Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend my church’s world-wide Women’s Conference (which you can find here). My heart burned inside as I listened to the messages that women need so badly today! It confirmed feelings I had all week that I needed to focus today’s Monday Message on the power of women. I feel so lucky to have another beautiful print to share with you for today’s post (which you can download below the post), today from Melanie Burk. This month Melanie and Tosha of Hello Tosha have been doing a collaboration on their Instagram feeds where they have been highlighting inspirational women, and I’ve been so touched by the women they have highlighted and their quotes. (Do yourself a favor and check them out here and here)
In so many ways, big and small, women chart the direction of the world. If you think I’m exaggerating, listen to these facts:
Did you know that women control 70% of global consumer spending? Women decide where the money goes, and determine which products, brands, goods and services make it and which ones don’t. Women earn more associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees then men. Women are natural networkers, and connect and share what they learn and experience. Women run 60% of microenterprises, and female farmers produce 60-80% of the food in developing countries. In global peacekeeping efforts, educating women can prevent violent conflict and violent extremism. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. There is great power in women.
If our influence on the world is so expansive, what are we doing with it?
Put another way, if your friends, children, spouse, co-workers, “followers” or “friends” were asked what they thought mattered most to you based on your words, actions and posts, what do you think they would say?
What we value as women not only affects ourselves, but teaches the next generation what they should value too. At the conference this weekend Neill F. Marriott said it this way, “You carry a circle of influence with you wherever you go. It is felt by the people around you, from your family to the contacts in your cell phone and…your friends on social media.”
As I was thinking about this post, an image of a lighthouse kept coming to my mind. As women we must be the lighthouses for the world. There are so many ships at sea that don’t know which way to go, and are pleading for a light to help show them the way! By our actions and testimony we can help those in our circles of influence avoid the rocks that would sink their ships, like: the whirlpool of comparison, getting caught up and obsessing over outward appearance all while neglecting what’s inside (thigh gaps, dress sizes, chipped manicures and filled-in eyebrows are not going to move the needle in bringing us closer to God!), or looking to what the world says about power and influence and forgetting Christ’s way of leading (what is your title and who do you lead over rather than what you are giving and doing to serve). As women we can literally shine light on this confusion. We must show the world that happiness is not tied to appearance, possessions, and prestige, but instead to our relationships with God and those around us. Again from this weekend’s conference, “We have a choice. On the one hand there’s the opinion of the world, with its ever changing theories and questionable motives. On the other hand, there is God’s words to His children, His eternal wisdom, His certain promises, and His loving instructions for returning to His presence in glory, love and majesty. The choice is yours.”
If we don’t shine on, these false messages will sink ourselves, our children, our spouses, and our loved ones.
But for a lighthouse (and us) to have any worth, it must stay lit! In order to be a light we “have to glow ourselves”, and we can only do this by plugging into the source! Again from this weekend, “That which is of God is light…. We must go to the source of light, which is Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the scriptures.” Plugging into the source of light means that we have our own relationship with God and the Savior, we know the doctrine, and we are trying to be worthy of the spirit so we can recognize whether the messages that we’re seeing, hearing, and passing on are from the world or from God.
In saying this I hope I haven’t made it sound like choosing God’s way is heavy, intense, or depressing–this couldn’t be further from the truth! Again from this weekend, “Walking in the path of discipleship does not need to be a bitter experience. It is not a burden that weighs us down. Discipleship lifts our spirits and lightens our hearts. It inspires us with faith, hope, and charity. It fills our spirits with light in times of darkness and serenity during times of sorrow. It gives us divine power and lasting joy.” In my life I’ve seen this so clearly; I am never happier than when I am actively seeking to turn my life over to God! It’s almost as if the world changes–my relationships are deeper and more meaningful, I’m a quicker learner and more creative, I find more humor in the little things and patience in the big things, and I’m more sensitive to how I treat others around me. In short my life is full.
This joy is the message we as women must take to the world. We will change the world for good when we show by example that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to make us truly happy and free.
Please know that you have a friend in me as we try to stand for what matters, and though I’m not doing it perfectly, we’re in this together with some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. If we each do our part, we really can change the world.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on the power of women! Leave a comment below, or connect with me via email me at email@example.com