real life Archives - JJ Landis
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balanced life, be present, freedom, kids, parenting, real life / 12.04.2017

  Hello. My name is JJ and I am a skimmer. I read newspaper headlines and captions. I flip through the Bible, rarely stopping to read more than a verse at a time. I read the first few entries of devotional books and then skim the rest. I bookmark professional articles but don’t return to them. I repeatedly make lists of who and what to pray for but rarely follow through in prayer.   My kids ask me questions and I don’t answer. I ask them questions and don’t remember what...

anxiety, balanced life, depression, living for real, real life, self care, writing life / 23.02.2017

  As a writer with anxiety and depression, my work days usually fall into one of two categories: Extremely productive with lots of happy checkmarks on my to-do list or completely void of anything worth mentioning. Rarely do I come to the end of a day and look back at it as being “okay” or “not bad.” I’m either on top of a mountain with hands raised in victory or in the corner of a dank dungeon rocking back and forth. Nothing is ever in the middle for me....

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...

balanced life, be present, kids, living for real, parenting, real life / 07.09.2016

I drove with the windows down, a rare occurrence during the heat of summer. Dreams of autumn entertained my mind with the drop in temperature. The two little girls with me didn’t notice the subtle weather change, but I rejoiced at the perfect air without one drop of humidity.   Not an evening to be wasted indoors, I gathered up my youngest and her bestie for a playground visit, one I hadn’t been to in years. All other family members were occupied that first week of school, so it was...

kids, life is good, parenting, persistence, real life, silence / 15.06.2016

  It was 6 o’clock on Friday evening when we pulled out of our driveway for the three-hour drive to the campground. The husband had had a busier-than-usual week and was rushing to make the Friday evening departure time.   Every year, once a year, our family goes tent camping with a group from our neighborhood. Ten to twelve families pack it up, drive a few hours, and stake claims for our temporary canvas shelters. We eat meals together and stare at fires together. We hike and swim together, sharing bug...