my favorite things!

So I have been thinking that I have been extremely serious in this blog. Not that being serious is a bad thing necessarily; however, I just feel that I need a trip to the positive side where everything is rainbows and ponies and sunflowers! Okay so that was a little bit of velveeta, but you get the idea. Also since I am extremely fond of making lists, I have decided to make a list of my favorite things… enjoy!
BTW, this list is in no other order except the way they came to my slightly ADD and quite often extremely random thought process and in no way reflects the importance of each item! I suppose there should be bullet points instead of numbers, but I am too deep into it to worry about changing it now… I am just saying…
1. I love gerbera daisies… well any kind of daisies to be exact – especially white ones! Not sure if you’re aware of this, but daisies are the friendliest flowers, Meg Ryan says so in You’ve Got Mail!
2. Two words – Audrey Hepburn – she is the greatest actress of all time in my opinion! Two more words – Paul Newman – the man had the most amazing eyes and was an incredible actor.
3. Sunshine – the bright yellow stuff literally makes me smile on the inside!
4. My niece – her name is Madison, and she is the cutest thing ever! She is so smart and so funny – she makes me consider being a mom! (which is a big thing for me as 2 years working in daycare had me seriously considering adoption after the child turned 21)
5. The color green – I am not a tree hugging activist, but the color of grass and trees during the spring time makes me happy. It’s like that scene in the “Secret Garden” when the snow melts, the dreary brown is replaced by vibrant colors of the plants coming back to life!
6. My house – the place of sanctuary and retreat where I don’t have to see people if I so choose. It’s not fancy, but it is mine (and Candace’s but she is pretty cool sometimes)!
7. My family – George, Joyce, Candace, Brit, Jonathan, Madi, Wyatt (yes, ladies and gentleman, my sis and her hubby are introducing the first Stokley/Beaty boy – we have pretty much been a female dominated family until now) Lily (the dog), Mamaw, Papaw, all of my aunts and uncles and cousins (especially those cousins who are more like the brothers we three girls never had). You are all certifiably crazy, but you are my bunch of crazies. I love all of you so much.
8. My friends – all of you are family to me… especially when we can fight like two slightly pudgy girls over the last piece of cheesecake one minute and be completely fine the next. Some people are meant to be ensemble cast members that are in it from beginning to end while others are meant simply for guest appearances, and the core, the group – ya’ll are pretty much stuck with me!
9. God has blessed me a great deal especially when it comes to my church. If you didn’t get it in the last blog, I am not really like everyone else nor do I aspire to be, and that goes as far as my worship as well. I have found the most amazing church family that accepts me for me, encourages me to take off the “I’m-fine-don’t-get-too-close” mask, and expects me to be real no matter what that looks like. Crosspointe Community Church is a laid-back atmosphere that allows you to ask questions, take a closer look at God, people, yourself, and gives you the opportunity to experience life through a new perspective.
10. There can’t be an odd number, therefore there has to be a number 10. After serious reflection and consideration – I must add my Hello Kitty alarm clock, my Breakfast At Tiffany’s movie poster and script, coffee, World War II history, books, music, movies, flowers, soft sheets, the wind from the ocean blowing in my face, olive garden, and musicals even though by definition musicals are when characters randomly burst out into song!
Just so you know, the fact that I am nerd is not lost on me! I simply have adopted Rhett Butler’s final line in Gone With the Wind when I say that “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a (insert proper curse word here) when asked whether or not I care what people think of me. A side note here that is slightly humorous to me is the fact I felt it important to list movies as one of my favorite things when anyone with any sense would gather that little tid bit of information from the movie quote dropped in every other paragraph or so!
Well I hope this little trip that very well could have possibly taken place in a VW van smothered in peace signs makes you smile!


defying gravity

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s games
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap.
It’s time to try defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down…
I’m through accepting limits
Cuz’ someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But til I try I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love – I guess I have lost
It comes at much too high a cost
I’d sooner buy defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I’m defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down…
“Defying Gravity” from Wicked
Defying gravity – the concept is simple really. It is making a choice to be exactly who you are called to be and having the hypothetical balls to stick by that choice despite the world and everything in it trying to tear you apart. You see “gravity” is going through life just like everyone else does, not swimming against the stream, going with the flow, and never questioning anything. Well, that is just not me. I went through much of my early life following the leader and being the girl who was more of a wall-flower than a leader. Then something clicked inside of me, and I realized that I was never happy doing that. I was born different, I am not like everyone else, and I could never go back to following – I had to be the leader.
You see when you defy gravity, you become a leader. Everyone else is too scared to get out their comfortable box; therefore, those who do step out of the box stand out in the crowd. That’s who I am called to be – I cannot and will not live by someone else’s rules nor will I look back on the rest of my life and say I did not do everything to live out the calling placed on my life.
I was never really good with limits – my parents never told me I could not accomplish my dreams or be whatever it was I wanted to be that particular day. (As a child I was always changing my mind, and that is something I never really grew out of.) When I wanted to go to college, my parents didn’t say that we didn’t have the money for me to go to college. (We didn’t have the money) They said let’s find a way. When I came home, and told my parents I wanted to be a history teacher, my parents did not tell me that position was typically held by male coaches and that I should consider other options. They said go for it and do your best. I have to tell the truth – I didn’t always do my personal best; however, I had a goal and a dream that I was moving towards. Then life happens, reality sets in, it’s difficult to find a history teacher’s position, and I go back to comparing me and my life to everyone else’s and allowing gravity to take a hold.
Now after some intense soul-searching, I have decided to once again defy gravity. I can’t be like everyone else. I have tried – it’s exhausting, pointless, and futile. At this point in my life, I am not sure I want to be a teacher anymore. You see it seems everyone I know is a teacher, and the rebel inside of me is screaming to do something different because that’s what I do. I am in the process of determining if teaching is really my dream or if it was what “was expected of me.” Here is what I do know:
1. I love social studies – history, government, geography, economics, sociology – (okay so sociology and economics are not exactly my favorite but I admit the nerd that I am loves the others!)
2. I love to teach – the sharing of information to people and it clicking is the most amazing feeling.
3. I find myself integrating some form of social studies into my everyday life – I know I am a nerd!
4. I am very passionate about education and kids getting the best one possible and teachers having the necessary resources to provide that.
5. I hate the fact that education seems to be first on the budget cutting list and first in line when handing out extreme pressure for teachers and students and administrators.
6. The politics and bureaucracy behind the scenes kind of give me mono.
7. However the thought of possibly having the same type of impact on students that my teachers had on me makes me like a giddy teenage girl crushed out on some cute guy.
You see, I want to be there for that girl or guy who is the wall-flower and who is afraid of being different. I want to be that teacher that pulls them out of their shell, gives them the confidence to be who they are, and the tools to figure out who that is. I want to be an educator - I think....



I just have to say I am so tired of winter right now. I am looking forward to sunshine and warmer temperatures, and I have been enjoying the past few days. Today is especially beautiful, but you might not have thought it was going to be if you were awake around 2 a.m. this morning. I do not like bad weather, thunder is not my friend, and I am not particularly fond of lightning. I woke up around 1:45 with all three going on outside my window which is just inches from head. Needless to say I was not a happy Colie. It was short-lived storm though, and I was soon back in bed trying to go back to sleep. And I wake up this morning to see the beginning of a beautiful day. (Or as close to the beginning of the day as I like to see as I am not an early morning person!)

All of this to say that I was reminded that the storms of life, the hard times are much like the thunderstorm last night. Short-lived in comparison to the rest of our lives, slightly scary, and definitely time to make sure all of the important stuff is taken care of. I would like to propose, that though our trials are difficult,and we would much rather not go through them at all, that it is only after the truly horrible storm that we are able to completely appreciate the beautiful day. Another way to think of it is the warm spring temperatures feel like a blessing just for you especially after the artic blast that decided to come south for the winter.

There are things in my life that are unsure and kinda scary right now. For example, MS is in its worst budget cut and teacher cut that it has experienced in years if ever. This is not exactly what you want to hear if you are about to finish a masters degree in social science education (or history teaching!)! I have been trying to be patient and wait for God's time, but can I just tell you that sometimes waiting sucks and is the most difficult thing at times. Somewhere in my make up is this need to contribute - to do my part in this world, and being still goes against everything within me.

BUT GOD has a plan. (My pastor is especially fond of "but God" moments in scripture - moments when it feels like all hope is lost and then God steps onto the scene and takes out the bad guys.)

This is one such moment in this little story. I know somewhere equally deep within my make up that God has a plan and a reason for all of this seemingly crappy circumstances. Also I know that whatever happens is to bring glory to God through my life. This perception is something that taken years for me to grasp because as I said my success equaled teaching and that equaled bringing glory to God. However, my ideas of success have changed and now I see success as my life bringing glory to God through whatever He allows me to do. Also I know that when I do find a teaching job, I will appreciate it so much more after going through this time.

I hope this encourages someone out there going through a slightly scary thunderstorm - storms end, the sun will shine again, and there is hope!