Ms. Joy, she was tall. Everything about her was so very, very tall. Everything about her seemed larger than life. I was a tiny, freckled, second grade, shrimp that looked more like a sticky popsicle stick back then. But she, …oh she was everything I ever dreamed. I wanted to be her. She had a smile that radiated, hair that every blonde coveted. Think Sandy from Greece, after she had the make-over. She laughed a lot and often, had sexy arm candy in a princess fashion – her boyfriend was tall. She was passionate about Jesus, had a perfect reply for everything, a wide smile, She was single, a divorced mom ; a former model. 

She had a story. She was very alluring. She was one of those tall girls that knew she was tall but never ever slouched. A few times I would get to get away from the family pew at our little church to sit with her. Momma would let me sit with “her” sometimes because it was one less kid she had stare down at from the choir. Ms. Joy was the extra shoulder to lean on, her sermon notes were sacred for me to copy. I’d try and mimic her every move. I’d sit up taller and nod my head the same way. I’d fret over my penmanship not being the same as hers. I would cross my legs the same way she did, shake my foot swayingly, copying even the rhythm of her speed. 

In my eye’s, the other thing I seemed to notice was that she had money to spare. Her only child was basically grown. So when she traveled to really cool places she would bring back pretty gifts for me. Hence why I thought she was very rich.

She once bought me a Cinderella pumpkin pin. Not pen but, a pin. The largest I have ever seen to this day. it was full of glittery rhinestones. I wore the tacky thing pinned to my lace collared dresses proudly. This of course was worn with a side pony tail at all times. I lost that pin, as most little girls with nice gifts do. (Because we are climbing trees with our brothers, pretending to be Tinker Bell in the tree fort, of course.) 

I looked it up on e-bay once, that pin I realized was a $350 gift given to an eight year old! 

My most favorite thing about Ms. Joy was that she wore heels. And I mean HEELS. Four inches was normal, Five common, and anything under three inches she did not own. THE woman stood taller than my father by a good three inches in her flats. So, when she wore her heels she was a six foot one tower of beauty. She was my brother’s first real crush and my very first idol. A mentor outside of the family. To this day her impact still sings. 

True story, I am known personally for my heels! 

It is because of this, I want to give you a shoulder to lean on, that same inspiration, that same encouragement. And if I could, I’d buy every last one of you a glittery, rhinestone carriage pin to wear proudly. Because of her, I am more equipped, more inspired, and more kind. It is because of this I write to you now.

If I am to write to the young rising leaders of our day in the new year of 2023, what would I say that would be any different from the ten million other blogs and genres out there on this big wide web? How would I encourage you? Where would I begin? 

This is where I would start, with Ms. Joy. I would tell you to laugh always, stand tall in everything, ladies: wear heels, men: dress up for your women and escort them proudly. May all of you love Jesus deeply. The first person I thought of when outlining the idea of the blog Creating Exceptional and the original “goal” for why I write on all the topics from fashion to Bible studies was Ms. Joy.

I lost touch with Ms. Joy. Eight moves later for me and a lack of Facebook for her generation. I don’t know where she is or if she’s even alive, but I hope you will let me be your Ms. Joy for a little bit and to help you be all your meant to be! Happiest of new years to you all!

With heart and heels,


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