I’ve thought a lot about this recently–what it takes to be a mentor. Here is the definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

mentor–a trusted counselor or guide; tutor; coach

Those are all words that I’ve heard in reference to the people who have invested themselves in others’ lives. I would add one other part to that definition. To have a willingness to invest in other people’s lives. See, you can be a coach or a tutor or a counselor. But, unless you truly care about the people you are working with or talking to, it is just lip service. And when you are talking about mentoring teenagers, trust me when I say, they know you are being fake from a mile away. Fortunately, I know people who have invested in mine and other teens’ lives who are real and who deserve the title of mentor. This post is for them as a way to say thank you.

To the men who coached each of my son’s baseball teams this spring, you have been a true example of good sportsmanship to the boys you worked with. I’ve truly appreciated each and every one of you and the time you have taken to show my sons what being a true man means.

To the men and women who helped with the homeschool bowling league, thank you for the time you took to organize it and for teaching my children about bowling.

To the men and women at our church who have invested themselves in the lives of the youth, I have watched my sons branch off and begin to fly in the past year. It’s nice to see adults who care about them and who want to see their faith grow.

Finally, a quote about mentoring from author Ann Patchett.

“Why do I write? Because the person I wanted to be came down and sat with us from time to time and showed us what he was working on, as if to say that what we were doing was all the same thing….Mentors are extremely hard to come by.”

I chose this quote because of the last statement. Mentors are hard to come by so, to the people who invested themselves in my children’s lives this year, I want to say thank you.