals to choke out their existence altogether.

It’s true; they are far less attractive in the seed stage, the stem limp and gray-green with white wispy feathers waiting to waft on the wind. In it’s most empty moment, when all that is left is a translucent stem, a seed is sent on an errand. It may be transported in the calm of a warm summer breeze, or it may have been reluctantly flung from the grasp of its pin cushion in a violent storm, but the seed leaves it’s comfort zone nonetheless.

I’ve experienced times when I have felt limp and gray-green, useless to anyone. I’ve felt unwanted and empty, as though I’m losing more of myself with every core shaking wind of change. But then comes His breath on a breeze…and it picks up the remnant of me like a dandelion clock, ready to make a colorless fluff into a plush splash of light, a replica of the Son, thorns and all. And I see that all along…the answer was blowin’ in the wind. Even though I feel worn out, and frail; used up and dead; He can still take a tiny part of me, carrying it on a whisper, and plant it, spreading splashes of sunshine. Not everyone will enjoy the spillover. They might try to dig it up, because it is different. But there are those, who will enjoy it for what it is…and smile.

I Corinthians 15:36 – What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first.

Sharing with goosebumps with Jen:

And dear Emily:

and darling Ann:

On The Error of Rain Songs

wet drip

“It’s like rain on your wedding day…”

when once upon a time, when man depended on the sweat of his own brow,

the working of the very ground from whence he came;

once upon a time, in an agricultural society, long before cars and trains;

rain used to be a sign of good fortune,

significant of wealth and abundance,

But no more.

No more do we recognize the tears of Heaven

for what they really are…

the protagonist of growth.

We strive against what feeds us, and we are stunted, dwarfed in our efforts.

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Photo courtesy of miyukiutada
...and although "April showers bring May flowers..."

and rain intoxicates rock hard terra

kissing virgin earth

as she blushes Irish-green,

we pout and wish away steel grey clouds, from the moment they appear.

“Rain, rain go away…”

and we shrivel up and die.

Long visible rainbow in the sky through wooden fence

photo courtesy of Horia Varlan

“It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow.”

Yet we want sunshine everyday, and we want our rainbow with a pot of gold too.

Heaven’s forehead furrows, eyebrows wrinkled and furies a storm

we cower afraid of churning sky,

afraid of what damage the storm may leave

what change it’s winds may bring.

Shaking our heads, “NO!” resisting help from Heaven,

but it insists against our kicks and screams, prying

mouth open with rubber-coated spoon of steamed peas.

Then sunshine shatters now-blacker clouds

a column-beam of tangible light

breaking beyond billows, teary fears,

until prisms sparkle promise

an arc of hope to remind us

that He is at the end of our storm

and He is better than gold.

My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain,
my words arrive like morning dew,
Like a sprinkling rain on new grass,
like spring showers on the garden. Deut 32

Counting the blessings as numerous as the raindrops…

210.  Having my phone break down…Yay! quiet time!

211.   Silky bushes waving tendrils

 

212.  Trip to the Passion of the Christ in St. John, Indiana on an absolutely gorgeous day! 

 

213.  a peaceful Preparation Day.

214.  Imaginative home owners….

215.  Spongy lime green moss, making travel springy….

216.  Date with husband to Hunger Games.

217.  Phone fixed!

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button

and a new face, Rebecca…Moms Against Manic Mondays

Cicada Song – Truth in the Ordinary

I’ve been thinking a lot about cicadas lately. Mostly because I was walking the dog with middle son, and found a cicada who had just left his shell. “There’s a truth here,” I thought. I’m annoying that way. Always looking for truth in the ordinary.


Middle Son wanted to go back for his camera and take a picture, so we hurried home, picked up the camera and did just that. I still hadn’t come up with my lesson from a cicada. So, I did what any self-respecting teacher/discipler would do. I Googled it.

The type of cicada we found is a 17 year cicada. The life of one of theses beauties begins when its mother lays eggs in a slit on the bark of a tree. A few days later, the larvae from this deposit finds its way into the ground. They grow, unseen to the world and in darkness,from tiny larvae to about the size of a peanut, but it. takes. 17. years.

At the appointed time, the hard-shelled insect finds its way out of the darkness and into the light. Breaking out of its crusty straight jacket the cicada leaves the shell behind, and dries its wings in the sun. And then, it sings the familiar end-of-summer song so many of us recognize.

Did I ever find my lesson? Of course! God is always found in the ordinary. How many of us have a seed of faith planted inside, only to have it lie seemingly dormant for what seems like forever? Be encouraged! There is an appointed time; a time when you will leave the shell of growth behind and stretch your wings to sing in the glorious light. So, next time you hear the song of a cicada, remember the music you hear is 17 years in the making, and if you’re patient, your day will come. When it does, the tomb of the past will be forgotten in the joy of your song.

Linking with Ann today:

And perfectly imperfect Emily