Who Defines If You Are Successful?

Jerry Borton’s latest post. Photo Credit: Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pexels

Phil Hodges, a coauthor of Lead Like Jesus, says, “Satan’s definition of success is performance plus the opinions of others.”

I am easily lulled into believing this lie. I like it when people pay me a compliment which morphs into a compulsion to have people notice me. I like the diplomas and certificates on my wall. When I hear about a certification in just about anything a voice inside my head says, I NEED that! This pressure intensifies when I perceive those around me minimize me because of my disability. I want to laminate my resume and show them who I am and what I do, as if that would really prove anything.

When I buy into the lie that success equals performance plus the opinion of others, I lose. First, I lose because I can’t meet my performance expectations. I push myself to keep up with everybody, even though I know that that is physically impossible. Second, others’ opinions of me are probably inaccurate. Society’s view of those of us with disabilities falls into one of two extremes. They expect too little. Society seems to tell us we are better off dead than disabled. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Because they cannot see themselves living with a disability, and that produces fear, they can’t imagine me living with disability either.

At the other extreme, society’s expectations are too high. Every person with a disability needs to be a super-crip, or a source of inspiration. I call this the Brave Little Soldier Syndrome. It happens when people comment on how happy I am, or that I am always smiling, or how easy I make disability look. None of that is true. The problem is,  if I believe this is what you expect of me, I will strive to achieve it. But nobody can relate to someone who’s always smiling, happy, and has no problems. When we can’t relate to someone, it is a blockade to a genuine relationship and mutual ministry.

In religious circles the high expectation may take the form of a statement like this, “Jerry, if you only had enough faith you could get up out of that wheelchair.”  It makes faith like airline miles—you save up enough and exchange them for a working pair of legs, or eyes that see, or whatever else needs restoration.

I am grateful for all who pray for my healing. It is a good thing anytime someone lifts my name to heaven. I am confident God will act on those prayers for my good and His glory. But physical healing is not my greatest need. I need cured of my pride, my selfishness, and several other sins.

Who is the ultimate authority in our lives?  I imagine that some of you may feel like it’s your parents, teacher, therapists, or anybody other than you. Lots of people, including some in the disability community, teach each person is the bottom line in their own lives. I agree we need to be responsible for our own lives, but that does not make us the final authority.

I am not interested in living according to Satan’s definition of success. If I choose any audience other than One, I lose. That One is our Creator and Father God. His standard for success is to love and obey Him and love and serve others in His name. When we choose Him as our audience, we are free to be who He created us to be.

Why Do You Say People Affected by Disability?

People affected by disability. Have you ever wondered why we at Luke 14 Exchange use that terminology?

We understand that disability impacts more people than the person who has cerebral palsy, spina bifida, stroke, spinal cord injury, autism, down syndrome, or muscular dystrophy. Every parent, sibling, spouse, grandparent, co-worker, or friend who interacts with that person experiences the effects of disability on some level.

For a parent the effect may be the greatest, requiring them to adapt their home, their schedule, and their focus to help the child benefit from all the therapies, research, and strategies they can find. Sometimes one parent focuses on the person with the disability while the other parent focuses on the typical kids. This can stress family relationships in unexpected ways.

Siblings may find they get less of their parents’ time or energy because their brother or sister needs so much. While this may be hard in the myopic world of a toddler or teen, siblings often become the strongest advocates as they mature. Some even go to work in a related field to give back.

As relationships with the person who has a disability broaden out from the immediate family circle, the effect may lessen but does not completely go away. For example, our nieces and nephews, and now their children, adore their Uncle (my husband, Jerry, who was born with cerebral palsy). They have to think through invitations they extend to us to discern if he can access the location in his wheelchair. Visits with them may have to happen in hotel rooms when we travel to see them, which also influences our travel budget.

You get the idea . . . a disability or a special need is insidious in its reach. That’s why at Luke 14 Exchange we reach out to people who have been born with or acquired a disability, and their family members and friends. Yes, we want to mentor and coach people who have a disability so they can use their talents and gifts within their community. For this to happen effectively, many people with disabilities need a robust support circle.

Luke 14 Exchange wants to support the support circle. We love to listen to your stories, rejoice with you, cry with you, and pray with you. Email Joan@Luke14Exchange.org or call 863-940-3816. Sometimes family members and friends just need the reminder we are not alone.

Once a month, the Luke 14 Exchange blog will address caregivers and friends. What topics would you like to see covered? Would you be willing to share part of your story? You can comment in the section below, email, or call us as mentioned above with your thoughts.

For today, I leave you with a Bible verse that has been speaking to my heart recently. These are Jesus’ words in John 16:33, “I have told you these things,” (referencing his teachings in John chapters 13-16) “so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

 

 

 

Choosing How to Respond to Unrealistic Expectations

As we grow and develop as leaders, we’ve looked at understanding Whose we are, discerning who we are made to be,  and filling our minds with the right thoughts. Even knowing all of that, I sometimes forget, and give in to feelings of being overwhelmed or putting unrealistic expectations on myself. When that happens I beat myself up. Can you relate?

Unrealistic Expectations

My downward spiral usually starts with unrealistic expectations. If I am honest, most of the unrealistic expectations I have for myself are just in my head. For example, I typically expect that I can do things as quickly and easily as my friends without disabilities. This is rarely the case. I am at least 50–100% slower, in my mind, on many things. My wife often reminds me she and others without visible disabilities may not be as fast and together as I perceive them to be.  Once I  voice my unrealistic expectations , they have less “control” over me.

Overwhelmed By Life

Life rarely comes at us in small, bite-sized doses. In a perfect world, I could control project deadlines and client expectations. In fact, there are books and seminars advising how to do this. But sometimes the advice seems less doable when real life hits (a world that is not perfect).  

It is true with relationships too. Visits from family members rarely happen on our schedule. Feeling overwhelmed is part of life. When I voice out loud or in writing the things that are overwhelming me, they become less daunting.

Taking It Out on Me

When I don’t  deal with unrealistic expectations, or acknowledge feelings of being overwhelmed, it may  lead to beating myself up emotionally.  It begins a downward spiral. As I mentioned above, I take longer to do most things than I think I should. When I follow this thought pattern, I beat myself up, instead of accepting this as part of how God created me and allowing myself the time I need. In essence, I am telling God He did not create me right.

Recovery

Here’s the thing. When I beat myself up, I waste the energy I could have used on the project I need to get done. But before I can proceed with the project, I have to recover from the wounds I created by beating myself up. The lesson here is beating myself up does nothing of value.

If I am not careful,  beating myself up for beating myself up,  can become a never-ending cycle. Because I am not perfect, and neither are you, we’re all going to slip and fall.  The question then becomes–how quickly can we recover from the beating we give ourselves?

For me, recovering usually includes (at least) three parts.

1.  I need to voice my feelings to someone I trust and listen to their feedback to determine if I am being realistic or not. One counselor even told me I should never do self-reflection alone. My opinion of myself can be jaded.

2.  I need to identify the lie I am listening to and confess this to God.

3.  I need to remind myself of God’s truth about me. I shared some about this in an earlier post.

To help me keep my focus where it needs to be, I’ve put together a list of verses that remind me God has a plan and purpose for me, and He sees me.  If you’d like to receive a copy of the list, contact me at jerry@luke14exchange.org. I’m also posting one of these verses each day on Facebook and Twitter. Soon I’ll be sending them out daily by text. If you’d like to be on that list, send your number to me at jerry@luke14exchange.org.

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Thanks Dad for Showing Me How to Live


In honor of Father’s Day,  Jerry and I spent some time reflecting on the impact of our dads. Today I (Joan’s) share about my Father. Jerry will post his on the Luke 14 Exchange Facebook page on Saturday.

I am thankful for the forty-one years I had to spend with my Dad. My dad would have been the first to tell you he wasn’t perfect. Though one of his favorite lines was, “I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong.”

Dad had many fun and amazing qualities that I will not go into here. But one stands out. Dad’s overarching passion in life was to share the love and work of Jesus Christ with everyone he could and help others to do the same around the world. This led him to teach Sunday School classes and lead youth groups.

Within the youth group Bible Drills were a favorite (contests to see who could find a passage in Scripture fastest, and stand up and read it), complete with candy for the winner. His other Youth Group favorite was object lessons. He would either learn a magic trick (the one I remember most is him “eating” fire!) or choose some everyday type object and use it to teach a spiritual lesson. I never really put it together until just now, but perhaps that is where I got my penchant to find lessons or God sightings in my day-to-day activities.

In his later years, Dad taught adult Sunday School at church. I am thankful it was before the days of computers. I still have a dozen notebooks in which he hand-wrote every lesson. The book of John was his favorite, but he also taught on Revelation, Daniel, Luke, The Nature of God, Parables, and The Sermon on the Mount. Someday I hope to scan those so his grandchildren and great grandchildren can learn from him.

The reason Dad didn’t start teaching adult Sunday School until his later years was because he spent the previous fifteen years teaching residents at Johnstone Training Center (JTC)  in Bordentown, NJ.  In those years, JTC was a state institution for those with disabilities. I recall my parents getting up early on Sundays, picking up a couple other volunteers along the way, and driving about 20 miles to Bordentown. He dropped Mom off at the girls’ dorm where she taught Sunday School. Dad went to the chapel where about a hundred young men gathered for their Sunday School class. He faithfully taught them the Scriptures. Dad also invited all the students (male and female) to our home each summer for an outdoor barbecue. I can still see the old school bus parked on the side of the road and scores of people milling around our yard and enjoying Dad’s burgers and hot dogs.

Many Christmases and Easters one or two residents who did not have a family to visit would spend the day with our family.

I don’t recall ever having any discussion with Dad, or Mom about why they did this, or why were some people born with disabilities, or why weren’t these friends going to church like we do. It was just a normal part of my growing-up years.

I know Dad’s goal in doing this was to share the Gospel of Jesus and make disciples of the residents. Only God knows how many people Dad (and Mom) led to Jesus this way. Won’t it be a glorious revelation in Heaven some day?

A second blessing that came from Dad’s commitment to the people at JTC was it developed within me a love and acceptance of people with disabilities, special needs, or whatever term you want to use. I prefer to say, my friends, Doug, Andrew, Karen, Jill, and on and on. In fact, one friendship blossomed into my best friend and life partner, my husband Jerry Borton. See what you started, Dad?

On this Father’s Day, I think the song by Ray Boltz entitled Thank You for Giving to the Lord is perhaps the best tribute I can pay. My life changed because of my Dad. His influence extends to you too as you read this.  

A Few More Questions from Jerry

Hi friends, It’s the question guy back! In my last post, I shared questions for you to think about in determining what you believe God is calling you to do.  I know life has been different for the last couple of months, but I hope you had some time to ponder those questions.

This month I have more questions to share with you.  In The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Personal Growth, John Maxwell suggests asking one’s self these questions:

  • What would you like to do?  God wants us to enjoy the way He has created us.  His calling on your life is likely related in some way to the passions He’s given you.
  • What talents, skills, and opportunities do you possess?
  • What are your motives for what you want to do?  If what you want to do doesn’t glorify God or serve others, it may not be part of His plan for you.
  • Whose advice can you get to help you along the way?  Who believes in you?  Who points out what you do well?  Who challenges you?  Who holds you accountable? Who in your sphere of influence is doing something similar to what you want to do?
  • What price are you willing to pay?  What obstacles stand in your way?  What is your plan for overcoming those obstacles?

            Between my last post and this post you might be thinking, “You’re asking a lot of questions.”  You’re right!  Here’s the deal, the more you look at your calling from as many different directions as possible, the more information you will have to figure it out.  In other words, the more questions the better.  Here’s one more question, which question(s) from the last post and this one proved most beneficial?

            John Maxwell’s book The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Personal Growth is excellent.  If you’re looking for a book on leadership and personal development, you definitely want to pick it up.  If you decide to listen to it or read it, let me know what you think.

How to Discover Your Unique Gifts and Calling

This is the fifth in a series by our co-founder Jerry Borton. To read the previous posts, click the month. February, January, DecemberNovemberOctober.

     What do you want to be when you grow up? This simple question gives permission to ignite a dream.  Could it really be that easy?  Very few of us work today in the career we first dreamed of as a child.   But it’s a good place to begin.  I read a study that children who grow up with disabilities are not asked that question until much later in life than typical kids.  Let’s change that factor and include all kids in setting the stage for the future.

     One of my earliest aspirations was to be a professional baseball player.  I grew up with cerebral palsy and have used a wheelchair for most of my life.  Eventually, I realized a career as a professional baseball player wasn’t going to happen; but I still liked being around the game.  I thought about being a baseball coach or sportswriter.  While I was in high school, I coached Little League baseball and wrote sports for my local newspaper.  In the process, I discovered I liked working with kids. 

I went to college to become a youth pastor.  I soon realized there weren’t a lot of churches ready to hire someone in a wheelchair as a pastor.  So, I started a ministry to help churches reach out to people with disabilities.  This eventually led to what I do now; helping people and families affected by disability to unleash their God-given potential.

And it all started with wanting to become a professional baseball player.  I believe the dream morphed because people did not tell me I couldn’t but let me explore options.

     I am convinced that we are wired to do things that bring us joy and serve others.  The following questions can help you think about what brings you joy and what you can do to meet the needs of others.  You do not need to answer them all at once.  This process works best when given time.

     Is there a career or job that you think you’d enjoy?  Maybe it’s a career that runs in your family, like law enforcement, a schoolteacher, a college professor or a professional athlete.  How about the military?  Whatever it is, name it.  There’s power in identification.  Voicing it makes it real and begins the adventure.

     Some people may use the information they glean from this activity to engage in a volunteer opportunity, while others may seek a paying job, career, or higher education.  For these questions, we use the words job, work, activity, employment, or calling to include all of these options.

     Some of these questions may seem repetitive.  The idea is to look from as many perspectives as possible.  People with disabilities have the same right to risk, fail, or succeed as anyone else. 

  • Describe a time in life when you felt accomplished, successful, or delighted.  What specific activity or experience created that feeling?
  • If you could set up your ideal work, describe what it would be like every day.  Give as much detail as you can.
  • What would an average day be like?
  • When would you get up?
  • Can you do this job or activity from home, or would you need to go to an office or other location?
  • If you have to go to another location how would you get there?  Do you drive?  Can you take a bus?  Would you need a driver?
  • If you got this job, what do you think a typical day would be like?
  • What would your supervisor be like?
  • Who are the people you’d be working with?  What are they doing?
  • Where can you learn more about this job?  Consider books, job fairs, magazine articles, podcasts, TV shows, YouTube videos, and personal contacts.
  • Who do you know who does this job?  Have you spoken to them?  Can you shadow them for a day, an hour?
  • What is it about this job that appeals to you?
  • What parts of this job do you think you could do extremely well?  Why?
  • What skills will you need to do this job?
  • Where could you get these skills?  Technical school, college, apprenticeship, on-the-job training?
  • Have you talked with your family and friends who know you well about this job?  How do they respond?  Do they encourage you or are they apprehensive?  What do they suggest you do next?
  • Who are the people others suggest you talk to?
  • Is there one part of this job or activity that excites you the most?  What other jobs or activities could offer that same joy or satisfaction?
  • What is one step you can take now to move toward this goal?

Another way some people learn more about themselves and their interests is to take a personality profile. We recommend the DISC profile and the CliftonStrengths 34 (formerly StrengthsFinders).  You can take either profile through Luke 14 Exchange, Inc and we can help you process the results.

If you’d like to talk with someone about these questions or profiles, please reach out to us. We’d love to hear about the dreams God is igniting in you.

How to Know Who You Are as a Leader

This is the fourth in a series by our co-founder Jerry Borton. To read the previous posts, click the month. January, DecemberNovemberOctober.

In my November post I made the statement, “Leadership begins with knowing whose we are.” In the following months we looked at Scripture and strategies that can affirm and help us grasp whose we are.  This month I want to tackle the idea of who we are.

For many of us our disability is the first thing that is seen, and it is probably what we think of when asked who we are. But we want the answer to that question to look beyond our disability. Our disability is a factor, but not the sole definition of who we are.

So we need to ask the question, how does disability affect our perception of who we are? Before we answer that question, there is a foundational question we need to answer. Why does God allow disabilities? 

I am about to give you an answer based on sixty years of living with cerebral palsy, over four decades as a Christian,  twenty-some years of education in Christian colleges/universities and forty years of ministry.  I don’t know why we are disabled.  The truth is theologians have been debating this seemingly from the beginning of time. What I do know is this: 1) God is sovereign, and He is wildly in love with us. Remember Psalm 139?  2) He has a purpose in our disability and  wants to redeem it for His glory and our good. 

One of the passages that tells me this, is in the book of John chapter 9.  As Jesus and his disciples were walking along, they came across a man who was born blind.  The disciples asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind?  Was it because of his sin or his parents’ sin?”  Jesus answered, “This man was born blind to show the ‘power’ of God.”  Some translations say the works of God, the glory of God.  The word used in the original language is the same root word that we use today for “dynamite.”  This man was born blind so that God could blow away the world’s expectations for what God could do in this man’s life. That’s the kind of God I am excited to serve.

Our disability is a part of who we are, but it is not the determiner or the complete picture of who we are. Who we are also includes our life experience, our family, our personality, our temperament, our passions, our talents, our gifts, etc. We talk about all these things individually, but the truth is they are intertwined.

Photo by Stokpic

Sometimes taking a personality profile or questionnaire can be helpful to uncover an understanding of some of these factors. Some of my favorites are, the DISC profile, the Meyers Briggs  and the Clifton Strengths 34. If you have the opportunity to take any of these profiles, I encourage you to do so, Please remember that these are profiles, not tests.

You are already an A+ in God’s eyes. Your results from any profile are a picture of a point in time. They are like a slice of a pie. They do not tell everything about you, or who you will be in the future.  It is best to use the summary as a guide and talk through the results with someone who knows you well. They can help you honestly sort through the things that could be most helpful to you.

I realize not everyone is as geeky as me and enjoys these profiles. Stay tuned! Next month I will share with you a free list of questions I have developed to help one assess how God has wired them.  

I’d love to hear what you discover about yourself in this process. You can share in a comment below, or email Jerry@Luke14Exchange.org

How Has Mentoring Made a Difference in Your Life?

Did you know this week wraps up National Mentoring Month?

Mentoring is close to the heart of Luke 14 Exchange. Simply put, mentoring is advising or training someone. In faith circles it is often called discipleship.

 Sometimes our mentoring involves a formal relationship. In those situations we meet with an individual for several weeks or months, working together on a specific area. Other times mentoring happens more informally. These are times when people observe or watch what someone does and determine how they can interact in a similar manner.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Truth be told, we all are mentors; whether in a positive way or not is another question. And we all have been mentored by others. It happens as parents model life for their children, siblings teach one another how to handle a certain situation. Teachers instill patterns in their students. Friends encourage one another in how to handle life’s challenges. Employers train their personnel in their company’s way to carry out their mission.

Mentoring will continue long after January ends. What is your experience with mentoring? How have you mentored others? Who was one of your mentors? We’d love to hear your stories. We don’t need the specific name of your mentor – but what was their role and influence in your life?

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

As you share your stories and comments with us, would you also consider if there is an opportunity for you to mentor someone affected by disability in your sphere of influence? Let us know if we can give you a hand.

I Want to Hear You, God!

This is the fourth in a series by our co-founder Jerry Borton. To read the previous posts, click the month. December, November, October.

Last month I shared the need to change the messages we allow to play in our minds. Our minds can get so crowded with input, even if we want to listen to “God’s tapes” we may struggle to hear them. So how do we make God’s truth louder?

First, if you haven’t already given your life to Jesus, that is where to begin. If you are unclear what it means to give your life to Jesus, please email me at Jerry@Luke14Exchange.org. I’d love to explain it to you.

Second, spend time daily reading God’s Word. Some days you may read several chapters, other times just a verse or two. You don’t have to turn the pages of a Bible to do that. I use YouVersion, it’s available online or as an app on your smartphone.

Set time aside each day to read the Bible. Find a way to get into God’s Word daily and get God’s Word into you. It may be beneficial to get up a little earlier, or go to bed a little later, or watch a little less TV. If your day is packed, look for space in your daily routine. I listen to the Bible as I get dressed each morning.  Experiment with what works best for you. And, remember there’s grace.

Third, memorize Scripture. Why not start with the passages we talked about last month.  You can write out the verses on index cards and place them where you will see them throughout the day.  You can record the Scripture and play them back on your smartphone.   Remember it is helpful to include the Bible reference (book name, chapter, and verse) when you are memorizing. It is also beneficial to find a partner who wants to memorize Scripture and share accountability.

Fourth, find a Bible-believing church, or a local Bible study to join. If you are new to the faith, ask a few friends where they attend. Ask them about accessible entrances and bathrooms if needed. You can also reach out to us at Luke 14 Exchange for more assistance.

Finally, monitor your self-talk.  For the next week, notice what you say to yourself.  When you catch yourself saying something derogatory, remind yourself of the truths in the verses you are memorizing or recently read.  If you can’t say something nice about yourself- why should others?  More importantly, God created you, adores you and has a good plan for your life. As the saying goes, “God don’t make no junk.” Don’t condemn or speak poorly of the handiwork of God.

“God has never looked into your mirror or mine and wished he saw something else.”  Bob Goff

Gift Ideas for People Affected by Disability

Gift giving can be both fun and challenging. Few of us are in a position to simply throw money away buying “whatever.” We want to know we are getting a gift that our family or friend can use and will appreciate. This can become even more challenging when the giftee has a disability. Depending on the level and type of disability it may take some creative ideas to come up with the ideal gift.

If you do an internet search on gifts for people with disabilities, you may come up with sites like these:

For teens and young adults on the autism spectrum – https://adayinourshoes.com/gifts-for-autistic-teenagers-adults-special-needs/

For the senior adult with memory or physical disabilities (this is primarily clothing) – https://www.silverts.com/gifts-for-elderly-women-and-gifts-for-elderly-men/

For the pinterest shopper – https://www.pinterest.com/crystallynnklin/products-for-adults-with-special-needs/

Luke 14 Exchange, Inc does not support or receive support from any of these sites. Readers should evaluate their appropriateness.

There are many gift ideas that cost very little and are often in short supply among those affected by disability. Consider these ideas:

  • Presence – offer to ride along with a mom on her hours in the car going to therapies, evaluations and appointments. It may be the only time she can get with a friend. Offer to sit with a loved one in the hospital overnight so the mom or dad can get a good night sleep at home.
  • Care – Offer care for the family member with the disability, allowing the rest of the family time together, if appropriate. This may mean you need to spend a few hours of time learning the care routine in advance.
  • Rides – offer to take the person who can transfer in and out of your car, or for whom that is not an issue to a special event, shopping, church, dinner out, etc. Can you give a ride to a family member who needs to get to an athletic or arts event, or even work?
  • Hospitality – so many people affected by disability tell us they have never been invited into someone else’s home. Certainly that can be a challenge if physical accessibility is needed, but it is not a challenge that cannot be overcome. In fact, we once were invited to the home of someone who had 14 steps to their front door. sharing-food-3184177They cleaned out their garage, and carried their dining room furniture to the garage and hosted us for dinner there. Needless to say we felt blessed beyond measure. You don’t have to go to that extreme, but what can you do? Can you purchase a piece of plywood to serve as a temporary ramp for a threshold, if that is the only barrier? Are you willing to let your walls get marked up a bit if someone bumps a corner with their equipment? Touch up paint will do wonders after they have gone. Can you have an outdoor meal? Can you make dinner and take it to eat at their home with them?
  • Experience – is your family planning a beach trip? Can you invite a family with disability to join you (maybe even paying for their gas)? By going with others there are more eyes to watch for the child who may randomly run. Going with others also means that a spouse or parent who could not handle a beach wheelchair alone, may be able to get their loved one out to the beach with the extra muscles and energy. Or maybe buy tickets for a family to attend a ballgame, concert, play or another event they would like but cannot afford.
  • Project help – Jerry often says that to have him for a friend means there will always be a project you can do. Many families affected by disability would agree. There are weeds to pull, lightbulbs to be changed, vehicles to wash, wheelchairs to clean, minor repair projects, touch up painting around the house and so much more. Give a gift of your time and service to help someone out who lacks the time, energy, skills or resources to keep up with these projects.

Ultimately, remember that most of our friends and family members affected by disability are more like us than they are different. If there is something you enjoy, consider how you can share that. Most of all give the gift of friendship. It seems obvious yet is lacking in the lives of many people who live with disability in their own lives or family. You can make a difference.

 

Credit for featured photo at top of post:  Photo by Thais Araujo on Pexels.com