Journal

Underwear vs Bathing Suits

Posted by on June 4, 2017 | Leave a comment

Since my stance on #ANTM, I have often been asked what the difference is between a bathing suit and underwear are. Many people did not understand why I would wear one, but not the other. My explanation on Top Model didn’t get aired and I looked aloof, although if you know me at all, you know I stand strong, bold in my convictions.

First off, I want to say that not every bathing suit I have worn, I would wear again. As a Christian, you should have a desire to grow and be more like Him. With that comes a change in your heart, the way you think. He has shown me that not all of my decisions in this area have been good in His sight.

Before I EVER agreed to go back on Top Model (for the All Star edition) I got asked so many questions. One thing I clearly stated was that I was still modeling, but I didn’t do underwear anymore. I wore it on season one and felt SO uncomfortable. But, I sadly did it anyway. As I watched it back I was so embarrassed with myself. That was not the image I wanted to portray before the Lord and others.

On All Stars, the first photoshoot they have set up for me was to be a “Victoria Secret Angel.” Many girls have that dream of becoming one, but I did not. I knew this was set-up to see what I was going to do. The season was supposed to be about “branding.” They stated on the phone that I could make my brand whatever I wanted it to be. So when they told me about this shoot, I was a bit confused. I found a bathing suit and wore that instead of the underwear. I made it through the next several eliminations.

Now, we are in Greece and I got asked to do it AGAIN. This time the whole shoot for everyone was for a underwear line. I’m like, “not again. “They told me I could pick out one I felt “comfortable wearing.” They said I could wear anything on the racks. Lisa happened to find a bathing suit hidden away, but long story short, they changed their mind and wouldn’t let me wear it.

I got eliminated that episode. They aired the judges like they were confused with my stance. Funny thing is, I had such a crystal clear mind and explanation. You see if I would have done that shoot they would have eliminated me anyways. They would have said that my brand is a fake, or a lie. I would be saying one thing, but doing another. If you aren’t good for your word, then what are you good for?! After they eliminated me, on my way out, I put my hand in the air and proudly said, “always stand up for what you believe in. It will always be worth it in the end.”

Not every swimsuit they make these days I would wear. Yes, some do look like lingerie and you won’t be seeing me in them. I don’t wear underwear at the beach. I don’t wear it outside to go and get the mail. I would be floored if my dad, father in law, or my own pastor saw me in it. So why would I pose in it? For money? For fame? After I wore it on season one, I knew that was something that should be kept for my husband and him alone. We both decided that we wouldn’t do it (my hubby modeled too and that was his bread and butter, but gave it up) and would save that for each other.

Lingerie has a different connotation than swimsuits. One you think the bedroom. The other you think the beach. I also knew that agreeing to pose in underwear would cause me to go down a slippery slope. If I could do that, then why not do a little more. Make it a little smaller, a little more revealing. Once I felt ok with that, then why not go topless. You get my point? You have to set standards for yourself that no matter what, you WON’T compromise on them. I knew that was a path that I didn’t want to go down so I said no. It is a lot harder to say no, than it is yes. I was basically waving good-bye to my dream for the second time.

I have to listen to my conscience at all costs. I have to stand by my convictions, even if people don’t understand. It’s ok that people don’t get it or agree. When I stand before the Lord one day I will do it alone. I have to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. My first desire is to please Him, bring Him glory. He was the one that gave me the opportunity to be on that show anyways. It wasn’t because of me or anything I did. It was His favor.

The Lord wouldn’t give you a job to corrupt your walk with Him. He wouldn’t give you anything to draw you farther away from Him. Not every open door is from God. Some are tests. Are you going to take what you see, or will you wait on Him for His best. Faith is about what you don’t see, not what you see. I want to walk by faith, not by sight. Will you join me?!

For Him,

Shannon :)

Posted by on May 2, 2017 | Leave a comment

I am sharing my story with you because the Lord stirred me up. This part of me, I have desired to keep hidden away. I wanted it to be locked up in a vault no one could get in to. God pressed upon me that as long as I kept it a “secret,” I wouldn’t be able to share with others of the amazing power of the Lord Almighty. I would be missing out on giving others hope, that might be struggling with the same thing. I would essentially be robbing the Lord of the glory that was due Him and I did not want to do that. So, here it goes.

Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to become a model. Growing up this just never seemed like a possible option. In elementary school I was the girl with the bucked teeth, stringy hair, double chin, who refused to wear jeans because they were not comfortable around my rolls. I was on the chubby side. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I just never saw model.

As I entered Junior High, I had a growth spurt that caused me to lose all of my baby fat. It felt like it was overnight. I was suddenly tall and skinny. I almost felt like a different person. I grew to LOVE being thin.

When I was thirteen years old I decided to go to a model search. “This could be my opportunity,” I thought. There were going to be lots of different agencies there, so I knew I needed to give it my all. I assumed that meant being as thin as I could be. I started by cutting back on a few foods that I told myself I didn’t “need.” Then, I would start to eat less and less. I had a pretty high metabolism anyways, so when I did have to eat around others, I could and it wouldn’t affect my goal very much.

The devil had my mind so consumed with being thin that it was all I thought about. I would daydream all day about what I was going to eat later. I would imagine the taste of all kinds of different foods that were now “off limits.” I could remember how tasty, succulent they were, so that helped me not to give in to my cravings. I would pick up the magazines and pick a part the girls featured in there, comparing our bodies ever so precisely. I started not caring about anything else. I just wanted to be skinny. I thought it would make me happy. I found my worth by the number on the scale or the size of my jeans. I was so monopolized with this, that I allowed it to take over my mind. My mind had such a distortion upon it. I didn’t see it at the time. I didn’t see how skinny I was, for when I looked in the mirror, my eyes showed me a different picture. I gave in to the bait the devil enticed me with. I gave in to his lies, his manipulating thoughts.

I basically starved myself before this model search. A few days before my parents and I were to take off to Kentucky, I passed out while shopping at our local mall. Thankfully, I was with my mom checking out at the counter, because I could have really gotten hurt. After I passed out, I even peed myself. I was out for several seconds and before I knew it, the emt’s were checking my pulse. They put me on a stretcher, into the ambulance, and took me to the hospital.

Even as I am typing this, I am having to fight off tears, so bear with me. This is hard. I have seriously buried this memory and now I am reliving the terror of it all. The pain, agony I caused so many, even the ones I loved. I lied for this disease. I deceived others. I even robbed myself of precious time that I can’t get back. Ok, so I am now at the hospital, they take my blood, check me out. The doctor comes in and basically tells my parents that I have no nutrients in me. They were beside themselves. I felt so bad for them. It wasn’t their fault. I was allowing the devil to manipulate my mind. I was the one that fooled them.

My parents went back and forth as to if they should even take me to this model search. They were in complete shock that I was in this state. After MUCH deliberation, they decided to. I had to commit to drinking lots of Ensure drinks, and eat whatever they put before me. I obliged.  I had raised money to go by selling subs door or door and I didn’t want to miss out on this. And they didn’t want me to look back on my life and wonder “if I could,” so off we went.

There were hundreds of wanna-be models there. I was beyond exhausted from all the trauma that I caused my body. But, in a way, I was excited because I wanted to know if any agency saw any potential in me. Well, come to find out 7 agencies gave me a third call-back! That means they were very interested in me. One of those agencies was Elite in Chicago. I was pinching myself.I was so elated that these agencies wanted to pursue me after this search, but my heart grieved. I was so frail. So famished, yet these agencies liked me?! Do you see the problem here?!

Fast forward a little. I struggled with anorexia ON and OFF for several years. It didn’t help that I was actually in the modeling business now. They judge you on your looks. They can say whatever they want, but they do like you thin. I got called out several times for being “too big,” although they worded it to me, “I needed to tone up.” There was this one time I remember. I just got back from my honeymoon and went to see my agency in Chicago. To be honest, I always hated visiting my agencies. Their eyes are seriously piercing through you. They look you up and down, checking out every inch of you. You can see the judgement through their eyes. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it isn’t. This time, it wasn’t. The director of the women’s board calls me over to her in the middle of the room. There are agents around her and a few models are sprinkled throughout it. She pulls off the measuring tape draped around her neck like a necklace. She says, “here, we haven’t measured you in awhile, we need to.” I reluctantly stand right next to her. She does my hips first as I am fighting off fear. Fear of not seeing a number that she will like. I hated this side of modeling. It didn’t take her a second before she looks up at me with her glaring eyes, tilts her head and points her finger at me like I’m a rebellious child and says, “This is unacceptable.” It took everything I had not to break down in tears. I have thick skin, but this was just humiliating. She COULD have taken me off to the side somewhere and told me this. But instead, she did it in front of everyone with such an arrogance it took everything that was in me not to come back and say something! I said in my head, “help me Lord Jesus.” I was flaming inside. I couldn’t have been bigger than a size 4. I was so angry that this industry promoted such unhealthy behaviors.

I could probably write a book about this. Maybe one day I will. There are so many stories to tell, but for the sake of trying not to make this post too long, I won’t. I want you to know that your worth is NOT defined by the number on the scale, the size of your jeans, or even what you see in the mirror. Your worth is defined by God alone! Being in modeling, I was surrounded by so many beautiful people. It made me insecure at times. In my mind I didn’t see myself as very beautiful because I didn’t measure up to them. God showed me that I am beautiful because I am a child of God. I am King’s daughter. I am royalty because I am His. I was worth dying for and so are you.

I took a break from modeling when Matthew and I decided to move to Raleigh almost 4 years ago. To be honest, it has been so refreshing to be out of the business. I do miss parts of it, but a lot of it I don’t. I decided that I wanted to get stronger, gain some muscle, which I was always advised not to get too “bulky.” I am probably the strongest I have ever been. I don’t think I have ever seen this number on the scale either!

If you suffer with an eating disorder there is hope in the Lord. He can change your way of thinking because He can change your heart! You may feel in despair, hopeless, stuck in a hole, like there is no way out. Trust me dear heart, He is THE way out. He is the way to FREEDOM. Those chains trying to strangle you can be broken at the command of His voice. The devil may have taken me DOWN, but he didn’t take me OUT. God delivered me. He set my mind free. He restored that which the devil wanted to steal from me. He wants to do that for you. He wants to transform your mind by His Word-Truth. “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” You don’t have to live in bondage. God is still on the throne. His power is mighty to save. He is a good, good Father. I can’t thank Him enough for where He has brought me.

I am not a Christian because my mom is, or because I grew up in church. I am a Christian because I have experienced Him. I know He is real. I know He is the God of the impossible. I know He is who He says He is. Serving the Lord WILL cost you something, but the cost is worth the reward. I love Jesus with all of my heart and I am so thankful that I am His.

He nudged me today, encouraging me to write this. This wasn’t easy to share. This part of me comes with shame, embarrassment, and regret. But by not sharing my story, people would not get to hear of His power, might, and mighty hand that is ready to save His children, even from their OWN mess they’ve put themselves in. I wish people would run to Him. His arms are open. ready, waiting, for you. All you have to do is humble yourself. He sees your tears. He has them bottled up. He knows the number of hairs on your head. His love is everlasting. “Draw close to Him, and He will draw close to you.” There is HOPE-Jesus Christ is Lord and He will be your deliverer! Rest in His loving arms tonight. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Whatever trial you may be in, it doesn’t last forever. He will get you through it, even though it might take longer than you thought. We can learn so much when we are in the fire. We can learn of His faithfulness. We can learn to trust Him. We can learn that His love for us is so deep that our minds couldn’t even fathom it.

If this post encouraged one person, then it was worth putting myself out there and writing it.

His,

Shannon :)

It’s Part of the Job

Posted by on September 8, 2014 | Leave a comment

One thing that has always bothered me is when people give an excuse for their actions and say, “well, it is part of the job.” Their sin becomes excusable in their mind because they think they need to do it for their job. I don’t recall the Lord ever saying in the Bible that He will let things slide (sin) if our job requires it. I am a Christian first and foremost. In modeling I have had to turn down lots of jobs because it would have required me to go against my faith. (And, I have taken jobs that I have later regretted because I should have NEVER taken them in the first place!) My faith will always remain first place. I can’t pose nude because it is just a part of modeling. I am a Christian at a photoshoot, in my car driving, hanging out with my friends, or worshiping at church. I am who I am everywhere I go, on a job, or not.

We have to decide how important our “jobs” are to us. Are they more important than our Savior?! If we have to lie at work to get ahead, is it really worth it?! Don’t you think it would be better to be truthful and to please the Lord, then to sin against Him?! Don’t you think that He can give you that promotion, or raise?! We limit His power in our life because we think we know best, when in all reality we know nothing in comparison to Him. We think that our “little” sins aren’t that bad, and continue to live a life that is mediocre.

Luke 12:3 “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether (it be) good, or whether (it be) evil.

The Lord will bring to light that which is hidden. What we do in secret will be exposed. He sees everything, knows everything. We can’t let fear of loosing our job keep us from doing what we know is right, what the Bible says. Our fear in Him should always be great. Fear causes one to depart from sin. As we fear Him, we don’t want to sin! It won’t be worth the job in the end, if we have to go against His Word. We can’t justify our sins, because we “need the money.” Jesus knows what we need, even before we even need it. Trust Him. Stop allowing the devil to feed you with lies and get you off track!

If you are being faced with a decision today that requires you to compromise yourself for your job, then maybe that job is not from Him! Pray that the Lord will guide your steps, direct you in the way you should go, and deliver you from any desire you may have that is not from Him. He knows what is best for you. CHOOSE to trust Him today.

Be blessed!

:)

 

 

 

 

Seabrook Vaca

Posted by on July 13, 2014 | Leave a comment

We had soooooo much fun on our big ol’ family vacation last week! My whole family went, along with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and even some extended family. A few people couldn’t make it, but it was definitely a big gang! We went to Seabrook, South Carolina. I am sure most of you have seen the movie, “The Notebook,” and alot of it was filmed there. I felt like I was in a movie at times because it is just so breath-taking! The green trees, winding streets, and million dollar homes were definitely easy on the eyes!

You can ride your bikes around the whole island (it is called Seabrook Island). I was so thrilled that the Lord blessed us with great weather! It wasn’t too hot and really didn’t rain. It was great to get our toes in the sand because my husband and I hadn’t been to the beach in awhile. There is a big main pool that is right by the beach, so we would swim for a bit, then walk a few hundred feet and go swimming in the ocean. I didn’t go too far out because I am scared of sharks! There were sightings there of them not too far out, so I was going to take their word for it! ;)

ALL of my family is competitive so of course there were games! Matthew and I didn’t win a single one of them. We did have a blast though trying to win! I thought one of us would have done better in the corn-hole tournament, but there is always Christmas! ;)

We had a few nights where we would all meet at one of my aunt and uncles places (their place was so massive that it could fit all of us) for dinner. We had bbq, taco, and a grilled chicken/pork chop night. It was so tasty that it had all of our taste buds dancing! My family has some extremely talented cooks in it!

This trip seemed to fly by too fast! We really had such a wonderful time making memories, laughing till our stomachs hurt, and just sharing what is going on in our lives. It was refreshing to say the least.

Oh, and we also celebrated my adorable nephew’s 1st birthday! He didn’t know what to think of his cake at first. It didn’t take him long to realize that it is delicious and he dug right in. There were moments when he wouldn’t even take his little finger out of his mouth because he was liking off the buttercream icing.

Here are a few pics from our trip!

PS. I always pack food with me, it doesn’t matter how long I am going or where. I think it comes from all of my modeling days when I didn’t know when I was going to get fed! So, I did bring one of my favorite things–Quest bars and PB cups! They are soooooo yummy and you can bake them too! Mmm Mmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time….

 

 

 

Hello “30″

Posted by on June 8, 2014 | 1 Comment

I finally said good-bye to my 20′s on Friday! I was not really looking forward to it earlier this year, but the Lord reminded me that with Him, the best is always YET to come! Getting older is just part of life, so I embrace being “30″ with excitement and anticipation. It will definitely feel different saying it for a bit, but I keep hearing that “30′s” are the new “20′s.” ;) So, I say….bring it on!

I had such an awesome birthday weekend. My sister and brother-in-law had signs up, balloons, created a scavenger hunt for me, and got me all kinds of goodies. I felt so touched by what they did. They took their TIME out to make that hunt for me, create the clues/print them, etc, and that really made me feel so special. I don’t know why I got all teary eyed, but I did.

My husband and I celebrated on Saturday because we both had to work on Friday so we just thought it would be better. My man did not disappoint either! He had the day planned with all sorts of things, even an hour-long massage, which I thoroughly enjoyed! I stay pretty active, kind of like my mama, so it was nice to relax and get those knots out! He got me a few things which I love, but one of my favorite things he did was watch a romantic movie with me. He remembered that I had said I wanted to see it and he got it and watched the whole thing! ha! Normally, when we rent movies he will play on his phone at some point, but he watched it like it was his pick. He served me all day, opened the car doors, and just made me feel like a million bucks! Oh, yeah…and how could I forget. I stated that I would just love a home-made card, and sure enough, I got one! It was adorable to say the least.

I also got a phone call from my friend in Hawaii, lots of texts and messages. Sometimes we get so busy we forget that just a simple text, or email can brighten someone’s day. I may not be rich, but I felt so rich this weekend. I was rich in love.

I look forward to this year, and can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned for me. I have a feeling it is going to be exciting.

Shannon :)