A New YOU Resolution

How many times have you made a new year’s resolution only to have it last a month, if you’re lucky!  The problem is that we tend to choose a resolution that is only a symptom of a greater problem and that is why so often times it is not kept.  So what’s the answer?  Find the core of the problem, work to fix it and then everything else will fall into place.  I suggest the main problem with over 90% of the women is….. themselves!  YOU are not happy with YOU!  So this year, I challenge you to make a New YOU Resolution and watch things in your life fall into place.

Everyone wants to lose weight, read their Bible more, be a better wife and mother (these are obviously things I have listed as my resolutions in the past).  The fact of the matter is that until you make the ultimate decision to work on YOU, none of these things will truly be accomplished.  As women, we tend to put everyone’s needs in front of ours – as we should in many areas.  What we don’t do is take time to better ourselves.  I came to a decision last year that I need to grab hold of my life before it passed me by.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful life; a loving husband, the best son, a ministry filled with excitement and blessings.  But what was I doing for me?  Sadly the answer was nothing. 

In December of 2010, I made a decision to enter the Mrs. North Carolina United States Pageant.  What was I doing?  I was 42 years old, had never in a pageant and here I was!  Crazy as it seems, it was definitely the Lord who placed it in my heart.  The pageant challenged me to push myself harder and faster than I have in years.  It opened doors in ministry that would never have been opened before.  It became a challenge to me, and you all know that I LOVE a challenge!  I began to watch what I was eating, exercise daily (and by exercise, I mean walk on the treadmill), look at my attire differently, read more about healthy eating and lifestyles, wonder if I was using the right face cream to keep those wrinkles at bay.  These things all helped me to realize that in many ways I had let myself down.  I had worked so hard on everything but me, and unfortunately, it was showing.

In February, I became Mrs. Ballentyne United States and competed in Mrs. North Carolina United States in June.  What a wonderful experience it was!  I was surrounded by gorgeous women and I must say it definitely took me out of my church comfort zone! Just put yourself next to Mrs. North Carolina 2010, Dawn Brinkley and Mrs. North Carolina 2011, Debbie Miller, and we can talk!  Much to my surprise, I was named in the top 12, the top 7, placed as a runner up and given the coveted title of Mrs. Congeniality!  Definitely a time in my life I will never forget (thank you Marietta Burke!). On a side note, I lost 23lbs and after the pageant have only gained 5lbs back and I won my first pageant, Queen of the Chesapeake, last month! – Not too bad!

So what now?  Do I just stop and say, “that was fun?”  No way! I realized that there is so much of me that I need to work on it could take years!  I find myself reading more and more on fitness and nutrition, and looking at my life and experiences and wondering how many women could benefit from what I have learned and currently learning.  I have always said that a pastor’s wife is nothing more than a glorified life coach and I believe that it’s time to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others.  This year, I will enter the Mrs. Virginia Pageant and look forward to the challenges that it brings.  I plan to continue my education on fitness and nutrition working towards my certification, work hard on my personal fitness plan and see what the Lord has in store for me as I go.  I will also be planning my first women’s conference in 2012, something that I have dreamed of for years!

Why am I telling you this? Because I believe that inside each of YOU is something greater than you have realized, I’m here to tell you, it’s not too late!  You may be the perfect wife and mother, with the perfect body and job, but I guarantee that you still have something in you that needs to come out!  Maybe it’s your attitude, a new career, better relationships with your family and friends, or maybe you just simply need to sit and hear the voice of the Lord speak to you and direct you as you train your children, help your husband, reach your goals and set new ones! 

Each of YOU has a destiny!  Some of you are already seeing it come to being.  None of you have seen it in its totality.  So this year I challenge you to take a good look in the mirror.  Do you like what you see?  Are you happy with whom you have become?  Is there anything in your life that needs improvement?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s time to make a new YOU resolution!  When you do, things in your life will fall into place.  You will see your health increase, your family flourish, your career move forward, and you will be on your way to “Your Best YOU!”

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Blessings in the midst of transition

Sometimes we simply forget to count our blessings!  We should all be thankful for so many things that we take for granted on a daily basis; our family, our friends, our jobs, our church, our home, and the list goes on.  God has given us so many blessings that we simply overlook.  Why is that?

Our lives are full of things that constantly take up our time. Things that we should be able to put on hold, but for some reason these things seem to fill our days with empty, endless, time consuming nothings.  Yet we have little time for things that matter most in life; God, prayer, family, and taking care of ourselves.  These are the things that we seem to always put on hold for another day.  We will start the fast tomorrow, or the diet, or the prayer journal, or maybe it’s simply taking our children to the park for a walk.  Things that are of true importance, we never seem to have enough time to actually do.

God has designed something called day and night.  The World has a schedule that seems to fill those days and nights with everything that it deems important, but in the end, these are things that waste our time, preventing us from the things that mean the most.  We must realize that Gods plan for our lives doesn’t work on the “normal schedule”.

As you know, we recently left Charlotte where we had lived for the past 8 years.  I must say that those eight years were not the most memorable.  But they were eight years of being settled in one place, or at least as settled as a traveling ministry family can be. 

Moving to Virginia Beach has proved to be a wonderful thing!  A much needed time of rest for our family;  a place for Judah to belong, learn and strive in his studies; a church family that we love and need; friends that are close enough to visit and spend time with.  The list truly could go on for the duration of this letter!  So why am I having such a hard time with this transition? It’s the best thing that has happened to us in years!

Transition is a place that means we are changing or something around us is changing.  Webster’s states that transition is passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another; or a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.  Let’s take some time here to let that sink in!  A PASSAGE from one STATE, stage, subject, or PLACE to ANOTHER; or a MOVEMENT, development, or EVOLUTION from one FORM, stage, or style to ANOTHER!  Once you pick yourself up off the floor, we can move forward!

My “PASSAGE” from one “STATE” to “ANOTHER”- or my “MOVEMENT” or “EVOLUTION” from one “FORM” to “ANOTHER”- means many different things in my life.  It means that I am no longer a homeschool mother.  I now have to live under someone else’s schedule for school, dinner, and bedtime.  That is a huge change in our life! 

My home is set up differently, and therefore my treadmill is upstairs which prevents me from walking every night while my family and I watch our nightly episode of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”  Two months of no walking equals 5lbs of weight on short Michele!  Although these things may seem small or indifferent on the larger scale in life, they have been absolutely insurmountable obstacles for me to overcome the past two months.

I find myself in the “evolution forming” definition of the word transition.  I am “evolving” if you will into the new mom, wife, and woman that God has intended for me to be in the midst of this transition.  That means that my life is changing for the good.  And yet, I am having a hard time with the blessings that He has given me in the meantime. 

What’s my problem?  Why can’t I just be thankful and move on?  Transition changes us, and we are creatures of habit.  Like it or not, most of us have a hard time with change simply because it is different.  That means that we can miss the blessings in the midst of the transitions due to our lack of or inability to handle change!  We MUST move on!  When God has blessings awaiting us, if we don’t move on, we will never recognize the totality of who He wants us to be or all that He has for us to accomplish!

God loves each of us so much that He will allow situations or circumstances in our lives to make us uncomfortable so we can TRANSITION to the new place and position that He has destined us for.  So come on people!  Let’s count our blessings in the midst of the transition that we find ourselves in.  I promise that they will far outweigh the discomfort that you think feel.  Think of it like this, there is a sometimes difficult transition from childhood to adulthood.  But if we never become an adult; we never grow up, have a family, take on responsibilities and set the course for our future.  After all, it’s the circle of life!

I am more convinced than ever that when we feel uncomfortable in life’s situation, it’s nothing more than the Lord “TRANSITIONING” us to our next step in life and ministry. 

Transition is simply promotion!
Bask in it, love it, live it!

My prayer for you is that you take time every day, in every situation to count the blessings that the Lord has given you.  Write them down and you will see His handy work all over the wall!

Let’s enjoy all our blessings while in the Midst of Transition!

True Beauty!

You are more beautiful than you realize! Sure we’d all look fabulous with a makeup artist on call! But true beauty doesnt require camera-ready perfection, and those “flaws” you focus on can’t take away the light in your eyes, the warmth of your smile and the radiance that is you. There are all kinds of beauty. Your beauty is true, too! Beauty is from the inside out!

Competition is within!

Today is a day to focus on myself and not on the competion.  If we choose to compete against others then we will surely loose.  If we choose to compete with ourselves and make it an opportunity to learn and grow internally; then we will win no matter what the outcome may be! Competition is within yourself!  Choose YOU!

When you make choices that bring about changes, you create destiny!

We are now in the fifth month of  2011.  As with any year, it is filled with choices for us to make, changes for us to see, and challenges yet to be reached.   Most people make a new years resolution.

How many of you made a new year resolution.  How many of you have already broken it?

The Lord began to deal with me the end of last year about a few things and I no longer make a new years resolution.  Mostly because they are never kept.

See I am a very analytical person, I figure things out, I fix them that is just how He created me so when He speaks to me, He gives me scenarios.

If there is one thing I am sure of, its that the choices we make today will bring about change and that change will bring about and restoration in your life, the life of your family and the life of your church revival, refreshing ultimately leading you to your destiny!

  • Resolution comes from the root word.  Resolute which means firmly resolved set in purpose
  • Goal – the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.
  • Challenge – something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort

I felt something rise up inside of me and say, this year I challenge you.   I’m always up for a challenge and knew that change was on its way!

My challenge was to make choices that bring about changes that lead to destiny!

Then the Lord began to deal with me about some specifics regarding my personal life, my family, and our ministry.

I changed the way I eat, I walk 2-3 miles a day, I began to look at myself differently than in years past.  As a wife and mother, many of us put our needs, thoughts and wants to the side to make sure our family is taken care of first.  That is just the way we are and I do believe that it is good. 

However I have learned that just because we have a family, we do not have  to settle for less for ourselves.  We must maintain and strive for our goals and continue to challenge ourselves each day with Gods word and with His guidance we can achieve anything we set our minds to.

I have made personal choices that have brought about changes in the way I look, feel and act.  These changes are being felt throughout our family, our ministry and I can see them reflected in my future!

  • Revive – yourself, your dreams
  • Refresh – your body, your mind and your spirit
  • Restore – your family and relationships

It all starts with you, your choices and the changes they bring!