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Christianbook.com: What is a mentor?

Carol: Mentor! When I began this study, I didn't even like the word! It was intimidating. Now I love the word mentor. Mentor means coach, teacher, guide, advisor. Most of all, I really think it means friend, a deep, caring friend.

Christianbook.com: Why are mentors important to our lives?

Carol: We might as well ask, why are friends important? Mentors are trusted friends who guide and advise. They are invaluable to us.

Christianbook.com: How do we go about finding a good mentor?

Carol: Often a mentor comes from a need I perceive in my own life. I see someone who is patient, and I want to be patient. So I become friends with her, watch her, ask questions...and learn.

Christianbook.com: When did you decide to write Divine Secrets of Mentoring?

Carol: It all began with Anne. She told me I was her mentor, and that scared me half to death. But then I began to think about the wonderful women who have mentored me. Their stories are so powerful, yet they are so ordinary. I guess I wanted to share my best friends with others.

Christianbook.com: Describe one mentor who has left a lasting impact on your life.

Carol: One of my great treasures has been a twenty-some year friendship with Ernestine Schlegel. Ernestine was a pastor's wife for more than thirty years. She is an avid reader, and we became great friends over books. But when I left the classroom to be a full-time mom, she became a huge resource. I couldn't boil water; she is a gourmet. I needed my brain exercised; she was a reader. I found my spiritual walk to be less than I had hoped; she would redirect me to the Jesus she loves.

Today Ernestine is in her seventies. She knows me so well. Knows the bumps and the bruises. She knows my shortcomings and is honest enough to nudge me when they are operating. She loves me still. There is the miracle. Twenty-some years of watching me grow up, and she still loves me.

Every woman deserves an Ernestine in her life.

Christianbook.com: What do you hope readers will take from your book?

Carol: I hope they celebrate the women in their lives. Celebrate the friends who mentor them, the peers who encourage them. Celebrate all that it means to be a woman.