My mom was a goody two-shoes growing up. Her mother freely admits to her being the “best” of her children (behavior-wise, but I have my suspicions that she means best overall), and my mom happily claims this title. As the youngest by five years, she was still in her self-styled “angelic” elementary years while her three siblings were at various stages in their terrible teenage years. Perhaps the most egregious example of her sucking up is when her sister wanted to do something their mother refused to allow even though, “All the other girls’ moms said it was fine!” Before my grandmother could answer, my mom responded, “Kristen, mother is our standard.”
When my mom tells this story now, we laugh about how her sister must have resented her and how snotty she sounded. But hearing this story recently (we are very guilty of repeat story telling in my family) made me think about how my standards are determined.
I’ve never had a designated mentor, but there are individuals in my life that I look to for direction. Jake and I received counseling from Jesse Rice before our wedding last September and we have continued to meet with him sporadically since then. Through our sessions, we have learned a lot about marriage from anecdotes he shares about his own marriage, as well as insights he has from hearing our stories. He has always presented an image of how wonderful marriage can be. While he doesn’t pretend it will be easy or offer us platitudes, his candor helps guide us in our marriage and spiritual walk.
Since January, I have attended BelPres’ Women’s Group Mentoring sessions. My group is from women ranging from their mid-twenties until, well, I’ve never asked, but older than that! Hearing these women share about their lives and respond to what is happening in my own has helped guide me in my relationships with those I find challenging to love, as well as those I love dearly.
As Jesus refines my sense of self and my calling, I seek to surround myself with those who lead their lives to Jesus’ standard. Maybe someday my gut response will be, “Jesus is my standard.”