I am doing a blogging bookstudy....how cool is that? My blogging buddy Jeannie over at Jeannie's Happy World is conducting a book study on "Queen of Your Own Life." It is a Grown-up woman's guide to claiming happiness and getting the life you deserve written by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. Kathy Kinney was Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. We are now just finishing up chapter 3. This week's lesson was about cleaning out your mental closet and finding your queen voice.....or battling the mongol horde. I have really loved reading this book but between the women's conference lessons and this book I feel like I have been bombarded this week with thoughts and they are running rampant in my mind. Over the weekend I was reading the chapter for this week and at the Women of Faith conference singer Sandi Patty hit me with my first reality check. She talked about her battle with weight....whoa....was she talking to me? Was she talking to me????? If you read my Saturday post then you know that when she auditioned for Disney they rejected her because of her WEIGHT.....did those people not hear her VOICE! They were idiots! A number of her life stories that she shared had to do with those kinds of disappointments....she was discovered by the Gaithers....they were smart people....they saw and heard...what was on the inside.....they hired her. She talked about her struggle with weight and how she has currently lost 75 pounds. She shared what brought her to this decision....she kept asking God to help her with her weight....and then at a doctors appointment one day with cholesteral out the roof...she told the doctor she could not have lap banding because she did not believe God would want her too. I have to admit...that sounds painfully familiar to me and hit really close to home. The doctor, in his infinite wisdom, said, "I don't think God wants your family to be without their mom." Point taken. Being overweight is bad for your health....it is as bad as smoking, taking drugs, drinking...it is a sin...because it is brought on by overindulgance....or to use biblical terminology....gluttony. In today's world where athletes, actors, bad people are idolized by our young people I have a different kind of hero. Sandi Patty is my hero. It is hard enough to talk about our weaknesses in a small group....let alone one the size of the conference. I think there were over 10,000 women there. It was hard just now for me to write about it on this post. I don't know how many readers will read this....but it was still hard....it made me almost nauseated to hit the post button. The next speaker/performer that nailed me to the wall was Mandisa....another heavyweight....in more ways than one. I saw Mandisa two years ago at Christmas. She and Matthew West were doing a concert at Frazier UMC and Kat had gotten me tickets. She had just started on her weight loss program then....I came home...and began my own....if Mandisa could do it...so could I. I lost 52 pounds and then slid off my wagon when my parents were missing and my life began to snowball.....Sigh! Where was my resolve and discipline then? Mandisa, shared that she had...key word there was had....lost 80 pounds. But...had gained half of that back....but she had turned it over to God and was working on it again. She talked about her own battle with self esteem. Let me tell you....I believe that Mandisa is a beautiful woman....even overweight....ok...so if I can believe that about her....why can't I believe it about myself? Shucks...that is easy...Mandisa IS a beautiful woman....and I AM a plain Jane. The whole time she talked....there were two voices talking in my head....One voice was telling me to listen and believe what she was saying....the other telling me to look at her and see how beautiful she was and then reminding me that my cousin told me I looked like my grandmother.....tears fell from my face the whole time she talked. So today I have to come clean and share a few things with you....because today is another day....and I am going to put on another attitude. From the time I was a teenager...I have had little to no self-esteem. I was surrounded by Mega A type personality beautiful people.....I had/have beautiful friends....but it was not me. My singing partner cousin is one of the prettiest women I know....as is my other singing partner....but I am plain. There is no way to dress up plain...believe me...I have tried. Oh people have told me I was pretty....but I always knew they were just saying that. I have many flaws....and then to top all the flaws off...I have been heavy most of my life. My sweet Frank always tells me how beautiful I am and you know...when he says it....and I see the look on his face....I believe.....I just need to leave that stinking mirror alone. But....back to the book review....a queen is an admired woman, the most powerful chess piece, a women eminent in rank, power, or attractions, a female ruler. My job is to claim my beauty and feel my power....so how do I banish the inner crone? As little girls we have been brought up to believe the fairy tales about beauty....we have all looked into a mirror and asked some version of the age old question, "mirror, mirror on the wall..." and been unhappy with the imagined response...at least I have. Grandma Moses said, "Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be."....so what are you saying Grandma...that this self-esteem issue is all my fault? Well duh! I have to agree with Ethel Barrymore, "You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself." Regrets are a waste of time...because who or what I was...is not who I am right now...at this very moment. I actually love my life right now. I am content and at peace....until I look into the mirror. But, I have got to enjoy the scenery in life...even if I am on a detour. "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach the stars to change the world." Thanks Harriet Tubman for that inspiring piece of prose. I do don't I? I have the power...and it is within me....to be whatever I want to be. "No one can make me feel inferior without my consent" was said by a great woman....one we can all look up to....Eleanor Roosevelt. So why do I continue to let that negative voice continue to lie to me? That mongol horde battles with me on a daily basis...eager to make me feel worse about myself than I already do....ready to make me feel like a failure.....and that is where I got....the mongol horde...can't MAKE me a failure...they can only make me feel that way....I MAKE me...when I let them win....so todayI am making a royal proclamation and telling the mongol horde's if they can't say anything good to me....to just keep their opinions to themselves. I am going to banish all negatives from my life.....and I AM the Queen of my own life....and I can do just that. Oh.. I know they will always be out there....but....I found out at the conference and in the book....that I am not alone. I am not someone who has used food as a shield or comfort....Sandi Patty and Mandisa have too....how exciting. I am taking my queenliness to a new high.....I realize I can't do this alone....so I am asking the Prince of Peace for help, guidance, and strength as I go forth into battle....and with God on my side....there is nothing impossible!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.