blog

You Take Brave Steps Toward Loving Others When You Count Yourself Worth His Love

By Jo Ann Alo / August 3, 2020 /

My Mama is not to be trifled with. She and Dad left suburban life broke, but determined to give their kids what they never had. Owning land, breeding animals, and growing fields in wide open spaces was the backdrop for a family that sticks together. Before my sister and I arrived Mama birthed two boys, breech.…

Read More

The Ark of All Living Things

By Jo Ann Alo / July 17, 2020 /

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Romans 15:13 Are you believing in the One true God and His Son Jesus Christ — forfeit for your faults? If so, hope is an anchor for your soul. Once tossed, staggering on the waves of sins’ seductive pull, now held fast by…

Read More

Epidemic Harmony

By Jo Ann Alo / July 7, 2020 /

Call me crazy, but this deep-dyed introvert loves social media. Cutting ties with trusty electric keys on humming machines, carbon paper, and white-out, I was smitten with auto correct, copy & paste, edit, and delete. Clicking till the cows came home, I stopped dreading the long, hard road of starting all over again. But I’m…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More