“Grateful Surfer”, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2023

During what I call a soul searching trip (or I guess we could use a pun and say soul “surfing” trip 🤣) I had the opportunity to be put in the perfect place at the perfect location that I needed to be for the morning of March 1, 2023. When I woke up, I was completely at peace with how the day would unfold. Expecting something amazing to happen and frankly, it’s hard not to think this way when you wake up to the vast expanse of the ocean beyond your balcony, and hear the sounds of her song marked by a beautiful cadence crashing into the sand. As I was drawn to the window to take in the sun's stunning orange and pink hues, I noticed some surfers on the shoreline and was instantly intrigued. I saw these surfers take to the ocean, allowing the waves to carry them atop her graceful curls. I also notice that at times, these surfers found themselves dashed by the oceans powerful waves, but they didn’t quit. They instead retrieved their boards and then carried on in search of the next wave for them to soar on. Amazing.

Feeling incredibly blessed to see and experience surfers take the waves on the vast blue expanse, I quickly grabbed some mini blueberry muffins and ventured out to the shoreline of Virginia, where I was able to capture not just one, but two surfers! One of them is Parker, captured in the black and white photo just below. The other surfer, he I am not quite sure, but apparently he was catching the waves to prep for a Surfing competition the following week in El Salvador. We wish him the best, whoever he is! Upon seeing Parker take the shore, I approached him and asked if he would allow me the opportunity to capture him. He was SO grateful and as you can see below, slayed this impromptu shoreline session! I also had the opportunity to meet Parker's photographer, Felix, who was a gentle man. He told me about how his dad was in the Navy. We talked about Jesus, our faith in Him, and how it's hard not to look at the ocean in all her glory and praise Creator God. Felix also suggested I make my way to Red Wing Park during my trip (and this will be a relevant point in the next blog post, so stay tuned). After bidding my new friends farewell, I was off to my next adventure.

And let me tell you about this adventure. My entire trip to Virginia Beach, God completely laid out where He wanted me to go and who he wanted me to capture and connect with. From the hotel that I had booked, to the people I spoke to and recommendations they gave me, the events that unfolded were short of astounding. Truly, when we yield our schedules to God's agenda, seeing His script for our days unfold and intertwined in the life stories of others-it's exhilarating. Every moment feels like an adventure as we anticipate what our Heavenly Father has for our days. He wants us our lives to be an adventure, anticipating that next big wave coming our way.

Friends, life can be super unpredictable. Just like the waves on the ocean. Calm one moment, then in the next, big and chaotic. At times, we can be found up against these big waves, and these waves dash us and seem as though they’ve overcome us. But, just as these surfers did, let us gather ourselves, gather our foundations, and pick up where we left off and then carry-on so that we can continue to eventually soar across the waves of life.

Know that I am rooting for you. If you are soaring today, GOOOOO!! If you are feeling dashed by life's waves today, take a moment. Gather yourself, find your your board, and swim to the shore, babe. Remember: God created you for greatness! Now, take a deep breath and then get back out there. Be grateful. You. Got. This!

PS: Thank you to @parkerjohnsonofficial and the other gentleman who was sporting @rob_machado_surfboards for allowing me to capture their passion and bravery amidst the great big blue! 

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