Anne Jackson on Women of Influence Week

Today’s Woman of Influence epitomizes the power of relational influence.

Anne is one of those people that I would categorize as a blog celebrity (she’ll hate that I said that!), so when she first commented on my blog I was ecstatic.

But what I’ve grown to admire about Anne is her genuine warmth and love for people. From her responsive, engaging nature with her readers to her passion for the children of Uganda, Anne’s influence radiates because of her love for others.

It has been an honor to get to know her and I’m especially honored that she was willing to contribute this week!

Here’s what she had to say about being a woman of influence:

Being a woman in leadership is exciting now more than ever in time. There are so many opportunities. I am learning that influence requires focus. There are so many pursuits and challenges I want to tackle. Instead, I think in order for my life to have the greatest impact, I must listen and align my heart to where the holy spirit directs…and realize that being obedient in the small things will have the largest impact in my life and my calling to love.

Anne Jackson

Ok, I think she was preaching at me a bit…

I have such a tendency to try to pursue the biggest and best and I feel like God is constantly reminding me to lead where I am, to be obedient to the places, the people and the things that he has called me to right now. I tend to get caught up in all my grand plans and I miss the influence that God has given me in this moment.

How about you? Where is the Holy Spirit directing you? Are you listening?

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  • Chris Alexander May 29, 2008  

    That is exactly what I have been struggling with lately! I have had to make a really tough decision to substantially shut down one area in order to focus on the other for this season. It has been VERY hard to do that, so it was great to receive encouragement through this post. Thanks so much for the Women of Influence Week!

  • anne jackson May 29, 2008  

    thank you so much for asking me to take part of this week with you!!! you are awesome!!!@

  • Aaron May 29, 2008  

    i’m not a woman, but still really enjoying your ‘Women of Influence’ week

  • Jenni Catron May 29, 2008  

    Chris – I’m proud of you for making the tough decisions. You are an amazing woman of influence and the people around you reap the rewards!

    Aaron – thanks for hanging in her with us. We need the guys’ perspective too!

  • May 29, 2008  

    So glad you included Anne. Her blog challenges me, encourages me and somehow makes me laugh.

    Right now, the Holy Spirit is challenging me to love some very unloveable people and situations. It is spilling over into everything I do and making an impact on people I would have never been able to reach otherwise.

  • Andrea Emerson May 29, 2008  

    Same here… I’m learning that not every good idea is a God idea, and there’s tremendous power in having a laser-like focus. I’m also learning that if He’s in it, the dream won’t die, no matter how many excuses I come up with for not pursuing it (“too hard,” “too expensive,” “no time”).

  • Marla Saunders May 29, 2008  

    I’ve been wrestling with similar questions (haven’t we all, really?). Recently I read that if God is with us at all — which he assuredly is — then he is fully present in every moment. Therefore one of our biggest challenges is to see what God wants us to see NOW, in the moment.

    As I am currently at a family wedding/reunion, I’d really rather NOT wrestle with this question. Why is it that families can test every good resolve we have?

  • Jenni Catron May 29, 2008  

    Ladies – do you think it’s our multi-tasking tendencies that cause us to try to do to much and thus we wrestle with the need for focus?

    Marla – I can so relate to the family time! 🙂

  • brandiandboys May 29, 2008  

    Anne who??? Never heard of her….I kid, I kid, she is a BLOGSTAR.

    The one thing I always take away from Anne is her heart and desire to think of others first.

    Coincidentally, I have been trying to “focus” this week. My prayer has been “make me a doer of the word, rather than a hearer.”

  • juliepersinger May 29, 2008  

    Yeah, Anne who? Oh wait…Anne “Boobies” Jackson! Now I remember.

    I got in bed at 11 PM last night thinking I was doing great to go to bed earlier and then the Holy Spirit prodded me until about 1 AM. He is directing me to be much more open and transparent than I have chosen to be in the past few years (see today’s post on my blog). This past year has been very hard and as a result of the Plan B situation we’ve walked through, the few local friends we had have essentially disappeared. I’ve been terribly lonely, but this week God has been whispering to me to BE the kind of person I want to have as a friend. Start there and see what happens.

  • anne jackson May 29, 2008  

    so is my new nickname boobies?

    oh, boy.

  • juliepersinger May 29, 2008  

    Anne, I could call you TaTa if you prefer.

  • mandythompson May 29, 2008  

    This is a great quote. I think women of influence are women of responsibility as well. Makes me think of the Proverbs 31 woman – she had mad skillz.

  • michelle parker May 29, 2008  

    Keen ears… that is what I’m praying for! Since moving to Nashville and stepping out of church leadership I openly admit to a lack of discontentment. I came with the mentality that I was ready and equipped to be used for the Kingdom. Boy, was I surprised when it took five months just to find a church. What I’ve been reminded over the last nine months is that God does have very specific plans for each of our lives. He must mold and shape as He prepares us. He can only do those things if we’re willing to go through the process. I know he is not finished with me yet, though I admit the chiseling is getting a bit old! I’m learning to surrender to the urges of my self, the doing, planning, etc. and relaxing into the present lifestyle that God has given. Life seasons can be difficult whether noisy or quiet. I am quiet right now, may I hear your voice and remain humble to your service.

  • michelle parker May 29, 2008  

    I think you’re right on with the multi-tasking tendency thingy! It’s in our nature. Ouch!

  • Jenni Catron May 29, 2008  

    Anne & Julie – am I going to have to censor you guys? 🙂

    Michelle – those big life-season changes can wreak havoc on our sense of purpose and fulfillment. God always does his greatest work in me when I’m the most restless, but man is it painful! Praying for you!

  • juliepersinger May 29, 2008  

    Hey, she’s the one who started all the “boobies” brouhaha.

  • fullofboys May 29, 2008  

    I am totally on board with that! She really spoke to my heart. I think with all the new opportunities arising (for all genders really) in the church, sometimes we want to take hold of the ones that seem to garner the most attention. I have learned that serving behind the scenes can be so rewarding! However, I have learned that fear holds me back from taking the ‘small things’…fear of failing. Sometimes the small things, like guiding a child through a Bible story, can terrify me as I can see the small little seed I can plant in their heart. Sometimes it is easier to organize 100 people into teams than to allow God to stretch me and use me to HIS glory…not mine at all!

  • michelle parker May 30, 2008  

    I think many of us share some of the same qualities and aptitudes. How do you determine when something’s too much? How do you learn to understand His timing? I think when we begin to wrap our minds around those things then we’re able to sit back or press forward in His best! I am no master at this by any means, but I’m trying. For the first time in my life (trying to overcome the fixer mentality) I’m waiting for the His plan. I don’t want to be the person who always jumps in to fix. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying I won’t continue to serve where it’s evident, but I’m finally able to sit back and say “no.” Trust me, this is a HUGE step! I’m confident there will be something that I’ll need to say yes to and I don’t want to not be able to do that because I’ve already said yes to so many other things. Maybe that’s where we start. Before we jump in head first to anything we give it some time. If you’re like me, you see a need, talk with God, forget to listen and jump in full steam ahead. I know I’m ramblin’. Thanks for listenin’!