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Coffee Talk 06.07.20

Good morning, friends! What a week. Let’s be real, what a YEAR. Is 2020 over yet?

And here we were, looking ahead to June, thinking it was going to be the month everything turned around and got better.

In some ways, it has. After a long 12 weeks, our stay-at-home order was lifted on Friday, and Philadelphia and its surrounding counties have finally moved into the yellow phase of reopening.

This allows for gatherings of up to 25 people, which we took advantage of right away. We attended a graduation party on Friday night for a good friend of the family.

Retail stores are allowed to operate, although most are just doing curbside pickup, and restaurants and bars may open their outdoor dining. Gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons, etc. remain closed for now.

I was most excited to go out to eat at a restaurant, so yesterday, we found one that is doing outdoor dining, and we made a reservation. It was soooo nice to sit outside, be served my lunch — no cooking, no cleaning, no setting the table (or nagging my kids to do it.) That was a nice break from the weightier matters of the week.

This week was also my kids’ last week of school, although that was pretty anticlimactic. Not only was it overshadowed by the everything happening in our world right now, but of course they finished out their school year online. I think Becca was actually done with her work a few days ago.

I probably should have done more for her 8th grade graduation. I didn’t think to order a yard sign or get balloons or anything. I did offer to host a pool party for her friends, but she didn’t take me up on it.

Fortunately, my sister-in-law and niece came through with a fun graduation package, and I brought her an iced latte from Starbucks on Friday, so we decided that would have to suffice.

Then of course, there is everything else.

There’s so much to unpack from this past week, and I’ve heard you loud and clear. The vast majority do not want me to get “political” in this space, and I get that. I have no desire for that either.

But Coffee Talk is the place where I step outside of my typical fashion and lifestyle content and share what is going on in my life, and it has been A Week, let me tell you.

You see, when your job is on social media and you have a platform as large as mine, and important things are going on in our country or the world, there’s a lot of pressure to do or say certain things, and in certain ways, and on certain time tables.

It’s not only trendy, but pretty much expected that you will hop on board with whatever the powers that we decide we are going to do — whether it’s post a black box, take a day off of blog posting… or even a week, donate to certain organizations, say certain words, use certain hashtags, promote certain agendas.

The pressure is intense, but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to hop on the bandwagon and do what everyone else is doing just because. I need time to do my own research, and I want to come up with my own words, and say things my way. 

After the video of the killing of George Floyd started circulating, and the protests and demands for justice intensified, there was a call for us all to mute our social media channels for Tuesday, and even for the rest of the week. This was intended to show support to the Black community, to allow their voices to be heard, and to give us all more time to listen and learn.

Many posted a black box on their Instagram feed with the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday, and of course there were other memes and graphics being posted as well.

I don’t usually bring current events into my blog and social media channels, but I was horrified to see the blatant killing of George Floyd caught on video, and that so soon after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery — a Black man simply out for a jog. More details of his case have come out this week, and it will make you sick to read about it. And then there’s the killing of Breonna Taylor, and the arrest of her boyfriend who was defending their home.

All that to say, I decided to take Tuesday off from posting to the blog and social media. It felt like the appropriate thing to do, and I wanted to show my solidarity to my Black friends who were hurting.

I spent hours collecting my thoughts and sharing my heart in an email to my newsletter subscribers on Tuesday, explaining why I was going silent on the blog and social media channels that day. Not everyone agreed with that decision, although many appreciated it. I was able to have some constructive conversations offline with a few of you who didn’t, which has been fruitful, I believe.

I’m not one to post memes, so I chose not do the black box on Instagram; I was just silent. It’s not that I don’t believe Black lives matter, or that I wasn’t listening and learning, but I didn’t feel the need to announce it. Plus, I really didn’t think anyone needed another black box in their feed that day.

I didn’t say anything on my Facebook Page, either. Again, it didn’t seem to fit with the way I use that channel, which is pretty much only to share my daily blog posts… when I even remember to do so. It didn’t even occur to me to post a statement about current events on that Page.

When I went back to posting my regular content to my FB Page on Wednesday, explaining that we were going to continue with 22 Days of Summer Fashion, that coupled with my silence on Tuesday was interpreted by some as lack of concern or disrespect for the Black community and the turmoil our country is going through.

I received a few really scathing messages, basically reprimanding me for lack of any reference to the massive crisis facing our country before continuing with my posts.

This was in addition to my social media feed being full of people instructing us on what we should be saying, how we should be saying it, what words to use to express the sentiments we should be having…

My head was about to explode. In fact, I did explode back to a few of those commenters. I’m not proud of it (and I did apologize) but I was about done with people’s opinions at that point.

At the same time, I get it. When I look back at my feed, it did look out of touch.

While I knew that I had poured my heart into the email I sent on Tuesday, and I had posted earlier in the week on my Facebook profile, those who just follow my Facebook Page couldn’t have known that.

After taking everything into account, I felt the need to address the issue. The comments on that post were by and large very supportive, and one of my Black friends actually spoke up and supported me, confirming that I had not been silent, and she had seen my posts on my Facebook profile.

That meant the world to me, because the Black community is hurting right now, and yet she took the time to encourage me when I was feeling misunderstood.

She also expressed in a followup comment that statements of support and allyship from influencers and friends have really spoken to her on a deep level, and I think it’s important for us to know that.

Our Black friends need us to speak up. They need to hear us say that we see them, we hear them, we care; and I absolutely want to stand beside my Black friends in their quest for justice and fair and equal treatment.

This goes beyond politics. This is about people in our communities who feel marginalized and misunderstood, and many are actually fearful of going about the same daily activities that the rest of us take for granted.

I have what I consider a fairly diverse group of friends — both on and offline. It’s due in part to where I live, and also to my social media community. They have really opened my eyes to inequalities and racism that still exists.

I’ve seen so many videos and posts from Black men and women this week, talking about incidents when they were doing things as simple as walking down the street with a friend, and they were detained, questioned, intimidated, and treated like a suspect while doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I can see the pain in their eyes and hear it in their voices when they describe these events.

This even happened to a personal friend of ours who happens to be Black, when he was with my son and another one of their friends. They were pulled over on a bogus charge — the officer claimed he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt (when he was) and he gave the kid a ticket. He wasn’t speeding or anything.

That was probably the most eye-opening situation I’ve personally encountered, but there are many others that friends have shared that are much worse.

Please don’t think I’m jumping on the hate-on-the-police bandwagon either. I absolutely believe that most police offers are good, honorable men who are risking their lives to keep us safe. I’m also very good friends with one of those.

Nor do I condone the looting and rioting, or any type of violent behavior. We can be outraged by both. Standing up for equality and justice in no way means I condone the way some go about demanding it, and I certainly condemn the opportunists who are taking advantage of the situation.

What I am trying to say is, for those of us who are Christians especially, we are called to unity with our fellow believers and to love our neighbors. That means stepping across racial divides, listening and trying to learn and understand where other people are coming from.

It means doing the homework, having the hard conversations, extending grace to those who might stay something we disagree with, and apologizing when we say something insensitive. And yes, standing up and speaking out when we feel led to do so.

This will look different for each one of us, and that’s where I think we need to be careful and examine our own hearts and not anyone else’s. My constant prayer right now is Psalm 139:23-24.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

As we start a new week, I take comfort in this Ralph Abernathy quote: I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future.

Because, honestly, I shudder to think what else 2020 might have in store for us, at the rate we’re going.

You know what’s ironic? The quote came to my head, so I googled to make sure I got it right, and to see where it originated. Ralph Abernathy was an American civil rights activist, and close friend and mentor of Martin Luther King Jr.

I guess that brings us full circle, doesn’t it?

We have plans this afternoon to get together with friends outside by the pool, and I’m looking forward to that. I need some time away from the computer and my phone, to focus on my present reality — my kids, my husband, my friends.

I hope you are able to spend some quality time with family and friends today as well. Be blessed!

Join the Conversation

79 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 06.07.20

  1. Beautifully and bravely spoken, Jolynne. Your statements are evidence of an open heart and a willingness to listen. I am very skeptical of and find it difficult to respect demands that individuals, corporations, and other organizations have to apologize or confess by following a prescribed template. When has doing that ever been sincere. No, it’s coercion backed by implied threats. Stay strong and God bless you!

  2. Jo-Lynne, I believe you have handled this with all the grace possible. This is a difficult topic that some would brush under the rug.  We all have our own perspective and that should be respected. I don’t think that some people understand that the written word can sting.   Keep doing what your doing the way that you do it.  If people don’t like it move on.  Have fun with your family and friends and be well.

  3. VERY well said. I don’t even need to comment. Stay true to yourself. 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday.  Our church opens up today for worship with all the guidelines but it’s small and I don’t feel ready to be around that many in small quarters with going to see my new grandson this week. Need to hold off and see how it goes. We still will be able to watch online. Glad you have some restrictions open for you too. I got my hair done Friday. Boy that lifted the spirits. Lol. 

  4. Jo-Lynne, I love your heartfelt message and the way you communicated on such a complex topic. Thank you from my heart, my spirit, and my mind.

    You are brave and courageous.

  5. I think you stated everything splendidly. We do need to listen to the experiences that other people have endured, simply because of their skin color. At the same time we can condemn the violence that have turned some protests into riots. The two emotions are not mutually exclusive. Well done and well stated by you.

  6. Wish there was a way to convey how much your blog has meant to me and how much I respect you. I discovered your blog at a very low point in my life and your fashion tips, outfits, humor, honesty and faith helped me so many times. I know God used you. I am always going to be a loyal supporter of all things Jolynne Shane🥰

  7. Your comments and explanations on this issue and many others have been full of Grace and thoughtful reflection. I have followed you (never commenting previously) and enjoy your posts and perspectives. As a mother of 3 I feel that you and I have more in common than not. – I know that your religion is a big part of your identity – and from your posts it certainly appears that you embody the spirit of inclusion, tolerance and acceptance. I consider myself agnostic and I am interested in the point of view and beliefs of those who are not. Sadly many atrocities through-out history have been perpetrated in the name of (almost every) religion. And sadly I have noticed that in the public (political and other) arena of both the U.S. and other countries religion is used as both a shield and a weapon to encourage or force others to follow a prescribed set of beliefs. I look forward to continuing to follow you. I feel that each of us – as common members of humanity should attempt to treat others as we would care to be treated. Take care, stay healthy – and know that your bravery in sharing about things that matter (as well as the fun stuff) is appreciated. Congratulations to your graduate! Hope you are enjoying the same beautiful day we are having in the midwest.

  8. I have been following your blog for about 5 years and do so for your great middle age mom fashion tips. I have only posted a comment once. I believe when you were talking about your son’s  college choices.  I applaud you for not getting political. There are plenty of places to go for that. I am sorry that people are pressuring you. I agree and echo what you said and hope you will keep it as it is. 

  9. Well said, Jo-Lynne! You have expressed the thoughts, pain, caring and concern of so many of us who are just now realizing how much we really don’t understand. I don’t believe “life’ as we have known it will ever be the same but because we know the One who holds the future, we can choose tobe a part of making a difference and changing the attitude/atmosphere of where we live every day.

  10. Jo-Lynne, thank you for your words today. So much judgement going on right now on all side and about any type of response a person has to it all. I agree with you, it’s a time to examine our own hearts and not others. As a Christ follower myself I appreciate the thoughts you voice at times and I believe we are called to shine God’s message of kindness, respect, hope, and love to ALL. 

  11. I can’t tell you how much I admire you. Your words were obviously well thought out and you spoke from your heart . Thank you ❤️

  12. Well said, Jo-Lynne. I’m “holding you in the light”, as my Quaker Friends like to say. I’m holding our country in the light, and our world.

  13. What a beautiful, grace-filled, sincere message! Thank you Jo-Lynne for speaking from your heart and staying true to yourself. I love that verse from Psalms. I looked it up the other day when you mentioned it in your email or post (I can’t remember which) and it has stayed with me ever since. God bless you and your family!

  14. I think everyone needs a little more grace given during these crazy times! Try to find the good in people and situations and not always to find the worse. We are all just trying the best we can to survive in a world that looks different now. People need to not be so quick to judge others and be critical. I have followed you a long time and feel your heart and intentions are good and have always thought you have handled your platform well. Thanks for that and I’m giving you a pat on the back!

    1. Very well said Laura; I echo her words.  Thank you Jo-Lynn for being true to yourself and authentic.  So many are jumping on bandwagons and emotion is running very high.  Violence is never the answer whether it is what happened to Mr. Floyd or the looting, rioting and anarchy that occured this past week. As a Christ follower, I lean on God’s word to help me cope and give me comfort:
      “From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth”  
      – Acts 17:26
      We are all created in God’s image; we are all children of God regardless of our ethnicity or color of our skin.  
      Congratulations to Becca’s Grade 8 graduation!  Enjoy a blessed Sunday.  God bless the United States of America. 

  15. Well said; heartfelt thoughts and concerns. Kindness, concern, and love for everyone are so important. There is no place for such hatred and disregard for our fellow human beings.
    Although things are opening up here in New Hampshire, we are still staying at home, except for essentials and my husband’s work (I am glad I can work from home.) We have our fingers crossed that at the end of the month we will be able to drive to North Carolina to see our new grandson. We want to stay safe especially for them. Thankful for family and this little miracle.
    Take care.

  16. I am glad you don’t jump on the bandwagon.   Sorry you get reprimanded and pressured on what to post. I have followed you long enough to know you wouldn’t condone all the horrible behavior that is going on whether you mention it or not.  I read your blog for fashion and to take a break from the news. 

  17. Nicely said. I have not enjoyed the lashing so many insta people have had to endure. I do believe people are calming a bit and making more room for one another to process this watershed moment in America in their own way. It’s ironic that the passion people are feeling and how they express it can have a divisive outcome; the antithesis of what we need right now. And then I remember, they deserve grace as well, if unity is what we are truly striving for.

  18. Beautiful message! I’m grateful for your words. This has been a very hard time and it actually helped me to have you post this week instead of being silent. I think you have to be true to yourself and not be bullied by what someone thinks you should do. You have a good and kind heart. Have a wonderful Sunday 🌸

  19. Hi Jolynne, very well said and spoken from the heart. Its hard to know what to say and how to support without offending anyone. So many platforms supported the black square and going silent, others found it insensitive that going silent is the opposite of what needs to be done. I have young “black” members in my family and it’s heartbreaking to know we are in 2020 and their is still so much racism in the world. We can pray and do our part in uniting to support the “Black Lives DO Matter” campaign, but people should be allowed to support in a way they are comfortable and not be criticized or bullied into following others. Keep doing what you do and be proud of the role model you are to your family and your readers. ❤🙏

  20. I want to say how impressed and grateful that I am that you don’t just jump on the latest bandwagon but instead express your feelings with thought and intention. God bless you and your family. 

  21. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. It certainly is easy for businesses to say Black Lives Matter when we know they are only doing it for their bottom line. Your words are sincere and much appreciated.

  22. I didn’t post black box either but not because I didn’t care. To me it’s like when some one posts on FB ABOUT Jesus and indicates if you don’t share that you don’t love Him. I don’t like to feel pressured into doing it. We all care in our own way and sometimes silently with prayer.

  23. I always enjoy your coffee talks. You share openly and honestly and from your heart. Thank you for doing what you felt led to do. When it comes from the heart it’s truly genuine and that you are:) Congrats to Becca on her graduation 🎓:) Prayers for better days ahead ❤️

  24. Thank you for being the person you are. I have great faith your effort in becoming the best person God wants you to be will not only be passed to your children but to your children’s children. It’s not always easy but certainly worth every tear that falls.

  25. Thanks for your well articulated and thoughtful message. Racism is too serious for us as a society not to acknowledge and thoughtfully discuss what is happening to the black community. It’s a complicated issue with no simple answers.  Now is not the time to dither or be timid on how our fellow citizens of color are being treated. I greatly appreciate you using your platform to address racism.  I’ve heard many say they are praying about the situation but the Bible teaches us prayer without action is just noise.
    I really enjoy your blog and style; keep up the good work and thanks for speaking up.

  26. Well said, I feel for all of the fashion bloggers I follow because I know the pressure is on to say and do the right thing. Personally I prefer the political issues are left out BUT I understand why they really can’t be. Just to let you know, your my favorite blogger, so please from my heart just keeping being you and doing what you do! 😍

  27. Very well put, Jolynne. I’ve always looked forward to receiving your emails each day and now In these crazy times, even more so. I’m in total agreement with you and your well thought out words that you voiced on Tuesday and again today. Thank you and may you have a relaxing day with family and friends.

  28. Thanks for sharing. It all was so good and so important. Thank you for being an example of what you believe and not being persuaded by others. You are doing it right. 🙂

  29. Thank you for sharing this but I have to admit I was disappointed when I didn’t see  a regular fashion post on Tuesday. Even though I was totally against recent events I was also so ready to get back to some normalcy in life. But I had no idea that as blogger you were under so much pressure to do things a certain way. I see your blog as your own business and didn’t realize the influence and apparently guidelines your held to. I respect your decision to do what you did but I hope you will continue to use this forum for what you have always intended. I’ll end this by saying “All lives matter” and hope our year gets better as it has been a difficult 2020 so far. 

    1. Yes, all lives matter, but black lives don’t always seem to matter as much as white ones. That’s why the phrase ‘black lives matter’ has become the battle cry, so to speak.

      And there aren’t guidelines that I’m held to, as a blogger… well, there are as far as disclosing affiliate links and sponsored posts, lol. But as far as this goes, it’s more of a peer pressure that I was referring to. And then shaming people who don’t fall in line. I hope that makes sense.

  30. I love your blog and look forward to it because you are so sweet and understanding. I’m sorry you had to go through such sticky business. But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger or something like that. Thanks for being there. I’m keeping you in my prayers.

  31. Jo-Lynne,
    Unfortunately, in this time of using the written word without being able to look someone in the eye and speak, it is hard to always get our good intentions across to others. I am sure, as a blogger, it is especially difficult. Just know, I read your blog daily (your style is so like mine) and see the genuine God-loving person you are. As white privileged people, I feel it is our time to really listen. I have commented that all lives matter. After the last weeks, I now know why the comment is insensitive. I certainly did not mean it to be. But learning has helped me grow and understand. Will I always get it right? No I won’t as I am human. I just hope I learn when I get it wrong. We won’t always please everyone but the ones who know us will understand our hearts. I hope this next week is better for you. 

  32.  thank you  !  this  was well said and im sure  difficult to deal with.  2020  has 
    been a hard  year .  but the question I keep ask is what is God want me and the world to learn from these situations.  the lesson is different for everyone but there is much to learn.  

    1. I appreciate your thoughtful response and I hate that you feel pressured to respond in certain ways! I just have a regular, normal person-sized platform and I have chosen to not comment or post about all this – it’s not that I don’t care or I’m not horrified, but it just seems to stir up strife if one doesn’t express the exact sentiments of the more vocal crowds. More than one thing can be true at the same time and I think that concept is lost on many folks right now. 

      I follow fashion blogs for fashion and lifestyle stuff, not for political things or to be told what I’m supposed to think or feel about hot topics. I’ve (temporarily at least) unfollowed several people who have chosen to focus entirely on current events because I enjoy the escape that these blogs/outlets offer! I appreciate your words and nuance today and your awareness of what lane you’re in/what your readers are here to see. “Frivolous” topics are such a welcome break from the heaviness of the news any time, but even more so lately! 

      1. Please don’t misunderstand. I didnt feel pressured to answer in a certain way. I said what I felt.  I feel God has a lesson for all of us. 

        1. Oh, I know! Sorry if it sounded that way, that wasn’t what I meant! I meant I’m sorry you felt pressured to respond, period, if you would have rather not. I personally felt I couldn’t talk about it if I wasn’t fitting into an exact box – but I do not have a platform beyond my personal accounts so I don’t have that pressure. It’s your platform and you should do what feels right for you and your readers and I’m glad you did. 

      1. Oh my gosh…I made my comment above on my phone and I just now saw it on my laptop and realized I replied to Nicki’s comment when I intended to just have a normal, new comment on the post. BLESS MY HEART. So, I’m sorry, Nicki! My comment was meant for Jo-Lynne directly, not you. Sorry about that, girls!!! *head desk*

  33. Thoughtful and honest post today. You know I haven’t received any of your daily emails this week beyond Tuesday, so I thought maybe you had decided to take a break. (This one did come through my email but it’s the first in 4 days.) 
    I definitely needed a social media break and stepped away until yesterday. When I opened FB on Saturday it was nice to see friends posting pictures of high school graduation “get-togethers” and family celebrations again. My feelings about current events echo yours quite a bit, and I think things in our world are definitely at a precipice of change. I agree that there is probably more ahead in 2020 that we cannot predict right now. We are watching history unfold for sure.
    Anyway, I’m still wondering why I never received your daily emails this week. Any ideas? Should I unsubscribe and resubscribe? 

    1. That is odd, especially since you got this one. I looked at your profile in my MailChimp, and it says each was sent, and all but one (June 5th) was opened. Did you check your spam filter? I have learned over the years that people with AOL have more issues and the lost emails are harder to find that newer email providers like Gmail. Just a thought. But you are subscribed, and it says they’re sending. 🙂

  34. Jo-Lynne, 
    I love this heartfelt message. It’s been a very difficult week for so many. My hope, and prayer, is that this time we as individuals and a nation really listen and constructive changes happen. 

    We spent a much needed weekend at the lake. The change of scenery and unplugging from social media and the news was so needed.

    Blessings in your work, 

  35. Dear Jo-Lynne,
    Thank you for your candor on the difficulties you faced as to whether to post on Tuesday or not. Anyone who reads your blog regularly knows that you have a good heart. It’s unfortunate that
    you received criticism for being “political” when the topic of racism is actually not about politics, but about humanity. Everyone needs to process all that is happening in their own way and in their own time. We all know how serious a topic it is, but no one should be pressured to use their social media platform according to some arbitrary rules.
    I appreciate your heartfelt words and am also glad to see your great fashion posts continue.

  36. You express yourself beautifully and I agree entirely with all the sentiments you have described.  You speak from your heart and are kind and sincere.  
    I hope you enjoyed your family time today – God Bless and thank you for your wise words.  Jane x

  37. You have done a wonderful job of sharing your heart and what has been on your mind. I can only imagine the time it took to put together your words. May God continue to bless you and all that you do here in the ‘social media’ world. Very well done!

  38. Sweet Jolynne!  Thank you for sharing your heart!  It is so hard to feel like one has put your heart into being supportive kind and caring only to hear from some it was completely wrong or not enough!  Thank God we serve the only One whose opinion counts and he looks on us with grace and compassion through the blood of his Son!  Keep on trying keep on serving keep on loving!  With Him we will make it through!  Krista

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