By Lisa Huddleston

I’ve often remarked that God shows me the same message in many different settings until it suddenly clicks and I “get it.” He knows that I am a multi-sensory learner. Let me taste it, touch it, hear it, smell it, and then just maybe it will click.

That’s what happened last Friday as I sat in the chair at Ian White Tattoos receiving the painful message that God has been trying to teach me. My new friend, Amanda, is an apprentice there, and she patiently worked with me as I “oohed” and “ouched” and “yowed” my way through her artistic endeavors. Hey, a foot is tender. God has placed lots of sensitive nerve endings there so that we take care not to stub our toes and walk on glass. It really hurt!

Ironically, the message that Amanda engraved is “A long obedience in the same direction.” It speaks of patience and endurance and perseverance. Qualities that I mainly lack. Friedrich Nietzsche first penned the words, but I received them through Eugene Peterson and have made them my own. It is a long obedience that results in true progress so I felt that my foot was the perfect place to remind me to keep walking.

Anyway, Amanda was great. She didn’t call me a baby (although she probably wanted to.) She didn’t even laugh when my sweet son told me to “man up!” She kept saying “just a little more.” Then she told me to take a deep breath and blow it out. “Whooo … “

It worked! I relaxed, and the pain lessened incredibly. For the rest of the time, I blew out my anxiety and concentrated on relaxing my tensed muscles. It required a great deal of focus—another quality I often lack—but it really worked!

Then it clicked. Oh yeah … I remembered the time on my knees when God said, “Pick up your feet and go with the flow, Lisa.” I remembered other times He told me that He had it and I could let go. He was the current of my life. I could trust Him with wherever that current took me. I had to relax.

So that’s what He meant. Unclench my jaw. Untense my muscles. Relax my grip. Let go. He gave me lots to ponder, and before I knew it the pain was over.

Thus ends the message for today. Maybe.


  1. Lisa,
    You are now officially the coolest mom ever. A beautiful tattoo, and one worthy of being imprinted on your body for the rest of your life. I love Eugene Peterson (and some of Nietsche too).

  2. Love the tattoo! And the fact that you gritted your teeth, took the pain, and drew a stellar lesson out of the experience. Great post. And BA tattoo because I’ve heard the foot is a super painful place to get a tattoo.

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