Monday, July 17, 2017

Preparing for Nationals

I cannot think of a better time to talk about how I am preparing for nationals! The past five days have been filled with hair appointments, dress alterations, makeup lessons and mock interviews. I have taken the 50 minute drive to Fargo so much this week I could probably do it with my eyes closed (but I won’t, because that’s illegal). As busy as this week has been, the drives to Fargo have given me time to mentally prepare for nationals as well. Because, even though the hair, makeup and wardrobe are important aspects of a pageant, your mentality and reason for being there is more important than anything else. With that in mind, I have been extremely intentional of my thought process during these final weeks leading to up to the pageant. In the car I either had my favorite worship album playing or an inspiring podcast. I recently found a great pageant podcast called “Winning a Pageant” by Alycia Darby. I love her messages because they have lots of practical information and are rooted in the idea of not simply chasing crowns, but chasing goals and dreams, and embracing the crown as an opportunity to fulfill those dreams.

One of the biggest truths I have discovered about pageantry is:

The crown itself should never be the ultimate goal. The crown is simply an avenue for your goals to shine in a unique way. 

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t want to win the crown. As a matter of fact, I certainly want to win the crown and I will continue to give my all to this journey because there is no point in doing something and not giving it your best. It is an honor to hold my state title and doing my best is how I show gratitude for this honor. Plus, I am competitive by nature, so I get a bit of a thrill in working hard towards a win! But here’s the real truth: the 60-something other ladies around me are not my competition. I cannot possibly try to be the best version of them, I can only be the best version of me. I am my own competition. The journey is not about looking left or right to outshine someone else.

This journey is about looking within and above. It’s about digging deep within myself to discover who I am to the core, then looking up and saying “God, how can I best represent you in this journey?’ 

In order to do this, I ask myself 3 very important questions:

Why did I decided to enter this pageant?
This is where I lock in my tangible reasons for choosing the pageant journey. This is when I commit to memory my reasons for signing up for a pageant and, specifically, why I chose the International Pageant System. 

Why did I choose my platform?
This is where I dig deep and look at why I’ve made the choices I made to serve my community. I take time to think about all the things that drew me towards being a youth leader. I also reflect on the choices I’ve made, like when I chose to move across the country to be a youth pastor. 

How can I best communicate this during pageant week?
This is where I come up with a strategy on communicating clearly and concisely why I deserve the crown. I have to use my creativity to make a bold impression that is memorable.

Competing at a national pageant is filled with thrills, excitement and nerves. There are moments of pure joy and bliss and there are other moments (like interviews) where you feel the butterflies in your stomach. Then, once you exit the interview room, there is sense of relief and accomplishment! Do you see what I’m getting at here? It’s about the process. It’s about remembering to enjoy every moment and learn from the journey. When I decided to compete for Mrs. North Dakota International, I did it out of obedience to something God was calling me to do. I won out of obedience and, now, I prepare for Internationals out of obedience to the purpose that God has for my life. 

Success at the pageant, and with anything in life, does not rest in the outcome, it rests in the obedience

Until Next Time,
Angelina Yarbrough
Mrs. North Dakota International 2017

Turning Moments Into Movements