This is a continuation of a discussion started here about where mature women are on the internet. This week, we’re talking about how to connect with women across different generations.
I thought I had this post all written, but I have thought of a different aspect that needs to be considered. It will make the post less neat and tidy, but probably more realistic to life.
I was thinking of many of my friends who are in the age group that I consider mature…probably 50 and up. I know, many younger women consider 40 to be old.
I feel like 40 was about the time wisdom was starting to show tiny glimmers in my soul. Yes, I realize that there are plenty of women who are wise in their 40’s. But the decade of the 40’s is often a huge time of learning wisdom. It seems the puzzle pieces start falling into place. Obviously, we don’t live in a vacuum, waiting to minister to women the moment we are wise doesn’t happen!
We learn as we move through life and often have opportunities to share with others along the way. As we share life together, we grow and learn within the family of GOD. Along the way, we gain wisdom. Physical age is rather artificial.
This is what many of my mature friends are doing
At the mature stage of life, I notice that many of my friends are as busy as they were when they were young, sometimes more so, only with less energy. They are helping to care for grandchildren in a variety of ways, caring for ailing parents or spouses, dealing with personal health issues, working, dealing with issues with adult or nearly adult children, trekking back and forth to college events with some of their younger children or older grandchildren…and on it goes!
[bctt tweet=”At the mature stage of life, I notice that many of my friends are as busy as they were when they were young…” via=”no”]
In addition, they are ministering in both official and unofficial ways in their churches. Not everything they do is unpleasant, but their lives tend to be very full!
So when we talk about where the mature women are, that is where you will find them…everywhere! Dealing with their lives. So before I pass on the below information, I want to mention that many of these women aren’t on the internet. Some are in survival mode…or living life to the full mode, or a combination of the two.
A few have been online with blogs in the past but because of things going on in their lives now, they need to be quiet…children in drug rehab, going through a divorce, recovery from a huge loss. It is often too much to be able to write about publicly…and it is often inappropriate for a period.
Hunt out these women like you would search for gold
That doesn’t mean these very women aren’t wonderful resources for how to trust Christ during hard times. They might not have a lot of time to visit, they might enjoy coffee or a fun lunch together. Listen, find ways to love them, learn from them while they are processing. Ask GOD to show you how to help them and minister to their souls. In the process, you will find a dear friend. You will probably also find some common interests that you can enjoy together. In the process, you will learn much about how to grow in your faith during trying times…in the real world.
I know I’m talking here about the younger woman seeking out the older woman. It is wiser if you don’t think about it in terms of rules. If you sense the need for wisdom, ask GOD to lead you to an older woman who can help you in this area, realizing that not every older woman is wise, of course. Then, start looking around you for His answer…in your church, Bible study, ministry group, etc. Who points you to Jesus? Who reminds you to pray…and prays for you? To whom are you drawn?
Now, for women who are mature and would like to be part of influencing others online
And if you would like some suggestions on how to spread your influence as an older woman to someone from a different generation than you, here are some recommendations.
- You can start a blog if you feel you have a lot to say. Here is a great place to go to help you get started simply and cheaply. Before you do, think and pray about it. Not all of you will want to make this commitment. There is plenty of help available on the internet on how to write blogs and manage the technology involved if you want to take the time to learn it. Not everyone does.
- If you would rather take a smaller baby step, start visiting blogs and read what they have to say. If you find the advice they are giving is not adequate or needs tweaking, write an encouraging comment emphasizing the positive with maybe a minor comment on something additional. For a major issue that you see needs help, send a private comment, but don’t make a huge, public corrective. You want to establish a relationship with the person first. Try to get to know her through her writing. With comments, emphasize what you love about her, her story, etc. I always read the “about” pages early. Often, I find areas we have in common. It’s nice to be short. I’m not always successful there!
- Often I find them by contributing to pages like Five Minute Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Testimony Tuesday, for example. You will meet some of the same people there whether or not you are a blogger or not. Each has its own focus that you will enjoy and you may find some blogs you will click with. Follow them regularly by subscribing to them. All are free.
- If you are concerned that you will fritter away too much time on social media, set aside a certain amount of time you will spend on it for the day or week. Personally, I have chosen certain media that I’m most comfortable with. Some bloggers are on 5 or 6. I haven’t been able to master that many and have decided that about 3 is my limit. As mature women, we learn our limits and need to go from there no matter what the crowd is doing, right?
- Consider contributing a guest post to a blog. Often blogs give opportunities for you to write posts for them. There are plenty of blogs and posts out there that are preachy and factual. If you are going to guest post or contribute to a blog, think in terms of speaking to a person’s heart. Change happens there. Often speaking in story form does that. As women, we have unique opportunities to speak to the heart in ways others can’t. The more open and vulnerable you are, the better, but realize you are in a public forum and tell your story, not that of other people…i.e. family members, friends, etc. I have failed at this at times. I try to be sensitive, but I often forget that the difference between an extrovert and an introvert can explain the difference in the way a family member feels about the way they are portrayed even when you don’t see it as negative.
We are wise to use those opportunities. It usually involves putting ourselves in vulnerable positions in our writing and speaking. Having a strongly Biblical and theological basis is a great starting point. From there, we need to build in terms of building the relationship with our reader so we earn the right to say what we do.
[bctt tweet=”It usually involves putting ourselves in vulnerable positions in our writing and speaking.” via=”no”]
- What do we have in common with them?
- Are we trying to show how powerful/perfect/accomplished we are?
- Do we want to show how knowledgeable we are?
- Or are we humbly serving in love? Our motivation will affect the look of our post and what we include in it.
- Are we following Jesus’ example in Philippians 2:6-7?
though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself,
by taking the form of a servant…