Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting Ready for the Change

I've received so many emails over the last day or so from my last blog entry, "When God Brings a Change", so I thought I'd go a step further with it. No, I'm not leaving WLBT or at least not right now, although there may be some WLBT fans who wish I would leave (I'm smiling). But I'm just like you..God brings change into my life almost on a daily basis. Some changes are bigger than others and I'm open to whatever that may be, even in my career.

In reading some of the personal emails the blog readers have sent me this week, many are struggling with hearing from God and being frustrated He isn't answering fast enough. I've been there before, too, so I thought I'd share one way God got me through that difficult time 10 years ago.

I remembered hearing a story about a mother living through the depression years in the 30s & 40s. She said her cupboard was bare and she didn't have much food to feed her family because times were so tough and they had run out of food. She prayed and prayed for God to intervene and she felt the Holy Spirit tell her to "set the table anyway". She didn't think much about it and days went on without any food except the flour and sugar they had left in the cupboard. Once again, she felt God tell her "set the table anyway". She finally realized God was wanting her to exercise her faith in setting the dinner table, even though the food was scarce, in preparation for what God was going to do. That way, her table would be ready when the food came. Within a few days, her husband got a job and they were able to pay for food again and feed the family.

During the year I wasn't working in television because WAPT was suing me and we were tied up in court, I found other jobs to do. I did some public relations for the Madison County Chamber, babysat children and other odd jobs, but I still felt God's calling to be back in broadcasting as a meteorologist. When I heard that lady's story, I knew God was telling me to get my clothes and suits ready and get them dry cleaned for when I WAS to return to television. I even went so far as to pick out my outfits for each day of the week that I was going to wear once I was hired again and accessorized them with my jewelry in the jewelry box and each pair of shoes I would wear with each outfit. A few months later, WAPT dropped their lawsuit against me because of the negative publicity and WLBT hired me immediately.

All of this I share to say, get ready. God wants you to be ready for the next job, for the next move, for the next family challenge. You know what you need to do. Do it and be thankful to God "up front" for what He's about to bring your way!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When God Brings A Change

Have you ever felt like God was getting you prepared for a change? I remember when I worked at WAPT doing the morning weather. I told my mother I felt like God was preparing me for a change--something BIG was going to happen--something good. For those of you who know my career history, you remember that I left WAPT after my contract was up and was sued by the station to keep me from going to work for the competition. That was a tough year both financially and emotionally for me. All I could think of was, "God, when you said you were preparing me for a good change, I thought it would be better than this!" After a year went by, I was hired by WLBT to be their morning co-anchor and then promoted to be their first chief meteorologist in station history. Now I know God had it in His plan all along for me to leave WAPT.

Hebrews 6:15 says, "And so it was that Abraham, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God has promised him." The writer of Hebrews states that Isaac was a pledge of what was to come. God did not promise Abraham just one baby, He promised him that he would be the father of many nations. Many people today have a "pledge", or a little foretaste, of the good things that God has in His plans for them.

In I Kings 18, after a long period of drought that Elijah had prophesied, God told him to go and tell the wicked King Ahab that it was going to rain. Elijah spoke forth the Word of God by faith with no evident signs of rain. Then he went to the top of a mountain and began to pray. As he prayed, he sent his servant up to a higher point to check out the sky: six times the servant went and came back with the report of a sunny, cloudless sky. Finally, the seventh time he returned and reported, "I see a cloud the size of a man's hand." In the expanse of the sky, that is not very big, but it was enough to get Elijah motivated to take the next step of faith. He sent word to Ahab in verse 44, "Hitch your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you." This cloud, even though it was small, was a beginning of a great downpour. It was a pledge of good things to come.

Probably most of us who are believing God for something can find evidence of a small beginning: a little seed or a cloud the size of a man's hand. Rejoice over that seed. It is a sign of greater things to come!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pantene Hair Cutting Update

In 3 weeks, over 500 people will gather in Clinton to have their hair cut for Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. The hair is then made into wigs for women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy from fighting breast and other female cancers. The wigs are free. The hair that was donated last year helped us open up a wig bank at St. Dominic's Hospital in Jackson. Before last year's event, there was no wig bank in this state. I recently received an email from a lady who had the smile put back on her face after she had lost her hair due to chemotherapy. Here is what she wrote:
Barbie, while I was taking chemotherapy for breast cancer, I lost all my hair. People would tell me when my hair grew back I would have more beautiful hair than I had before......a bad joke in my case. It has been a year since my last chemo treatment and my hair grew back, but not a good crop on the top of my head. It is very thin. Today, I visited the wig room at St. Dominic's Hospital. A room full of hair!! I tried on several and made my selection. I asked the price and was told I owed nothing. It's free? Yes! I wanted you to know how much I appreciate the person who actually grew my "new hair" and to tell that person thank you. Thanks to you, Barbie, for getting the word out by donating your own hair and to all the people involved. This experience of "new hair" really humbled me and is helping me to feel better about my self image as well as helping me get my life back. Now I don't have to wear a hat all the time and for the first time in a long time, I smiled to the mirror.....What a thrill it was! Sincerely, Jeryl in Brandon
Jeryl's email made my day. It is amazing to hear how a simple wig gave a boost to her self image and made her feel more like a woman. On June 9, we'll make more days brighter for some women in Mississippi.

My daughter Gracie and I will have our hair cut on this day, along with Stephanie Bell-Flynt and her daughter Stevie (and you'll noticed both daughters are in the commercial). This commercial will begin running soon in the hopes of encouraging other women, men and children to sign up and join us.

(By the way, I wonder where Gracie got her southern drawl? Most people probably don't know the word "hair" has 2 syllables: "hay-yeh")

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Invasion of Complaining!

Something has invaded our house and I don't know how it got in. All of a sudden, my children have started whining and complaining about anything and everything: "my shoes are too tight, my shirt has ketchup on it, I don't like that, I don't want that, that's mine, I don't want to play with that, I don't like broccoli..." And the list goes on. Needless to say, we've been having daily conversations about how God does not like murmuring, complaining and whining (and neither does mom and dad).

Complaining is a corrupt form of conversation that causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives and it opens many doors for the enemy. Complaining and grumbling words are destructive; they destroy the joy of the one doing the complaining and can affect other people who have to listen to them! Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths." Complaining and murmuring pollute our lives and probably sound like cursing to the Lord.

When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers had a "complainer container". It was a small box which sat on her desk. Anytime one of her students complained about something, we had to drop a coin in the box. At the end of the month, the money that was collected in the complainer container was donated to her local church. By the end of the year, the collected coins were fewer and fewer. We got the point!

One of the qualities I admire about my co-worker Maggie Wade is that she is a thankful person. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for the good things, they don't have time to notice the things they could complain about.

How many times have I complained about what is going on in my life? When we complain about our current situation, we remain in it. But when we praise God in the midst of difficulty, He raises us out of it. The best way to start every day is with thanksgiving and gratitude. When we do this, we get a jump start on the devil because he will definitely try fill our thoughts and conversations with evil things during our day. We can complain and remain; or praise and be raised!

Friday, May 9, 2008

For The Mothers

We all have mothers. I didn't always agree with mine and no doubt, I rolled my eyes at her (and behind her back) on numerous occassions. I used to think that moms just cooked, rocked babies and cleaned house. Now I know those are just some of the responsibilities that most moms take on. Financial guru Dave Ramsey once said that if motherhood were a salaried position, a mother should be paid $149,000 a year! There would be alot of rich mothers out there for sure.

Over the years, I've come across proxy mothers who feel the same way about their "children". You probably know some of them or perhaps you are one: those are women who never bore children or who can't have children, but they quickly find a child to nurture as their own. They babysit when needed, remember birthdays and holidays, take them to get treats, and encourage that child like he was her very own. In my opinion, there is a special place in heaven for all of those "moms".

Allison Muirhead took pictures of me kissing each of my children. Next to each photo is the scripture verse I prayed over and recited for each child while I was pregnant with them. I'm happy to share Lilly Faith's picture and verse with you and hope if you have not done so, you will find a verse for your children. No matter their age and no matter whether they live under your roof or not, I believe it is imperative for us to pray over our children. I've often said if we don't pay over our children, Satan will prey on them at some point in their life.

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, will give you a spirit of wisdom and reveltaion so that you may know Him better." Ephesians 1:16-17

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trying To Be Beautiful

This month, I'm honored to be on the cover of "Beautiful" magazine. We did the photo shoot in March for their Mothers Day edition. You can find "Beautiful" in the hot pink stands across the metro area at places like Banner Hall, Material Girls, Two Sister's Kitchen and Keifers. The magazine is all about fashion, makeup and articles which make women feel 'beautiful'. Again, thanks to editor David Creel and artistic director Holly Collums for asking me to be a part of this project.

Ok, so I admit, I'm having a hard time 'feeling' beautiful these days. I'm tired of wearing black and looking at the pooch on my lower tummy. Sure, I'm exercising and dieting. I'm even continuing to apply my anti-wrinkle cream at night to offset these wrinkles that seem to have popped up after my delivery! Then I was reminded of the words Peter wrote about women in I Peter 3:3-5, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."

I don't think Peter was suggesting women neglect their outer looks (goodness knows, no one would've ever gotten married back in those days!). But Peter says God holds a woman's spirit to be worth more than her outward appearance. The women in Peter's day obviously knew this because he said that's what the women in that time focused on: their inner beauty.

When I get to heaven, I want Jesus to say to me, "Stand there and let me see how much you look like me."