Blog

All We Can Do Now Is Pray

By Jo Ann Alo / July 19, 2019 / 12 Comments

Kneeling at my bedside, pressing palms together, I followed Mom’s lead to pray. “God bless your father, your brothers and sister,” she would say, and I repeat. Greatness is found on our knees. Like nothing else I ever did as a kid, stopping and speaking to God sounded like an opportunity—the chance of a lifetime.…

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When Sickness and Disease Threatens Your Soul

By Jo Ann Alo / July 12, 2019 / 4 Comments

Two days ago I got word of a friend whose daughter is suddenly fighting a mysterious illness. It ripped an old wound. Every time this sort of news makes the prayer chain my heart stops. Instantly, I relive pleading and begging and wanting what I cannot possibly get; the wholly, healthy, pain-free daughter I once…

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Home Is Where the Heart Is (Or Is It?)

By Jo Ann Alo / July 3, 2019 / 14 Comments

My parents bought a home in the country after marrying. Almost 60 years later you wouldn’t recognize the place. The lengthy gravel driveway I ran barefoot is buried under burning asphalt. The mulberry tree, turning our fingers purple, was cut down decades ago. Corncrib tunnels I climbed, peeking through wooden slats, was taken by tornado.…

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Remembering the small stuff Jesus labeled large:

By Jo Ann Alo / June 24, 2019 / 2 Comments

A cup of cold water. A coat. A visit. A lost sheep. A bruised reed. What I look at. What I think about. How I ask. My No. My Yes. My cares. My doubt. My conscience. My contentment. My joy. The day. The hour. My friends. My neighbor. The stranger. My debts. All my tears.…

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Worth It

By Jo Ann Alo / June 14, 2019 / 6 Comments

Have you ever given a gift that was blatantly unappreciated? I found one of those pivotal bible verses calligraphed onto a plaque I thought perfect for a friend. She struggles with depression. LOVE NEVER FAILS, hanging on her wall might be exactly what she needs to coax her into a brighter future. Maybe if she loved…

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Grateful

By Jo Ann Alo / June 10, 2019 / 6 Comments

Suffering with social anxiety makes the heart wilt and the brain blank. It’s been busy. And impossible to write these past few days, but feeling lighter today. So grateful for breeze blowing through bedroom windows. A tall, leafy red oak bouncing off the wind. Welcoming moss roses to our front door. Ham sandwiches and watermelon…

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Day 24

By Jo Ann Alo / June 6, 2019 / 0 Comments

Grandson sleeping with snorkel and mask. Storytime. Goodnight kisses. Thunder. Grandpa’s that juggle. Long evening talks with missed loved ones. Watching tired babies eyes close. Caught up in this verse today: “I will dwell in them.”—2 Corinthians 6:16 Oh my soul, you are not left alone, nor shall you ever be. How extraordinary a God,…

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16, 17, 18, 19

By Jo Ann Alo / May 31, 2019 / 0 Comments

Children catching themselves in the mirror. Replanting gifts in the ground. Three-way calls with friends. Returning home. Grocery list for grandkids coming. Ripe red strawberries. Knuckles rubbing whiskers. A doves coo like a bass drum in a symphony of first light. Praying: May I diffuse the fragrance of Your knowledge in every place.

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Breakthrough

By Jo Ann Alo / May 30, 2019 / 2 Comments

Stretching himself along my side, his head lay on my shoulder. Affection always makes me flinch. Hands and feet are one thing but lingering full body contact asphyxiates. Inside I squirm, feeling compelled to escape. I’ll say I’m having a hot-flash, my shoulder hurts under the weight of his head — either one will serve to rescue.…

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Day 14 and 15

By Jo Ann Alo / May 28, 2019 / 0 Comments

Evening four-wheeler rides. The perfume of lavender sweeping off the earth. Burgers sizzling on the grill. Wild asparagus. Silky summer sheets. Ice cream parlors. Bare feet in cool grass. Bullfrogs passing through. Pictures from the past. Retelling Grandma’s stories. Six o’clock Scrabble. A dog lapping water. Busy birdhouses. Re-reading love never fails.  Praising: Thank you for…

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