I remember the first time I was told I couldn't sit at the lunch table with the "cool girls". And the first time I heard that one of the girls in choir "hated" me. I remember being called the "weird Jesus girl", the "homeschooled freak", the loser. I remember the first time I saw my picture in a group chat...
"she's so stupid."
"look at her, she's ugly"
"who does she think she is"
I remember the first time someone who claimed they loved me, told me what a naïve, stupid girl I was, and continued to tell me everything wrong with me.
"she only got that solo so she won't make a big deal about it".
"She shouldn't be Miss Kansas"
"Nobody likes her. I heard they won't book her for events"
"She shouldn't have won the fitness prelim, look at her"
"She looks fat in that dress"
"Ugh. Looks awful in this picture"
The list goes on...So what's the point?
I want you to know that everyone struggles. We have all felt unloved, unwanted, ugly, stupid, weird. At some point in our lives we won't get to sit at the "Cool table". We might not get the job we want. People won't always like us... but the good news is that doesn't change our worth.
Your worth, comes from something much bigger than the opinions of others. Your worth comes in who you are, not what you do. Your worth was established before you were knit together in your mothers womb. Your worth, is "worth it". Worth dying for, worth forgiveness, worth the trials, worth the pain...you have worth. Maybe you don't feel like it, and trust me I have been there. Because some of the quotes written in this blog are recent.... so I can't tell you it goes away. Not when you graduate high school, or college, or get the role of Miss Kansas.
There will be pain, there will be hard times....but through it all, you will be worth it. That is all that really matters. So keep your head up, because you can overcomes this too.
you are unstoppable.
Share with someone who needs to hear this today.
Tis the season...for shopping! With black Friday and Christmas sales coming up, I have compiled a list of 5 places you should shop! Because this week is global Entrepreneurship Week, I have teamed up with www.discoveryourawesome.org to celebrate entrepreneurs with disabilities! These stores are owned by individuals with disabilities, which is obviously super cool. Check out this list, do a little shopping, and let me know who should be added!
P.S. - To purchase items and support this campaign, click the mug!
1. Poppin' Joes Popcorn
This popcorn place is actually based in Kansas! You can find Joes popcorn in many Walmart's across Kansas and Missouri, and as someone who LOVES kettle corn, you bet I will be ordering some!
2. Gracies Doggie Treats
For those of you who consider your dog a member of the family, why not spoil them this season as well! Gracie is a dog lover who took her passion and created her own business! Gracies treats are healthy, certified, and ready to be shipped to your beloved canine!
3. Da Bombs by Megan
A girl after my own heart...Megan makes all kinds of bath bombs, salts, and shower discs from natural oils. These bath items have amazing health benefits and could help your loved one stay healthy and happy this season! You can even order a Down Syndrome Awareness bath bomb! HOW COOL.
4. John's Crazy Socks
John loves socks and he's got the best! Keep your families feet warm this winter by purchasing some crazy socks! With hundreds of styles to choose, you are guaranteed to find a pair for everyone you know.
Sean is probably my favorite cast member from "Born this Way". He's hilarious, just like his new merchandise! This is a perfect place to shop for someone just as ornery as Sean is. PLUS, he just launched a wonderful holiday collection!
I realize I waited a while before posting any kind of reflection on my time at Miss America. In a way, some of my experiences are personal. I think there's many things you would simply have to experience to understand. It's special, something only the next Miss America classes will understand. However, I thought I would share answers to the most common questions I receive. In no particular order, here we go........
1. Was it fun?
Of course! The whole two weeks are full of exciting events, meeting incredible people. and constantly remembering you are at MISS AMERICA. There are so many crazy memories from those two weeks its hard to put them into words. But yes, so much fun.
2. Are the girls nice?
Ya'll...YES. I think it's so funny when somebody says "its okay, you can tell me". I'm not lying! I absolutely loved the girls who competed this year. Remember, these are the cream of the crop, the most driven and successful women across the country!!! We had so much fun together. Is it a competition? Yes. But there's also nobody else who quite understands what this is like except the girls beside you. We hold each other up, we celebrate each others victories, and we encourage each other when we start to feel tired or worn down. I am so so lucky to have met these beautiful girls. I love them to pieces.
3. How did it feel when you didn't make finals?
It hurt. I thought of all the people back home who were probably watching. I wondered what it was that didn't help me make the cut....and then I watched some of my best friends compete. I screamed and hollered as my friends continued to move on, and I FLIPPED OUT when Cara won Miss America. Sure, I wanted my shot...but I got it already. I was standing on the Miss America stage. Out of all the women in Kansas, I was the representative. So there's really no place to be upset. I received the opportunity of a lifetime and I am forever grateful for that. Plus, I can say I know Miss America ;)
4. What was your favorite part about competing?
Talent. Which probably shocks nobody. I've been dreaming about singing on the Miss America stage for years, but it really didn't hit me until after I did it. Oddly enough I felt extremely calm during competition. There were no nerves, just peace. So when I walked on to the stage, I was ready and focused. My brain was on autopilot and it was time to sing. Let me tell you, I was LIVING on that stage. Ugh, it was so much fun. But it was right after I hit my last pose, heard the crowd scream, and turned around that I truly realized what had just happened. As I turned around I saw "Miss America" across the screens....and I immediately started crying. I just sang on the Miss America stage...something I will remember forever.
5. So is Miss Pennsylvania just amazing?!?!
Funny enough Katie May, all the girls in KS are obsessed with you! Which makes sense because same. Yes, my roomie is amazing. Yes. she truly is that funny. Yes, it was really fun watching her advance on finals night. Yes, she is "bringing saxy back". Yes, we ate a lot of food in our hotel room. Yes, she's that happy all the time. Yes, I miss her a lot.
Are their questions I didn't answer but you're dying to know?? Comment below or tweet me with hashtag #AskMissKS
Be Unstoppable Darlings,
I often like to make it clear that my faith is very important to me. I believe my identity rests in the fact that I am the daughter of The King, forgiven and saved. My identity can't just be Miss Kansas, it can't be youth leader, it can't be singer. It can't be any earthly thing I accomplish because my eyes are on eternal wealth.
A few days ago I was studying Romans 12:9- 13, "The Marks of the True Christian". The Apostle Paul wrote this part of Romans teaching us that there should be characteristics that set us apart as Christians. We should be living a lifestyle in which non believers can identify our faith through our actions. We are not called to be perfect, it is impossible for us. But we are called to model our lives according to Christ and what is instructed in the bible.
As I began reading this and studying what I am called to be, I quickly realized how similar this description is to what is expected of me as Miss Kansas.
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil and hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of saints and seek to show hospitality" Roman 12:9-13
There are many expectations set upon me as Miss Kansas but in the larger scope, it all seems simple and quite similar to this passage.
I understand now why God called me to not think about the Miss Kansas crown in May, but instead focusing on loving the Lord. I get it. I understand why there were times God turned me to the bible instead of the gym. Little did I know I was constantly preparing for this job.
How wonderful it is to know that the world is already attracted to what true Christians should look like. The world desires loving, genuine, kind people who serve others before themselves. The world wants to see hope and goodness. I believe our hearts are created to search for these things in other people. That's why Miss America continues to stay relevant. It has nothing to do with the swimsuits or evening gowns. It has nothing to do with talents or well spoken answers....it's about the person. One woman rises to the top and the country watches as kindness, goodness, and a servants heart prevails.
I say true Christian, because I am well aware that there are many that call themselves Christians and do not act with love. To that, I take heart in the fact that God will have the final judgement. It is not for us to judge, we are to continue to love and show these attributes regardless of what our neighbors are doing.
We want to see hope, love, goodness, and kindness win.
Because in the midst of confusion, trials, controversy and hate, the world is still attracted to the marks of a true Christian.
Today I went on my first school tour of the season. I am extremely excited to visit schools all over Kansas to spread my message and encourage our youth this year, and this was a wonderful way to start. My first school of the year was Valley Center Intermediate School and I just have to brag on them for many reasons.
First the school seemed wonderfully relaxed inside. Students all seemed so happy, calm, and kind. They were on a break when I was there, and there wasn't a single behavior issue that I saw. Sadly, this can be rare in schools as middle school seems to be a harsh time for some.
Beyond that, I was introduced to the principal who took me to the auditorium to get set up. He told me he wanted to get me to visit a classroom before the assembly began and we quickly made our way down the hall. The principal kept bragging on this class, saying these were wonderful students and he was so excited for me to meet them. He then explained that this was the special education classroom I was about to walk in to. Obviously I started BEAMING WITH JOY. I walked in and the screaming began as students were so excited to see us. I say us....because although they were excited to see "the princess", they were just as excited to see the principal. This made my heart leap for joy. He ran in and started giving fist bumps, high fives, and hugs to every student. They were so happy to welcome us into their classroom and I absolutely loved it. I don't think I've ever met a principal so in love with these individuals quite like this guy.
As we began the assembly, as if I needed any more proof that this school was incredible, the entire school sang the national anthem. Not only did they sing it, they sang it well and with full attention and respect to the flag carried in by another student.
BUT THEN, (guys this was so cool)
The principal welcomed the students to the assembly, congratulated them on a wonderful performance of the national anthem, and then said a few simple words that took my breath away.
"Remember that we snap our fingers or wave our hands instead of applause to help our friends with sensory issues, ok? Thank you!"
Guys its that simple. That one piece of instruction makes an all school activity truly and ALL SCHOOL activity. This one difference in the way students handle an assembly allows every student to be a part of the experience. The students were respectful, they were kind, and they were creating an inclusive community whether they knew it or not.
The disability community does not ask for huge things, they ask for minor details that can make all the difference. Minimizing the sensory stimulation in the room helped the entire special education classroom stay for the entire presentation without a single student not being able to handle the noise. It was simple. It did not hold a single "regular" education student back. In fact, it moved every child forward. These students are growing up learning how to take little details into account to make all people feel welcome. That is what it is all about.
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Valley Center Intermediate.
This past Sunday was one of the best days ever. Not only were there tacos ( and I LOVE tacos!) but I was surrounded by people that I love the most. I am so thankful for my incredible church family for hosting a special send off party for my family and friends. All of the hugs, cards, laughter, and tears were exactly what I needed before heading off to Miss America.
When I competed for Miss Kansas, my pastor sent me a message of encouragement during the week. I told him then that while I truly wanted to be Miss Kansas, I would be quite content returning home to my church family. This church has been such a large part of my life. These are the people that helped shape me into the woman I am today. They were there through my goofy elementary school days, they prayed for me during my awkward middle schools day, answered my absurd amount of questions during high school, and now continue to encourage and love me through college and my journey as Miss Kansas. Church is fellowship, it is believers coming together and constantly building each other up...and that it exactly what my church does.
I couldn't help but tear up after the church service on Sunday. After and incredibly powerful sermon, my pastor simply asked the congregation to help tear down and set up the big room for my party that afternoon. Without hesitation, everyone began moving chairs and bringing in tables. I stood there, thinking how incredible blessed I am. This kind of love and service is so rare sometimes, but not at Cross Road. Women in the church pulled out the tablecloths and pressed them so they would look perfect. Church leaders helped assemble tacos, volunteers showed up early just to help out, my pastor even stood at the t-shirt table passing out shirts. What a massive blessing to be a part of this family.
Thank you to every person who came to my party to show support and encourage me along my journey. While I am the one who gets to stand on the big stage, there was a full army of people behind me who deserve credit for who I am today. I am a collection of many mentoring sessions, encouragement, hugs, laughter, and worship sessions.
On another note, to my youth group kids- my goodness I miss ya. Hugging you and talking about life was such a refreshing moment. I do hope I can come back to Wednesdays sometime soon and "do life" with ya again. You are all so wise, so kind, and so special to me. I hope you understand that.
With all the love,
WOW. This past week has been so full of excitement, emotion, and energy as I met the other incredible women competing for the title of Miss America. I am still in complete shock and gratitude that I have this opportunity to compete for my dream job, one I have dreamed about for many years.
I remember the moment I truly decided I wanted to be Miss America. I watched a Miss America pageant on youtube, burst in to tears and told my mom "I'm going to compete for Miss America someday". She laughed at the time, but I proved her wrong ;)
I arrived in Orlando this past Tuesday, excited aboot the journey ahead. These women would no longer be girls I've seen on Instagram, we were now going to really meet each other. It's such a beautiful thing to finally get to put a name to a face and get to know the real person. Within the hour, I was eating dinner with a few state title holders. Every girl I have met this week has been so kind and welcoming to each other. So many hugs and squeals as we met for the very first time.
This week we had so much time to hang out, get to know each other, and cheer on our sweet teens as they competed for Miss America's Outstanding Teen. I am so unbelievably proud of Taylor and all she accomplished this week. She looked stunning in every phase of competition and represented us so well.
On Wednesday I was able to pick out my very own Sherri Hill gown to be worn during the closing number on finals night. I am so thankful to Sherri Hill and their continued support of the Miss America Organization. To top it off, I met Sherri Hill and Savvy Shields all in about two minutes while trying on gowns! Talk about a whirlwind experience!
Thursday was filming day for me and oh my goodness it was a blast. I don't want to talk about it too much, but I will say that I had the time of my life and can't wait for you all to see what we accomplished! Some of the production guys mentioned bringing me a taco souvenir to Miss America, so I think we can be friends :)
Friday just might have been my favorite evening. It was the first MAOTeen Miracle Danceathon. Y'all, I danced. That night was an absolute blast, and all #forthekids. We played games, I showed off my impressive cookie eating skills, and made a special 3 year old little friend. I don't think I've every been to a better dance party. The night was so successful, as we raised $37,000 for Children's Miracle Network.
Saturday was the moment I think all of us have been waiting for, Miss America Orientation. We learned more about this incredible job, what our time in Atlantic City will look like, and about some of the sweetest CMN Hospitals Miracle Kids. I cried basically the entire time as this experience became very real. I'm really doing this...I'm really going to compete on the Miss America stage. I have been given an amazing opportunity...and my goodness I don't want to waste a single second.
I am so grateful for this past week, the beautiful women I have met, the sponsors who have spoiled us, and my moment meeting Savvy Shields. I've been asked if Savvy is just as amazing as I thought and the answer is YES. She's kind, she's funny, confident, and gracious. She is exactly the kind of woman I strive to be, and the perfect Miss America. My next stop is Atlantic City to see if this KS gal can fulfill her dream. I don't know what this next chapter holds, but I am at peace. I know God has a perfect plan. Savvy shared an amazing quote with us this week, one I plan to keep in my heart through this process:
"If it's your time, there is nothing you can do to stop it. And it's not your time, there's nothing you can do to make that happen"
So I will continue to work hard, but also trust time. Because I will be graced with many moments in life, and I am completely confident in God's perfect time. He doesn't ask us to take over, simply trust him.
Lots of Love,
I hope you understand just how important you really are. Quite often you work with women who are determined to achieve the state crown, eager to work with the state board... but it is you who does the work before then.
You are the first impression of a much larger organization. You show us what the Miss America Organization stands for. You teach us the values, life skills, and passion all needed to achieve our goal. Your local sets the pace for the year we expect. Our relationship with you could quite often determine our success, and if we will return next year.
A local organization's goal is not about achieving the state crown....or at least I'm not sure it should be. That's a personal goal we can set for ourselves. We need you to help us fall in love with the organization. We need to have such a positive experience that we return next year. Because the reality is, only one of us gets to get that state crown. The rest of us need to return. What will it take to get us to try again?
This post is not to discourage, but to encourage. To the Miss Kansas local organizations, you are absolutely wonderful. I hope you know the good things we all say about you during Miss Kansas week. I hope you understand the pride we have in the local we are representing each year. We recruit each other to compete for our titles in the next year...because we believe in the organization we are working with.
As Miss Kansas I truly represent every single local, and would tell any girl to compete for all of them...because I believe in every single one. I see what you do for the young women in your program, and I want every women to experience what you have. I feel absolutely blessed to have had the privilege to compete for three years before achieving my goal. Because my experience with locals are the reason I love the organization.
Some women win in the first year...and that is absolutely admirable. They are ready, and God says it is their time. But I'm also thankful for my story. I personally needed a few years to really understand what this organization is, and I am now passionate more than ever.
To the women looking to compete in the upcoming local season... just go. Don't think too much about which local you want...every single one gets you to the Miss Kansas stage. Every single one has a unique way of helping you grow. Pick a date and show up. Even competing teaches you lessons. I didn't win the first local I attended... but I learned so much that I was immediately ready to compete again. That is what it is about.
So local directors, volunteers, sponsors, and board members.... thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are given the incredible responsibility of representing an entire national organization to hundreds of young women in your community. I hope you continue to take that responsibility as seriously as you take it now...because you truly do a wonderful job.
With so much love,
Krystian Alisha Fish
Miss Kansas 2017
P.S. Here's a few photos from my very first local, and a recent headshot as Miss Kansas. In case you want physical proof of the magic of being part of this organization :)
I want to tell a story, but first I want you to understand where I am coming from. This is not a post to brag, this is a post to show just how awesome God is.
Last year, at Miss Kansas 2016, I felt a pull in my heart. I knew God was calling me to a special mission...but I didn't do it. I remember so vividly hearing God ask me to pray for my friend Annika that night. I was staring at her across the way as we all gathered in the tunnel to prepare for the final competition. I felt awkward, I didn't know how I was supposed to just walk up and start praying...so I didn't do it. I regret that a lot.
After that week, the biggest regret I had was not following God's call. I knew it was what I was supposed to do, but I didn't do it. Annika is one of my very best friends, so it wouldn't have been that hard. But I chose to focus on the competition instead. This year, I was not willing to let God's moments pass by.
The night before Miss Kansas week started this year I started crying. My mother was so concerned and all I could get out of my mouth was "I just want them to see Jesus". Weeks before, God made it so clear that eternity with Him is much more important than a sparkly crown. My heart was broken going in to this week. I was still thinking about my missed opportunity from last year. My mother encouraged me and I eventually fell asleep, knowing that I had a different focus this year.
This Miss Kansas week, I was so excited for the smallest moments God allowed me to be a part of. He told me who to hug, who to pray for silently, and when I needed to think less of the competition and myself. But finals night....that was the big moment.
All night I watched my best friend continue to advance in the competition with me. We were side by side the whole time. But when I saw that we were the final two...I couldn't contain myself. (seriously, watch the crowning video. I'm a mess).
As I looked at Annika, God whispered "this is your moment"... and I knew it had nothing to do with winning Miss Kansas. This was the moment I waited all year for....my second chance. My opportunity to pray for Annika. And so I prayed, we prayed. Because in that moment it so didn't matter what happened next...I was given the opportunity to be a part of God's plan.
Yes, my name was called as Miss Kansas...my goodness I am so thankful. But it is so important to remember all the other things that are in this life. Prayer is such a precious, intimate moment. It's a moment I gave up last year... I can't thank God enough for my second chance.
As I get closer to Miss Kansas week, I cannot help but look back on everything this past year has brought me. I am in awe of the wonderful opportunities I have had, the incredible humans I have met, and the amount of laughter and tears that have been part of this experience. There are so many people to thank and recognize for their support and faith in me.
When Savvy Shields was crowned Miss America 2017, her first interview was the press conference immediately following the crowning. She said (and I roughly quote) “I am the collection of everyone I encounter”. I thought that was such a beautiful thing to say, but last week it became something I realized was true in my own life. Because it is a large collection of individuals that have made me who I am.
- It’s my parents who raised me and encouraged me along the way.
- It is my spiritual leaders, mentors, and pastors who have asked me the tough questions and helped me grow in my faith.
-It’s all of my friends with disabilities that have taught me thousands of life lessons along the way.
-It’s the fellow employees that I’ve worked with and the expertise they have brought to the table.
- It’s the community connections that open new doors and opportunities.
- It’s amazing friends that support me and say “how can I help”
- It’s every person I have encountered at every appearance this year.
- It’s those who have hurt or disappointed me and the life lessons that came along with the pain.
- It’s family members that are more than gracious and supportive in all my endeavors.
- It’s the other contestants I have met and befriended along the away.
Every person I have met has taught me kindness, compassion, love, business ethics, opposing views, political engagement, media marketing, how to walk, how to stand, singing techniques, self care, emotional health, spiritual guidance, and so many more things. I am who I am because of who I have met along the way.
Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. I am a collection of all of you, and it’s made me a strong woman because of it.
Krystian Alisha Fish
Loves Jesus, coffee, and tacos. Dedicated to loving people and empowering others. Current Miss Kansas through MAO.