Who knew I was paying it forward to myself?

Who knew I was paying it forward to myself?

By Lisa Huddleston

“On what are you basing this confidence of yours? … On whom are you depending?” (Isaiah 36:4-5)

How I wish I had the confidence I once had! Confidence that led me through faith in God to step out of the mainstream, to homeschool our three children all the way to through high school, and to always feel as though there was a next “big thing” just around the corner—new goals to conquer, new dreams to dream.

Now I have so many doubts. I have seen many long-time friends struggle, and I know the struggles I have faced. I’ve seen victories as well as failures, and I admit that my confidence has taken some heavy blows.

But recently I have felt a boost, tentative and hesitant, but still a lift. And it’s coming from the faith of my children.

I see one courageously taking a risk by leaving her full time job to go back to school for a second bachelor’s degree and a new career. I see another confidently looking for a place to use his talents in a way that will empower him to make a good but unconventional living. And another working long, steady hours to support his family in every way he can. I am proud of these three, and thankful that they appear to have kept the confidence I once invested in them in safekeeping so that it is still there for me to draw from. (And I am thankful that they often remind me that it was their father and I who taught them to live this way—especially when they see me lagging.)

“On whom or what am I depending?” It’s been harder to answer this question in complete honesty over the past couple of years; however, I am passionately thankful for this surprising return on my previous investments. This “old” faith revealing itself in new ways may get me through this dry spell and be exactly what I need to move from strength to strength: a well of living water that never runs dry. Thanks, kids.

 Baruch HaShem!


Better days before the exile.

Better days before the exile.

By Lisa Huddleston

If you’re too young to remember the quote I’ve used for this post’s title then … what are you doing reading a blog about Intentional Living in the Second Half? That’s okay. You young folks know how to Google it and learn whatever you want to, and the origins of the title aren’t really what this post’s about anyway.

Today’s topic is chickens, farm life, and getting along–or not getting along. Sort of.

I’d done the research. I’d read about pecking orders and bossy roosters and all that; but for some goofy reason, I just didn’t expect my chickens to act like that. But true to their chicken natures, they do act just like that. They act like chickens!

I know. No big surprise there. Dogs act like dogs. Cats act like cats. People act like people. Of course, even my chickens would act like chickens. But they grew up together! They shared the same box in my basement. They huddled together until the same warming light. How could they turn on each other like they have?

The trouble started when the crowing started. Yes, it turns out that three of our 12 fluffy chicks were actually roosters in disguise! Who knew? And with the crowing came the pecking. Not little love pecks but hard, “I Want to Kill YOU!” pecks.

And so, one by one, the roosters have been relocated. Goldie was lucky–he found a great home with a sweet little family and four lovely little hens. He is free ranging the good life today.

The battle field--looks so serene, doesn't it?

The battle field–looks so serene, doesn’t it?

However, two days ago, there was a cock fight of epic proportions in the hen yard and poor ol’ J.P. (short for “Jurassic Park” because he looked like one of those creepy long-legged dinosaurs in that movie when he was younger) lost. He is recuperating in a large dog crate with a load of Neosporin gobbed on top of his wounded head, and Lovie Dove, a terrible misnomer if ever there was one, has been given to a long-time resident of our rural community who “buys, sells, and trades” chickens. Let’s just say, Goldie won the prize for sure!

Now it is just the ladies until J.P. can make his return, and already I see those girls jockeying for the top spot. Speedy seems to be making a real play for it, but Henny Penny will definitely give her a run for her money. Even Liesel and Hootie were giving it a go at being Queen for the Day.

And all I can think is, “Why can’t we all just get along?” But that is not the way of chickens nor is it the way of the world.

Gladly I was reading in the book of Isaiah this morning, and that good book reminded me that the way it is is not the way it will always be. One day:

The wolf will live with the lamb,

the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

and a little child will lead them.

The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,

the young child will put his hand

into the viper’s nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be full of the

knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.

(Isaiah 11:6-9)

One day there will be peace. And a little child will lead us all. Hallelujah.


UnknownBy Lisa Huddleston

Wednesday morning. Hump Day! Woot woot! But I’m not really feeling it. Every day is about the same for me right now so I find it hard to celebrate being halfway to nowhere.

My younger son who is living with us for a few months since graduation would chastise me for being so negative, but I try to tell him he just doesn’t understand me. He thinks he knows what’s right and solid and unchanging. He reminds me that I taught him those things. And he’s right–I did.

But now I don’t feel so firm. (And that last sentence just makes me laugh–I’m infirm in more ways than one!) I remember a dream I’ve visited many times since childhood: I am walking and then running on ground that is either spongy soft like a swamp or falling away from my feet like a landslide or a crumbling earthquake. As I run, the land dissolves or falls apart just as my feet leave it, and I am terrified of tumbling into whatever lies below. That’s how it feels today.

I was reminded lately that perhaps I should keep these dark thoughts to myself rather than sharing them and possibly spreading the darkness. But truth has its share of darkness in it, doesn’t it? And isn’t sharing a load halving it?

I heard something Sunday morning–something that I also thought last week as my daily Bible reading led me to Ecclesiastes. “God gives respect and place to everything we feel.” Pastor Jim was referring to the Bible, but I figure what’s good for God’s book has to be okay for my little blog, too.

So this is my truth today. I feel empty. I feel lost. And I really just want to be alone.

But I am trying in long obedience form to keep moving in the right direction, striving to keep my feet on something solid. And that’s how it is today.

Woot woot!