An Open Mind, A Servant's Heart, Dedication & Passion

When one begins a business its only right that they have a business plan. The same could be said if someone is a contractor and that they have blueprints before they begin construction.  My year as Mrs. North Dakota International 2015 has neither a business plan nor a set of blue prints. Rather, I have an open mind, a servant’s heart, dedication to North Dakota and passion for The Joy of Sox and faith in the Lord.

·      An Open Mind.  Having an open mind is important to be flexible. When God presents you with an opportunity it is always with great purpose, so it best to not question it, and open your mind and be flexible and “roll with it.” You can be amazed at where an open mind can lead you.
·      A servant’s heart. Before my home was bought out by Fargo Flood Protection, I was often eager to jump into the bigger or more social volunteering opportunities and not the tedious, or less celebrated positions. It was during my time when my family and I moved from house to house and even a campsite without a permanent home that I found value in the small everyday opportunities. Such as simply chopping vegetables in the back room of The Salvation Army or the less than glamorous job of sorting donated socks in my garage. The simple tasks fuel my soul like gasoline to an engine. I became humbled at these opportunities as God fueled me to change my perspective. 
·      Dedication. This is fundamental, it says a lot about a person’s values and integrity.  These days we live in an instant society, if you want a meal, your house cleaned, or most anything all of these things are clicks or calls away. If you do use phones they must operate immediately and if it takes more than a few seconds I have seen some get frustrated. It can be easy to walk away but dedication is real commitment. Sticking with something when you do not see instant results, it’s in trouble, boring or difficult that is what is hard, that’s dedication.     
·      Passion. When you have an unquenchable thirst and you are driven by an unrestrained urge to search high or low to find something, anything to drink-that is passion. For some passion can be found if you can satisfy a particular craving by only pouring your time and attention. For some its music, and that elated feeling of happiness someone can get from simply listening to music. For some its running, and they can tap into superhuman qualities and run astounding amounts of miles, that is passion. For me is simply providing socks to the homeless.

So, I start of my year ahead not with business plans, blue prints or list of to-dos. I begin as all things with God, with a spirit of adventure with an open mind, a servant’s heart, dedication and passion that I am going to whole heartedly give to the State of North Dakota, The Joy of Sox and the homeless population I serve. I only know that I my year ahead will provide comfort, warmth, dignity and hope for the homeless, and so far it has been amazing.

Erin Bertel 
Mrs. North Dakota International 2015

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