Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ready for Battle


Last month was my first month as one of the co-hosts for God’s View, and unfortunately, it was also one of the hardest month of my life. Sean and I were at each other’s throat. The stress of moving, and having to take four truck loads that entailed driving 9 hours round trip, without taking a break..Well, that’s enough to make any marriage cringe.

And my marriage is no different, it’s not perfect...We fight, we argue, we want to give up at times… But we don't.

Nonetheless, I learned an important lesson. I went from reaching hundreds maybe thousands, to millions. Millions of people all over the world are watching me and hearing the good news. Then a light bulb went off, “I’m on the front lines.” I was basically put on the “front lines” and I wasn't “armored for battle.” You see, I wasn’t preparing myself, praying, reading the word, and having others pray for me.

I know some of my readers aren't religious, and that's okay. First, let me assure you, you don't have to be religious to be Mrs. International, however I have a relationship with my creator and it's impossible for me to talk or write without mentioning Him.

With that said, I can't reiterate how important it is to spend time reading the word, praying, and having others standing in prayer with you. If we don't have to go through things alone, then why do we?

It's so much easier to win a battle having many warriors, than it is with only one.

The same goes for spiritual battles, you don't have to fight alone. Ask for help, ask for prayer, let someone stand in agreement with you.. There is nothing wrong with needing help, or being vulnerable, it's okay. We aren't meant to be alone, we need one another.

Well this time, I wasn't going to go through the same thing. I asked for prayer, before and after! This time, I have my “warriors” standing, ready for battle.

So I ask you this, “Are you equipped for battle?”

I’m your Mrs. International reminding you-

TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Trip To Utah International Pageants


I was able to attend the Utah International Pageants! It is always amazing to meet and see contestants as well as Ansley, Miss Teen Utah International 2016. Here are a few more details about how my trip went!


The first day I arrived was rehearsal the ladies worked hard on mastering the opening number and different areas of competition. Rehearsals are always fun to watch, it makes me miss all of the girls from nationals. That is where the true bonding happens. From helping each other zip dresses to awkward dance parties to help calm your nerves, the stage is where most of your memories are made.


The second day was night one of competition which I had the honor to emcee at.I had never had the opportunity to emcee before but it was so much fun. I loved being able to see the ladies from that viewpoint as well as share with the audience about my year so far as Miss Teen International, Go Red for Women, and having a heart healthy lifestyle while on the go.


Early the next morning, were the interviews. I was able to help guide the girls through the process of interviews as far as how it works and what style of questions they will be asked. Some words of encouragement and a prayer was said and they were ready! The most important thing you can remember for interview is that the judges are not there to scare you. They were hand picked by the director and pageant board because they are kind and qualified people. The judges have read your paperwork and are excited to finally meet you in person. Plus, they have a hard job in some cases they are more nervous the you are!


After interviews we had a luncheon where all of the girls heard motivational speeches from sponsors and their wonderful director Tiffany McKay! There was a small break before the final night of competition. Of course there were a few ups and downs and nerves. One of them being a little princess who froze on stage! That's okay though, nerves are natural and she was so little! The finals night was awesome all of the ladies did a fantastic job. Congratulations to the new Miss Utah International, Maddie Jonely, and the new Miss Teen Utah International Madison Baldwin! Have an amazing year ladies!


"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

February & February


February will always hold a special place in my heart. It brings back many painful memories and many beautiful memories. In February many years ago… I used eating disorder symptoms for the first time.

I still vividly remember how dark and alone I felt on that day.

I wish that I could look my younger self in the eye and just give her a hug. The hug wouldn’t “fix it” but maybe it would strike a cord that would cause symptom use to stop for a brief moment. I wish I could go back and speak Truth into my own life. There was so much brokenness and worldly searching for approval… when in reality I just needed to seek Jesus.

Sometimes when I’m journaling late at night, I find myself reflecting on that low point in my life. I was at my personal rock bottom. However… I find it so beautiful that even in the depths… God was writing His story and would exchange my brokenness for true beauty in Him.

February hosts NEDA Week - National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It’s also the month my eating disorder began to show itself through symptom use. I don’t believe in coincidence, and I know that all things work for our good and His glory.

How beautiful is it that my struggle showed itself during the same month that I would later spend advocating for years down the road?

Yes, it’s tough…. but come on! How amazing is that? That’s not chance - that’s beauty in action by our Heavenly Father! My pain led to a greater purpose and I’m so blessed that my 2017 February looks so different than it did many years ago. February to February… wow. I know it sounds crazy, but that genuinely makes me smile and rejoice.

The pain I faced was dark and full of fear… but I was never alone. I love thinking about the fact that my Healer was sitting in the Heavens above looking down at me seeing how all the pieces would fit together and holding me in the palm of His hand. It truly makes me cry tears of joy when I think about how loved I was… even in the darkness.

Beauty for ashes.

There is no Healer like our Lord. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, I want to look you in the eye and give you a hug. Recovery is possible. Some time from now… you’ll be in my shoes and looking back with joy and strength from the challenge you’ve overcome. You’re never alone and I am praying for you to know the treasured jewel you are.

If you or someone you know is challenged by an eating disorder, please visit www.nedawareness.org and help me change the world during NEDA Week February 26th, 2017 - March 4th, 2017.

You are beautiful. You are chosen. You are able. You are worthy.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Prioritizing - Choosing Love


On the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's weekend.

Two steps forwards, one step back.Sometimes in life you have to take a step back before you can move forward.

Our trip to New York was our “one step back.” Sean and I had been moving for the last four weeks. Seriously! Packing, loading a Uhaul, driving 4.5 hours, unloading the Uhaul, then unpacking, then driving 4.5 hours back to the old house, packing to load the Uhaul and driving to unload it, then doing it all over again and again...Four times!

Yes, four Uhaul loads later, and we are “done,” well at least with that part of the move.

Immediately after we unloaded the last Uhaul, Sean and I left for New York. Sounds crazy, but we had no choice, (due to fashion week’s schedule.) Turns out, they won't change the dates to fashion week, even if it's for a tired, overworked-beauty queen/mom/wife/mover. Who would have known!?

We weren't through packing, we had tons to do, it was “the worst time to leave”

But the trip turned out to be the greatest “medicine”, and exactly “what the doctor ordered!”

Fear said, “Don't go, you have too much to do. You need to stay home and unpack…”

If we'd listen to fear, we'd never go anywhere, we'd never take a chance, and we'd never try something new.

Sean and I, decided to go to New York together...Even though the timing wasn't right, we were super busy, we shouldn't have taken time away from work... BUT, we did. And guess what!?

The work was still there when we got back, the house didn't “burn down” and the kids didn't forget who we were...Nothing happened!!

Nothing except, two desperate-for-a-date-parents got to spend some much-needed time together, got to rekindle their “fire” and fall in love all over again.

Love wins again!

The point is, sometimes you need to take a step back, before you can take a step forward.

If you're overworked, sleep deprived, emotionally and physically drained, YOU’RE NO GOOD!

Take a little time for yourself, go away for a day, a weekend, or maybe get a mani-pedi, a massage, or play a game of golf...Whatever it takes to unwind.

And I promise you, would be more productive, happier and more loving.

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-

TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla

Use Your Voice!


As an eighteen year old, sometimes I am not taken seriously by adults. I am sure some of my fellow teen titleholders have had similar experiences. It is hard for someone of any age to speak up about issues they feel our important. It's even harder to go to elected officials and give your opinion and try to influence their vote. However, despite your fear I encourage you to. Once you make an appointment and get in the conference room, it isn't as intimidating as it seems. However, here are a few tips on lobbying for your cause.

Be Prepared:

Representatives and Senators ask the tough questions. They have experience with people coming in and speaking to them about a lot of issues. Therefore they typically know what to ask. Make sure to be prepared and cover your bases before stepping into their offices.

Leave Behind Packet:

Create a folder of materials to leave behind in their office. This should include a simple one page document explaining the issue and what you would like them to help with as well as something with bold graphics that are eye catching. I have seen some large corporations even leave a small gift such as a mini flashlight with their logo or contact information on it. This is completely optional, I have lobbied many times without leaving a gift and have still gotten support for my topic.

Dress Appropriately:

Senators and Representatives come to work everyday in a suit or nice shirt and tie with slacks. They take their work seriously so, your attire should match that type of atmosphere. I like to be in a professional looking dress that covers or in a suit of some sort. If you walk in looking professional then they will take you a lot more seriously.

I am excited to see what amazing thing you all will be lobbying for! I hope this helps you walk in with confidence.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." -Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

It's Okay To Ask For Help


It's disappointing that stigmas keep people from getting the help they need. I was in that position for many years; I get it. You consider asking for help… know you probably need it… yet remain silent out of fear. The enemy of our heart tells us that either people won't care or that they will judge you for “not measuring up.” It's a scary time and one that continues to drive you into depression and whatever your challenge is. That dark voice will hold you hostage until hope speaks out. Our culture has made it to where asking for help is a sign of weakness and terrible act.

For me, I was afraid that telling my parents and loved ones about the eating disorder I was facing would make them feel guilty - disappointed - and like it was their fault. I questioned if asking for help would even do anything. Would I even be able to overcome it? Would seeking help actually save me from this plague on my life? Would I ever be healthy and happy? Would my life forever be marked with an eating disorder?

It's okay to ask for help. It doesn't mean you are unworthy or broken. It means there is a sliver of hope. It means realizing that you were created for more. You have purpose and you're worth fighting for. Seeking out help is a sign of courage - not weakness. Forget the stigma around mental illness or seeking out a counselor… asking for help is worth it… and it's okay.

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016

Growing Pains


My daughter has been having the worst growing pains. To where I have to keep kids Tylenol ready, in my nightstand along with an endless supply of Epsom salt in her bathroom. So when she wakes up screaming, I'm ready with Tylenol. I give her a salt bath and I massage her leg, until late she falls back to sleep.

In those annoying moments, where it's 2 AM, I'm exhausted and crabby, God speaks to me.

Just like my daughter Adonai Grace, my family has been experiencing "growing pains."

Ever since we moved out of our "comfort zone" in Texas, next to our friends and family, things were more difficult, but blessed! Behind every obstacle, there were blessings.

Imagine a video game, let's say Super Mario. (Cause that's what I grew up playing.) The higher the level, the more difficult it gets. Every time you defeat a level, then the obstacles become more difficult. Mario never just “hangs out” in a level, he is constantly moving forward, onto the next challenge.

As Sean and I move (literally), to the next level, we are constantly being challenged. But that's life! You can't "grow" without experiencing some "growing pains."

If you want to get the girl or guy, or you're trying to make the cut, get the scholarship, or get the promotion…. You need to take it to the next level! AND, when you experience the "growing pains" DON'T STOP! It's a good sign, your victory is coming!

Lastly, remember that nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible!"

I'm your Mrs International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,

Priscilla