Notes

Admitting I Can’t Before Saying I Do

By Jo Ann Alo / June 25, 2020 /

We made unkeepable promises. To love and cherish till death do us part. In 38 years, our marriage has suffered many deaths. But no death more insurmountable than the one of our own stubborn pride. We never knew poverty till after the promise. Standing at the altar of white linen and flickering candles, dim to…

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We Can’t Afford To Be Hearers, and Not Doers of the Word

By Jo Ann Alo / May 28, 2020 /

We had to do something. Filling two grocery carts, we carried 25 bags of mercy door to door on the poorest side of town. Bought styrofoam container of mud and worms for the young robin abandoned in the gutter—because we couldn’t watch one more senseless death. Still breathing here. Holding on and handing out because…

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When Your Heart Starts Turning Dark in the Brightest Season

By Jo Ann Alo / May 21, 2020 /

The sun stayed up till eight o’clock last night. My front yard is bloomin’ pink petals and last year’s perennials. I’m watching tree buds turn into shoots. Coiled leaves uncurl like a newborn fist. Soft and supple, every lobe carefully carved. Form and color quietly march in right before my eyes. Sparrows and finches fill…

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Days’d and Confused

By Jo Ann Alo / May 9, 2020 /

Forgive me. But today I’d like to scratch all Days off the calendar. Volunteering many moons ago at a Pregnancy Crisis Center, my first director was a lovely hearted woman. She housed a host more wisdom than I. She taught me, Every appointment of our lives is God appointed. But she was blue this particular…

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How Turning Over Your Life Is More Crucial Than Returning to Life as Usual

By Jo Ann Alo / May 1, 2020 /

I called my Mama today. It don’t matter how long it’s been since she folded my clothes—sometimes I just need my Mama. I can’t feel her hands through the phone. I miss her. I need her, but her voice will have to be enough. Affection is not something she lavishes, but if you come into…

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Evening of Thanksgiving

By Jo Ann Alo / April 25, 2020 /

David (my husband) is a teacher. He is one of several teachers in the Life Learning Program for Chicagoland Prison Outreach. The Cook County Detention Center is the largest maximum jail in the country, taking up 96 acres in the city of Chicago. Two times a week a stamped ID gains him passage through guarded,…

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I Don’t Want To Change the World, I Just Want To Keep Changing

By Jo Ann Alo / March 22, 2020 /

I was twenty-four when my knees bent to Jesus. Bringing a boatload of baggage into my born-again life. Married six years with two littles, I had a heap of bad behavior to reorganize. Cigarettes and swearing had to go. Movies, TV shows, music—all required revamping. Bible reading and morning prayer needed implanting. I had a…

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Go Forward

By Jo Ann Alo / January 25, 2020 /

The country is a mess. The world is a mess. But believer do not lose heart. Israel was in the same sinking boat. Their story was written for our sake that we should not lose hope. It’s natural to feel afraid when all we see is Pharaoh’s horses and chariots chasing after our liberation. But…

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“God loves you.” Deuteronomy 23:5

By Jo Ann Alo / December 9, 2019 /

Relaxing in his comfy chair after setting up the tree, Which one is your favorite? Curled up on the couch, hugging pillow, I’m staring straight past him at silver circling two long-ago lovers skating across festive green. Mine too, he gleefully agrees, on his feet and confirming our communion. We haven’t always agreed. We’ve slammed doors, spun gravel, and…

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Rethinking My Facecrook

By Jo Ann Alo / November 27, 2019 /

My identity was faked on Facebook. A bunch of my friends were used as pawns for pillaging. It’s so creepy. I’m so sorry. My picture smiling, hovering over videos concocted to coax and confiscate. Thieves advancing right along with technology. Though confidentiality clauses and privacy policies plaster everything we sign, code, or chip—they’re finding new…

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