So I have this list.
I have this list of women who have been crazy influential in my life. As a woman of God, wife, mom, friend, and writer. (There, I said it again. I'm a writer! It's about time I admitted it.)
Some of these women I've met in person. Giving me the ability to check the box on my favorite influential women I'd like to meet and thank list. I've been in the same building with three of them, but they're always surrounded by other women who feel the very same way about them. So there's no time to say just how important they've been to me. To my faith and to my growth. I'm just a face in the fan club.
So here's my tribute to the women who've helped shape and teach me. I realize they may never see this, but I just feel better getting it out there. It also feels good telling you, so maybe you'll let them influence you too if they don't already. Their books, speaking, and music have encouraged the God-ward visionary in me to seek God even more.
I first heard Priscilla speak at the MOPS Convention in Dallas eight years ago. She's funny, a gifted communicator, and an amazing Bible teacher. Goodness, she's a good Bible teacher. I look up to anyone who's doing their thing well like she is, while having young children at home. It's inspiring to me. A few of my most memorable moments studying the Bible have been under the tutelage of her video led studies. They're really so good.
I first read one of Lysa's books eight years ago when I was on a youth group trip to Wheaton College. Jeremy and I were staying in the dorms with our group of teens attending a conference. I picked up Capture Her Heart (yes, the ones for husbands to read - I think I was trying to figure myself out back then) in the campus bookstore and read through it in one sitting alone in that dorm room. Lysa has continued to inspire me with her honest words and work toward "imperfect progress" in those areas of life we struggle most. I get her, and consider her my long-lost (other) big sister.
I met her last week for a brief moment at She Speaks, and had my picture taken with her... but I didn't get the chance to say what her words and heart have meant to me. Honestly, I'm glad her assistant had to rush her away from the conference room, because I was bound to choke the words out with tears streaming. I think I said thank you, and that was about it. So Lysa, if somehow you ever read this: THANK YOU. Your ministry and writings have been the source of key turning points in my life, so thanks, big sis. From the little sis you never knew you had.
It goes without saying, but Beth Moore just rocks. From her unmistakably Texan accent to her personal way of making you feel like she's just one of the girls. She doesn't act like she's a rockstar in the land of Christendom, but she is. Her books, her Bible studies, and her blog are there to serve us women, and I so appreciate her.
Ann has a gift of speaking and writing like no other I've encountered. Her way of communicating is very calculated and poetic. Her book, One Thousand Gifts is one I treasure and plan to re-read many more times. She helps me see the beauty all around, and the gifts that are well-hidden. She's a fellow homeschooling mama of a large family, and I LOVE the fact that her husband built her a little cabin just for writing. (Plus, I love how she creates time for writing... intense, but inspiring for sure.)
If I was able to pick my own singing voice, I'd pick Christy's. If I could pick music to worship along with, I'd choose Christy's. How does one walk around like everything is normal when you have a singing voice like that? I will never know. Her songs have held momentous meaning in some very intense and questioning seasons these last couple years. Waiting Here For You took the words out of my mouth as we were waiting for both of our adoptions to finalize. (This live version is my favorite, I love me some Passion worship!) Standing in my kitchen with my arms stretched to the heavens vowing to wait on the Lord in those times was hard, but Christy's song blaring in the background gave me courage. She also has young kiddos and is living out her God-given mission. Inspiring. I have two favorite car songs right now, and Ever Lifting is one of them. Jeremy says, "It's just so you." (What's my other favorite car song? Definitely God's Great Dance Floor. See if you can spot Christy sharing the stage! So cute in her plaid shirt and boots.)
So tell me, who are your great influencers?