perspective Archives - JJ Landis
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balanced life, heart, kids, life is good, living for real, love, marriage, perspective, prayer, run, suicide, thirst / 08.06.2017

I’m drained and exhausted. Tedious tasks scream to be tackled. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is really wrong. But the world around me is demanding my attention and time. And my attention is feeble. My energy and focus are depleted. I try to center myself, to embrace my mess. The segments of my day, the chunks of time, crumble. I try to sweep up bits and minutes for use, but scraps are all that are left. I walk away from the mess beaten.   Yesterday was my twentieth wedding anniversary. Going...

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...

adolescence, be present, kids, life is good, living for real, parenting, perspective / 02.11.2016

The bin that holds bits and pieces of past costumes was retrieved a few weeks before Halloween from the shelf above the dryer. Angel wings, a Mardi Gras mask, a studded black belt, a top hat, and other treasures were found and spread all over my bedroom floor.   My office floor was covered with 12-gauge shotgun shell casings (don’t ask where they came from) and rolls of duct tape where Alex spent hours constructing ammunition belts.   As if that was not enough junk, the husband and two kids paid a...

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...

courage, golden rule, grace, kids, make a difference, perspective, prayer / 09.04.2016

A friend of mine hangs out on a street corner each weekday morning, with her grandsons and other kids waiting for school buses. Some of the children lack decent housing because their home was condemned. Some are refugees from Malaysia. They are open and honest with one another on that corner, and often pray and read the Bible together.   Some days, my friend is loud and crazy with them, when there’s a beautiful sunrise for example. I believe this, as she has an exuberant personality and speaks constantly of God’s goodness and majesty.   At the corner across the street stand several teens, who are usually silent and sullen. Recently, one of the teenagers lost it, screaming at my friend for staring at him, for getting in his face. He said he hated her, hated old people, hated her God.   At first, she walked across the street and offered him some chocolate. He kept yelling, so she backed off. For the next few days, she was shaken, so she prayed and wondered how to respond.