Deep Strength is having a fascinating conversation over on his blog in regards to duties vs. things we get foisted upon us. https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/scrupulosity-boundaries-and-saying-no/
A gentleman by the name of feeriker mentioned that women mentoring other women were becoming scarce on the ground. True! So what do we do about that?
First – we need to just accept that our communities are necessary, and they’re a mess. Humans need to live in community to thrive, and the Western world has trashed most of the natural webs of community, replacing them occasionally with choice-communities.
Second – we have to step up and get over our own fears and inadequacies. I am part of the mentoring program at our church, and I have full respect for my mentee. I can’t imagine what courage it would take to ask a stranger to be my mentor! I wish it didn’t have to work this way, but okay, that’s how it works. It’s also a little weird to volunteer to be a mentor. I don’t have experience in all life’s stages, and there’s a whole lot I’m not fit to mentor through… but you know, I’m older than my mentee. And she’s older than a teenager.
If you are a faithful Christian, living to the best of your ability in obedience to God and His Word, and you’re not in the middle of a mess, you are fit to help someone else along. There is not a mysterious pool of virtuous 60yo women ready to mentor all the younger women in the church. That group of “older women”? That is probably YOU – at least to someone.
We have to re-create community, and the way we do that is by being willing to share whatever we have and let God increase it, be part of it, and work through our poor best.
A word, though, about over-commitment and choice communities and what women do to one another on the daily…
Women don’t have a problem asking other women to help them with whatever the pet project is. That’s kind of what women do, it’s a creating-community thing, as everyone chips in and gets something done, meanwhile getting to know one another, doing some status dancing around, etc. Community creation and maintenance is important.
But it turns dark very quickly, because our base communities are weak. So if you don’t have a solid line on your baros (central duties) and priorities, it’s super easy to find yourself serving on every committee. There aren’t enough hands to go around. And you can get all of your approval needs met by serving on all those committees, while your duties to husband and family fall by the wayside. (An hour collating copies will get you praise from three teachers and a principal – an hour cleaning the kitchen will be unnoticed three days hence – it’s not super startling why it’s such a temptation).
So it’s vital that you stay in the Word, that you stay close to God, and that you surround yourself with women who put their husbands above any other mortal, women for whom, “Let me ask my husband” isn’t an odd phrase. Yes, there’s a lot of carrot and stick going on with the PTO, the women’s casserole society, and coffee-of-a-Tuesday… so it is imperative that you know where your duties lie. That’s the only way you’ll know how much time you have to offer the other good things in life.
This ended up being a bit scattered, because I was on defcon 5 emergency cleaning everything today. My husband thinks I overreacted to the tick I found in my hair this morning just-a-tiny-bit, but hey… um… everything’s *really* clean now. :p