Christian Books: Edna Ellison
By Constance Fink
Edna Ellison went from wife to widow in a matter of seconds. She arrived at the high school football game a happily married wife and mother. Her daughter was in the band’s color guard, and her son was home from college for the game. It was a picture-perfect night until her husband slumped in his stadium seat with a heart attack. He whispered her name, closed his eyes, and leaned over, instantly with the Lord. Life changed dramatically.
JBU: In what ways did God prepare you spiritually and emotionally?
EDNA: My husband and I had encouraged each other in our Christian walks for 23 years and were as much in love with Jesus as with each other. A strange thing happened as he was dying – amid all the chaos around our stadium seats, I thought of him looking into Jesus’ face with joy. I too, found myself overflowing with happiness. That was not what I had expected to feel!
JBU: What are some ways to help others through the loss of a loved one?
Take them out to events – one couple took me to ballgames the rest of the season, and another took my children to the movies
Bring gifts – food (don’t forget the chocolate), a gift card for lunch at a favorite restaurant
Think comedy – laughter helps heal the worst hurt (a funny card or movie)
A few weeks after her husband’s funeral, a friend invited Edna to attend a writer’s conference. She had no interest in being a writer, and she could not afford the conference.
Later that afternoon she found an envelope among her husband’s things marked “Vacation” with exactly the amount needed to cover the costs. She told her friend she would go as a “vacation” – swim in the pool while her friend attended the conference.
On the third day, the pool closed for repairs. Out of boredom, she reluctantly attended a workshop on writing devotionals.
Since then, she has written 402 devotionals and 18 Christian books. Her signature book, Woman to Woman: Preparing Yourself to Mentor, has been in print for over twelve years and is used as training material around the world.
JBU: What should we look for in choosing a mentor?
EDNA: A mentor is someone who is a little farther along in her walk with Christ. Someone who has experienced life, floundered and fallen, picked herself up, and started over. A mentor has a consistent individual quiet time with God.
JBU: How do we know when we are ready to mentor someone else?
EDNA: If you know a spiritually younger person – a niece, a daughter, a neighbor – then you qualify as a mentor (Titus 2:3-5). God will equip you to share what you’ve learned about life and Christ.
JBU: How much time commitment is required for successful mentoring?
EDNA: You can do “one-minute” mentoring, but it’s best to meet regularly. Small groups or by e-mail and phone works for long-distance relationships. The mentoring relationship provides resources, counsel, teaching, and accountability.
JBU: If we see someone who needs a mentor but is not interested, how do we get her interested?
Meet her needs: babysitting
Join her in what she loves: gardening, cooking, redecorating
Invite her to join you in what you love: canning, quilting, organizing closets
JBU: Another one of your passions is developing a quiet spirit and intimacy with God. How do we motivate our children to make individual quiet time with God a priority?
EDNA: Begin by example. Let them see us making our quiet time a priority. Solve conflicts before entering the quiet time. Then go to the child’s room and show them how—step by step, not moving too fast, but letting them experience the joy of Jesus. Keep it light, happy, expectant and exciting.
JBU: What are some tips for developing a home characterized by respect and intimacy with each other and God?
EDNA: Have fun and laugh together. Never tell stories about your children that might embarrass them. If you respect your children, they will respect each other. If you respect and love your spouse, your children will learn to respect and love their spouses.
JBU: Have you ever felt far from God?
EDNA: Everyone has dry spells. Sometimes harbored sin makes us feel far away. Sometimes our exhausted bodies fool us into thinking He is far away. Remember, He gave His promises in writing! He will never leave us. When we call upon Him, He promises to hear. He loves a humble heart.
Favorite Scripture passage: Romans 8:28
Favorite Song: “Indescribable” by Laura Story
Favorite Hobby: golf, writing poetry
One fun thing she liked to do with her husband: we loved driving to a nearby town for a romantic dinner, or just sitting in a hammock in our backyard
To contact Edna : www.ednaellison.com
Woman to Woman: Preparing Yourself to Mentor:
Seeking Wisdom: Preparing Yourself to BE Mentored:
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