Monday, April 6, 2009

Empathy in Order to Teach

Today's question At the Well.....share with us what your starting point is in being an older woman who is well equipped to teach the younger ...was a good one to get me thinking. I do want to be a helper, an encourager, and even a teacher to the younger women. To do so, I need more empathy - the understanding which comes from "having been there done that"...but how quickly I forget.

I've mentioned before that I can often not remember what I had for breakfast yesterday; yet, I want to remember how I felt - how I struggled with the little details of life "way back when" as a new wife and young mother. For instance, when I leave for Bible study on Tuesday mornings, I fuss over the dog as I stroll out the door - leaving a few minutes early in order to stop by Starbucks - and then enjoy a chat with friend on my cell phone on the drive to the church. (Maybe that's another "perk" of my empty-nest life?!?!) However, when I ask Miss Roo's mommy about getting to Bible study, it is more like....making sure the dog got out to do his business, get the baby in the van while her clothes are still clean and her hair is in that cute barrette, remember the diaper bag (after fully stocking it), purse, Bible...let the dog in.....hopefully grab two shoes that actually match from the ever-growing pile next to the garage door and spend the drive to church trying to quiet her growling stomach because she forgot to eat breakfast!

How easy it is for me to think - or even say - things like "we've all been there - you'll survive" or "this too shall pass" or, perhaps, "its not that big of a deal"!! There may be some (or even alot) of truth to those statements but they are of little value to encourage and teach younger women. Those day-to-day details and struggles were a "big deal" to me many years ago just as they are to the younger women facing them today. I need the Lord's help to remember not only how I felt but how He met my needs...often by sending an "older woman" along side to encourage me. Empathy gives understanding which allows for more compassion, and hopefully will better equip me as an older Titus Two woman.

8 comments:

  1. It seems you understand and remember what it is like to have a full nest better than you think. This post is a great first step.

    Blessings

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  2. Oh how I enjoyed reading this today. We are not too far away from the empty nest and I like reading other's accounts of it! You brought out some great points on how important our attitudes are to the younger women and how to be sensitive to what is going on in their season of life. Thanks for sharing today.

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  3. Empathy...I loved this post! You are such a blessing. Your take on this has really gotten my brain to spinning and my heart to stirring. I'm leaving here inspired. By the way...you have a beautiful blog!

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  4. Amen Sister, I loved your post.

    God Bless,
    Karen @ Lil Momma's Haven

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  5. That is so true! I'm still pulling out of the little ones stage with my youngest being 3. But after having 6 kids in 8 years I feel kinda jaded sometimes and it's hard for me to have compassion on mommies who only have one small child to care for. I really need to change my attitude on this one!

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  6. Even though I am 41, I have a toddler and am still in the "getting her out of the house clean" stage. lol

    I'm sure you are a great encourager to those young Mom's around you.

    Bless you,
    Beth

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  7. Loved this post. Love this series. :)

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  8. Your words are very encouraging. I read your youngest son's story. I have to say that I was on the verge of tears.

    Be blessed as you heal each day. I know it has been a couple of years, but I can only imagine as a mother how you must still be hurting.

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