Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thirty Days of Thankfulness-A Countdown: #1

1. Today I am thankful for Miss America.
That takes some explaining. You see, ten years ago, I was young(er), fit, and in the running with 18 other amazing women for the crown in the Miss Nebraska program. My wedding plans were on hold until we finished the competition, as I had the 1/19 chance of being selected and going on to the Miss America competition from there.
I did not win. That was difficult, of course, because you put forth your very best effort and have nothing more to offer.
Still, the confidence and interview skills I gained there led me to the job I loved here in Klamath Falls at the Pregnancy Hope Center, speaking in public health classes about sexual decisions and why it's safest and healthiest to wait until marriage. I was privileged to speak to 4500 students with feedback (anonymous surveys after each week of presentations) about 85% positive.
What I find amazing is that people see so much more in us than we are ever able to see about ourselves.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Mary Kay facial party. It was at a photography studio and we had the option of a business photo or glamour shot. I did not intend to have my portrait taken but once there I really considered it.
My critical self was not excited about the shots when they came up on the screen, but the ladies who'd also had theirs taken were all gathered around and we were helping each other select the "best" one.
Today, I received the finished photo in my inbox.
Though I'm ten years older than I was in my pageant headshot, though I have had three darling daughters and my body has definitely changed, I need to listen to others instead of to that negative inside me.
Because my beauty is not external. Because who I am is defined by what comes out of my heart.
And, we who know each other see beauty where it is hidden from the shallow sonar of the world.
And, the portrait looks so much better than I thought it would.
I know I was tired by the end of that night, but you cannot tell.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
I am thankful for a chance on earth to wear a crown and to be rewarded for hard work, but it is just a glimpse of Heaven, where it will not be a contest. We are all sons and daughters.
Let your light shine.
Tomorrow, I celebrate 10 amazing years with my husband.
And I conclude my 30 Days of Thankful posting.
Thanks for joining me!

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