Skip to main content


I’ve heard the word “mentor” a lot recently, in conversations, presentations, and e-mails.  A new year of small groups began in my student ministry last night—a new year of mentors matching up with mentees.  In some cases, it’s the 7th year a mentor (a.k.a. small group leader) and a student have done life together.  That excites me!  That makes me feel like what I do matters.
Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mrs. Kay Meredith, my 11th and 12th grade English teacher.  Mrs. Meredith was the kind of teacher who set the bar high, challenged you to be better than you thought you were, and listened when life was difficult.  We had writing Fridays that included breakfast and a coffee house atmosphere in which we could write.  She made me kiss my boyfriend in class as thanks for a gift.  She danced with my boyfriend at our prom.  She came to our wedding, and I think she danced with him there, too.
I entered my senior year of high school planning to be a math teacher.  I eventually ended up an English teacher.  The difference was the teachers.  I had a math teacher who set the bar high, but who didn’t personally care for his students.  I had an English teacher who set the bar high, who believed in me, and who held me when I cried in the girls’ bathroom.
I am thankful for an English teacher who encouraged me to take an AP class I didn’t think I was smart enough to handle; the course literally changed the direction of my life.  I am thankful for an English teacher who modeled setting boundaries and expectations, encouraging and empowering students to succeed, and authentically caring for teenagers.  Like a good mentee, I’m trying to implement what I’ve learned from my mentor.  I now have the immense pleasure of mentoring, and I hope to have the kind of impact Mrs. Meredith has had on me.  Love you, Mrs. M.


Popular posts from this blog

A Response to Charlottesville

Visiting our nation’s capital is an easy day trip for us, and how I chose to spend a precious vacation day this week.  I took pride in explaining the buildings and icons of my country to my children.  I am proud to be an American.  

But today, I am not proud.  
Today, I weep.

Four days ago, I saw the beautiful, infamous words “We the People” with my own eyes for the first time.  
Four days later, I am reminded of how far we still have to go to fully live into those words:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

What has happened 63 miles from my home, in Jefferson’s beautifully-domed, colonnaded city, is far from perfect, just, or tranquil.
This is not what our founding fathers wanted for our country, nor is …

A Message to Graduates

I have been a Pastor to Students (The title has changed numerous times; the role remains.) in Powhatan, Virginia for roughly 12 years.  I daresay I've been ministering to teenagers in this community longer than many.

Over the last dozen years, I've gotten lots of cool opportunities to minister to teenagers in this area.   But one had always eluded me--speaking at a baccalaureate service.  My husband had done the honors.  Other great pastors in the area had as well.  Once, I'd offered the closing prayer.  

This week, that changed.  I had the distinct honor to share with the PHS Class of 2016 at their baccalaureate service.  It was a wonderful experience working with great students, parents, and school leaders.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity!!!

A few people missed it and have asked to see what I said, so here it is, ALL of it:

June 1999 I sat in this space for my Baccalaureate service.  Before I was a pastor at PCC, before I moved back to Powhatan to raise my family, …

Disillusionment of Adulthood

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I must confess to disillusionment.  Growing up, I had ideas of what adulthood would be like.  I’m here, and it’s not entirely what I’d imagined.
For starters, I remember growing up amidst all the drama that comes with, well, growing up.  The gossip.  The hurt feelings.  The misunderstandings.  The fights between friends.  The back-stabbing.  And I remember being told that it would get better.  I’m not sure who told me that, but they were clearly wrong.
The drama may look a little different.  The words may sound a little different.  But the anguish of relationships remains.
Adults hurt each other’s feelings—intentionally and unintentionally. Adults nitpick and cause fights over inconsequential issues. Adults gossip. Adults cry, scream, and pitch fits. Adults build relational alliances, competing in “us vs. them” relational war. Adults let issues build and exponentially swell until they explode. Adults rarely identify the actual issue instead of the presenting issue. Adul…