Jo Ann Alo

writer – rhymer – Jesus junky

Butterflies. Rainbows after rain. Baking cake with your best friend. The whish-whooshing sound of the dish washer. Movie theatre popcorn. Mom and Dad for dinner. Laughing at ourselves. Sunbeams shooting through clouds. Squirrels looking for leftovers.

Praying: Help me see things from Your perspective, Lord.

Assumption has been too much a part of my relationships. Our ears are designed to hear lovehear affection. Words are always entering our mind. Most are not audible and few are affectionate.

I know…actions speaks louder than words, but words sweeten the soul.

“You are my favorite part of the day,” he said over the sink before leaving for work. I know it’s true. He didn’t have to say it. Until it was in the air, I didn’t know how badly my bones needed to hear it.

I brought home carry-out for dinner. He was excited I was home. Normally, the tacos take the credit, but his words from this morning were more powerful than food. Still nourishing me to this meal.

Day 8 and 9

Every one sitting here; hear my words, “I appreciate you. I am grateful for your visits. Your words are important to me.”

An unexpected card in the mailbox from a friend. Hawks soaring across treetops. Pinecones. The way my dog sprawls across the floor after a long walk. Laundry flapping on the line. Foot rubs. Finding out we were hurting for the same things.

Praying: Keep me from withholding love.

 

My whole life I wanted to be someone else.

I’m taking pictures of myself for a project I’m working on. Picking myself apart in all of them. My chin and neck are sagging, tiny wrinkles ripple across my face, a deep line labels my forehead. Hide those elbows, they’re starting to dimple. I found an editing tool on my computer that corrects unwanted marks on my face leaving me like one big blur. I was in tears last night because I couldn’t choose ten pictures out of four-hundred I’d care to face everyday for the next year.

But it’s me. I’ve changed.

Don’t tighten the rest that’s come to your face. Don’t hide your imperfections so others will do the same and we’ll never really see anyone.

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Day 6 and 7

Photographs capture feelings. Making old friends new over pizza. One-year-olds blowing kisses until their hand slurps spit. Martin singing the sounds of my name. Naps. How sudsy water makes windows sparkle. How hearing about God’s love makes eyes water. Having windows open all day and night. It’s hard to prayit’s painful not to.

Praying: May I not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteousness judgement. 

 

Day 5

Unable to sleep—able to praise. A quieting mind. Every little impression leaves a mark. David mows over a path for me. Yellow Rocket opening everywhere. I tell my Dad I want a relationship with him, he plants one on my mouth, and to my surprise the little girl in me never left. Our aging bodies groan into bed and we get the giggles not able to remember what we said thirty seconds ago.

Praying: Give me patience to wait for Your timing, Lord.—Bench press.

 

His early morning toes stroke my ankle. We sit on the edge of the tub, our faces in the mirror, heads lean on the other, and we brush our teeth. An oriole stops for a drink. Bacon and eggs. One of our bunnies didn’t make it, and we fold into each others arms like we lost a best friend because death still feels so raw. Reading twelve-year-old Joyce’s letter from Pangani, my greedy heart pops like a balloon.

Praying: May I owe no one anything except to love. A long walk.

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Day 3

Pumpkin batter melts in my mouth. Raindrops poke circles in puddles.
A grandson learning to lay love on the page. David’s  hand covers mine and his thumb strums my fingers. The doorbell rings and my Girls honor me with reassuring pink petals. Flannel cased pillows cradle my head and we guess who done it over the latest episode.

Praying: cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, and I have to decide if this is all for my credit or Christ’s. —Chin-ups for sure.

 

 

 

Golden brown cinnamon snows in shiny white porcelain. Sticky raisins coat themselves in its light powder. Steaming oats warm the bowl. Dark silvery molasses bleeds bittersweet. Creamy cashew milk bubbles and foams to the brim filling blessedness. Sympathy cards keep pouring love and sorrow like ointment. Birds hatch and hunger for earths sustenance. David’s footprints are moving in step with my own.

Moving on to push-ups…

A friend seeks a summer room and my doubtful, fearful thoughts turn to God. Awakening this mornings prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality and my shoulders give way.

Muscles tear tiny allowing them to lift more than daily life. Resting grows them in size and strength.