Monday, April 8, 2013

Feminine Studies | Women of Influence

Hey ladies, Jessi here.
Can I tell y'all a quick story?
A few weeks after the 2012 Influence Conference, I got this stirring in my heart to study. This is kind of rare for me since I'm a write-before-I-think kinda gal, but for the first time ever a subject sat in front of me that deserved a lot of attention.

Let me back up a little. I need to tell you - I've never put a lot of thought into what it means to be a woman or to be truly feminine. As I grew up, I always saw a goal in front of me to aim for next - marriage, motherhood, leading other women - but I never stopped to consider the purpose the Lord had for me as I raced towards those positions. I didn't see being a woman as a blessing or a curse, but it did seem that the course towards true femininity was always changing in front of me, like a position I would never reach.

And in these last few months, it began to dawn on me that I have no idea what God's Word says about being truly feminine. I've hung on to singular verses, I've watched on the sidelines of debates regarding biblical femininity - but I haven't just looked full on at the Lord and asked Him to give me wisdom about what it means to be a woman, on purpose for Him.

I got this strong desire to study what it meant to be woman of influence and I started really thinking I'd love to hear Hayley's thoughts. Moreover, I really wanted to ask her if we could study it together and that's when I got excited enough to text her my thoughts.

As I read through the recaps from the conference and listened to the feedback and the conclusions drawn, I started to hear a common theme. Women were hesitant to have too much influence, or to have the wrong balance of influence, or to have influence at all. 

I grew up in a home where it was assumed we'd have had a woman president by now. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, was my hero. There was nothing I thought was too big or too important to be off-limits to me. Being a woman was never something I saw or experienced as a liability or a hindrance in any way.

As a rule, I'm the furthest thing from controversial. I don't like to ruffle feathers. So, I've stayed far away from the online debates about gender roles and femininity. But, being while being a woman doesn't feel like a liability to me...being small and safe and unsure does. 

I am confident that there can be grace and charity in figuring out what it means to be a whole, alive, free gospel-centered woman. 

Before Jessi even texted her inkling to study femininity, it had already been on my mind. At the beginning of this year, I had purposed to study what it means to be a woman in general and also a woman who has a strategic and intentional way of living. I want to know the fullness of what God promises us as women, the way He made us, and the voice He's given us. 

We live in an age unlike any other, and conversely we have a God that is not bound by time and certainly not changed by it. I want to learn from ancient texts about ancient women who God purposed and created. I want to live in the fullness of womanhood as God sees fit.
We're excited to share we'll BOTH be speaking on this at the conference this year - from a life and strategy perspective. This is absolutely a conversation we want to start and continue within the network. If last year, our theme was "you have influence", this year we want to begin unpacking what God's Word tells us about being women of influence.

Stay tuned!  


  1. This is so exciting to me! This is one of my favorite topics. I was a Bible major in my undergrad with only a handful of other women in that same major, then I went to seminary where the women abounded and had a strong voice. I feel like I have seen so many sides to this topic, but it is something that is always on my mind and that I've done plenty of wrestling with. Can't wait for more discussion and learning on this topic!

  2. This is a topic that I'm always thinking about. I'm so glad it will be one topics discussed at Influence!

  3. Exciting! Looking forward to learning more... :)


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