Sitting in a creative meeting yesterday, I made a simple comment about a mentor brunch I hosted earlier this summer for my daughter Courtney. One of the ladies said, “A mentor brunch! That’s a great idea. Who would ever think to do that?”

I can’t take credit for the idea, but I’m great at stealing them from others and adding my own twist. In this case, my good friend Tonya Magnus gets all the credit. She has hosted incredible mentor lunches for both of her daughters and I’m just the recipient of her wonderful creativity. (I have stolen numerous ideas from Tonya including birthday party themes, skits or vacations. As an early childhood educator, she oozes creativity and fun.)

I thought I would share this idea with readers today. File it away as a future idea for your daughter or create a new twist to fit your circumstance. It’s a great idea that can be used corporately for girl’s ministry or to celebrate certain women in your church.

A few basic preparations I completed:

1) Create a list of women who had influenced Courtney as a surprise for her 18th birthday. The women ranged from relatives, Sunday School teachers, coaches, voice teachers and moms who were “second moms” over the years. I even invited a few of her close friends.

2) Decide on a theme. Because she is getting ready to study music education, it was fitting to choose a musical theme. I made prayer magnets with musical scrapbook paper (o.k., my assistant Kristin helped me make prayer magnets), bought music-themed bookmarks for gifts and designed an electronic invitation. The idea was to honor the mentor, but I did ask each woman to find the lyrics of a song that reminded them of Courtney.

3) Planned a menu, date and location. I knew it would be near her birthday in June and a brunch on a Saturday worked best. There’s never a perfect date when people can come, but I decided to forge ahead. I found great ideas on Pinterest and pulled out all the best china I had. No paper plates. This was special! (someday I’ll share my story of getting everyone at Whole Foods in trouble for selling me their chocolate cups)

Everything was a success, even down to surprising her. She had no idea all of these women were coming. More than 20 women gathered in my living room as a picture of mentors who had made a difference in her life.

The best part of the morning was listening to women encourage Courtney through the songs they chose. They were all relieved they didn’t have to sing, although her AP Spanish teacher brought her guitar and sang in Spanish! The lyrics of each song seemed to fit both the giver and the receiver. Her boyfriend’s mom even made a copy of the first note Courtney gave Gaige in middle school. It was a Bible verse she wrote down for him after he had experienced a tough day. She found it in the pocket of his jeans while doing his laundry. Priceless.

I honestly didn’t mean for it to be emotional, but of course, it was. I was touched by these women’s love for my daughter. They have been wise counsel. They have been encouragers. They have been models of godliness and role models for my daughter to emulate. But her journey with mentors hasn’t ended. She will continue to need women in college who encourage her to “press on.” She will need women who teach God’s word and help her apply the principles to her daily life. In short, she will continue to need mentors throughout her life.

This morning, I was reminded of the importance of wise counsel as I read 1 Kings 12. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was now king. He was faced with making an important decision affecting the people his father oppressed and were now at his command. Instead of taking the advice of those who were older and had more leadership experience, Rehoboam followed the advice of his immature and inexperienced peers. The end result was a divided kingdom and a diminished throne. How would things have been different if Rehoboam had listened to those who had a better grasp of the volatile situation? The chapter describes seeking counsel from others, but no mention of seeking counsel from God. Would the ending have been different if his father had followed the true God in his latter days instead of worshipping idols?

What a great word for us today. May we seek wise counsel from mentors. May we be mothers who follow God all the days of our lives. And may we always seek God first.