kids side by side in cowboy attire

Do You Have Your Buddy?

by Donna Mumma

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing”

(1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV)


As a first-grade teacher I learned to handle a plethora of stressful situations. Unhappy parents, students who wedged objects into their ears or noses, and the endless struggle to settle little ones’ behavior long enough to teach them a lesson. But one duty shook the peace from my disposition more than any other.

Field trips.

The responsibility of corralling over two dozen little bodies in an unfamiliar place and returning them home at the appointed time could rattle even the most seasoned educators. The buddy system reigned as the best strategy to ensure we left no child or chaperone behind. A buddy’s job consisted of staying with their person at all times, helping them to avoid getting lost, and finding help if the need arose.

Before we moved an inch on the trip, I always asked my class one question. “Do you have your buddy?”

Writing often leads us on a field trip experience. We attend conferences to learn new things about our craft. We may visit libraries, museums, or parks as part of our research. And invariably, we face the unexpected.

As my first graders depended on field-trip buddies, writers need our own kind of partners. We need trustworthy folks to provide honest, encouraging critique that will make our words sing from the page. Other authors offer wisdom to navigate the turbulent publishing process. Fellow writers teach us necessary skills for marketing, writing proposals, or pitching our work. These buddies strengthen our craft, exhort us to persevere, and cheer for our success.

We see examples throughout scripture of those who supported one another in spreading God’s message to the world. When we pair up with another messenger, the support equips us to handle the requirements of our calling.

So, let me ask you, have you found your buddy?

Dear Lord, thank you so much for those you’ve placed in our writing lives who can mentor, encourage, and keep us on the right path. Help us to never be afraid to ask for help and be willing to accept when help is offered.  Amen.


Donna Mumma writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction seasoned with a sense of adventure and suspense. An avid believer in education, she holds a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. She serves as a mentor for Word Weavers International. A native Floridian, Donna lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband. She is the mom of two college boys and an energetic collie named Duke. Connect with her at, Instagram @mumma704, Twitter@DonnaMumma1, and Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Do You Have Your Buddy? by Donna Mumma”

  1. I didn’t know you were a first-grade teacher. I loved your devotional. I prayed for a buddy and God answered my prayer. My writing buddy strengthens my writing weaknesses, and I do the same for her. Thank you for reminding me to encourage her today.

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