DIRTY ANKLES AND STREET LIGHTS

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By Lisa Huddleston

When the street lights came on, we were supposed to head home.

And our baths were drawn. And Mr. Bubbles and Mommy were waiting. And our Daddy was shrilly whistling out the front door meaning, “Come home, little girl. It’s time to scrub off the dirt ring that’s gathered around your Keds and thank God for another good day.”

And now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake–I hope Mr. Bubbles is waiting and the scum still soaks off with ease and just a little extra rubbing around the ankles. And I’d love to put on clean seer-sucker baby doll pjs to wear to bed.

Amen.

ARE YOUR EYES OPEN?

By Lisa Huddleston

I listened on the radio (NPR, of course), and I watched off and on on television (C-Span, NPT, and the networks), and I can’t stand seeing what’s going on in America. Yes, I used to cheer the snide comments, the digs that hit right where I wanted them to. But now–I hate it all. Politics seems so stupid. Like–where did logic go? Did it die somewhere along the way? Is it suddenly okay to plagiarize? To shout slogans with no meaning behind them? To wildly applaud when nothing true has been said? Ugh.

I don’t know where I belong. Definitely not with the “gun-toting Republicans” and not with the “baby-killing Democrats.” Where is my place in this world?

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And I suppose that is the point. I have no place in this world.

I pray that you will have a beautiful day. That your eyes will be open to the lovely, natural vignettes of beauty that lie before you. Look. See. Rejoice.

Amen.

SPINNING THROUGH THE THICK AND THE THIN

By Lisa Huddleston

This is not a creative or artistic or poetic attempt. What this post is is simply an informative and hopefully encouraging word for any of my readers who understand what it means to have chronic depression–or maybe any chronic illness.

For the fifth time, I am going through an adjustment period with yet another antidepressant. As the fourth one leaves my system, the fifth is building, and I am experiencing the not-so-lovely effects of nausea, irritability, anxiety, weepiness, self-hatred, and so on. Is it due to losing the previous med or introducing the latest? Who knows? And really who ever knows why exactly they are feeling as they are?

One dear friend calls me a warrior and refers to my experience as a battle. I guess she is right in some ways, but I really just feel more like a crappy scrap of paper being blown whichever way the wind goes.

If this new drug (to me) works–Yay! Maybe I will finally settle down and rest in some semblance of peace.

If it does not–and odds are that it will work some but not without the sad side effects of numbing my brain–I am considering an entirely new approach. Maybe I’ll write about it some time. Time will tell.

13522861_10209613899211009_3249131363915354502_oBut as I wait and see, I am learning to spin yarn from raw wool. (Just go with me here. No segue–I know.) Naturally I see the similarities between this attempt and the other. I see connections between everything!

My first yarn barely resembled yarn at all. It was wooly fat blobs, thin stringy spirals, and spots that wouldn’t hold together when given even a slight tug. Fat, strung-out, and falling apart. (Mm hm.)13584697_10209749803768538_3702832674588222962_o

Now I am actually spinning real yarn. Not perfectly but better nearly every time I sit down at the wheel. Am I a yarn warrior yet? Perhaps not, but I have sweat and cursed enough to feel battle worn and torn by the learning process.  And victory is in sight.

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A long obedience in the same direction is the only possibility for victory. Keep spinning, my fellow warriors. So will I.

 

PLEASANT PLACES

By Lisa Huddleston

10384744_10203953636347975_5879070697872684370_nHave you noticed that when people tell you they’ve heard a message from God that more often than not it is the message they are actively hoping to hear? Call me a cynic–it would be an apt description–but the odds of this happening so frequently seem a little distorted to me. And, yes, it is true that I am noticing this common occurrence, because it is a trait I see when I look at my own reflection, especially the one I see in the rear view mirror.

Oh boy! I could make quite a list of epiphanies I have received. Thankfully I was spared from some of them by good old common sense, others just didn’t manage to work out (maybe God protected me from myself), and then there are those that truly did manifest into God-given gifts.

Interestingly, in pondering this tendency, there is at least one characteristic these false revelations all share; they all play to my ego. God notices how unique and truly gifted I am, and He finally is going to shine His ray of light from heaven to illuminate my genius for the whole world to see. Okay, still being cynical, but there is a lot of truth in this concept. And I fear that we tend to pick up a least a smattering of this idea from the things we learn at church. You are special. You are called. You are gifted. You have a unique purpose. You know, all those ideas that make my writer’s mouth salivate for recognition and acknowledgement of my creativity.

11227401_10207349081111972_7173172355244987238_oHonestly, there is nothing wrong with those messages. God does knit each one of us together with unique talents and spiritual gifts. We do have a purpose in this world, and we have been called to walk in a way worthy of that calling. The only problem with some of this teaching is that we think we are doing it to fulfill our purpose, to gain recognition for ourselves. This life is not about us, and our calling is to follow Him. We are created to bring Him glory–but it is a difficult balance to walk that line between gracefully using our gifts for Him and seeking applause or God-speak that leads us to our own recognition.

And maybe that’s why some of my “epiphanies” have succeeded while others have not. When I only perceive God telling me the things I want to hear, then it’s really no wonder that those messages turn out to be false prophesies. God is God, I am His creation, and He is in charge of how, when, and where He wants to use me. As I sit here typing on my back porch while the birds sing and the breezes blow through the trees, I am thankful. Some days I am lonely in this isolated place and feel lacking in direction, but I am where He has placed me and that has always proved to be good. Today, the boundaries have fallen for me in pleasant places, and I say amen.

FEAR NOT! BUY DUCKS!

 

By Lisa Huddleston

 

Six days-old chicks and two young ducks were added to HudFarm yesterday afternoon. We had planned to buy some chicks on March 15th when the Co-op would have some Buff Orpingtons in stock, but due to some conflicts, that date was going to be a struggle to meet. Therefore, when we just happened to be at the Tractor Supply while they were unpacking loudly peeping chicks, we thought, “Hey. Why not? And while we’re at it, why not add a couple of yellow, fuzzy ducks to the box?” What? Ducks? Yes. Ducks.

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Now a couple of ducks may not seem like a big deal when we already have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 12 chickens, but it was a big step for me. You see, every new animal we add is a potential disaster in my dark, little mind. And after the recent chicken massacre perpetrated by one of my sweet puppies, all I can think of is another bloody mess.

 

But baby ducks are precious, fluffy, and too cute to be missed. And my husband loves them. I just had to set my fears aside.

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Now we have a cozy brooder set up in my loom room. We bought a shallow water trough that we will be able to repurpose when the sheep and donkey we are planning for arrive this summer. (Yes—more precious lives for me to worry over—especially in light of the eerie yipping from the woods last night as a pack of coyotes found their prey.) The trough is filled with wood chips, chicks, ducks, feeder and waterer and covered with chicken wire to keep the cat and dogs out. (Oh, I hope so!) And all should be well.

 

But all our precautions are no guarantees. Dottie Pigbody made a dive for a duckling this morning, and both dogs roll their eyes and quiver with evil anticipation as they look through the chicken wire at our sweet peeps. Disaster is always a possibility, but I have decided to go for it a little more than I used to. I could let my worries control my actions but then I would never know the unconditional love of our crazy dogs, or the arrogant affection of our cats, or the wonderful flavor of fresh, warm eggs. Fear could keep me safely tucked away under the chicken wire of worry—but that’s no way to really live unless you are a chicken.

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Chuck and I both have decided, quite wisely, that we will never be any younger, and now is the time to do some of the odd things we’ve dreamed about. So chickens and ducks and sheep and dogs and cats and a sweet, old donkey it is. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all about duck eggs in a couple of months, the good Lord willing and the dogs don’t bite!

COMFORTABLY NUMB

By Lisa Huddleston

Snow-Suit

Some days are painted with a protective coating

Varnish that covers the rough places and dulls the potential splinters

In some ways the numbing is a help

A shell around the brain, the heart, the soul

But sometimes it stops the blood from flowing from the heart to the head to the pen

Ideas that one day mattered fade away