Lereca Monik – Ms. Texas America 2016 


I am up way past my bedtime and am just too over joyed to sleep.  Many of you that follow our blog know Lereca Monik as one of our bloggers for the past two years- but tonight she was the 2nd runner up on her journey to the crown for Ms. America 2016.

Lereca represented Texas well! 


She was stunning with her signature big beautiful smile! 


I was so excited when she made it to the top 12! 


Over the moon when she was awarded The Spirit of America Award.


Just look at her beauty radiate! 


Then she made the top 5! 


And I just about chewed off all my nails and was holding my breath so hard when she made the top 3.


Oh! look at our angel in white!

Lereca finished as 2nd runner up.


That is no small accomplishment!
We can’t be more proud of her!

She still wears a glorious crown that her Daddy God has reserved special just for her.  

We are believing and praying for great big things for her future! 

~XXOO Michelle Bollom 

You can read Lereca’s Behind The Smile blogs Here

And more great blogs by Lereca in her DARE and Good Night Mom series Here
Connect with Lereca on Facebook Here

ABC’s Of Faith 


I recently listened to a sermon series and heard the pastor refer to the ABC’s or building blocks of Faith.

The building blocks of Faith 

A-agree

B-believe

C-confess

The word of God over your life and circumstances in order to build your faith.  

I got an image of a child playing with blocks and how sometimes they are put out of order. Like for example the C first, which sometimes we do have to confess the word in order to begin to really believe the word and to finally come into total agreement with the word.  

I loved this visual and simple analogy.   

Sometimes it is not enough to just believe, we must agree and confess also. It doesn’t matter what order they come in as long as you have these basic ABC’s. 

So I encourage you; when you are unsure of your circumstances or how something could possibly ever turn around or change – go to your building blocks- come back to the ABC’s of Faith. Begin to Agree, Believe, and Confess the Word of God over your life and circumstances and you will see your Faith build and grow. 

Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see. 

I dare you- I double dog dare you to give it a try! 

for we walk by faith, not by sight living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises—   ~2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP 
               ~XXOO Michelle Bollom

Train 

  

 

Define

Train can mean to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.

 

Affirm

Proverbs 22: 6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

 

Recall

When I became a parent, I began to appreciate all parents more. Parenthood, although one of life’s greatest blessings- can also be one of life’s greatest challenges. When you become a parent, you aren’t given a manual that gives you step by step instructions on how to parent a child. In fact, every day you are learning as your child is growing.    

 

Because, I wanted to be the best parent I could be, I began to reflect on things that contributed to my foundation. I thought about the many things that were instilled in me that molded my values, developed my character, and shaped the person I am today.

 

My assessment was narrowed down to the 4 P’s below. We should teach our children to: 

1. Pray– When we teach our children to pray, we are teaching them how to develop a personal relationship with GOD. We are also teaching them about the importance of casting all cares, fears, obstacles, and situations to him. Additionally children learn that they can unlock GOD’s power through prayer and conversation with him.  

 

2. Praise– We should teach our children to praise god and to also give others praise. When we teach children the power of praise and worship, we teach them how to love and express gratitude to GOD. We teach them how to open their hearts to letting the spirit fill them. When children praise GOD that are adding covering over all aspects of their lives. When children learn how to praise others, you plant the seed of servant leadership. You nurture the idea of honoring, appreciating, and motivating other people.

 

3. Promote– We should teach our children to promote the well-being of others. Biblical we are called to serve and help others. Fostering a Christ-like behavior is necessary for a fulfilled life. When children learn to serve and promote others at an early age, they learn the importance of aligning with something that is greater than them.

 

4. Pamper– We should teach our children to pamper themselves. In life, so many of us help others but often neglect pampering ourselves. To pamper yourself, helps you to learn about the importance of self-care. When we teach our children how to pamper themselves, we teach them the importance of the relaxing of one’s body, the renewing of one’s mind, and the rejuvenations of one’s spirit.

 

There is so much negatively going on in today society. Children need our support, they need our guidance, and they need our training. You don’t have to be a parent to influence a child. I was told it takes a village to raise a child. Yes, but it takes the power of GOD to offer sound instruction to our children to keep them protected and covered. When we teach children the 4 P’s we equip them to be powerful. When you are in a position to teach a child, I challenge you to show them how to embrace one of the 4 P’s- your life will never be the same and neither will theirs. When we train our children right, when they are older, they will not turn from it. I know- I am a product of it!  

 

Today, we need you to take a stand to train a child right. I DARE you.

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for showing me how to be an example for children. Thank you for helping me to connect deeply with you so that I can portray your love and instruction for all children. Moments when I fall short- please ignite your power to keep me properly aligned.  

 

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.

           ~ Lereca Monik 

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou

Discernment

  
Define

Discernment can be defined as the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; an act of perceiving something; a power to see what is not evident to the average mind.” 

 

Affirm

Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” 

 

Recall

A girlfriend and I got into a conversation about portraying a Christ-like attitude. In our conversation, we had varying positions being Christ-like. My belief about Christ is that he prayed for himself and others; but Christ was always an action. Christ helped, healed, gave, rebuked, calmed, delivered, refined, improved, influenced, and taught just to name a few.  

 

My position in our conversation was that when Christ could help someone in need, he would do just that. I made the statement that as Christians we should try to be more Christ-like. I gave the example that often we as Christians will often tell others we will pray for them- when in fact, we have the power to help them (offer an act of service). My friend made a statement, well I always ask GOD for discernment before I help others. She then said even if I could help someone, that doesn’t mean I will.  

 

Her statements confused me. Honestly, I was quiet uncomfortable with her statement because a few months prior- I had asked her for help (and I really needed the help). She didn’t understand that I was in dire need, although I explained to her that I was. I thought to myself, maybe she prayed for discernment. I was confused by the true meaning of discernment so of course I sought GOD. Here’s what I learned.

 

1. Discernment is a gift. Just like other gifts given by GOD, some of us were graced with the gift of discernment. Those with the gift of discernment can recognize authenticity and are good judges of the character of others and can easily differentiate good vs evil.

 

2. Discernment is GOD led. The Holy Spirit will lead us or give us direction in a specific matter if we seek him. In order for us to receive his direction, we must spend time with the spirit and the spirit will guide us.  

 

3. Discernment is not the same as judgment. We often judge people, places, and positions based on what we see, what we have experienced, what we have been told, and what we perceive. Discernment frees us from past and helps us compassionately step into the present.  

 

After researching more about discernment, I learned that I didn’t clearly understand the power of discernment. I am so glad I did the research because I learned so much. I learned that human nature often causes us to judge someone else’s circumstances based on what we think their experiences are, we even sometimes judge others based on our own experiences. I learned that many of us are gifted with discernment from GOD and is a gift that if not used to give GOD the glory- our gifts might be diluted. Lastly I learned that we must rely on the Holy Spirit to help us when we need discernment over a situation or circumstance (discernment is not like a wild card- you actually must spend time seeking GOD’s wisdom).  


Maybe you too have judged someone and confused judging them as discernment. Maybe you too want to develop more of a Christ-like (action) attitude towards others. Maybe you want to gain more wisdom and develop a more discerning spirit.  

 

If this is you, I challenge you to ask GOD to show you how to better understand discernment- so that you can apply it to all areas of your life. Discernment is truth. Discernment is real. Discernment is present. Discernment is good. Discernment is seeing how God sees. May GOD help us to see things how he sees them. Spending time with him will help us learn how to distinguish good from evil. Let’s continue to seek GOD together in the area of discernment. I DARE You.

 
Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you for helping me better understand discernment. Please help me to be free from judging others and help me to rest in your love when making decisions. I am so grateful your spirit will help me compassionately make Christ-like decisions.  
         ~Lereca Monik 

 

#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored 

Thanks

  

 

Define

Thanks can be defined as an expression of gratitude or kindly or grateful thoughts.

 

Affirm

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

 

Recall

This week, it happened again- I had one of those spiritual aha moments. Please note that the story I will share is a sensitive topic, so I am hoping that your judgement is abandoned and that your heart is opened. I hope that by sharing this story, you too will experience a spiritual aha moment as well.

 

This weekend I learned that a couple at my church lost their unborn child at 32 weeks. I believe they have experienced a few challenges with trying to conceive. This family has been asking GOD to allow them to have another little one and more than likely this pregnancy probably offered them hope. I would imagine they were devastated as a family to learn about their loss. I couldn’t imagine how it might feel to lose an unborn child. I could imagine; however the negative emotions experienced with a loss. During moments of loss, one might feel anxious, sadness, failure, shame, withdrawal, hurt, disappointment…

 

In all transparency, this couple is probably clueless about how their story reminded of how blessed I am. I sit here in tears thinking about my blessing. Two and a half years ago, when I realized I was going to be a single mother, I too experienced negative and sad emotions. I was so scared that I did not want to accept motherhood. Honestly after I found out I was pregnant, I did not want to become a mother. A few people were happy for me and I was miserable. I wanted to throw in the towel- I wanted to abort my child. I developed a fictitious story about how I was going to tell everyone that I lost her and I was going to move on with my life. My struggles were real!  

 

I felt pressured and confused; but I decided I would instead be grateful for her. I kept my daughter and she basically saved my life, my soul. Lereine (my daughter) helped me reprioritize all things; she helped me realign my life with the will of GOD- which is my greatest blessing.

 

The story of the family reminds me of how there are so many families waiting for blessings, healing, children, and/or mending of a broken relationship. There are so many of us that are so scared …that we will abort our blessing and gifts, abandon them, neglect them, mistreat them, and/or ignore them.  

 

I write this today to remind you that no matter what you are experiencing give GOD thanks! Please thank him and know this is his will for your life. You might not see what he has in store for your; but I challenge to thank him anyways. Trust him, he know exactly what you need.

My decision to keep my gift reminds me of how great GOD is. I am so thankful for Lereine- I am reminded that so many people are praying for gifts that sometimes do not manifest- and that sometimes GOD allows others like me to experience that same gift and or blessing. Instead of throwing the gift away; see it as your greatest blessing. I am so thankful for this spiritual aha moment and I am thankful for their story to help me share my story and I hope our story becomes your story. Be thankful!

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for helping me to have grateful thoughts during life’s character building phases. Help me to see this is your will for my life and this is my opportunity for growth. Thank you so much for giving me perfect peace and rest.    

 

Commit to the challenge. I DARE you.

                      ~ Lereca Monik 

#mydearestsister #Idareyou #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #LiveRestored 

Tithe

  

Define

Tithe can be defined as one tenth of annual produce or earnings, formerly taken as a tax for the support of the church and clergy or a tenth of a specified thing.

 

Affirm

Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

 

Recall

Tithing seems like an ambiguous concept, especially when you are affected by the ebbs and flows of life. What this means to me is that some of us experience transitions that affect our lives and we get caught up in feeling like we are unable to tithe. I don’t know about you; but at moments in my life, in which my finances are affected- I get a little uncomfortable about my budget and I waver back in forth in my mind about my tithes.  

 

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about tithing. I was thinking….God I just want to be faithful. I didn’t have a clear understanding about tithing. In my quest for a deeper understanding, I learned that tithe can be one tenth of your earnings; but it can also be one tenth of a specific thing. The one tenth of a specific thing caught my attention….sometimes life requires us to be more strategic about how we honor GOD.    

 

So here’s what I decided…I will honor GOD with one tenth of what he’s given me. I will give him- no matter how I feel- one tenth of my income, one tenth of my time, and one tenth of my talents. I want to be intentional about giving him what he has blessed me with.  

 

You guys, I know life happens. Maybe you experienced moments of transition this year and like me, you were thinking about your tithes. Maybe you experienced: a layoff, a divorce, the loss of your home, the birth of a child, a new health condition, fostering new children, or a new bill.  

 

As we are approaching the holiday season, the enemy wants to show us what we don’t have; but our GOD is bigger than the enemy and GOD will show you what he will do. Do not allow the enemy’s distractions detach you from GOD’s promise for your life. Today is a new day and you can reattach yourself to his promise- I encourage you to honor GOD with your tithes-one tenth of what he has blessed you with.  

 

Join me in the 90-day tithe challenge. Put GOD to the test. He asks us to. I DARE You.

 

Let us know your results! We look forward to hearing from you.  

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you for your undying love. Please help me to be faithful with my tithes. Your word promises me that you will open the floodgates of heaven- I believe it and I receive it. I love you.  

~Lereca Monik 
  

 #lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored 

Mirror 

  

 

Define

A mirror can be defined as something regarded as accurately representing something else.

 

Affirm

James 1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

 

Recall

Every morning, I use my mirror to prep myself for a day of work. The mirror to me is a reflection of what others see. About a week ago, I stopped for a minute and thought about what my reflection represents. I took another look into the mirror and looked deeper into my soul. In a moment of deep reflection, I asked myself:

1. What do I really see in this mirror?

2. Do I see myself as GOD sees me?

3. Am I reflecting a godly like image to others?

 
At that moment, I asked GOD to humbly come into my heart. I immediately started praying for myself and praying for others. It was such an Ah-ha moment. Here’s what I learned at that moment.

1. Many of us avoid mirrors because we are afraid of what we will see.

2. Many of us have a distorted view of what we see.

3. Many of us ignore what we see.

 
I learned that when we look in the mirror, some of us are crippled by fear, judgement, shame, guilt, worry, and stress. Often when we see these ailments, we ignore them and we operate through with a crippled state of mind. We become functionally mentally ill and sadly accept our lives as normal. I also learned that many times we avoid mirrors because we know that our baggage will be revealed and we feel so overwhelmed by the thought of letting go of the baggage, we tell ourselves it is easier to simply cope with it.

 
The reflection of what we see in the physical mirror is closely related to the reflection of what is seen through our spiritual mirror. When we open our hearts to GOD, we are forced to be honest with ourselves. God will show us the areas of life that we need to change. The word tells us to not only be hearers of the word; but doers of his word. When we adopt the practice of being doers, not just hearers, our reflections will change. Will we mirror a more Christ like life.
 

Decide who and what you want to accurately represent and watch GOD work!

I challenged you to move from a crippled state of mind and use GOD’s remedy, the word of GOD to help you use the mirror to:

1. Assess yourself spiritually

2. Align yourself with the word of god by doing.

3. Affirm the word and work of GOD by speaking life into your current image.

4. Choose to see yourself how God sees you.

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you for helping me to live out your word. Thank you so much for helping align myself with your word so that what others see is a reflection of you. Thank you for allowing me to see you as you see me.    
                    ~Lereca Monik 

 

#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored 

Character 

  

 

Define

Character can be defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

 

Affirm

Romans 5:4 “And endurance produces character, and character produces hope…”

 

Recall

Last week my girlfriend and I were conversing about GOD’s gift in our lives and the gifts of others. In our conversation we realized that character plays a significant role in our growth in life. Why is this important? I am curious.  

 
Do you feel like you are in a situation and you feel that you can’t move? Do you ever feel that you are being tested in the same area over and over again? Does someone anger you so deeply that you consistently explode? Are you experiencing disappointment over and over and over again? Do you ever feel like you progress in life and then feel like you are regressing?  

 

GOD is trying to take you to new levels that your character cannot maintain. If you find yourself moving up and then moving back down, it is time to switch into your character building season. It is time to make different choices.  

 

God has given all of us gifts; however, we become refined when we endure life’s circumstances, life’s circumstances help us depend on GOD. The more we depend on GOD- the more Christ-like we become, and our capacity for life increases.  

 
Every day we have the opportunity to build our character. Our character is what others see on the outside of us (based on what we’ve developed on the inside). This week, identify those areas of your life in which GOD might be trying to build your character and respond GOD’s way- not your way! Enjoy your week!

 

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you for showing me that this is my character building season. Please help me make choices that are GOD centered in all areas of my life. I truly desire a Christ-like character and I know this can only be built through enduring life and depending on you. Thank you for your love and grace. I love you.
              ~LerecaMonik 

 

#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored #BecomingAltarD 

Appearance 

  
Define

Appearance can be defined as an impression given by someone or something, although this may be misleading.

 

Affirm:  

1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Recall:  

Growing up do you remember…

• Getting your church outfit together the day before?

• Going shopping for your Christmas and Easter Outfit?

• Seeing more people at church for Father’s Day and Mother’s Day?

 

I do! The other day I was thinking to myself. There was a time in which I was told that you have to give the Lord your best. While the ideology behind this seemed normal- I believe there is another view point. So I started my research on appearance and the church.  

 

Appearance is an impression that can be misleading. I realized that so many of us are going to church portraying our best, some of us feel that we can’t go because we feel that our sins are keeping us from the closeness of GOD, and honestly many of us who are Christians project an attitude that seems like GOD’s best. 

 

Church for some of us has become a routine fashion show. At a fashion show, you have people coordinating the event (the church administration), the fashion models embracing the stage (our speakers), and the event attendees (the congregation).    

 

We are focused on how we look on our shoes, our suit, our hair style, the size of our bible, etc. Sometimes we only want to be part of the show. You guys, church is not a fashion event. GOD wants all of you, even when the show doesn’t look its best, even when you don’t feel your best; he wants a relationship with you year-round.  

 

So often we are WORRIED about our looks, our past and the WOUNDS of others that we lose sight of our WORSHIP. If we take our WOUNDs to GOD and WORSHIP him for WHOSE we are- our WORRY about unnecessary things will soon fade away. 

 

GOD looks at your heart and not the outside. I encourage you to ask GOD to reveal the matters of your heart, ask him about how you appear to him, and ask him how to be more Christ-like. Be ready for his answer and be prepared to make those adjustments. Today is your day to see yourself and others how GOD sees you.  

 

Exercise:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for seeing my heart. I want an intimate relationship with you and I want to project a Christ like attitude for others. Help me to display my best for you.

 

Commit to the change- I DARE You. 

                    ~ Lereca Monik 

 

#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored