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!”