10 Things I Would Tell My 20-Something Self

Hey everyone,

Mentor Mama here! As your faithful mentor, I feel both obligated and delighted to share with you a few golden nuggets of wisdom that I only wish I would have had back in my twenties. Titus 2 challenges older women to teach what is good and train young women in several ways. For those of you who are older, what life lessons have you learned along the way that you would want to impart on the younger generation? And for those of you who are younger, what advice has challenged you the most and encouraged you most in your walk with the Lord? Please comment below so we can learn from each other. As for me, here are a few nuggets to ponder:

1. Appreciate those you love today because they might not be here tomorrow. When I actually was 20-something, on a very ordinary workday, I received a startling phone call at 5 am: “Your father had a heart attack and died early this morning.” Talk about shock! Ever since then, I have aimed my life to live with no regrets, appreciating those I love as if tomorrow may never come.

2. Do not worry about what others think about you! Whether it is how you look or how resolute you are in your Christian walk, our fear of God should drive us rather than our fear of man. And, as an aging woman, I am grateful that Proverbs 31:30 says, ‘Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’

3. Do not go to bed angry! Ephesians 4:26 says ‘…do not let the sun go down on your anger…’ I have had my share of restless, sleepless nights during my prideful youth when my lips were locked, and my mental state was in rebellion at bedtime. Unresolved anger only festers and grows which can result in destructive effects. Ask God to give you the strength to compromise, or forgive, or wisdom to overcome your anger in a productive way.

4. Be mentored BY someone and be a mentor TO someone. No matter what stage of life you are in there will always be someone older than you and someone younger than you. Get involved in a ministry that offers mentors or ask a Godly person to be your mentor – to challenge you and hold you accountable. For you older, wiser folks – invest in our youth with the rich wisdom God has imparted to you.

5. Take time to fill your cup with moments of joy. Schedule them on your calendar so you know you have something wonderful to look forward to. Is it taking time to have a cup of hot coffee and sweet conversation with a friend? Or perhaps it is getting out your art supplies and painting, scrapbooking, stamping or Bible journaling. How about your getting into your favorite sport? Or baking up a recipe that you pinned on Pinterest. Life can be over-scheduled with all the have to do’s, but you need to take time to give yourself some joy!

6. Live your life with an eternal perspective. Life here on earth will always have ups and downs, but it is not our home. Try this eye-opening activity: On a blank sheet of paper draw a single dot. Then draw an arrow that extends the entire length of the page and falls off the edge of the paper. A wonderful mentor once used this analogy to demonstrate how short our life here on earth is (the dot) compared to eternal life (the never-ending arrow) which will be our permanent home. It is in eternity that life will be beautiful and perfect and sorrow-free. Let’s never lose sight of that.

7. When choosing your career, carefully consider what you want to do vs. what you may be good at. When I was young, I tested strong in math and science, but my heart was in cooking and sewing. Through a long number of years traversing what counselors and test scores directed I lost sight of my true passion. Fortunately, I have been able to combine my strengths in my current profession, but when all is said and done…. I would have rather been a chef. Fortunately for my family they have been my test-kitchen for all my feasts and flops!

8. Pray. Pray. Pray. We entirely underestimate the power of prayer. Our Father desires a relationship with us, and this is our vehicle of communication. Pray so big that only God could have answered your prayer. If you struggle staying focused or do not know what to pray about, use a prayer journal to help guide you along the way. As you record God’s faithfulness over the years to answered prayers you will see how great our God is!!

9. Read the Bible DAILY! James 4:8 says to draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. There has been no other thing in my life that has given me greater joy than seeking God through His word. Pray and ask God to give you a thirst and deep desire to know Him so that you can make Him known.

10. Assess my heart. In my twenty-somethings I would have told you that I was a Christian and felt an obligation to go to church. It was out of duty and following my parental up-bringing. What I did not know or have was a personal relationship with Christ. When I started attending Village Church of Gurnee the Pastor made the Gospel message so clear and I learned that God knew me before I was even born, He knows me by name, knows the number of hairs on my head and most importantly loves me. I am a child of God and I hope you are too. Do a heart assessment.

Love, Ellen

Mentor Mama

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