This past week was so healing! I’m still working through what it is about the beach that is so powerful, but I am home, feeling renewed. ☀️🌊🏖 Picture a music equalizer - all those columns of colored light representing bass and treble and who knows what else. Now, let’s imagine that each colored bar is a set of symptoms - physical symptoms (headaches, fatigue, trouble walking), emotional symptoms (stress, anxiety, fear), mental symptoms (brain fog, processing issues, cloudy and triple vision), social symptoms (short fuse, withdrawing). Corona and lockdown had all my colored light bars busting out the top of the charts!! Every single symptom was turned to the highest level! ☀️🌊🏖 When I stepped onto the sand (17th Street beach in Ocean City, NJ), the levels started to drop. My heart rate slowed, my breathing got deeper, my pace became calm and unhurried. When I unfolded my chair and sat down and looked at the ocean, the scene lowered my levels even further. ☀️🌊🏖 Is it the ocean? The constancy and power of the waves make me think of God. I feel so close to Him on that sand. Is it the fact that the issues of life can’t find me on that sand? No email, no calendar, no schedule or agenda. Is it the healing power of the sunshine and fresh air? Maybe it’s all of the above 😊 Either way, I’m a new woman after a week “down the shore”. And I’m so very grateful! ☀️🌊🏖 Swipe to see pics of my fam in my healing place ☀️🌊🏖 #ocnj #downtheshore #beach #healing #tbi #braininjury #chroniccondition #iloveocnj
Another Father’s Day post. Yes, these are pics of a bird feeder. Drew helped me attach it to our living room window last week. I can be working in my kitchen and watch the birds show up at the window. I’m addicted to watching it, like it’s my new favorite show to binge watch. 🐦🐤 How is this a Father’s Day post? My dad had bird feeders - lots of them. Every morning, he would walk the circuit of feeders making sure they had enough feed in them, hadn’t been attacked by squirrels, and that all was right and ready for his birds. My dad has been gone since 2008. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t missed him. I miss him always being at the other end of the phone ready to cheer me on, comfort me, and always pray with me. I miss him singing my boys to sleep - his voice was magic. I miss his hugs, his encouragement, his never-waivering belief in me, and his steadfast trust in Jesus. 🐦🐤 In my grief, I wanted to put up a bird feeder as a way to feel connected to him, but I just couldn’t do it. It’s been more than 10 years, and I still couldn't have a bird feeder. It sounds dumb here on paper, but my grief was too raw. A week ago, something in me shifted. I just knew it was time. I miss him like crazy, but now I look at this bird feeder and smile and feel him just a little bit closer. And that makes me feel a little bit stronger and stand a little bit straighter - cuz I know he’d be so proud of me. 🐦🐤 #fathersday #mydad #grief #birdfeeder
He hates to be the center of attention, but I can’t let Father’s Day end without bragging on him. Drew is the best dad! He’s kind and compassionate, smart and fun. His relationship with our boys makes me smile every day. And his dad jokes are the best! Crazy bout you, Drew! Happy Father’s Day!
Know what it means when I pull out this bag?? Means Momma is headed down the shore!! (“Going to the beach” for my southern friends 😊) Beyond excited!! If you’re in town, look me up! ☀️🏖🌊 #ocnj #beach #vacation #downtheshore
Quoting @beabridgebuilder - “Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the day that slavery ended in the United States. Today, we celebrate this historic moment as we continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.” Y’all, this year is the first I remember ever hearing about Junteenth. Why?? It’s a really big deal! Freedom for people. People who never should have been treated as property. People made in the image of God. Free. It SHOULD be a big deal! Today, I’m learning and honoring. #juneteenth #freedom #amplifymelanatedvoices
I said that as I learned new things I would share them. Here are the YouTube videos I’ve watched, an Instagram account that is challenging me, a podcast that taught me, and a business I’m proud to support. I’d include links if I was cool enough to have a swipe up 🙄 but y’all are smart enough to look them up yourself. 1. A conversation with @bishopjakes that was incredibly powerful. 2. A call from @dranitaphillips to the church to be who God has called them to be. 3. An incredible lesson from @dhariusdaniels on Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan and a believer’s role in this world. 4. A new (to me) Instagram follow that is making me think! @stewartdantec 5. A podcast that taught me things I didn’t know and has me asking questions I’ve never asked. @latashamorrison 6. A business @g.o.e._apparel I’m supporting that I want you to support too 😁 Just using this moment to plug my favorite apparel brand run by my favorite entrepreneur @coachdevonbuchanan My progress is slow, but my determination is strong. I’m a willing student and an aspiring advocate. #antiracism #learning #amplifymelanatedvoices
Graduation was two weeks ago, and I’ve finally worked through most of the big emotions of that day. My first born is graduated and off to college in August. Time has FLOWN! Anyway, now that I’m a bit more adjusted to the concept, I can post some pics and our letter to him. I’m a very proud mom! Aaron, you make us smile. You have learned so much and are becoming the man God has designed you to be. It’s so exciting to walk with you as you figure out His plan! We had a blast with you in high school - marching band, awesome friends, drum battles, and so much more! Your passion for life, intense concern for others, and servant-leadership are inspiring! Now, college is ahead, and we know you are going to crush it! *The last pic shows all 3 of my guys. How am I the mom of a college freshman, a high school senior, and an 8th grader? So crazy proud of them all! 📸: @katherineazar (pic 1 and 8) 📸: @svincentphoto (pic 6 and 7) #classof2020 #boymom #proudmom #bandmom
I’ve put this post off for a week trying to figure out what to say and how to say it. I was worried I’d mess up and say something wrong. Ugh. Here goes. Our country is full of chaos right now. There is so much noise! So many people telling everyone what to say, how to say it, who to support and who to despise. But there is also a softening. I feel it in my own spirit. For the first time (and it’s WAY past time!), I’m really listening. I’m hungry to learn. I’ve heard stories of racial injustice from friends around my dining room table. Stories of prejudice and mistreatment that made me cry. But I’ve never hungered to learn more. I’ve never let their pain make me take a long hard look at myself. And I’ve certainly never asked how I can make things better. But in this season, God is calling me to be tuned in. He’s asking me to listen - really listen to the stories of mistreatment from all over our country. He’s giving me a hunger to learn - there is so much in the history of our country that I don’t know. And I should! And He’s calling me to find my lane to make a difference. I’m frustrated with myself that it has taken me this long to make this a priority. But it’s not about me. So what does my plan look like? Well, my pace will be slower than others because I only have so much brain energy to go around (stupid brain injury). But my goal is one movie, one book, and two podcasts a month. I’m determined to listen to all the voices I’ve never bothered to tune in to. These voices belong to people made in the image of God, brothers and sisters in Him, people He loves and cherishes. It’s past time that I tuned in to their stories. And I’m gonna get to work. I have no idea what that means yet. But as I learn, I’m sure you will hear about it 😁 📸: @latashamorrison She’s a gracious teacher, and I’m an eager student. Very late to class, but determined to learn it all.
Let’s talk banners. In my life, I “fight” under a bunch of different banners. You can swipe to see some. These banners create community (people fighting under the same flag know they are on the same team), explain the rules of engagement (being an Eagle’s fan is very unique), and remind us who we are. In the Bible, after a big battle, Moses, the leader of the Israelites, built an alter to the Lord and declared, “The Lord is my banner.” You can read all about it in Exodus 17. I’ve been giving lots of thought to what that phrase means. Here’s where I’m landing: With God as my banner, I know Who I fight for. I also know whose commands I should follow. And it’s abundantly clear whose power brings the victory. So cool, right? As I tried to imagine what a God banner would look like, it hit me. Our banner as followers of Jesus is the cross! Our community is formed as forgiven sinners at the foot of the cross. Our rallying cry is the power of our Risen King. Together, we follow Him into battle and know that all victories come in His power. The Lord is my banner. ✝️ In case you are curious, the name of God that refers to Him being our banner is Jehovah Nissi ✝️ #banner #jehovahnissi #cross #jesus #exodus #philadelphiaeagles #birdgang #upwardsports #carolinagirl