Friday, September 25, 2009

Spiritual Mothering: Chapter 1

I am working through the book Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt along with several other women via Joanne Heim's blog, The Simple Wife. To see what it's all about, click the button on the sidebar with the the book cover on it.

Hi ladies! Welcome to my blog. 'Fraid I haven't been been inspired to write/share much lately, so it's pretty sparse around here. Maybe, just maybe, I will figure out what I want to do with it by the time we are through with this study.

These are my responses to the first week's questions:

1. Susan Hunt defines spiritual mothering as this: "When a woman possessing faith and spiritual maturity enters into a nurturing relationship with a younger woman in order to encourage and equip her to live for God's glory." What stands out to you in this definition? Why? Does this seem different from a typical mentoring definition? Why, or why not?
I like the verbs "encourage, equip, & live" in the definition because they bring it to life. It's more personal & eternal in nature than someone who invests their life in anothers' for the sake of business, for example.
I found this definition of mentoring online to contrast: "Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protege)" (Bozeman, Feeney, 2007).

2. Beginning on page 18, Hunt talks about our need for mothering. How do you see this need among women you know? In your own life?
I suppose everyone needs to be mothered in some way. My response to this question may seem a little off, but hopefully by answering it I will make some sense (to me at least). The word mothering is a little off-putting to me. I am independent & headstrong. I didn't like it when my mom or older sister told me what to do. My mom, I think, learned to deal with me pretty well. But I think this characteristic may have put off some women. I don't intend for it to. No one has ever spoken to me about it. But I don't have many friends right now & I can't figure out why. Do I need a mentor/spiritual mother? I believe I do. And I hope God leads me to one through this study.

3. What's something that you underlined, highlighted, circled, starred, or drew arrows to in this chapter? Why did it stand out to you?

"El Shaddai...In one name, God's attributes of might & tenderness are brought together!"
(p. 12-13) Just one of the many examples of how deeply God cares about us. He desires to relate to us as a mother to her child. It humbles me & thrills me at the same time.
The development of this mothering capacity is affected by instinct & learning but is hindered by sin...The Christian woman not only has a new Pattern, she has a new Power." (p. 15) I think I still, after so many years, get hung up in the first part, the sin, & forget to move on to the Pattern & Power. Worse still, I might even wallow in pity for myself. (yuck!)

Each chapter ends with a Spiritual Mothering Challenge--an opportunity for each one of us to think a little deeper about some of the ideas in the chapter. As we go through this book together, let's each start praying for God to bring someone to us to mentor and for wisdom about who we could ask to be a mentor.