Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Right now I am a jumble of mixed emotions... overwhelmed, excited, nervous, intimidated, thankful... you name it, and it's there. Why?

On Monday afternoon, it was officially announced that I will be the new cross country coach for Blue Mountain College!

A few months ago, Coach Smith asked me if I had ever considered coaching at the college level. I told him that I had never thought about it, and he then assured me he had no immediate plans of leaving BMC. A little more recently, he contacted me to let me know that he was indeed going to be moving to Colorado. He said that he had given my name to the athletic director and wanted me to consider applying for the job.

Scott and I prayed about it and decided that it couldn't hurt to turn in a resume, especially since it just kind of came out of nowhere and landed in our laps. After submitting a resume, I waited. and waited. and waited. For what seemed like EVER... but it was only a few weeks!

I was called in last Thursday and offered the job! It all seemed to work out in an obviously providential manner. They changed the job description to be part time; I can do as much work from home as I like, and my only responsibility is the XC team. This will allow us to continue homeschooling and keep some flexibility in our family life.

Last weekend I got to attend a coaches' conference (not related to BMC.) I learned SO much information that will be helpful to the Toppers and Spartans, and I need to carve out a little time to assimilate it all!

On Monday afternoon, I got to go to the school and meet the team. Before practice, the school photographer interviewed me and got some pictures for the press release...

Just a quick aside... Press release?!? I am like a little kid... I have never really had a "for real" job before! Now, I get my own office computer...business cards... press releases... all kinds of crazy stuff! It seems very weird!

Anyway, I got interviewed for the press release, and went down to the gym. When the first runner came in and saw me in there, he gave a couple leaps across the room, gave me a huge hug, and kept a grin on his face for at least 5 minutes. You see, I coached Austin for 3 years when he was at East Union! The other two runners that I coached at East Union had similar responses, and the ones that I did not know seemed agreeable enough to have me as their new coach.

I start next week in an official capacity, but this week I am working like crazy to begin recruiting, research and plan my training schedule for spring, order some BMC gear, and get my house cleaned and organized!

I am going to try to copy and paste the article from www.bmcsports.com....

Duley named BMC cross country coach

Heather Duley, center, was named the Blue Mountain College cross country head coach on Monday. Duley, talking with BMC athletic director Lavon Driskell, left, and outgoing Toppers coach Fred Smith, will begin her duties March 1.

BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. - Heather Duley will become head coach of the Blue Mountain College cross country program on March 1.

Duley, coach of the Spartans, a team of North Mississippi home-schooled runners based in New Albany, will replace Fred Smith, who founded the BMC program in 2007. Smith resigned recently to move to Colorado Springs, Colo.

"Coach Duley brings a wealth of knowledge as a cross country coach," said Lavon Driskell, BMC athletic director. "She has worked with and knows numerous athletes and coaches in our area. It was a difficult decision because of the quality of the candidates for the job, but we feel Heather is a good fit for BMC."

Duley, a native of Cordova, Tenn., helped start the East Union High program in 2001 and coached there until 2004 when she and her family moved to Louisville, Ky. She was a four-time letter-winner at Lambuth University and captain of the cross country team.

While she was at East Union, she coached Tuesdae Rowland, Richard Feist and Austin Epting, current members of the BMC cross country program.

The Toppers are members of the NAIA TranSouth Athletic Conference.

"I'm excited to get this opportunity," Duley said. "Blue Mountain is a great college and Coach Smith has done an outstanding job with the cross country program the past three years. It's a big challenge; definitely new and different, but I'm looking forward to it.

"My main goal is to continue to build a strong program on Coach Smith's foundation," she added. "We're going to focus on building a strong team atmosphere and also add to our women's team. We need to get some numbers there where we can be even more competitive in the TranSouth."

Victory and Josh-ism

Sorry for the delay... over 102,000 CERTIFIED signatures were delivered to the Secretary of State on February 15th! They will begin the long process of counting in the upcoming months, and the Personhood Amendment will be on the ballot in November, 2011!

Josh has been exposed to strep throat recently. He was complaining this morning about things hurting, so I decided to take his temperature. I put the thermometer under his arm, and he said, "Mom, I think we should do this under my tongue... It is called strep throat, not strep armpit!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Personhood Update

I am so thankful to be at home this morning... drinking my coffee, enjoying a fire, looking at a little snow on the ground, and thankful to have my children buzzing around me in the kitchen.

Last week I headed back down to south Mississippi early Monday morning to help gather petitions from different courthouses around the state.... Technically, the law reads that we had until Feb. 13th TO PETITION, which fell on a Saturday. Our secretary of state has been less than accommodating, however, and he insisted that they must all be CERTIFIED in courthouses and delivered by Friday.

We were threatened with an unexpected snowstorm in the southern part of the state, and so we had to try to get all petitions out of courthouses late Thursday afternoon. (Many circuit clerks were telling us that they would be closed if it snowed.) We all picked up and dropped off at our designated locations, and then it was up to Phillip to work on our numbers. He worked on counting all of the certified petitions, but the question remained, "What about all of the petitions sitting in courthouses all over the state that have not been certified yet? Will they count?"

Friday morning was met with a blanket of snow on Jackson, MS. All state offices were closed, but Mr. Hoseman decided that he would be glad to just meet us at the office and require us to turn in everything anyway. Thankfully, a judge intervened and granted us a snow day also, which gave us until Tuesday to deliver signatures to Jackson.

We were worried about how the snow would affect everything, but it turned out to be a blessing; It was determined that we were just a LITTLE short in district four, and so it gave us an extra day to petition. Les asked "everyone with legs" to come to Jackson and petition all day Saturday. Two wonderful circuit clerks offered to come in and certify on Saturday and Monday. It seemed that the Lord was really working in this effort!

Savannah, the kids, and I were planning on going to Jackson Friday for the delivery of signatures and a field trip/tour of the capitol building, but it turned into an overnight trip to spend Saturday petitioning. We spent the night in the home of a very nice CPC volunteer, "Miss Dana," and woke up Saturday morning to petition. The girls got to go to the Dixie National Parade and Rodeo (lucky!), and Savannah, Will, and I spent the day in Clinton. We went from business to business, door to door in neighborhoods, and we even sneaked around the Wal-Mart parking lot gathering signatures! By the end of the day, we were having many people say, "Y'all got me at Fred's," or "Someone asked me in the hair salon." I think the area was well covered with petitioners!

Among all the different groups, it is estimated that about 1,300 signatures were gathered in District 4. Not all of these will be certified, but hopefully we will have enough to make our goal of 89,000!

On Saturday morning, I read this passage in Acts:
"Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
'Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish;
for I am accomplishing a work in your days,
A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.'"

I know that this is talking about the gospel and belief in Christ, but it was an encouragement to me as we started the day... it really does seem as though God is accomplishing a work here. I continue to pray that God would show us His mercy, and not His judgment in this. It is still too close to tell, but I think we will know on Tuesday!

AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! I just got a phone call, and it seems that the attorney general of our state is now saying that just because we got the snow day, we can not turn in any petitions collected on the 12th or 13th... HELLO!!!! Our deadline was the 13th! I have no idea what is going through this man's mind, but it is very frustrating. Especially since we just found out that district 2 is 600 signatures short, but there are a few thousand signatures waiting in a few different courthouses to be certified! I think a suit is going to be filed to allow the signatures gathered by the date to be certified and count. If this passes, we should have enough signatures to get it on the ballot. There is no reason it should not pass, assuming the judge can clearly understand the written English language; the law is written pretty clearly... the attorney general just seems to favor some skewed interpretation of it! Hopefully we will know more soon!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catching up/ Petitioning

A friend of mine recently posted under the title, "blog or live." I can relate to that! We have been busy around the Duley house lately!

Last week we got to go roller skating with a lot of area homeschoolers. Everyone (including me) had a blast... until Hannah broke her arm! She was skating and fell while trying to avoid a collision. It was not discolored or deformed, so I gave her some ice and we headed on to Sam's as planned. When she was still whimpering after an hour of grocery shopping, I knew there was trouble. We took her in to the doctor the next morning... sure enough, it was broken! Fortunately, it is not a bad break, and they did not even put a hard cast on it. She has a splint and a sling for two more weeks, and then we will go back for a re-check.

A few days after the roller rink, I headed down to south Mississippi to spend a few days petitioning for the personhood amendment. The girls went to my parents' house, and the boys went with Katie Strevel and I to Scott's mom's house. The boys had fun with Nana and Papa John while Katie and I petitioned around the coast area....

After getting kicked out of one parking lot, denied permission to petition in many others, going on a wild goose chase to be allowed to petition in the "free speech area" of one college, and turned down by countless people, we decided to move north just a bit and join two other ladies from our church.

Columbia was much more friendly and open to our efforts! Regardless of location, there is nothing that will bring you out of your comfort zone like standing in front of a grocery store asking complete strangers to sign a petition! Please read Katie's post about our experience there... I am not feeling super creative, but she honestly and candidly described our experience... and yes, the bird sure did poop in my hair while I was talking to someone!

If I have learned anything at all, it is that you really can't judge a book by its cover.... and that we should all be nice to people petitioning!

I can't tell you how many well dressed ladies with several children walked past me with a hand in the air, not willing to give me the time of day. I think that this frustrated me more than anything, because they were too selfish to even listen, and they had no clue about what they were missing. Coming in a close second were all of the people who said things like, "um, not today," or, "I don't know anything about all that..." Finally, although I completely disagree, I can understand an unwillingness to sign based on a difference of opinion or ideology. Many people were kind about a refusal, stating their beliefs on the subject. I only had a few unkind, ungracious bigots who made awful comments.

On the other hand, I can't tell you how many people signed the petition with enthusiasm... that I never would have guessed would say yes... much less be registered to vote! That fact alone taught me a LOT about myself and how much of a loveless snob I am. I have really spent a good deal of time thinking about appearances- and making more of an effort to see people as God sees us. Good grief, some of the kindest, most gentle people... most concerned about the unborn and the effects of abortion on women... were missing teeth and covered in tattoos.

I also have seen what a bubble I live in... there are a lot of adults who can't vote due to felonies. There are adults in Mississippi who have no idea what it means to be "pro-life," who do not know that abortion is legal in our state, and there are many adults in Mississippi who can't write! (I do not mean they can't write neatly... I mean, really, they never learned how to write. That makes me so very sad.)

Well, it was a busy, tiring week. I am thrilled to know that we are really close in numbers, and so we are going back next week for the final push.

If you are a pro-life voter in Mississippi, and you have not signed the Personhood Amendment Petition... WAKE UP!! Snap out of it!! Only a few days left! "Not today," or "I don't have time" do not apply and are not valid excuses at this point!

This amendment would simply define a person in our state constitution as any human being from the moment of fertilization.

In order to allow the people to vote on whether or not to amend the constitution in this way, 89,000 signatures (of registered voters with correct addresses) must be gathered. We have one week left, and the last count was somewhere around 87,000. Signing this petition does not commit you to anything- It costs nothing more than a signature. We are not looking for money, recruits for some political party... nothing... but an opportunity to save lives of unborn babies.