JJ Landis - Page 4 of 34 - Christian Author on Parenthood, Depression, and Suicide
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heart, kids, life is good, living for real / 20.07.2016

She’s been begging me to teach her to sew for a while now. I’ve been known to sew arms and eyes back onto stuffed animals and replace the occasional missing button, but being creative with fabric, needle, and thread is not my thing.   Lucky for Emma, she was able to talk her grandma into sewing with her when they spent the day together last week. Grandma had unearthed a teddy bear craft kit, a thrift store find from years ago. Inside the clouded, brittle plastic bag with the 2.99...

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...

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...

balanced life, kids, living for real, parenting / 01.06.2016

  I saw the toy pottery wheel at the top of the coat closet last week while searching for rain ponchos for our camping trip.   My daughter, now 15, received the “pottery studio in a box” for a birthday or Christmas several years ago. It came with enough clay to make three pots, paint, a drop cloth and apron, tools and gadgets, and the best part – a foot pedal that operated the wheel. She eagerly and immediately used up all the clay, coating the kitchen table and floor with a...

beauty, blessings, contentment, fear, kids, life is good, living for real, parenting, real life / 11.05.2016

  Just like the night before, on my pillow was a love letter written on a hot pink, flower-shaped sticky note: “You are amazing, outstanding, awesome, unbelievable, perfect. These are barely anything compared to you. Emma.”   More than 15 years ago, when Esther was born, I learned how to be a mom. I learned how to change diapers and nurse, how to worry, how to punish, how to praise, how to clean puke out of hair, how to tickle and sing and play, how to love a little girl. I recognized...