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2015-07-26 22.13.43

While Kate Middleton is delightful, Melissa McCarthy is hysterical, Rachel McAdams is stunning, and Taylor Swift is just epic, these pop-culture icons are simply not who I turn to when I want to become a better woman. I’m very particular about who I choose to follow, aren’t you? Looks can be deceiving and it’s important to me that my role models are individuals who have a heart after God and place an emphasis on what matters most. I think they should be women that I’d be excited for my daughters to look up to. I’m so tickled to introduce you to the five absolutely world-changing, incredible women who influence the heck out of me.

“Pop-culture icons are simply not who I turn to

when I want to become a better woman.”

1) Sandi Krakowski: ARealChange.com

I found Sandi in 2012 when the Lord spoke to me and told me to learn social media. Oh what a moment that was—- when it came to technology, I was a bit (extremely) green. The idea of my mastering it was an example of God using the things of the foolish to confound the wise… (If you’re just getting to know me—I do a little social media work from home on behalf of a few ministries to contribute to the bills.) A friend who was “in the know” online recommended Sandi and I followed her on Facebook immediately. I haven’t regretted it for a day. She is my go-to resource for all things social media/writing/online business. So if you have any aspirations to be an entrepreneur, work from home, build a ministry, learn social media, write a book, etc— you need to be following her and taking her classes every chance you get.

But Sandi is SO MUCH MORE than a business resource—she teaches me how to lead. I’ve learned from Sandi that the key to success in every sphere of life is to be a light to people— encourage them, uplift them, teach them, connect them to one another, and connect them to God. That’s what leaders do and it’s why people follow them.

Sandi makes me believe I can do anything and her energy is magnetic. Since she’s poured into me and because she believes in me— I trust her implicitly. Also—she has a special place in my heart because she’s the reason I met YOU!

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“Sandi is SO MUCH MORE than a business resource—she teaches me how to lead.”

2) Jen Hatmaker: JenHatmaker.com

Oh my gosh. First of all. Jen is HYSTERICAL. We all need to laugh– preferably often. And Jen is just a healthy dose of giggles for me. But all of that aside, Jen Hatmaker has been a significant influence on my spiritual life. While I DO NOT agree with her 100% on biblical interpretation and all spiritual matters, in many ways, Jen shows me what freedom looks like.

I come from a background both in childhood and adulthood that had a tendency towards the religious. I can get very rulesy and I like things to be black and white. But I think our God sees in more colors and shades of gray than we can even imagine. So Jen reminds me to stay grounded in love. She teaches me how to love people well and reminds me who and how to serve. She also kicks my butt and challenges me to pursue Christ in new, eye-opening ways. Jen has a way of challenging me to redefine church and faith in a way that’s really healthy for me.

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“In one simple sentence: Jen shows me what freedom looks like… Jen has a way of challenging me to redefine church and faith in a way that’s really healthy for me.”

3) Beth Moore: LProof.org

Need I say more? I think every woman of faith in today’s culture has been influenced by this Matriarch. Beth teaches me the Word. She teaches me how to study the bible and she helps me apply what I learn in practical ways. When I read, watch, or listen to Beth— I feel like I’m hanging out with and learning from a second Mom. I feel so safe, so loved, so cozy and homey. It’s comfortable and inspiring and challenging all at once.

What I love about Beth, besides everything, is that she doesn’t fool around with God’s Word and I can trust her with new converts and mature believers equally. Also— if you haven’t seen her video about the hairbrush yet—look it up on YouTube immediately. Search: “Beth Moore hairbrush” and perhaps go to the bathroom first (especially if you’ve ever given birth) because you’re likely to laugh your butt off.

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“When I read, watch, or listen to Beth— I feel like I’m hanging out with

and learning from a second Mom.”

4) Dani Johnson: DaniJohnson.com

Dani is the only powerhouse listed so far that I’ve actually encountered in person. She was a guest speaker at a large event I attended in 2011 and I was an instant fan. Since then I’ve followed her, attended all the different types of events she offers, and recommended her to countless others.

Dani is an incredible resource for personal development and skill building. She is where I go for help with understanding people, managing money/reducing debt, and PARENTING. Oh my gosh—- I’ve never found anything even remotely like her “Grooming the Next Generation for Success” series: http://amzn.to/1ICZ51r It’s the Bees Knees for parents!!

What draws me to her is that she is faith-based and no nonsense. She has a way of telling you how it is while sparing the fluff. Dani Johnson is where I send people who want to grow themselves and/or want me to mentor them. She helps me groom people and separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

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“Dani Johnson is where I send people who want to grow themselves.”

Jen has a way of challenging me to redefine church and faith in a way that’s really healthy for me.

5) Paige Hunter: PaigeHunter.com

Paige and Me July 2012Paige is one of my best friends in the whole wide world, but she also happens to be a spiritual and business powerhouse. It is by the grace of God that I have the privilege of calling her friend. While all of these other women influence me from afar, Paige is personally involved in my life and there is no substitute for how special that is. She gets into the dirt with me. We pray together, laugh together, spend time together, and talk endlessly about ideas. She teaches me on an intimate level, trusts me, and even gives me the privilege of speaking in to her.

I think it is so important for all women to find a Paige. It’s wonderful that there are so many powerful women that we can learn from and follow on the world wide web. But at the end of the day, it’s the woman, or if we’re lucky—women—who will hold us accountable, walk with us, be a sounding board, and do life with us who make all the difference. I dream of a culture where we all aspire to be this for one another.

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“I think it is so important for all women to find a Paige.”

Would you add anyone to this list? Who are the powerful women who inspire you? I can’t wait to hear about them!! I LOVE YOU GALS!!! So glad we’re in this together. <3

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