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JJ Landis

Life Must Be Lived

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I found our kitty curled up sound asleep, nestled in a pile of blankets on the bed early this morning. So I let her be, and the bed remained unmade.…

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Who is blessed?

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In an orphanage in Jamaica, I spoon fed a teenager. White rice and sauce with meat. She didn’t make eye contact with me or anyone. The dust from the parched…

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Breathe Deep

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Scratchy throat. Headache. Cough. The strain of each cough intensified my sore head. I wanted to stay in bed all day. It was a rainy, cool morning that followed a relentless…

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Roots and My Ravenous Heart

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Unloved. Useless. These words are buried deep.   The seeds were sprinkled by adults when my heart was fertile. But it was me who cultivated. I watered and tended. What…

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How I know I’m a good mom

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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…

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Love makes space

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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…

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Not living

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A few weeks ago, I ran outside at my teenage daughter’s urging to see a brilliant rainbow. We both snapped several photos with our phones. When I asked if she…

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Nine suggestions for when you’re NOT on a mountaintop

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Maybe it’s because I have been sick for a week now that I feel like I’m in a rut. It very well could be the cough medicine and general delirium…

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What if we resolved to quit trying to change?

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Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t always enjoy New Year’s Eve. I can stay up until midnight with the best of them, but when it’s obligatory, I feel my…

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Humble extravagance

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I am in the midst of wrapping Christmas gifts for my kids. I’m trying to save the earth and some money by using newspaper instead of official holiday wrapping paper.…

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My daughter has a book called My Giant Story Book. Among classics like Cinderella and The Elves and the Shoemaker sits a story I had not heard before. The Little…

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The darkness of the season

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October falls into our lives every year. People bemoan the end of summer. “October already!” they say. “I can’t believe it. Where did summer go?” We are repeatedly amazed that…

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