By Lisa Huddleston

Some days feel exceptionally raw as though you are being forced to walk around on sharp, pointy gravel in your bare feet. It hurts, so you have to walk gingerly pretending you are lighter than you are and are in no hurry to get where you are going.

Fall days are (sometimes) like that. The sun is over bright, and the colors hurt your eyes. If you are driving down a wood-lined road there is a good chance you’ll get a migraine before you’re even halfway to your destination. If you are riding in the passenger seat, you can close your eyes and cover them with your hands to block out the light. That can be a good thing.

Today I am definitely in the passenger seat, but I cannot block the flashing light. I am doing my best. I have watered the mums and other beautiful fall flowers. I have turned on the sweet sounding waterfall in the birdbath. I have opened all three doors between the screened-in porch and the inner sanctum of the house. And it is an absolutely wonderful day. Golden-lit, water-splashing, wind-chiming, dog-snoring, perfectly-perfect day. And I am trying to feel it all. To cover my overly sensitive eyes with creation beauty and to prevent the spiritual migraine I sense hovering in the waving periphery.deer-master1050

But last night while driving home in the dark my eyes were peeled. Deer with death wishes stood just outside of my headlights’ glare. They probably didn’t really want to die, but they just didn’t understand how fast and heavy my Outback was. I had to drive very carefully on the roads home. It would kill me to kill one. Death wishes all around.

Just last week, Chuck stood at my bedside in the early morning dark and said, “Lisa, I need to tell you something.” My heart jumped to just one million conclusions before he said, “I hit a deer by Miss Millie’s house. My airbag went off, and I came back home. Should I go back and look for the deer? He actually got up and walked away. He was huge! I hate that I hit him.”

I told him no. I held his head against my chest. I felt his deep sorrow and fear over his close call. But I knew we’d never find that deer and that there was nothing we could do if we did.

For the past week we’ve both seen deer everywhere we go. Dead ones lying on the sides of roads. Live ones standing at the edges of woods anxious to leap into traffic. Worst of all, deer you never see until you hear the thud and feel the bag against your chest.

Chuck said he thought about shrapnel from the bag. Was his one of those? Had the metal pierced him, and he was too shocked to feel it? Thank God it was just a thought. But the deer was real. At least a six-pointer. Beautiful and wounded. He probably died alone in the woods.

And so we keep our eyes peeled, knowing all along that another one is coming and knowing just as well that there’s nothing we can do about it. Raw, tender, we keep tip-toeing down the gravel road of life.


By Lisa Huddleston


Thy will be done … Thy will be done, Lord … Oh Lord, Thy will be done.

Love me with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.

And how do I love thee, Lord?!

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Oh! But who is my neighbor, Lord?

The people who live on my street?


The people who live in my town?


The people who live in the city?


In other states? Other countries?


Those who hate me, Lord?


Those who hate You?!


Oh, Lord …



And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)


By Lisa Huddleston


Okay. I have finally reached the point in my life where I simply cannot believe what is happening to this country. And I lie on the liberal side of conservative thinking–I tend to be less shocked than many.

But what?! Did a Republican presidential candidate actually brag about sexually assaulting women, “apologize” for his “locker-room talk,” and that same candidate is being defended by the so-called Christian conservative Right? Surely I am having some kind of waking nightmare?!

As a graduate of Vanderbilt University, I am sadly familiar with the term, culture of rape, as it applies to college athletics. If such a culture is reprehensible for young men of 20, how is it okay for a grown man who was 59 years old at the time to brag about groping women and walking into women’s dressing rooms to see them unclothed? Sexual assault cannot be defended.

If you are a woman, I’ll bet that many of you can recount times when you have been sexually threatened, assaulted, or even actually raped. In high school I was grabbed in a manner that Mr. Trump described, and it led to my smacking a young man’s head nearly off his shoulders. I have also been put in other situations in which I didn’t know how to defend myself against someone who was in a position of authority. One was a particularly humiliating experience which to this day makes me shake with rage and shame over not reporting it.

Mr. Trump, an apology that leads to a “but … it was locker room talk” is not an apology. He believes he has done nothing wrong, and it is humiliating for our entire country to have the world seeing him lifted up as our possible president. I am ashamed all over again–by Donald Trump, by the RNC, by conservatives who refuse to see their hypocrisy. But this time I will speak up!

Sexual assault and rape are never acceptable, never funny, and never ever understandable. Please, vote to protect women from being objects to be used by powerful men. Vote for a candidate who is qualified, prepared, and respectful of the civil rights of all people.

And, thank God, no matter what happens, my hope is not in chariots or horses or politicians. My hope lies in Christ alone.


By Lisa Huddleston

And … the journey continues. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I was beginning a trial with my 5th antidepressant and since that time the 6th. I am currently on a self-imposed fast of all medications (with my doctor’s tentative approval and an upcoming appointment). I want to give my brain a chance to settle and see who is the real me. I know that giving up on meds is a common occurrence for many (most?) mental health patients, but I promise that I am not giving up altogether. I will see my doctor in a few days, a counselor soon after that, and then we all will decide where to go next.

In the meanwhile, I want to share some wonderful encouragement I received. You know how people always say God will never give you more than you can handle? Well, I think that may be wrong. I think He gives us more than we can handle all the time so that we are forced to (allowed to) see what He can handle when we get our little selves out of the way.

For example, last Tuesday. This has been the summer of dental appointments, and I once again had a very sore tooth. I was also suffering difficult side effects from med #6—insomnia, crazy dreams, anxiety, and so on. Therefore I was up very early and FINALLY decided to turn to some scripture reading. I read from several different passages, but took the time to write down the words I read in Joshua: “Be strong and very courageous!” That was it. Hours of reading, and that was all I took away.child-dentistry5-200x300

By the time office hours arrived, I moved one doctor’s appointment so that I could get in to see my dentist, and I left a message at my psychiatrist’s office that I needed to speak with him about the side effects of #6. I was on a steady roll. But when I sat in the exam room at my dental office and my big, burly dentist all dressed in black (can you believe it?) said, “Root canal,” I was not prepared. “Now?” “Yes, now.”


He left the room, and I bolted from the chair. Not to escape but to grab a tissue. I was scared to death! I fought tears (so embarrassing), tried to breathe my way into peace, but it just wasn’t happening. I was as stiff as a Barbie doll in a plastic chair. But literally seconds into the procedure, I noticed a tiny, white cloud begin to materialize in the high windows. Just a tip at first, then its pillowy body following. And I don’t know why, but that cloud brought the words I had read that morning: “Be strong and very courageous!” Yes! Better than breathing. I repeated those words in my shaky brain, and I actually felt the muscles in my entire body just melt. From hard plastic to pliable peace. It was stunning and incredibly faith inspiring.il_340x270.775647355_rq64

When we took a break about an hour into the procedure, I was still mellow. I sat up and asked the dentist to talk me through what we’d done so far, and then (totally unlike my normally uptight self) I TOLD HIM ALL ABOUT WHAT I’D READ IN JOSHUA AND HOW THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE HAD COMFORTED ME.

Okay—awkward silence from him. But WOW! I had faced a huge fear and God had seen me halfway through. I had zero doubt about Him bringing me the rest of the way. Yes. I, Lisa Huddleston, had zero doubt! And I even testified! Take that, Fear!

I survived, thrived, and came out alive. I talked to my psychiatrist that afternoon with novacaine-deadened lips and asked for a breather on the anti-depressants and once again felt the victory of Peace overcome my fear.

And now I wait. I don’t know for sure what my next step will be, but I just wanted to share the last couple with you, because I know that someone else could use the same encouragement I have received. Don’t give up. Not even when you have more than you can handle. It’s not too much for Him.


Peace out, peeps. Don’t harsh my mellow–I hope you find yours.


(P.S. This does not mean that I oppose the use of medications for depression. They most likely have helped to save my life.)

UPDATE (October 12, 2016): I did move on to antidepressant number 7, and it has been very successful thus far. Thankful for prayers, loving friends, and patient health professionals!


By Lisa Huddleston

First, there was the Instagram post from an amazing fiber-artist friend. She crochets and knits and felts and sews amazing, whimsical things I adore. But this was a short video of her FIRST attempt at spinning. GASP! It looked nearly perfect—to me anyway. She insisted I just couldn’t see the flubs. Ha! I wanted to cry when I considered how long I have been striving to spin that well. I did whisper a few hateful words to myself, but I fought the tears of despair. Some people are just naturally gifted—I thought encouragingly—others have to struggle. But, crud, why do I have to be a struggler?

Second, there was a Facebook post written by a young friend bemoaning some mistakes in his past for which he is still paying the price. I tried to encourage him writing that mistakes make the best teachers. He “liked” my wise-old-woman message, and I hope he took it to heart. Heck. I hope I did, too.

Third, I fought my sleep-deprived way out of the house this morning forcing myself to attend a flow yoga class. It has been quite a while since I’ve practiced vinyasa, and my strength is seriously waning—both physically and emotionally. I was definitely the oldest and the heaviest participant there, and at one point I landed with an ungraceful thud when I just couldn’t balance my bod for even one more unflowing moment. Oh! How embarrassing—what was I thinking coming here in this kind of shape?

Fourth, on the way home from said class, I listened to an interview on NPR with Ryan Holiday, the author of Ego is the Enemy. One premise of his book is that our social media culture mainly shows us the highest highs and the lowest lows of those we follow. The thuds and flubs and mistakes along the learning process are usually carefully staged, filtered, and posted very rarely—if they are ever seen at all. It’s the perfect apple pie or always-happily-smiling family or oiled, rippling abs that we see. And who can compare with that? I mean–why even try? Holiday believes that this culture keeps many from achieving what we could if we were more willing to fall and tangle and struggle and crash. And you know what? So do I.

Okay then. I have gotten at least four communications in less than 24 hours telling me to keep fighting the good fight. Message received already! Write. Knit. Weave. Spin. Twist. Tangle. And balance! You cannot learn to walk, Lisa, if you don’t land on your butt a few times—unless you’re just naturally gifted. Ugh! And there’s a blue bruise on my hip to remind me that that’s not the case. I am a warrior (a bff told me recently), and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Be a warrior!

Be a warrior!


Go in the strength you have, my friends. And I’ll keep going, too. Namaste!




By Lisa Huddleston


I can’t really publish this as I would like to, because it’s meant to be a song, and I have rarely ever written a tune (ONCE). Therefore, I’m just going to throw these words out and see what happens.

As many of you know, I often battle against despair–I doubt God, I doubt salvation, I even doubt doubt. But, many of you also know that God never lets go of me! I attribute much of His tenacious faith to the beautiful place I live and commonly refer to as “Hudfarm.” This land has been in my husband’s family for five generations, and it is still a nourishing place in which to raise a soul. What a gift!

So … my kids all write music. Maybe one of them will feel moved. And many of my friends are also talented musicians who just may see through the simplistic words and hear the melody of my heart–I imagine it to be acoustic with a slightly, minor key. But who knows? Maybe it’s a rap or a polka or something? Okay, then. Here goes nothin:

“Faith is a Gift”

Faith is a gift, Believing is a gift   (repeat kind of chant-like)

Verse 1

When I feel the sunrise lifting

When I watch it as it sets

Then I know you’re near me

Then your gift I get

Verse 2

When the blossoms flower

And even when they dry

Your colors quench my thirsting

Your love’s the reason why that–


Faith is a gift

Believing is a gift

Only to be given

Nothing I can buy

Faith is a gift

Believing is a gift

As needed as the raindrops

Falling from the sky

Verse 3

When wind chimes ring so softly

When thunder roars then dies

When lightning bugs just flicker

My soul lifts up a sigh

Verse 4

From springtime unto summer

In both wintertime and fall

I feel your Spirit warm me

My heart can’t help but call that–


Faith is a gift

Believing is a gift

Only from the Spirit

Dripping from His lips

Faith is a gift

 Believing is a gift

Drowning out the hatred

With just a single sip

Faith is a gift, Believing is a gift (repeat to end)



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.