Last week I had the privilege of teaching a conference at the national Blume conference sponsored by Woman’s Missionary Union. More than 2,200 teenage girls and sponsors converged on the property of Walt Disney World ready to learn about missions and experience missions. One of the benefits of attending was that my husband, my daughter and her friend, Tallie, joined me for the week. (I think Magic Kingdom was part of the enticement because my daughter has NEVER volunteered to attend a conference where I was teaching!)
As you can imagine, we had a couple of days to explore all Disney offers. I must admit, I love the creativity and imagination of Disney theme parks. And who can refute their ability to create an environment into something truly magical? Even the fireworks are simply breathtaking.
But, in the midst of the week, I was blatantly faced with the contrast of two different kinds of princesses. During our day at Magic Kingdom, we kept noticing little girls dressed in their favorite Disney princess costume, complete with make-up, hair and a tiara on top. The culprit? The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Yep, that’s right. For only $189.95 plus tax (that’s the beginning price), your little girl can be a princess for a day. Consider that most of the girls were around six years old and will never remember this experience. They did look adorable, but my 17-year-old quickly chimed, “You would have never let me do that!” Probably not. But it didn’t stop her and Tallie from making a quick purchase of their favorite Disney princess tiara. Courtney is a redhead, so Ariel has been her favorite for years. Tallie was transformed into Jasmine which fits her dark hair and beautiful skin. The fairy godmothers in training helped them put on the crown, sprinkled glitter in their hair and told them to make a wish. With a quick $14.95, the girls became instant princesses and were greeted by Disney cast members the rest of the day with, “Welcome Princess.” (I think it’s in the training manual)
It didn’t stop there. We stood in line to meet Rapunzel from the movie “Tangled” and had pictures taken with Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Cinderella. There were a lot of princesses running around the Magic Kingdom that day.
Back at the Coronado Springs Resort, I met a bunch of other princesses. They were girls representing several states and countries. They didn’t wear crowns or have diva attitudes, but came in t-shirts, shorts and big smiles. They worshipped with great abandon and listened intently about the power of the Holy Spirit, not the power of a wish. They listened to women encourage them on how to fight human exploitation and how God is moving among the nations to make His glory known. These are the women of tomorrow–young women who have a passion to fight injustice and to live on mission with God. These are young women who are wearing another crown–a crown of righteousness.
I think every girl loves the fairy tale story of a young princess waiting for her Prince Charming. I just pray we’re teaching girls their forever prince is not in a Disney movie, but in the God who loves them more than they can imagine and cares about the intimate details of their life.
What kind of princess are you raising?