Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There really is a Princess!

Majority of people at some point in their lives will see a movie that tells a story of a young girl becoming a Princess. To some of us, like me, that first time we see that movie as a young girl we dream of the opportunity to be a Princess.  However being life is not always a fairytale, we recognize that this is no easy task.  Then the day comes where for one instance you truly feel like a Princess, whether it be your high school prom, your wedding day, or just because you are having a great day.  It is as that point that you realize you do not have to be in a fairytale to be a Princess.

As Miss ND International 2011, I can honestly say there have been many times I have felt like a Princess.  In some ways, this could be influenced by my family considering they have taken this phrase and turned it into my new nickname.  But in any case, it was not until recently when I had heard a story about a fifth grade girl that the thought of what it truly meant to be a Princess sunk in.    

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak at an event that was called “Safe Night 2011.”  This event has been taking place in Emmons County for the past couple of years.  The small towns that make up Emmons County rotate every year to a different school to have the event.  This year, it was in Strasburg, North Dakota.  The event is targeted at fifth through seventh graders with each year covering different topics.  It was truly an honor to speak at the event but more importantly do get a positive reaction from the students.  As adults, we realize that high school may not be the easiest road in life, and if we are able to encourage children at a younger age to make better decisions and teach them about self-esteem, high school may not be so bad. As I talked to the students I was reminded of the quote by E.E. Cummings, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

After leaving the event, I felt good and felt as though I was able to make a difference in at least one person’s life.  Yesterday, I heard a story about a fifth grade girl who heard me speak and went home to her mother and said, “Mom, there really is a Princess!” She went on to tell her mom what I had talked about that day but thought that Princesses were only in the movies.  My picture is now hanging up on her wall in her bedroom, and every day she is reminded that you do not have to be in a fairytale movie to be a Princess.  What this little girl does not know, is it truly touches my heart to know how much impact one person can have on another person’s life.  Not only did a part of her grow that day but so did my outlook on life.  It is important to remember that we all have the power to make a change in people’s lives, in turn receiving that wonderful feeling that you truly meant the world to someone, even if it was just for one day. 

      



Yours truly,
Stacy Schaffer
Miss North Dakota International 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

YWCA Women of the Year Event

Through this experience of being nominated as a YWCA Woman of the Year, God has laid it on my heart to share a powerful illustration written by my business mentor. It focuses on the importance of serving others with our unique gifts.  No matter how big or small we are, how important a job seems or if we will get recognition or not…..we cannot give up because we are part of a greater plan that we cannot always see.

Sandbagging for Jesus By Dennis Seeb
During the flood of 2009 I spent a lot of time sandbagging. Sometimes I was assisting on location and some times at the Fargo Dome.  On location there may be as many as fifty or seventy-five or more people in a line of all shapes and sizes, all ages passing a sand bag from one person to the next. If you are in that line your role is to do just that. If you are the tenth person you get the bag from the ninth person and hand it to the eleventh person and so on. That is how it works. Eventually it makes it to the end of the line and then gets properly placed.  It is an effective and efficient way to get the job done.  When you are one of the first people in the line away from the river you never really see the end result. You can look one way and see the bags coming to you and look the other way and see the bag going away from you. That is where faith comes in. I am trusting that each person will do their job. That is what I believe.

What if you were back at the Fargo Dome working there miles from the river? That requires even more faith. What if you had one of the simple jobs of opening up the sand bags? How important is that role?

Everyday our encounters with people are just like that. When we truly live what we believe in does it matter what part of the line we are in? Sure it would be nice to see the finished project once in awhile and I believe Jesus gives us each that opportunity on occasion and it is wonderful. But most of the time we are somewhere in the middle of the line so that is where our faith comes in to play.   Our job is to live centered in Christ, to do our role and then allow faith to take over.

Today I am seeing a finished project in my life. Tomorrow, I will be in the middle, or maybe at the start of the line. It is a great honor to accept this nomination but it is an even greater honor to make it widely known that I never would have achieved my success without the tireless work of those around me. 

Shelle M.
Mrs. ND International 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FamilyLife

One and one-half year ago, life was not so grand at the Moran house.  Our marriage that was anything but storybook…. “Who signed me up for this?”  I thought.  “Where is the escape hatch?” He thought.  Lost and ready to call it quits, we attended a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Conference.  It changed our marriage…..it changed our lives.  I know there are other couples who are struggling like we were.  What is missing is a Spokeswoman sharing her story authentically and transparently that can guide others to the answers and tools that can save a marriage or take a marriage from good to GREAT! As Mrs. North Dakota, I have been given that opportunity!
 
March 4-6th, Colin and I were able to assist with the Fargo conference. After the event, we were privileged to some comments from several of the hundreds of couples who attended! These comments pack quite a punch......so much that God has touched Colin to bring him to the front lines to join me in the fight for marriages! Imagine what can be accomplished when a husband/wife team tackles this platform TOGETHER!
 “It gave me a biblical focus cause I know what we are doing isn’t working. Now I believe with God at the helm, we can follow his guide and succeed in our marriage.” Married 23 years
“After 8 years and 3 kids, 5-3-2 and 4 miscarriages, then falling into temptation and having “issues”, this was life changing. It gave me hope and direction as a husband, a father, a servant and a warrior.” Married 8 years
“It was a miracle to get here as the odds were against us. We almost didn’t come, but at the last minute decided and said, “What can we lose?” Our marriage was at the breaking point and ready to be ended due to my actions. After the first day, I felt God change something inside of me and after the last day, I can say there’s hope and we will make it. This conference saved my marriage and saved my life. Thank you WTR.”  Married 3 years
The end of April, Colin and I will be traveling to Little Rock, AR to tour the FamilyLife Headquarters and meet the staff! We will also be participating in the Weekend to Remember Conference in Rogers, AR as part of our commitment to take time out from obligations and work on our marriage!
FamilyLife Ministries Opportunities in Fargo-Moorhead:
There is a movement to build homes……part of our mission this next year is to begin small pockets of “Homebuilders” in the area. There are many opportunities to bring tools to the hands of couples without having to set foot outside their doors and for the over achieving types, events that could use some leg work.
·         Email mentoring
·         Mentoring
·         Small group studies
·         Online Resources
·         WTR Event
·         Art Of Marriage – DVD events
·         Prayer teams
Are you ready to stand up and fight for marriages?!?