When I Feel Anxious

2020 has been a year like no other, but you don’t need me to tell you that. We’ve all been living it! A global pandemic, mounting social justice issues, civil unrest, a polarizing election. This year has been A LOT!

Over the last 8 months, I have surfed the waves of anxiety and I’m pretty confident I’m not the only one. At times, it’s been easy to let the circumstances of this year overwhelm me. And now, as we near the holiday season, with COVID cases increasing every day, I feel the waves of anxiety starting to churn again. I have been here before, most notably back in March.

I flipped through my journal to something I wrote on March 17, 2020. It was written just a few days after everything began to shut down. Anxiety was starting to rear its ugly head. I felt it mentally and physically. In that moment, I turned to the coping mechanisms that work for me like yoga, grounding techniques like boxed breathing and the 5-4-3-2-1 exercise, limiting my social media and news intake, and listening to music. Most importantly, as a follower of Jesus, I turned to the Bible. I started to identify verses that were encouraging and filled with truth to help center my thoughts and shift my focus. In some of my most anxious moments, meditating on the truth of these verses has helped me to refocus. Today, I want to share a few of my favorites with you. If you’re like me and battling some anxiety, I hope you find these verses encouraging!

Feeling anxious? What coping mechanisms do you turn to manage anxiety?


Taking Time to Grieve

My Facebook memory was pictures from a visit to the Children’s Museum last year. It was the last day of the Paw Patrol exhibit. I promised my son I would take him. We almost missed it. Thinking back to that day, I remember him running freely through the Paw Patrol exhibit. Touching everything! Exploring! Having a blast, without a care in the world! We continued to roam the museum, brushing shoulders with other kids. Eyes wide, he took in everything around him. That was a great day!

That memory reminded me how care free life seemed before coronavirus gripped our world. Sadly, we aren’t planning any visits to the museum or very many places, for that matter, anytime soon.

Our youngest is too little to wear a mask. The oldest doesn’t technically have to wear one according to our local mandate, but we would feel safer if he did. He is just now coming around to the idea of wearing a mask since we purchased new ones from Target, but we haven’t tried them in public yet. He says he will wear one, but knowing my son, I don’t see the mask lasting very long. He’s 4!

Those pictures got me thinking of all the things we have missed out on. The freedom to move freely, without masks and sanitizer on hand. Impromptu store runs. Family vacation. The trip to California that I always dreamed of. Face to face connection with friends and loved ones. These things may seem trivial to some, but I have to admit it pains me to sit with the reality of all the that we have lost or missed out on because of this pandemic.

When this all started, our pastor invited our entire church to take the time to grieve what we had lost because of coronavirus. Back then, I didn’t take the time to do it. Maybe I was in denial, maybe I was still trying to come to grips with what was happening. Regardless of what it was, I didn’t take that time to grieve.

So here I am now, processing, grieving. Will you join me? Will you take the time to reflect on what this pandemic has taken from you? I’ll give you a few minutes. Take more time if you need it.


Lessons Learned in Quarantine

Within the last month, our lives have slowly started to return to “normal.” Our kids returned to daycare and I am now working from the office one to two times a week. We have also resumed visits with our immediate family and a handful of friends.

From the middle of March to the beginning of June, our family of four was quarantined together, spending all day, everyday with no one else but each other. There was the occasional drive by to see grandparents, but those visits were few and far between. With two parents working full time, a preschooler, and a newly walking toddler all under one roof there were plenty of lessons learned. Today, I’m sharing four of the most important lessons quarantine taught me.

Lesson 1: It takes a village. 

The African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” couldn’t have become more clear to me than during quarantine. In March, we made the decision to pull our kids out of daycare. Social distancing meant no visits with grandparents, no play dates with friends, and no church. We were now the sole caretakers for our children. While I understand that is my role as a parent, we rely on so many others, like their daycare teachers, our parents, friends, and church community to help raise and guide our children as they grow and develop. In a matter of days, that village was ripped away from us. We wore the hats of parent, friend, playmate, teacher, and chef. Sometimes all at the same time. Let’s not forget our other responsibilities of spouse and employee. It was very exhausting. Needless to say, I have a greater appreciation for our village.

Lesson 2: Community is essential. 

I’m so grateful for my friends and church family. Just like our village was torn away from us, we were no longer seeing our friends. Thank goodness for all the tools we now have available to connect with others virtually. Under stay-at-home orders, I connected virtually with friends and my small group at church almost weekly. Those check-ins filled me with encouragement, hope, and joy. They also gave me a safe place to vent and share my frustrations. Even though quarantine changed what community looked like, it remained essential and will always be important to me. I don’t know what I would have done without all of my friends.

Lesson 3: Enjoy the ordinary, everyday moments. 

Quarantine was filled with ordinary moments that I sometimes took for granted before stay-at-home orders went into effect.With nowhere to go and nothing to do, it was easy to find the joy in the everyday experience of doing life with my family. Tickle fights with my one year old. A midweek movie night with my oldest. Staying up late, binge watching the latest Netflix series. Sleeping in (sort of…if you have young kids you know that sleeping in doesn’t really happen). Eating meals together as a family. Midday walks in the park. All these ordinary moments seemed to be magnified during quarantine. As things begin to return to “normal,” I don’t want to take the ordinary, everyday moments for granted. It’s in those moments that the best memories are made.

Lesson 4: It’s good to slow down. 

Our calendar was suddenly empty. There were no evening commitments that required us to leave the house. No weekend events to work around. At most, my husband continued the weekly grocery trip, but outside of that we literally had nothing to do and nowhere to go. Our lives took on a much slower pace, which if I’m honest was much needed. As a working parent, I was starting to feel the pressure of trying to “balance” it all. With an empty calendar, I suddenly felt a little sense of relief and freedom. I actually hope this slower pace is something that we can continue to cultivate as life returns to “normal.”

When COVID-19 began to spread, I could have never imagined we would be where we are now. I could have never imagined I would be working from home with my kids for over two months. I could have never imagined that I would be isolated from family and friends. I could have never imagined I would be forced to slow down. I could have never imagined the sweet moments I would experience with my family. I could have never imagined any of this. But I know now that if, or when, we are forced back into our homes for an extended period of time, the lessons I have learned over the last few months will guide me through.

Photo by cottonbro on

It’s Heavy…

Today I’m sharing part of a post I wrote in the fall of 2019 after an officer in Ft. Worth, TX shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in her own home. I wrote this, but didn’t share it at the time. The scary thing is that I actually thought, “if I don’t share it now, I will probably have another opportunity later.”

That thought sickens me, but unfortunately it’s true. Just yesterday, I watched two videos of black men being murdered. Two in one day.

Sadly, the words I wrote in the early morning hours of that October day are still true, but really only scratch the surface. I still find it hard to put into words all the thoughts I’m thinking and emotions I’m feeling a result of what I continue to see.

I had a dream a few weeks ago. It scared me. It shook me. It made me realize that I’m more affected by what’s going on in our country than I thought.

The dream.

I was one of two black people at a gathering of friends. Something happened, I don’t recall what, but a police officer shows up and singles me out. He accused me of something I didn’t do and tries to get me to confess. I politely tell him I didn’t do it. He continues to pressure me. I get upset because I know am innocent. I maintain my composure, but continue trying to convince the officer he has the wrong person. The officer pulls his gun out and points it at me. My hands go up. I’m defenseless.

During this entire ordeal, others gathered at this place look on without any action. Finally, the only other black person in the room comes to my rescue. He steps between me and the gun. The officer doesn’t shoot. Somehow the situation is diffused. I wake up.

A mix of emotions rushed over me.

Fear. Anger. Anxiety. Frustration. Confusion.

What triggered a dream like that?

I can’t help but think it’s a response to the violence against black people we continue to see in this country. The images I have seen and the stories I have heard remind me that as a black person in America I’m not immune to the impact of the systemic racism that pervades this country. The stories we hear and see everyday remind me that black and brown people are not safe, even in our own homes [or while jogging]. The weight of having brown skin in America is heavy. It’s heavy.


Hello 2020!

Happy New Year!!

As I lay in my bed this morning and think about 2019, the word that comes to mind is challenging. When you read that word, it may carry an err of negativity, but for me, the struggles I endured in 2019, while difficult in the moment, resulted in some of the greatest growth I’ve experienced in my life.

Thinking about 2020, the first word that comes to mind is simplify. For me, that means slowing down, focusing on what is most important, letting the non-essentials go, relaxing the expectations I have of myself, and creating space for me.

Hello 2020! Let’s see what you have in store!