Farewell My Mentors, Edith and Anne

Edith and AnneIn my twenties… I chose to follow Jesus, finished college, got married, took a couple 10 week missions trips to Italy, joined a small team to start a church and had two children along with the myriad of other details of that season of life.

I was desperate for some mentoring and found it in the form of two women writers whose words still shape my actions and choices today.

Edith Schaeffer was the first.  Someone introduced me to her writings my first summer in Europe and I hungrily gobbled up her books on family life years before I had my own children.  My favorite title is “What is a Family.” http://amzn.to/1hZEDKB Create a “Museum of Memories” was one of her directives in that book and I have carried out her commission.  I had the opportunity to meet Edith and have her sign my books at one of her local speaking engagements in the 70’s.  I still quote her often.

Anne Ortlund was the second mentor who came into my life sometime before my first child was born. My friends and I were all reading “Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman” http://amzn.to/1cHPZMm and shaping our lives accordingly.  She never came through Chicago to speak that I know of but I read all her other books too and still have “What would Anne do?” moments.

Even just looking at the books on my shelf over the years sometimes was enough to remind me to reach higher.  Somehow I hoped they would both be around the rest of my life to write another book or stop by my city so I wouldn’t miss a bit of wisdom for each season of my life.

Edith and Anne didn’t finish out this year.  Last March I woke up the day before Easter to see Edith Schaeffer had died at age 98 and a couple of weeks ago, a dear friend posted that Anne Ortlund was gone now too at nearly 90. I felt deeply bereft.

In my giving of thanks this season, they will be high on the list of what I am grateful for.  If you have heard or read my words, you have heard the  influence of these women.

So to Edith, to Anne, Cheers!  Well done! Thank you!  Till we meet on the other side, I will carry on and pass on what you have imparted to me.

Hope for the best,



8 Responses to “Farewell My Mentors, Edith and Anne”

  1. 1 Mary Nelson November 21, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Tish, I also read Edith’s book early in my parenting. It was 1984, we were taking a respite from all of Andy’s stomach surgeries. We were staying in northern MN at a German missionaries home. They are the ones that taught me how to say “Hannah” in a European accent and it kept!! They borrowed me–What is a family? Really gave me a vision during all our painful years of tragedy and letting go–she taught me to hold on to what I could. She was great for me. Anne was another. Thanks for giving them a spot to remember.

  2. 3 Donna November 22, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    And you in turn have become an example and a mentor to many.

  3. 5 Tara November 23, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I just went to Amazon and ordered 2 Edith Schaeffer books. You have recommended a dozen different titles and authors to me over the years, and they have all been so helpful in marriage and family life. I am looking forward to reading these over the holidays. Thanks!

  4. 7 JBH June 15, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Just found this post while doing some research for a blog post of my own on Anne Ortlund. I feel like we must be kindred spirits, as these two ladies are two of the writers who have had the most profound influence of any on my life. (I blogged about them both in a post I did last year on the 20 authors who have most influenced my life.) I was greatly blessed to meet both of them, Edith Schaeffer when I was in 1st grade and had no idea what a true thrill it was :), and Anne Ortlund as a young adult in the early 90s. What legacies they both have left! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

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