Meet Janet Thompson
Author, international speaker, and freelance editor Janet Thompson is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Janet is passionate about encouraging others to share their life experiences and God’s faithfulness in all seasons of life through mentoring. She and her husband Dave reside in the beautiful rural mountains of Idaho.
Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness encourages women to be intentional in seeking mentoring relationship. Through true stories from mentors and mentees in life seasons from tween through twilight years—along with my personal experiences, helpful tips for mentors and mentees, Scriptures to study together, and biblical mentoring relationship examples, Mentoring for All Seasons is a book for both mentors and mentees. We’re always going into a new life season where we need a mentor, while we mentor others from the season we’ve just experienced.
What genre do you focus on and why?
Christian nonfiction is my genre. I never planned to be an author or speaker. I had varied careers before the Lord whispered in my ear to “feed My sheep.” It turned out that the sheep were women and feeding was mentoring. With no experience in women’s ministry, I started the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church twenty years ago. Churches started calling and wanted to know how we were doing the ministry, so I sat down and wrote a DVD Kit Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Mentoring Ministry, and my speaking and authoring journey began. As I observed and heard about the life issues women were dealing with, I wrote books to help and mentor them.
Why do you write? What drives you?
About His Work Ministries is the name of my writing and speaking ministry. Since the day I heard what I now refer to as my “feed My sheep” call into ministry from the Lord, serving Him where He leads has been my passion and focus. As long as He keeps providing ideas and the ability to write, I’ll continue. When I’m not writing books, I write for Crosswalk.com, a weekly blog on my website, and a monthly online newsletter.
What does a day in your writing world look like?
When weather permits, I pop out of bed and take a three-mile mountain prayer walk up hill and dale. It clears my head and provides time to talk to God about the current writing project or blog. After breakfast and quite time, I check email and then head up to my office to start the day of writing. Most days, I write all day until dinnertime then close up shop, unless I’m on a deadline. Then hubby makes dinner!
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
Having to say no to some good things, like going out to lunch or socializing during the day, especially when I’m on deadline. I make time for family, my husband, a cup of coffee or tea with a friend, mentee, or someone going through a difficult season, and rest; but often have to turn down other inviting opportunities. My writing, speaking, and overseeing two ministries is a full time “job.” My close friends and family understand and pray for me as I write and minister to others, but some people often misunderstand and think I’m being unfriendly. I have to write in complete silence and with no distractions. I’m not the kind of author who can sit in a room full of people with the TV blaring. As a result, I have to isolate myself during a day of writing.
What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
I don’t have to get dressed up every day! I can write in sweats, pjs, shorts, whatever the weather allows. We live in a beautiful mountain community and I don’t have to leave home or drive to go to work, especially in the snow. Now that my husband is retired, he is my helpmate in ministry. He handles book orders, the administrative parts of the ministry, and the techie aspects of my website, which is a tremendous help and joy to work together. And every once in a while, the Lord lets me have a glimpse of a life that has been changed or blessed through something I’ve written or spoken. As if He knows just when I need a burst of encouragement to finish a book or article or to keep writing blogs even though I might not see a comment for weeks. I’m blessed to work for such a good, good God.
What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?
While taking my morning walks, I often write the next blog post in my mind. Recently, I started looking for a blog in my computer files and couldn’t find it. Then it dawned on me . . . I had actually never written it when I got home from my walk. After a good laugh at myself, fortunately, it was still in my mind and I sat down and wrote it.
What are you most proud of?
That’s a tough question, but what comes to mind is saying “OK” to the Lord when I had no idea what “Feed My sheep” meant or what it would require of me. But after surrendering to that call, God opened one door after another for me to start the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry, and it’s been a journey of faith ever since. My husband and I have been through many hardships and trials when it would have been easy to give up, but that’s where About His Work Ministries originated when my husband lost his job soon after I started Woman to Woman Mentoring. I had already left my career to work as a volunteer at Saddleback Church starting the ministry and to write the resources to help other churches. He has grown the ministry beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Only God!
What is your favorite pastime?
When I finish my writing day, hubby and I have a nice dinner and spend the evening together. We’re empty nesters and he’s retired so this is important time together. I also love spending time with my grandchildren. We have eleven, but only three live near us, so we try to plan trips to see the others. After living in Southern California my entire life, six years ago when my husband retired, we moved to Idaho. We live in a forest with a beautiful deck and I enjoy relaxing on the swing watching some of the wildlife, squirrels, deer, even elk who pass through our property.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Yes, Mentoring for All Seasons is my 19th book.
Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten
The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team
Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?: A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey
Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey
Dear God, He’s Home!: A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-At-Home Man
Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter: Hope, Help & Encouragement for Hurting Parents
Face-to-Face Bible Study Series (7 Books in the series)
Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry Resources (4 Books and a DVD Leader’s Kit)
What are you working on now?
My next book is Get Your Brave On: Women of the Bible Encourage Women of Today to Be Brave I’m still receiving stories of times when God provided the strength to do things you never thought you could do. So if anyone has a “brave” story you would like to share, please contact me at email@example.com.
Link to book: bit.ly/mentoringseasons
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