Dr. Leslie Parrott, author and family therapist, will speak at the 2012 Women of Vision national conference, March 4-6 in Washington, D.C. Here, she shares some of her personal experiences and why she believes in the collective power of women to create positive, lasting change in the world.
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I am truly excited to be a part of Women of Vision’s national conference, “Every Woman has a Story,” this March in Washington, D.C. I have loved being a part of hearing women’s stories during my career as a therapist and author. And I’ve come to understand the full impact that women can have when they come together.
Women are connectors. They engage each other heart to heart. When women get in a room and dream together, the outcomes are so much larger than our individual dreams and movements. The truth is, you are already making a difference, whether you know it or not. And the more you understand the difference you are making, the bigger it becomes.
I love when women dream “venti” because of the energy that comes in voicing those dreams. Big dreams even with small groups of women can literally change the world.
I began speaking about this topic after I met with a small group of women from Burundi. They shared their story of successfully standing up against the trafficking of girls in their community. I asked how they had the courage to do this. One mother pointed to the desert landscape and simply said that someone had to be the first drop of rain, even though you may be small. My book, The First Drop of Rain, was inspired by these women.
It doesn’t take much before my heart connects with other women around the world. We are sisters who empathize with the concerns of all women to live life without the danger of being harmed. I’ve met women in several villages who received micro loans and transformed their entire culture. Even their husbands stopped abusing them. These strong women transformed the safety issues in their own homes, and by doing so, changed the whole culture of their community!
More than anything else, I’m drawn to women who dare to make a difference in the world. Women have a unique approach to effecting change because they’re dreamers, and they have special abilities to cooperate with each other. That’s why I try to help women heighten their awareness of their unique gifts and stimulate their dreams so they can become more powerful and experience a deeply fulfilling role.
I consider it a privilege to witness to the work of World Vision, and my husband, Les, and I are blessed to be child sponsors. We have developed a deep respect for the impact of World Vision in serving children. When we read The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., we were challenged to go on an honest journey of growing in our awareness as global citizens.
That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so drawn to the women who come together as a Women of Vision chapter. I love how their hearts are so engaged with the mission of World Vision. They offer a grassroots approach, encouraging women to step into their unique calling globally — in our own country and in their communities. I love that three-pronged strategy!
Let me encourage those of you who are women (or the special women in your life) to take the opportunity to gather with other like-minded women at the annual Women of Vision national conference.
Even though it’s hard to step out of your families and obligations, give yourself this gift of time spent with other women to dream. Your experience will ripple out to the people you love. Do not hesitate! You will come away refreshed and renewed, and your dreams will be fanned into flames. The joy that comes in making God visible in the world is so far-reaching that whatever is urgent will go away. You will never regret this.
Get more information and consider attending the annual Women of Vision national conference — or, forward this to the women in your life!