beauty Archives - JJ Landis
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beauty, changes, fear, future, kids, living for real, marriage, pain, parenting, real life / 04.08.2017

It's Friday night. All my kids are home with me. I am happy. My sixteen-year-old is on the couch drinking a smoothie and watching The Office. My eleven-year-old and I just made some baked oatmeal to eat in the morning. My fourteen-year-old son is in the shower washing bleach out of his hair. Against my better judgment, I helped him slather bleach on his hair. We may be shaving his head later tonight – if he ends up with a crispy, orange hairdo. My husband is in his...

beauty, contentment, kids, life is good, living for real, love, parenting, vacation / 14.12.2016

  It was the trip of a lifetime, just like we had hoped! A ten-day vacation to Hong Kong and Beijing with our family was a dream come true.   I had lived a few months in Hong Kong before we were married. A year into our marriage, Lee and I moved there to teach in an international school. Our daughter Esther was born there, but we relocated to Pennsylvania when she was six months old. For the past 15-years, we’ve spoken of our fondness of Hong Kong to our children.   The...

anxiety, balanced life, be present, beauty, living for real, perspective, real life / 06.12.2016

  The questions have stayed with on a loop in my brain since I first heard Rob Bell pose them on a podcast last week: Who are you? What are you doing here?   Some days, I wake up and begin pushing a boulder up a hill, only to have it crush me. Pervasive anxious thoughts of never being finished, caught up, or satisfied are in my head.   The particulars of life – grocery shopping, cooking, washing clothes, packing lunches, mopping the floor, planning for this, planning for that, checking children’s grades (that...

acceptance, adoption, beauty, blessings, grace, kids, life is good, love, parenting / 28.07.2016

Recently I heard someone tell about an adoption of a special needs child from another country. He explained some of the parents’ arduous and expensive, heartfelt process, and then said, “Imagine the joy…” as he described how the child must have felt about being adopted. The little boy would be loved unconditionally and taken care of his whole life. He would experience privileges in this country that he would never have had a chance for in his home country.   Though I completely understood his point, all I could think about...

beauty, contentment, kids, life is good, parenting, perspective / 05.07.2016

  We walked around the block, Emma and I. She was full of energy, as ten-year-olds tend to be.   She bounced along doing ballet leaps and grabbing at leaves from low branches. She looked for four-leaf clovers. She filled me in on the daily gossip from her doll house family. She recounted what she learned from the Adventures in Odyssey radio show she listened to before we left the house.   I was distracted, as is my norm, thinking ahead to dinner and tomorrow’s commitments. Planning my week and how to accomplish the...