LEFTOVER NIGHT

By Lisa Huddleston

 

Doggy BagI love mid-week dinners, because we usually have some leftovers in the refrigerator, and I do not have to cook. It’s great! And such is the case tonight. When Chuck gets home from another long day of work, he will have his choice—as long as his choice is either chili or lasagna. Yes, I’m a big fan of leftovers!

 

And leftovers is exactly what struck me in this past Sunday’s sermon from Ruth 2. This is the chapter in which Ruth goes out to glean in Boaz’s field, and he serves her dinner. The air is thick with tension and mounting romance—as well as a special doggy bag to take home.

 

At mealtime Boaz told her, “Come over here and have some bread and dip it in the vinegar sauce.” So she sat beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain. She ate and was satisfied and had some left overs. (v. 14)

 

I don’t know about you, but we Huddlestons always get a doggy bag when we have leftovers at a restaurant. Unfortunately, I usually accidentally leave it on the table or in my car and rarely get to enjoy them. But Ruth managed to make it home with her leftovers, and “she brought out what she had left over from her meal and gave it to [Naomi.]” (v. 18)

 

And all that thinking about leftovers reminded me of the many, many ways I have been blessed with more than I need. We have a house that used to shelter a family of five and now there could be only two of us to rattle around in it. Chuck has managed to work hard and consistently for many years to provide us with many material goods—lots of which has made its way to the basement over the years. And on and on. We are most certainly well-blessed.

 

And, I suppose, it would be okay for us to just sit on what we have—after all, God has given these things to us—but it definitely would not be the best way to live. I mean, we’ve all seen episodes of “Hoarders” on TV. It can get pretty gross if we keep everything we get.

 

No, I think Ruth really sets us a good example by what she does with her leftovers. She takes them and gives them to someone who has not. In this case, it’s her sure-to-be-hungry mother-in-law. And isn’t that what we all should do with our abundance?

 

Have a too-big house? Open it up to someone who needs a place to live. Have unused furniture in your basement? Give it to a young family who’s just starting out. Get a bonus for Christmas? Look around and see with whom God wants you to share it. Ruth knew those leftovers were not for her, and we can know the same thing if we’ll take the time to ask God where He wants it to go.

 

Yes, I love leftovers … I think I’ll choose lasagna tonight. No, maybe the chili. No, definitely lasagna. Or maybe I just have some of both.

 

Either way, I’m thankful for God’s provision—for and through ALL OF US!

REMEMBERING TO GIVE THANKS

Dad and me in 1961.

Dad and me in 1961.

By Lisa Huddleston

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve written–maybe the longest dry period since I started this blog. Much has been and is still going on in my head but much has not yet come together into clear thoughts that can be written down and then shared with others and so I have not made an attempt. It has felt pointless as it’s all been said before and there is nothing new under the sun or the moon or the stars.

But tonight is the night before Thanksgiving–not a good time to start writing as it is late and I am tired and we are expecting Chad, Heather, Nick, and Becky to come through the door any minute now and fill our empty and readied rooms so I may have to abort this half-hearted attempt at a post. But I want to and I need to take a moment to say that I am thankful.

My dad passed away just over a week ago and my head is swimming with muddled mysteries of life and death and afterlife and afterdeath. But I am thankful.

Ferguson is rioting and I am remembering my childhood and Detroit and dad’s being very very late that night and Martin Luther King, Jr. and fires on the news and rough stubble on a cold cheek when he would come in to kiss me good night. But I am thankful.

I am feeling disconnected and lonely and isolated and fearful but I know I have a wonderful blessing in the present in my husband and children and am considering that they chose to be “Team Lisa” during last weekend’s trip to my father’s memorial in Indiana and despite its being even worse than I feared they were with me. And I am thankful.

And since returning from Lafayette I have cleaned and cooked and will cook still more tomorrow and we will eat and talk and eat and remember and eat and forget and celebrate this life here together on Hudfarm. And we will be thankful.

Love and peace and joy and patience and selflessness and remembering and forgetting and blessing in all things be unto you. And may you all be thankful.

NO GUILT SERVED HERE

1By Lisa Huddleston

The menu is ready, most of the grocery shopping is done, and the out-of-town guests will be arriving on the farm sometime Wednesday. Yes, the holidays are fast upon us, and with the food, family, and large gatherings often comes guilt. Some want dinner at noon, but others can’t come until evening. Young couples have to juggle two or more family gatherings and stretch their stomachs to eat multiple meals.  And some family members can’t come at all, because they live far away or even have to work.

It can be hard, but one thing I hereby declare–no guilt will be served for the holidays here at Hudfarm!

I remember what it’s like to balance family gatherings and am thankful to be in the happy situation of having folks come here to our house to celebrate.  Yes, I truly will miss those who won’t be around our tables this Thanksgiving, but I understand and rejoice that they feel free to do whatever they need to–completely guilt free–and I’ll look forward to the next holiday when it will be our turn to have them here.

Yes, the planning for our feast is almost finished: turkey, ham, green beans, carrots, cranberries, potatoes, Yankee and Rebel dressings, pickles, and sweet potato pies.  Hmmm … I still need Panko bread crumbs to top the mashed potato casserole along with a few other random items. But absolutely, positively, guilt is one item that will not be on my list. Today, on Thanksgiving, and for the rest of this holiday season–no guilt served here.

Now go be thankful and make merry!

Baruch haShem. 

ROOTS AND LEAVES, FRUITS AND NUTS

IMG_1522By Lisa Huddleston

 

The dry leaves gather in the corners around my house, up against the garage doors, under the porch and patio furniture, and across the driveway that was finally completed just this past summer. Although there are still cheerful pumpkins on our porches, it is nearly time to throw them in the garden as seed for next year’s crop. In just a week, much of the family will gather here for Thanksgiving dinner, and in the days after that, green and red will replace the warm browns and golds of Autumn.

 

IMG_1347

 

And like the seasons, our family tree also shows its own circles of growth. This year I am thankful for the older generation, Granddaddy and Gran and Grammy Sue, who will be here to root us to the past with rich memories and treasured stories of those who have already passed away and provide rich soil for our tree. I am also thankful for the new nests that have been carefully tucked into our branches through marriages, new relationships, and for the saplings of new family units. And I am especially thankful for the man who has been my solid, tree trunk for 29 years standing firm through all the seasons we have weathered. In just another few blinks, I know it will be our turn to root this tree. Not yet, but very soon, and then now — we will see the spring blossoms of the next generation and rejoice in the blessing of own grandchildren (probably fruits and nuts like the rest of us!)

But today there are dry leaves around my feet, reminders of this most recent summer and its rich blessings. And I am thankful.

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