Continuing on with my Thanksgiving celebration, today is a little more serious. Today, I’d like to list five mentors/teachers for whose influence I am thankful. Again, I invite you to reflect on these people in your own life, even if you don’t share them in a comment.
- My dad. In Sunday school this past week we discussed the question, “Who first taught you about the Bible?” That would be my dad. He headed up my spiritual education through devotions, prayer, Scripture memorization, and dragging my butt to church every time the doors were open. I know theology and doctrine are often considered secondary to loving people, but a good, meaty discussion about God and the Bible is one of my favorite things, and every theological and doctrinal inclination you see in me has its roots in my dad.
- My mom. I was homeschooled through high school, and my mom is the one who taught me reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, as well as valuable life lessons, like, “You have to suffer to be beautiful.” She rarely gave me answers and solutions; instead, pointed me to resources and tools so I could get the answers and solutions for myself.
- Susan. Susan took me under her wing and counseled me during my final semesters as I began the transition out of college and into “the real world.” Beyond that, she taught me how to listen to understand by asking good questions. Whenever I am heading into what I know will be a complex conversation, I pray about questions to ask that will make the person feel heard.
- Mary Graziano Scro. I met Mary earlier this year through our publisher, Vox Dei. At the time, I was a marketing manager for her first book, Intentional Fitness, but we connected over a topic we are both passionate about: spiritual warfare. Along with that, we began a prayer call for our publisher, and we have really gotten to know each other through those calls. Mary has shared from her experience as I’ve entered a new and exciting time in my life, and I know God sent her especially for this season. I am so grateful for her. Her second book, Intentional Warfare, releases today, and I’m so excited to glean from her there as well.
- The Holy Spirit. Over the past several years, I have had to dig around in and take a good, hard look at the less pleasant aspects of my past. I have had to mourn and figure out what to do with the pieces that are left. I have had to learn how to talk about it, and with whom. I have had to learn when to speak up, when saying less is more, and when not to say anything at all. In all of this, when I take the time to listen, I can hear the Spirit prompting me what to do and say.
What about you? For whose influence are you grateful?