WHITE WATER

By Lisa Huddleston

6a00e55031d3a38834013487aefb3b970cTonight as I lay in bed

I fell

Out of a raft

Into white water.

Pick your feet up and float.

I remembered:

Don’t fight it;

Trying to stand

Will only catch your feet

In the rocks.

4709679_origGive up,

Let go, and

Float.

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The current will carry you

To stiller waters

Where surely you can

Climb in or be lifted up

Into the raft.

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And gentler waves will lull you back to sleep.

GOD WITH ME, GOD WITH YOU

God With Us--Enough

God With Us–Enough

By Lisa Huddleston

I have done and am still doing my day-to-day best to keep it simple this holiday season. I’ve minimized the decorating, I’ve finished the shopping, and the Christmas cards have already been mailed. Yet, I still find myself struggling with breathless moments of anxiety.

Why? Because I feel responsible for the happiness of everyone around me. I want to meet every expectation I think they have, to fulfill every tradition I think they love, and to make sure that each one will have the holiday I believe they are hoping for.

Again why? Because I have an inflated ego. Would Christmas be Christmas if I didn’t put up lights or send out cards or buy presents? Would Christmas be Christmas if I didn’t host a party or bake my grandmother’s sour cream cookies or put up a Christmas tree? Would Christmas still be Christmas if I didn’t even exist? YES!

So … not my responsibility, but rather my privilege … to share love, to bring joy, to accept and demonstrate peace. Because of God With Me and God With You, Immanuel.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! And that is more than enough.

P.S. If you are having a hard time, I don’t want to give you the impression that I have it all figured out. I do not. I will still struggle daily. And chances are, many of you will still struggle. But, even in that struggle, I am thankful for God With Me through it all. Baruch haShem.

FLEAS, MISCOMMUNICATIONS, AND A WILLING SPIRIT

By Lisa Huddleston

It’s been a stressful day: flea assaults on all my pets, communication breakdowns with someone close to me, and just general anxiety. Ugh. But I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Here are some pictures of sights I saw today that give me a reason to rejoice. I’m thankful there is more to this world than my petty problems. Thanks be to the Creator of it all!

Quirky, asymmetrical walking stick.

Quirky, asymmetrical walking stick.

Gold and green delights.

Gold and green delights.

Blue skies, white clouds, golden leaves.

Blue skies, white clouds, golden leaves.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 52:12

NOTHING DOING

By Lisa Huddleston

I am an anxiety junkie.  When I have too much time on my hands, I spiral into a tighter and tighter knot until something sooner than later has got to give.  Usually that something is my mental health.  Yep.  As my dear husband put it one day in reference to the fact that my two and only (so far) bike accidents have occurred while standing still–“Lisa, you don’t do nothing well.”  Amen and amen.

Most recently I have been filling some of my spare time with books.  And not just any books.  I have been bingeing on books that deal with mental health.  Funny books, serious books, medically correct books, hilarious anecdotal books, and so on.  (I’ll share a list of some of the best at the end of this post.)  The specifics have varied a great deal, but one truth has been lauded by all.  Too much empty time leads to a downhill turn.

“Get a job,” some may say.  “Volunteer,” say others.  Even “write a book” has been a common directive.  But none of those options has taken root.  I like the freedom my “freelance” life affords, and I’m blessed to be able to continue it.  I do volunteer and love the time I spend tutoring at the Adult Learning Center in my home town, but it only fills two mornings a week.  At least that’s all I’m willing to commit to right now.  “Write a book?”  Oh my my my … I feel the stress even as I type the words.  I know I am making excuses, but I seem to be stuck where I am on a roller coaster of anxiety with deep plunges into occasional depression and equally occasional moments of exhilarating epiphany.  (Don’t worry–not bipolar.  Just a little over-emotional.)

And so here I sit smack dab in the middle of what Daniel Smith in Monkey Mind calls “anxiety’s petri dish.”  Too much in my mind and not enough in my hands.  Freedom–my curse and blessing at the same time.

My Recent Reading List (in no particular order):

  • Monkey Mind, Daniel Smith
  • Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick
  • Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult
  • The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
  • An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison
  • Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks
  • The Center Cannot Hold, Elyn R. Saks