Practically Investing in One: Getting Back in the Saddle After Having a Baby

By Linnette Bachman

Before Andrew was born I closed out all of my 1-on-1 relationships with women. I connected new older women to the younger women I was meeting with so they could continue having someone invest in them. I talked with the woman who had been investing into me about taking 6 months off. I wanted to have time to adjust to baby number five, while homeschooling three, without feeling any pressure outside of our home.

Now that Andrew is sleeping through the night, I feel ready to get back in the 1-on-1 saddle. I am both eager to re-engage campus and cautious to not overcommit myself. Here are some of the questions and thoughts I have been processing as I prepare:

1. Selection

I asked my husband, Dave, “Who could I meet with that would best serve you and the ministry?” I don’t know many of last year’s freshmen. Are there key student leaders who could be potential EDGErs who aren’t being met with? Who is already investing in others who could use help?

2. Logistics

How can I make it as easy as possible to actually meet? For me, I’ve found that it is so refreshing to drive to a coffee shop two minutes from my house. This means she has to travel further to me, but I feel no pressure to tidy anything up, and I am freed up to really focus on her. I like it when Dave can be home with the kids so that I don’t have to transition everyone with a sitter. We’ve found that he enjoys taking the morning off on days when he will be on campus late at night, and that frees me up to leave the house for a few hours.

3. Content

What is my “bread and butter” content that I already have prepared that I can share with her?  I don’t want to feel pressure to come up with new content, but I want to utilize the follow-up plans I have spent hours on in earlier seasons of life. I’m thinking of planning content for the semester like this:

  • 8 weeks of follow-up plans (probably my favorite ones! also, what does she need or want?)
  • 2 weeks with her: one observing a 1-on-1 or Bible study, one doing evangelism “with” her
  • 2 weeks extended prayer and quiet time
  • 1 week focused on purity and relationships (we may talk about this briefly each week as well)
  • 1 week focused on the Nations

4. Expectations

I want to clarify my purpose in us meeting—I want to help her walk with Jesus and help others walk with Him for a lifetime. I also want to let her know that there will be times I have to cancel because I have sick kids. I will likely let her down at some point—that is not my heart of course, but it’s inevitable! I want to be open about my imperfect, wonderful, messy life so that she will see that if someday she finds herself with a house full of kiddos, she can give her life away then, too.

5. Communication

I have found it really helpful to ask her to initiate communication. With scheduling or things I need to follow-up on, I will ask her, “Can you text me or email me about that?” This takes the responsibility of remembering off of me!

6. Prayer

How do I want to pray for her regularly? Is there a certain task around the house that can be my reminder to pray? I am convinced that the real work of investing in a woman is in prayer—so how can I be faithful in this?

I take heart in the promise in Proverbs 11:25 which says, “whoever refreshes others will [herself] be refreshed.”  I am praying for myself and for you that as we pour our lives into our husbands,  children and women on campus that we will refresh them… and that we will be refreshed! I hope that these ideas may spur you on in your 1-on-1s and give you freedom to keep it simple!

Linnette and her husband Dave began their marriage and Nav staff career twelve years ago (EDGE and SIT at Colorado State) and they currently lead the collegiate Nav ministries in Nashville. They have five children: Kate (9), Kylie (8), McKenzie (6), Daniel (4), and Andrew (baby). Linnette and Dave are passionate about the shared mission of raising up disciple-makers and raising up their kids.

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