Making Lemonade or Excuses?

Making Lemonade or Excuses? July 11, 2013

In case you hadn’t noticed I added a new category above: Mentoring.  Recently I started meeting -in person- a wonderful young lady we’ll call T.  She was a freshman in one of my on campus Bible studies way back in the day.  I’m talkin’ 2004, y’all.  She’s a beautiful soul.  Additionally, I am also beginning to be mentored by York.  One of the things I want to share more here is how both of these budding mentoring relationships are going down, how you too can mentor & be mentored and what I’m learning from the resources York, T & I are using for growth.  So.  Lay back on the couch.  Let’s begin…

York & I in matching yellow IN 1995! I favored the brown lip liner.  Unfortunately.
York & I in matching yellow IN 1995! I favored the brown lip liner. Unfortunately.

York has been my unofficial mentor for about a year now.  He’s married to one of my besties.  I’ve talked about York a lot before because he led me to Jesus, he discipled me & he was my InterVarsity Staff worker during my undergrad.  For 17 yrs. now he’s been like a brother to me and he introduces me as his sister.  Also, we’re both biracial so we actually look related in addition to feeling it.  While I was visiting their house the other day I asked what we needed to do to get our mentoring hoppin’!

In other words, I’m lost.  Let’s move this from unofficial to official, Mr. Moore!

Before leaving, he put two books in my hands, Leadership Next: Changing Leaders in a Changing Culture by Eddie Gibbs & The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships by Lois J. Zachary.

Last year he told me we couldn’t even begin until I bought & read, Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life  by Stanley Clinton.  I bought that book and then immediately set it down where it became lost for over 9 months under a stack of Ransom’s school supplies.

As I dutifully loaded my new books into my overstuffed backpack I had a scary thought: what if I never read these & York & I never officially begin?  What if I take these books home and essentially toss them aside like I did the first?

One of my greatest fears in life is that I’ll sail through with no vim, no vigor.  No passion.  No productivity, no life change, no out-pouring, no usefulness.  In honoring one of my personal commandments to “Be Grace,” I’m learning to accept that I’m driven.  I’m driven by results, but I’m also driven by my core belief that I am running the race set before me.  Since running itself has never come easy to me the similarities between ‘running’ the race of life and actual running collide quite nicely: ‘ish is hard. The fear that I’m not running fast or hard enough towards growth sometimes pushes me on toward health and at other times is a bully.

Today, I know that this particular drive is healthy.  I don’t want to waste the opportunity to be mentored by York who only takes a handful of folks under his wing each year and not at all individually like I stand to receive if I can get my bootay in gear.

The truth of Eminem’s words “you betta’ lose yourself…in the moment…you betta’ never let it go, opportunity comes once in a lifetime…” ring truer to me today than they ever have.  As I look out on the horizon I see my 40’s fast approaching and it only takes but a second to recall all the missed opportunities of my 20’s.  While I’m quick to want all the perks and benefits of being a trained, seasoned leader sometimes I am -inexplicably- snagged by the few minor administrative details it takes to get there.

Hi.  I’m Grace Biskie, I’m 36 & I’m in career flux.  Life has thrown me lemons & I’ve hurled them at myself specifically in my eyeball & paper cuts.  But here someone has handed me a grinder, a bowl to store the seeds, several Splenda packets and a clean pitcher filled with ice to put my lemonade with two chilled tumblers to drink out of with a fancy colorful straw.

As I was writing this post, York was packing up his stuff to head to the airport.  He popped his back in the door and asked me to do him a favor.  “Will you grab a pitcher of water and water the front and back flower boxes?”

Yep, absolutely, York.  I will grab that pitcher of water by the horns.

I will water something.


(Written a few weeks ago during my blog fast.  Update & good news: I got a job!  More on that later)


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  • LBC

    Grace, I love how things come full circle. As you embark on this new season of transformation it is only fitting that the man who led you to Christ /new Life all those years ago, would be there to guide you as you take full bloom. I have always admired your transparency and passion for people. While being both a mentor and mentee at the same time may offer it’s challenges, I am confident you will come through refreshed and refined. I am looking forward to your updates, testimonies, & triumphs! I love you lady! ~LaKesha B C. A/K/A Westside Ranger (York gave be that name circa 1998 ish)

    • Westside Ranger! LOL!!! so so so so funny, Kesha!!! Anyway, yes it has been so full circle it’s cray. I love you too Miss Thang!!!!

  • Jerry

    So cool to be mentored and mentor. Sounds like a perfect place to be wedged in. Carry on.

  • Sara

    What a wonderful opportunity Grace! I am mentoring someone and it is such a blessing. I’ll have to check out the books you mention. My training is through the Stephen Ministry. I’ll be praying for both you and York.

  • Sara, yes it is such a blessing. sometimes I feel as if I am getting more out of it then she is! The books York has me reading are a bit more on the technical end of things, but very, very good.

  • I love that you are intentionally going for mentoring- both giving and receiving. My life has taken the path it has because people slowed down to invest in my life…both in a structured and casual way. I am forever grateful…your life pursuits are inspiring…keep “watering”…fruit is happening.

  • Thank you, Francie! It’s so true & slowing down for *any* reason is usually good enough in and of itself let alone when it means to invest in someone or be invested in. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement to keep watering. I surely will! xoxo

  • Love this, Grace. Love it! Embracing your career flux as part of the journey. With enthusiasm! You inspire me. I’m a SAHM but feel the nudge of God’s Spirit to be more than that, so you might say I’m in flux, too, at least inwardly. I know something’s coming but I do not know what yet. Show us the way, Lord!
    Oh, and, YAY JOB! Looking forward to hearing the details. 🙂

  • Jamie, I think I sort of *have to* embrace it or what? You know? I know that not embracing change and circumstances will sort of lead to dying a bit on the inside which is no good. As for you, GOOD! I’m glad you are experiencing that inward tug. press into it! You never know what God may have for you as a result! Can’t wait it hear!