Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2nd Runner Up at Ms. Wheelchair America!

I'm back from South Dakota! Wow, did I have an amazing time meeting some pretty remarkable women from all across the nation. Not only did I gain great memories and friendships, but I also learned a lot about myself, too. The host state was extremely helpful and accomodating as well as the hotel we stayed at. I was thoroughly impressed by the people of Rapid City and their hospitality. Great place to visit for sure!

An immense "thank you" goes out to Terry and Karen Charlton for the countless hours they put in to making this pageant a huge success. They were definitely the engine behind the machine along with the Ms. Wheelchair America Board. I'm proud and honored to represent my great state of California as well as to have placed in the Top 5 and be selected as 2nd Runner Up! Thank you to the judges and everyone else for this great blessing.

With everything in life, it's important that we use it as a chance to grow and reflect on what we learned. This past week was no different as I definitely had an opportunity to learn from other people as well as learn things about myself, too. Here are some of the things I learned from this past week:

* I learned that not everything is as it appears, and sometimes people will do whatever it takes to get where they want to be, even if it means hurting others.

* I was reminded of the fact that I am a confident woman who knows who I am and am confident in my walk with the Lord. Though I may not always be "perfect," I am covered by grace.

* I was reminded when it's appropriate to say "I'm sorry" and when it's ok to stand your ground.

* I learned that sometimes believing the best in people isn't always the best approach.

* I gained a new sense of appreciation for those who deal with more adversity than I on a daily basis.

* I found out it's ok to be around other women in wheelchairs, and that most are pretty cool chicks!

* I had my spirit rekindled as I gained a new-found appreciation for advocacy and how important it is that my voice be heard in a positive and encouraging manner for those who don't speak up and/or those who tarnish what is being done in America for those with disabilities.

* I was reminded that being a confident woman is intimidating to some people.

* My eyes were opened to what it means to be a "caregiver" and how important their role is to those they are helping out.

There are so many valuable lessons I learned this week beyond these few points. In many ways, I was out of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I realized how important it is for me to surround myself with solid people in my life, especially other Christians. It was important to me that I stayed true to myself and true to who I am as a Christian this past week, though admittedly there were a few times that I failed. I hope all of you enjoyed keeping up with my week via the Ms. Wheelchair California blog. If you didn't get a chance to read it, please go visit the site. You'll find great pictures as well as great stories about the days activities.

I am so proud of the fact that I placed in the Top 5 with some other great women, and I couldn't be happier about the fact that I got 2nd Runner Up. I will continue to support the Ms. Wheelchair America program and all that it exudes with my own advocacy work during my reign as Ms. Wheelchair California as well as after my reign is over. Life is a constant journey. It's not a matter of making it to the end, but how you get to the end that matters. I hope that each of you are living with purpose and that you know what your purpose is.

To learn more about the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant and if there is a program in your state, please click here.

To read more about the Ms. Wheelchair California program, please click here.

To read my blog as Ms. Wheelchair California, please click here.