Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Raggedy Doll No More

Dear Treasured Friends,

Things have been so busy since the show launched, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to write and put things together. But I wanted to share this with you, because it's something that touched me so much the first time I read it, and it still means a great deal to me.

This is a poem by Celestine Davis Todd, who was one of the winners of the Beauty Live makeovers. Celestine has had to overcome so much, and she has done it by looking to God. Over a month has passed since Beauty Live, and I know that the pampering and TLC she got that day, the friends she made, and the love she felt made a difference for her.

 I was so moved to find this poem enclosed with the rest of Celestine's application because it showed me that she hasn't given up. It showed me that she knew that she had been through a lot and that she was dealing with challenges. But it also showed me that these things had not overtaken her, and that she could really use the rest and relaxation that we got to give her. And she did! She and the rest of the winners are still in touch, and they will always be able to share with each other and support each other.

I'm very lucky to be as busy as I am this year. I am living my dream, not just at home as a mommy and a wife but in my professional life as well. But I'm going to make sure that this year I carve out time to share with you about how important it is to believe in yourself, to treasure yourself, and to remember that, no matter your difficulties or challenges, you are worth so much.

With love,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Realizing A Dream

Today I'm writing a post for you that I never knew I'd get to write. I hoped that I would. I prayed that I would. I prayed hard that I would. But last Friday, after wrapping the first week of D: The Broadcast, I felt led to share my story and encourage you to believe in your dreams. 

I've wanted to be a television host since I was a little girl. I grew up imagining it. I would practice it in the mirror. I studied the people on local and national news who did it well. And when I finished up at school and moved to Los Angeles, I felt like I would get there soon. 

Was I wrong!

Dreams don't exist in a vacuum. Even though most people hold their dreams close and protect them, they are still part of life, and sometimes life does not cooperate. It can weigh you down. It can distract you. It can make dreams seem far away. And for me, as I was escaping from one marriage, entering into another and blending our families, and watching my hubby Emmitt build a second career for himself after football, my dreams didn't just seem far away. Sometimes, they seemed impossible. 

But God knows our dreams too, and He knows what he has planned for us. It might not make sense every minute of every day, but He has a way of pointing us in the right direction, of bringing us toward our true purpose. I sometimes lost sight of that, and I would forget to listen. But when I listened to God, when I cleared away all the distractions and outside voices and really found the time to hear Him, He would bring me a little bit closer.  

Today, this morning, I got there. It took a long time, a lot longer than I'd ever expected, but I got there. But last night, I had a thought about that. As I was thinking about how long it took for me to get to this moment, with butterflies in my stomach because I was thinking about the start of D: The Broadcast, I found that it really didn't matter how long it had taken me to accomplish my goal. There was a lot of frustration in those years. There was a lot of joy. There were good times and there were bad times. There were new things and there were challenges. But in the end, the number of hours, days, and years it took really didn't matter. That's what is so incredible and powerful about dreams! If someone had told me when I was back home in Virginia that it would take 20 years for my dreams to come true, I wouldn't have cared about the 20 years. The important thing is that I would get there! 
I never let go of my dreams. I kept hoping. I kept praying. I kept working. I kept going. And you should too.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

Hi Everybody! 

What a whirlwind 2013 has been for me. I have been working on new Treasure You programs, speaking for women's groups, raising my family, and soon my new TV show project launches! Now, I'm ready to get back to blogging and I'd love to start by talking about a certain holiday that's coming up!!!

How many of you are hopeless romantics? At this time of the year, there are so many expectations around Valentine's Day that we sometimes lose sight of loving ourselves.
Valentine's Day can be very distracting. Instead of focusing on the love and the care that are at the heart of this day, we get all bogged down in what we think we need. And it happens to everybody! Even I have struggled in my past.

If you're with someone, it's way too easy to stress out planning an expensive evening. If you're single, you have to deal with all those ads for diamonds, flowers, chocolates and all the rest of it! It's enough to make everybody feel miserable on what's supposed to be a positive holiday! And when I say everybody deals with this in some way, I do mean everybody.

Earlier this week, I was catching up with a friend and the topic of Valentine's Day came up. I was so surprised when she cut me off! "I don't want to talk about that!" she said. "I'm single right now and I don't even want to think about it."

Now, this girlfriend of mine has so much going for her - she is beautiful, and she is successful. She is kind and she is smart. And yet she was letting this one little holiday get her down! It really reminded me how much power Valentine's Day has, but it also reminded me how many people look at it the wrong way. My girlfriend, and really everybody, should be using this week's holiday to love and treasure themselves! That doesn't mean you should cancel your date if you've got one, but it means that you should make sure you spend some part of the day treating yourself. Maybe that means a massage, or some chocolate, or maybe even a little present to yourself. That present could even be the gift of time! If you feel like you need more time to listen to God, more time with your family, or even just time to get away and bring some stillness to your life, give yourself that hour or two on Thursday. 

You deserve to treasure yourself. 

I'm going to be tweeting little ideas for how you can treasure yourself on Thursday. If you have any suggestions, tweet them to me or leave them here as a comment! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Heartfelt Greetings In Route To Anaheim

This past month or so, I've been reminded that doing God's work is a process. Just because you've been put on assignment or you've discovered His plan for you doesn't mean you're set. It means you've begun your journey, and to get through it, you are going to have to check in with Him all the time.

After my first two stops on the Women of Faith tour, I knew that I wanted to go deeper, to connect more with the women I was meeting across the country. I knew that my story and my ministry were important, but I wanted to really bond with people. The trouble was, I got so much feedback from so many different people that it was hard to know who to listen to, what to take away from what everybody was saying. To get to the heart of everything, though, I knew it would take feeling and hearing Psalms 46:10:

Be still, and know that I am God

I was going to make sense not just of what my friends were telling me, but of what God was telling me, I was going to have to get some alone time. As a mother of five, that is easier said than done.

But God has a way of helping you out if you begin to move in the direction He intends, and so little by little, my schedule started clearing up last week: a couple kids had to go to a sleepover, another had a birthday party to go to, Emmitt had to stay home a day longer, and all of a sudden, I had some time! And so, after a monthly prayer group meeting on Friday, I knew I had a chance, and I wasn't going to waste it. I turned off my phone, and, to really ensure I had some solitude, I even checked into a hotel. Once that door closed behind me, I just shut down, and began to listen.

In that room, God turned my speech upside down. I knew that my story, the one that God had put me on the road to deliver, was about finding my voice. I had thought, before I got out on the road and went to Oklahoma City, that it was about finding my voice in the shadow of Emmitt's success, but in that hotel room God showed me something different. He showed me that I was supposed to be sharing the story of my mother's voice, and the effect its loss had on me.

My mother was a strong, opinionated, loving woman. She meant so much to me, and when I was growing up I looked to her for everything: advice, support, care and friendship, as well as love. Her voice was always with me, but cancer took her very early, and when she died, I was just 22. Her death left a huge hole in my life. I didn't know where or how to find the love that I got from my mommy, and it took me years to realize that I could turn to God, that the most important thing a person can feel sometimes is that they are in God's will. I still miss my Mommy, but I also feel so much stronger now, because as much as I loved her and as much as she loved me, God has always and will always love me even more.
God had been showing that to me for a long time, but I don't know that I would have been able to see it if I hadn't gotten away from the chaos and the madness of my everyday life. We've all gotta get quiet sometimes. We all need to find the time to be still, to hear what God is saying to us. He is always talking, always sharing things with us, but so often we don't notice it because we are bogged down in the day-to-day mess that we all have.

And of course, there's no real getting away from that day-to-day, either. Just a few hours later, after I'd checked out of the room and was walking to my car, I found myself immediately feeling guilty, worrying about Emmitt and the kids. But when I got home, everything was fine: no fights, no broken bones, no chaos. It was like that stillness had followed me back from the hotel room, and I can't wait to share that with everybody over these next few weeks!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spokane, Washington

The Celebrate What Matters tour is officially up and running, and my second date is here!  Today, I am in Spokane, Washington busy preparing myself to share God's message with thousands of wonderful women, while reveling in the presence of God.

Deep down, I always knew that He would be there, but it's crazy how the enemy will attack before your breakthrough. Boy, did he attack.

All through rehearsals last week, I would stand in the rafters or sit at the foot of the stage, watching all my teammates and friends and girlfriends in Women of Faith. And as I watched, feeling the power of their ministry and seeing the comfort that comes with 10, 20 or even 30 years of experience ministering on the road, all I could think was: "I can't do this."

The enemy told me I wasn't in their league, that I couldn't follow up. The enemy told me I'd walked into a setup, that this was like everything else in my life. I thought this was going to be a win for me, but instead, the enemy told me I was about to be defeated.

Even though I knew that I was there on God's assignment, even though I knew He was there with me, I began to panic. And the more I watched and waited, the worse it got. Every day it got a little bit tougher. Then, just hours before our first show, I lost it.

It was during our lunch break when I started to feel like I was in trouble. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with doubt and fear and loneliness. I felt the brokenness that had accumulated in me; I felt it powerfully. And I was supposed to go out on stage in a matter of hours.

Suddenly, into my dressing room (and to my rescue) came Sheila Walsh and Sandi Patty and my spiritual advisor, Cathy Moffitt. And they were all praying over me. They reminded me that I was on an assignment from God, that He would be with me throughout this whole process. They lifted me up in a way that I will remember forever, and suddenly I found myself going out on stage to minister. 

After an incredible two days of hugs, love, and prayer in Oklahoma City, I got this text from Angie Smith:

Reading Angie's message, I realized that this past weekend in Oklahoma City was a setup. But it wasn't the enemy doing the setting up. It was God showing me what we have to go through to do His work, how deeply we have to commit to what He's planned for us. I know and feel that commitment now, and not even Satan himself can defeat me because of it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tonight's the Night!!!

It is truly amazing what God will show you when you are acting on His plan for you.

On Tuesday morning, I touched down in Oklahoma City to start rehearsing for the Celebrate What Matters Tour. It's an opportunity I'm truly blessed to have, and it's begun better than I could ever have imagined. From the minute I got off the airplane, people have been so friendly and so supportive, and it seems as though everybody is ready and focused on doing God's work. I am so incredibly humbled that God chose something so special for me.

It comes in the midst of an incredibly eventful time for my family, with my husband Emmitt about to embark on another season of Dancing With the Stars and my children being weeks away from important years of school. But like always, when you're in the middle of doing good for God, the Enemy has sprung an attack on us. Our 13 year-old daughter has been in the hospital, battling a virus that put her in the emergency room over a week ago.

Like all mommies, I hate leaving my babies for any reason, but these circumstances made it really tough to pack my suitcase. I had to find something to lean on for this trip, and I found it in Exodus 33:14.

And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.   

And the moment I got here, that rest came because I felt almost overcome with purpose from God. I do not know much about Oklahoma City. I have never been involved in a production so big and so elaborate (I've done things on TV before, but I'd barely even dreamed of being on a stage as big as Chesapeake Energy Arena!). But I feel at peace because I am on the path that God gave me, the one He put me back on. The best part is, He used Women of Faith to put me back on it a few years ago.

When I attended my first Women of Faith event just under a year ago, things could not have been any more different in my life. I felt silenced in my marriage, sitting in the background, in my husband's shadow while his public career had a second wind. I felt my dreams and ambitions slipping away from me.

I didn't think about it in these terms at the time, but I really just felt apart from God, cut off from what I felt was His plan for me. Going to Women of Faith with my dear friend Brenda Warner changed that. It planted the seeds for my ministry, for Treasure You, and for the work I do with Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities. It even renewed the love that I have about my family.

I know the next few weeks are going to be crazy - rehearsals starting at 7am, figuring out travel and logistics and schedule and somehow trying to stay connected to my five beautiful babies! But so much of the hurt and brokenness I felt when I first discovered Women of Faith has been replaced. And it humbles me so much to think that God wants me to do the same for all of you!

In just a few short hours, the Oklahoma City event kicks-off.  Please pray that God's work is done here and that all of the fabulous musicians, speakers and prayer warriors are blessed with good health and clear messages that serve His purpose.  I am so excited!!!
With Love,

P.S. Don't forget to "Treasure You"!