ROGERS — Amy Grant has been surrounding by amazing women most her life. Her sisters, her mother, aunts, grandmothers and then many mentors and other influential women who helped her shape the person she is today.
The 51-year-old is best known as one of Contemporary Christian Music’s most time-honored musicians but as Grant came to the stage Tuesday (Sept. 11) at the 14th annual Northwest Arkansas Womens Business Conference at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Rogers, she connected with the audience as a wife, mother and business woman. This year’s theme was “Women on the Rise,” and the day was filled with motivational speakers from all walks of life.
As keynote speaker, Grant finished out the day with words of wisdom, wit and grace. She related her life in a way that was entertaining but demonstrated how she connects with every woman at the conference.
She regaled the audience with stories of her childhood, motherhood, life on the road as a musician and life as a wife. Grant has been married to country music singer Vince Gill for more than a decade.
“Nothing stays the same,” she said.
Grant shared the story of being asked to write a poem about aging while in her early 20s. She found the poem again at age 40 and revised it.
“I will be open, teachable and unafraid of change,” she wrote. “…Look for the kind of beauty that time cannot erase.”
Her stories about living with a blended family of children ranging from 11 years old to mid-30s generated laughter and a few tears among the audience.
“When you’re a part of a family, you can have a schedule but things are going to happen the way they are going to happen,” she said.
She continued later to say that every person is “on the journey of life and no one shares the exact same angle.” For example, when her mother gave birth to her older sisters, she was much younger than when she gave birth to Grant.
“It’s a great reminder to always be kind because you don’t know where people are in their journey,” she said.
She also relayed a prayer her former mother-in-law would speak that inspires her still today: “Lead me to the one I need and to those who need me/Let something I do matter.”
Grant’s inspiring talk was interspersed with acoustic versions of her songs, many that were born from the stories she shared.
Trish Lukasik from sponsor Pepsico said Grant left her “wanting more of her stories, more of her wisdom and more of her wit. She’s so real.” Lukasik said she enjoys the conference every year because it’s a chance for women to help each other.
“I love to see women helping women to be brave, to be themselves and to be better,” she said.
Heather Nichols, owner of Kid’s Directory of Northwest Arkansas, declared Grant’s words to be “very life affirming. It tells you to embrace where you’re at and where you might be going.”
She too appreciated the overall event because it connects small business owners with larger corporations and non-profit organizations.
“What we can do together is amazing,” she said.