What Exactly is an HBBQ?

Back when I was competing in the Miss America Pageant, I joked that once I had “aged-out” (the pageant term for being too old to compete), I was going to start a club for fellow former competitors called Has Been Beauty Queens or HBBQs so we could share our experiences and support each other through pageant withdrawal.

I loved this white dress! I used to say that I was going to be married and buried in it.

I never did start that club, but I have come to realize that the lessons I learned while competing are applicable to life in general. We all deal with self-image issues, friendships, comparison, sticking to goals, failure, questions of faith, doubt, disappointment, and broken dreams. I just happened to struggle with my issues before a live audience.

There was a time in my life where I tried to hide my pageant background for fear that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I believed that I needed to present myself a certain way on this blog and in my presentations in order to be seen as a “real” Bible teacher.

But I learned that you can take the girl out of pageants, but you can’t take the pageant out of the girl. In trying to hide this part of my life, I have suppressed who I really am and have short-changed my audience from being able to benefit from the unique perspective on life, faith, and service that my competition years have given me.

And so, I have decided to wholly embrace my HBBQness by renaming my blog Confessions of a Has Been Beauty Queen. I am excited about this new direction and the freedom it will lend me to be more transparent and genuine in my writing.

Don’t worry. This will still be a place where I talk about faith and God and all the wonderful things He has taught me and the miracles He has performed in my life. It just might not be so formal. In fact, I have some stories that are downright hilarious! I hope you will be able to relate to the experiences that I share and that you might see yourself reflected in them.

Ultimately, my goal is for this to be a place where we journey together to discover God’s character, explore our identity in Him, and learn to live out that identity with abandon.

Starting in April, I will be sending out a monthly newsletter that will include personal musings and helpful links from around the Internet. I will also continue to share links to my bi-weekly religion column every other Saturday morning. I do post more frequently on Instagram and would love to interact with you there! You can find me at @heathermablondi.

I am excited to be working on two new projects that you will be hearing more about in the future. First, I am writing a daily devotional based on a blog series I did several years ago called 31 Days of Knowing God. This series looked at the Hebrew names of God and how they help us to understand God’s character. This devotional will be available as a free PDF download to all subscribers.

The second project is a compilation of Saying Grace (my column in the Free Lance-Star) pieces called 100 Days of Saying Grace. This will be available in paperwork and e-book formats. I hope to launch that in time for Christmas!

Thank you for inviting me into your inbox. I know that your time is precious and it is my goal to provide something you will find valuable in your everyday life.

In Him . . .

Heather

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