Christian Mentor and Author
Thelma Wells , popular author of " Girl, Have I Got Good News for You , Women of Faith speaker and businesswoman, took time out of her busy schedule to have a conversation with Lisa Ebbesen and Cindy Laxton, of Moms @ Work . Settle in, slip off your shoes, pour yourself a glass of iced tea, and enjoy a visit with an amazing woman.
"I was surrounded by TLC and Godly character."
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by my great-grandmother who loved God and was committed to raise me in the principles of God. She worked outside our home as a maid, cleaning houses. But I didn't miss any love, attention, correction, or discipline. And when she couldn't be there, she made it possible for me to participate in activities with the help of trusted family and church friends. I was surrounded by TLC and godly character.
A work ethic was instilled in me from a young age. I had my first job at age 14 and continued to work summers throughout high school. I loved working.
In my second year of college I married and then had two children within 16 months of one another. At 22 years old, I realized that being a stay at home mother was not in my character. My great grandmother was able to help with the children and I returned to work until my third child came along 7 years later. This time it was easier to stay at home. I'm a go-getter and love being with people, so the carpools, sports and school activities of my older children kept me busy and fulfilled.
"There are seasons of life and you make choices."
I do not believe that there should be a judgment against mothers going to work. Neither should there be a judgment against mothers who stay at home. I do not condemn either side. I applaud you all. There are seasons of life and you make choices based on the needs of your family.
I've had women come to me, cry on my shoulder and ask, "Thelma, where in the Bible does it say that a mother should not work outside the home?" I tell them to go back to Proverbs 31. What did she do? She rose up early, she was an entrepreneur, she had people working for her, and she had time to teach her son. She was also a counselor and discerner. I think you call that work!
"Working mothers can't do it all, all the time."
Working mothers can't do it all, all the time. But what you can do, do well and don't worry. And what you can't do, don't worry about that, either.
Place this worry where it belongs. (Give it to Jesus.) Then you will be liberated from guilt.
Also, do not become busy just to be busy. I did this after I started my own business. I became so involved in the community and on so many boards, that I was gone from home every night. Mothers, guard against ego. I finally realized that I was worshipping the ego of my name on the letterhead.
"When you're too busy for family, you're too busy."
When I was Vice President of a bank and also had my own banking consulting business, my 14 year old daughter came to me one day and said, "Mama, are you ever going to be home for what I'm doing?" That pierced my heart. A colleague once told me, "Thelma, when you're too busy for family, you're too busy."
In corporate America we are always trying to promote and please our bosses. We have accountability to do that, but once that takes the place of accountability to our families, we are in trouble. God is first; my family is to be second, and then my job. God put back in priority what God had already put in order.
"A mentor is someone who is comforting, concerned and contagious."
I wrote the book, Girl, Have I Got Good News for You a few years ago, based on a list of 43 woes of hurting women. I can't count the number of times I've been told about these hurts, over and over. The 19 chapters of the book are a compilation of the most talked about issues. In this book I "mentor" the reader, giving practical skills and biblical principles for daily life.
All my life I've had mentors, although I didn't know that's what they were called. I had them at church, in my school and in my community. A mentor is someone who is comforting, concerned, committed, and contagious.
"Take time out every day for you."
I would say to working moms, balance your life. Take time out every day for you. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Take time for a bath. Drive home by a different route. Stop by your favorite store on the way home (now, that doesn't mean you have to shop!). Listen to praise music. Spend time with the Lord. Listen to the Bible on tape or CD in your car. We women are great at multi-tasking. Take advantage of that.
Also, just don't take life so seriously. There are only 168 hours in a week. You can't do everything. Just do what you can.
Thank you, Thelma, for mentoring all of us. We appreciate the wisdom you bring and your willingness to share from your experiences. We feel comforted by your concern and your attitude is contagious.
By Lisa Ebbesen and Cindy Laxton, of Moms @ Work . Moms @ Work is a non-profit ministry that offers encouragement, support and resources to moms in the workplace. You can visit their Web site at www.momsatwork.org
Thelma Wells is the world's leading
expert in the field of Mentoring.
This is a must read!
Girl, Have I Got Good News for you