Thursday, June 12, 2014


Pass It On

As the Mrs. Ohio Pageant approaches, many people have asked me what motivated me to want to participate. It's a great question: what makes a woman with an already full plate want to carve out MORE of her time to prepare for this? And why now, after an 11 year hiatus from competing?
The answer is that it's time for me to pass some things on. Over the course of the past decade, God has grown, stretched and changed me in some wonderful ways, and now it's time for me to step up on a platform and share what He has done for me with the world. 

I have dealt with emotional baggage and insecurities from past experiences, and have learned how to have the guts to "open the luggage" and dump out the things God doesn't want in my life. It's often times a painful and long process, but I am so much healthier and happier for it- and I believe God wants that freedom for EVERY WOMAN. We've all been through things that we thought diminished our worth. God wants to liberate us from that belief. I shared this with our pageant director a few weeks ago, and I'll share this with you- I believe God has designed women to be like a diamond. Even a rough, uncut diamond is a precious thing. But when we allow God to cut off the rough edges, hone us, polish us...when we aren't afraid to embrace ALL the facets of who God has uniquely made us to be- how spectacular is that diamond?! How much more can a gemstone with expertly cut facets reflect the "Light" to those around them? It's a spectacular reflection that draws others in. Maybe this sound cheesy to you, but I think you get my point. God wants to develop the facets of your personality and character so when His Light shines through you it is impossible for people to miss. It's a beautiful thing. 

The other reason I wanted to do this and do it now is for my daughter. At five years old, she is starting to pay attention to the notion of beauty and develop ideas about it. I want her to have a well rounded view of what is beautiful. It's easy to tip our scales too far one direction or the other: to have a very superficial, "I must always appear perfect" view of beauty, or to be so afraid of our beauty obsessed culture that we try to tell our daughters that only what is on the inside matters. I feel that both of these thoughts are flawed. 

The Bible calls our bodies a "temple" and there are countless verses about beautiful women and how they dressed, did their hair, etc. The Bible is very clear that physical beauty is worthless without a beautiful heart behind it, and the highest praise goes to women who are described as beautiful AND sensible, hard-working, wise and kind. I think one of my critical roles is helping my daughter not have a narrow idea of what outer beauty should be. I want my daughter to grow up appreciating what is beautiful in the different faces, colors and shapes around her. I realize: This has to start with me.

My daughter knows that being sweaty from a good workout is just as awesome as getting sparkles on her cheeks. She knows that praying for someone who is hurting or saying a kind word is better than perfume or lip gloss. I fail as a mother all the time, but I'm doing my best to show her that she has been created with a vast array of facets to her personality and character, and exploring them will be one of the great rewards of her lifetime. I don't want her to choose what she wants to be when she grows up - I want her to keep adding to her ever growing list of things she wants to be and try. THAT is what we were made for!

I want her to know that this and this -

are just as awesome as this and this…

and THIS is one of the best things, from Day One to a decade later…

and being a Mommy is one of the best jobs in the world…

I want my daughter to know that volunteering, challenging yourself, and having a great support system around you are all exciting parts of growing up and being a woman.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to being one of those spunky old ladies in the nursing home that has a million stories to tell about her escapades over the years - and now one of those stories will be about the time I stepped up and encouraged all the other "future spunky old ladies" to jump out of their comfort zones with me and find out what crazy, amazing things they are capable of too.