Women, Do We Realize Who We Are?

September 29, 2014

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. Thank you Melanie Burk for this gorgeous print (which you can download below) which captures so much of what I want to say. Melanie and Tosha of Hello Tosha have been inspiring me throughout the month of September with their #womentoremember collaboration on Instagram and I asked her to create this one for us here! Do yourself a favor and check them out here and here, or on Instagram under #womentoremember.)

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In so many ways, big and small, women chart the direction of the world. If you think I’m exaggerating, look at 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. Women have great power in shaping the world.

Whether we recognize it or not, what we value individually 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.”

If our influence on the world is so huge, what are we individually doing with it?

Put another way, if your friends, children, spouse, co-workers, “followers” or “friends” in your own circle of influence were asked what you value based on your words, actions and posts, what do you think they would say?

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As I was thinking about this post, I couldn’t get an image of a lighthouse out of my mind. Women are the lighthouses for the world. And right now, there are so many ships at sea that don’t know which way to go, and are looking for a light to help show them the way! They want to know where happiness can be found. They want to avoid the pain that comes when we make poor decisions.

By our life and actions we can be a light to help those in our own circles avoid the rocks that would sink their ships, like: the whirlpool of comparison, getting caught up and obsessing over outward appearance while neglecting what’s inside (thigh gaps, dress sizes, manicure colors and filled-in eyebrows are not going to move the needle in bringing us closer to God!), or thinking that what the world says about leadership matters more than Christ’s way of leading (what is your title rather than how are you serving). These are traps that can get each one of us down, and as women we must literally shine light on these issues by the way we act and live. We must show the world that happiness does not come from appearance, possessions, or prestige; happiness can only be found in 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.”

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If we don’t use our influence and examples to teach truth, these false messages will sink ourselves, our children, our spouses, and our loved ones.

We also can’t forget that a lighthouse only has worth as long as it stays lit. In order to help others we must “glow ourselves”, which can happen only when we plug 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 study the scriptures–asking the tough questions and diligently seeking answers, and that we are trying to be worthy of the spirit so we can decipher 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! I’m always the happiest when I chose Him! 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 is a different place–I’m a quicker learner and more creative, I see God’s hand in my life, I find more humor in the little things and patience in the big things, I am more sensitive in how I treat others, and my relationships are deeper and more meaningful. In short my life is full.

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The joy that is found in following God’s way is the message that we must take to the world. We will change the world for good only when we show by our lives that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the path to make us truly happy and free.

Please know that you have a friend in me as we try to stand for God, 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.

xo,

Lizzy

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Kim Stoddard September 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I am now more determined to polish up my lightbulb and let the light shine brighter! What a glorious thing… To be a woman!

  • Reply Heather Hoyt September 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I love this! I wrote in my notes during the Women’s Conference, “I am a disciple of Christ.” He had a lot of women disciples during his life and I don’t know if I’ve every quite thought about myself that way. But it’s a big part of who I am, or at least who I am trying to be.

    • Reply The Small Seed October 2, 2014 at 7:23 am

      What a great thought Heather. It really is what we’re called to do, but in the day to day “forgettable” things it’s hard to see that we’re actually accomplishing that sometimes! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Liz October 7, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      So funny you say this, I had the same thought about being His disciple! But that’s the point right? And we each do it in our individual spheres with what He’s given us and makes of us! Thanks Heather.

  • Reply Kayla Hall October 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Wonderful insight and post Liz. I loved the quotes that you used and I even understood (sort of) Neil A Maxwell’s.. Just kidding I really did. You also probably think I’m lame since I commented on your legs on instagram which is exactly the opposite of what I should have taken from your picture, but a’las I’m human and I do think your legs are smashing. But If they were as white as snow and veiny and cottage cheesy I would love them still because they carry you and you, as a mother carry a family and have a purpose so important and yet so often unrecognized by those who have the privilege and obligation. Thanks for this post.

    • Reply Liz October 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      You’re welcome Kayla, and you crack me up. Thanks for what you do to stand for women of God!

  • Reply Ashley (bird) Hansen October 6, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Loved it Lizzy! Beautiful inspired words! Thank you for sharing and being an example of light.

    • Reply Liz October 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you Ashley, you’re one of those women that just emulates and always have. xo

  • Reply Elise Gubler October 8, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    I have often heard the phrase, “This is a man’s world”. This phrase has always been interesting to me, because it took a mother to raise and teach that “man”. 🙂 While it may be true that historically, and traditionally, men have had reign with power, influence, and voice, women play an increasingly important role in their contribution to the world and to society. The world needs a woman’s voice of wisdom and love. A woman’s role is so powerful that it can either do incredible good, or incredible damage. I am grateful to be a woman and hope that I can always challenge the power within me for good!

    • Reply Liz October 12, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Ha your comment about women raising the men made me laugh! I think that’s often how a woman’s role has been though-so powerful in that it shapes everyone and everything, but it’s often overlooked. I think it’s helpful for us to recognize how much influence we really do have, so that like you said we can make sure we are intentional about what we’re doing with it. You are someone that is doing so much good with yours!

  • Reply Ellery January 20, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Lizzy, I know I’m late reading this, but wow! I’ve been eating up your website lately. Everything is relevant and pertinent to the way I am striving to live my life. Thank you for being a lighthouse to me and to so many others. Thank you for taking time to share your gifts and light with others. It’s so helpful to know we’ve got each other in this!

    • Reply Lizzy January 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Ellery thank you so much for this sweet comment. I’m so glad you’ve been finding inspiration here! It is so nice to know we’ve got each other, and I don’t think there was ever a time we needed it more! So glad to have you here. xo

  • Reply Shavonne November 5, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I couldn’t love this article or YOU more and I especially love hat you get it. It’s so refreshing to see when it clicks in other women too! We are infinitely stronger when we women build each other up than when we divide for petty reasons of vanity, competition, or comparison. We were all made to let our light shine, and just because others shine too doesn’t dim our own light but we actually shine brighter together. Love this quote by Marianne Williamson so I thought I’d share: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    • Reply Lizzy November 7, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you Shavonne for your sweet words. And I couldn’t agree more, we NEED each other as women, and I am sure that is why there’s so much against us to try to stop us from doing so. Love that quote, thank you for sharing. xoxo

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