Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daddy's smell

We are near heaven here. The sun and water healing us after a year. The Lord ever present in our lives as we wade the deepness of the sea. We laughed and played games and talked stuff for the whole week. One of those vacations where every minute counted and we stayed close to each other.   Praying for friends who almost lost their baby and still remembering friends who lost their daddy. Remembering that it's God providence in all of our lives that we even take our next breathe and so we enjoy the moments of our special get-a-way's.

Our little Flower going out further than she did last year and the waves pounding and she drawing breath and coming to the top. She is so beautiful, inside and out, and this time of slowing down and being with her and making her laugh and seeing the gap in between her two front teeth dawning on me that she is become quite the young lady. God has given her such a joy. A sweetness, if you would allow me to say, that often makes me examine myself.  She is kind and spending hours with her on this beach helps me to recognize what it is I like about her. I like the way she treats her daddy. The joy of love and protection she feels is almost dramatized but she is the real deal and her love so lavished upon him that it truly reminds me to love more. To love him more. She holds him close and with such abandonment that I draw in and watch her slip into his lap and him seeming to not even notice. He gently gathers her and they sit as he talks. She lays her head on his chest and I see her eyes close and smell his shirt. Her daddy's smell. The age where she loves the very smell of him. She stays and then jumps down and run the soles off her feet.

As Taylor and I spend time talking and walking these sandy paths I'm reminded of her vulnerability. The age of wonder. Wonders of life ahead and learning to be content in the here and now. Hard combinations when you look to the future with great expectations. When you look out to sea and wonder what it is the Lord has in store for you without missing the day He has so graciously given. We have raised her to think ahead. To wonder...To dream and so it does not surprise me, but her tender heart does. The wonderings floating around, needing to be talked about.  We talk.... These precious moments of time that she is all mine and I get to giggle and make up her future. Her prince charming whom she thinks will never come, I remind her that he's out there but she shakes her head and says, " No, I'm not so sure Mom." Silly girl...He will come one day and you will be leaving...but I don't tell her that. I let her believe that her days will be lived out under my roof. I tell her it won't be that bad. She says, "Yeah, it will be fun living with you forever".
I like aggravating her like that..It's what I'm here for.
 But just in case you are her prince charming, she is ready for you...What's taking you so long?  

In April my darling husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We renewed our vows on the beach with flowers, cake, and candles. We celebrated because we want our children to know how very much we loved each other on the day we married but we want them to KNOW how very beautiful marriage is 20 years of page turns later. Our marriage life not been one of ease or comfort but one that has called Scott to be a courageous leader. He had to lead because God put us in situations that only Scott could lead us out of. Difficult years? yes, there has been a few. Years of dying to self and wishing and praying I didn't have to. When as a family we decided to stand for God we went through, and continue to go through, fire a lot of times... but we do so together. This man that stands beside me is my beloved and he leads because he knows he has a sense of duty to our family but he leads with a gentleness that pierces the hardest places and makes them an easier road. So we celebrate so that even though our children will never know what our first wedding was like they will be able to say that they helped celebrate every other one. I want their memories of sticking it out to be pressed in hard. The world will tell you to strip away from your marriage if it doesn't suit you anymore...but what does the Lord say? He says you stay and you rise up, oh man of God, and you be faithful to the wife of your youth and I will be found faithful. My hubby is not a perfect man and he didn't arrive riding on a white horse, his horse had dings, but he has turned into one of the finest. He is about the business of making sure as I grow older that I know he loves me more then the day we met. Myself a lot of times not liking the over 40 look. He assuring me that my beauty has increased. Sweet man! I love growing old next to him. It's almost painless. :)
I never feel like I don't measure up or that I should feel self conscious at the new wrinkle line...I feel he loves me unconditional and no one has ever loved me like that before nor will there be another. So as we stood in front our children our prayer is that none of our children will ever experience divorce.
They will break the curse of divorce with God's help. Bold prayers for an ordinary couple but God said ask. So we're not just asking, we're banging on His back door. Pleading with Him.          

I loved this picture of Cullen and Scott. The greatest complement is imitation right? Well, this little guy about 6 months ago started dressing just like his dad. Scott wears the same thing every day, black shirt and tan shorts...well so does Cullen. He wants to be like his father. Doesn't that amaze you? He doesn't idolize a football player or a soccer player. He wants to be just like his Daddy! Scott is not perfect, don't get me wrong but he is a man that for today has his children's heart. I say for today because none of us know the future. I pray we keep all of their hearts and that the Lord dwells in each of them forever but we're not God and I have seen so many wonderful friends who's children wandered after they left home. So I say for today, this day, we have our children's heart and we say bold prayers to our God that they may never walk away from the one who created them. We bang on the gates of heaven for our children that they would pass down to the next generation the great love and the great things the Lord has done for us.    


My Beloved whom the Lord gave

So all the boy pictures are coming soon. This was a sappy post so I thought I'd split up our vacation in two parts. We are so thankful for the much needed time of rest and renewal.

St. Augustine

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Leegacy Farm

Pulling down the long dirt road leading us to the Lee's farm we're in awe at what the Lord has done for them. Green pastures await us as we pull through the gate. Safety. Freedom of the world it seems. Surrounded by the beauty and far away from broken trees and broken houses. The hearts on the other hand still mending and its evident as we spend time here, working along side all of them. Hearts still missing the one man that would have loved this place the most. Cows grazing in the pasture. Kids riding bikes and swimming in creeks. His beautiful bride slowly directing it all with her soft voice. A lot of times we worked in silence as if everyone was deep in their own thoughts. Mending in their own way. The only way they know. Working.

 These long dirt roads give you a lot of time to ponder life and the events that unfold on your journey. I'm sure each one of them walk this dirt with the knowledge that walking dirt roads are healing somehow.

The air and the sun seem healing and the roads keep you laughing as you journey down to go feed
chickens or play in the water. You just seem to talk. The words a cool water to the burn of the heart. The trees and butterflies keep the children laughing and running. At night the fireflies in such multitude that the children all had jars and would catch so many that we would use the jars as flashlights.

 Judson or Dubs, as everyone who knows him calls him, is growing up. His little free spirit has lots of room to roam out here and roam he does. His feet stay dirty and he pounds these rocks. He see's a picture of him and his dad and tells Cullen, "this is my dad". More than anything I hope that Dubs never forgets his dad. That the Lord would etch his memories into his heart so thick that years would never be able to erase Tom's frame in his mind.

 The girls feet tough as nails as they walk back and forth from the houses. They are as kind and sweet as ever. The Lord flavoring them with what seems like more kindness and gratefulness than they had before, if that's possible.

The girls room is on the top floor of the house and it literally made me cry. It was the simple beauty of sisters sleeping together and sharing a space. Sharing the deep reality of what has happened in their life but doing all that together. Beds so close that if in the middle of the night you need someone all you had to do was rouse a sleepy sister and you could be holding hands with someone for comfort. For the living support of a sister.

The kitchen is still the main stay of their house. The front door always wide open and the cool Tennessee breeze coming through their home. The girls making homemade pizzas and ice-cream. Always someone in here straining milk from a cow who just got milked or washing the piles of tin cups that get used up quickly. This new kitchen reminding me so much of the former kitchen. Girls having hands in dough and preparing food for the hungry.

 Hannah, who loves to build, had her own little workshop set up in the side yard and she was busy almost the whole time we were there. She can build almost anything and her thoughts deep as she worked but when she did put down her drill she was loving on the kids and running with them pushing them on the bikes. She never told the little guys not to mess up her stuff nor did she mind if they worked on some random piece of board at the other end. She amazed me with her beautiful smile and generous attitude.

 I loved this shot as I was coming down the road from our little bungalow. I could barely make out Jo and Judson broke down on the middle of the road and their sisters were coming to their rescue or wait, maybe they were laughing at them? Either way it was a cool shot.

There is always work to be done here on leegacy farm. You work. You learn as you go and you put in your 12 hour day and then you sleep.Work is good for what ails you, I've heard, and these roads were being worked.

Sherry is doing good. In our living a legacy conference she said, "In proverbs 31 it says that she does him good all the days of her life." She said she has lots of years left to do Tom good. I thought that was one of the most beautiful truths that I had ever heard. She can still do Tom good even though he is not here in body.
She can still praise his name in the gates and make sure that she passes the baton to their children, his children. I have to admit right here that tears are streaming down my face because to see her without her
Mr. Tom still hurts and probably always will but she is doing Tom good. She is living out his dream and although the work would seem overwhelming the work is what keeps them going and moving along. She is slowly pulling things back to a new normal and with that new normal she has surrounded herself and their children with God's beauty. Tom would be so very proud at what she has done.

Jordan is busy he has stepped in some very big boots and well, he is doing it well. He is focused and he is now the head of this Lee family. His father's white truck is now the truck he drives with Tom's hat on the dash.

Abby worked in the garden for 5 hours straight one day. No, I did not hear one ounce of complaining. Sorry mothers out there who's children complain about taking out the trash. You just don't have complaining in this Lee family. They work and they  know it will take all of them to get it done. Do we instill that in our children? A mentality of team? A giver of yourself? Work until you have nothing else in you and then you find a bed and crawl in and sleep. Teaching our children the lessons that only work can teach them. It's a good thing.
 We need to be living more like this. Walking more dirt roads with bare feet as a reminder of life. Life is hard, roads are long, but they're meant to be walked together and work is meant to be cleansing and healing.
 So teach your children to be a team. To work along side each other and work out anger, grief, on the dirt of this land of ours and learn to do it together. Life is meant to be lived in community.

Until next time...We love you guys. God Bless.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Train them well

The rain is coming down on the farm. My garden getting the good drenching that it needed. My clothes that got left on the line....not so much. I'm always caught off guard by these stray showers. Clothes being lifted up and swinging back and forth. All the little people that I adore run to get swim suits on and are now running and jumping through the puddles.   Playing in the rain.

I didn't see the cloud coming or I could have had time to prepare. This is usually whats happens to all of us. We didn't see it coming. The character issues that slowly make their way into the life of our children.
It starts off at a distance and we slowly blame it on other things and then one day it becomes so big we ask ourselves where did this attitude come from? I thought I taught them better than this.

We think it's cute when they're little. We think it will go away. We think they will outgrow it before we have to do something about it. None of which are true.

  1. They don't outgrow it, the bad attitude usually grows.
  2. We are supposed to be training them up in the way they should go so ANY behavior you see that will not look Godly in 5-10 years you must train them now not to do it.
  3. Training our children up means work. Imagine you're training for a race or battle. It will take you working at it every single day.

Some days the battle is easy and we swing and laugh and eat popcorn but other days we're on the battle field fighting a huge battle for our children sake..Don't think you're not in a battle for your children because you are. This weekend I taught from Ephesians 6:1-3 Children honor your father and your mother so it will go well with you in the land I have given to you.  
This promise is not for me. It's for my children...it will go well for them. So knowing how much I love the children under my roof I train them up to honor their father and me. I don't believe they come into this world knowing how to honor. We have to teach them to honor. Most kids today are being taught how to honor themselves not their parents, so why should we not be surprised when it's not going well for a lot of children?

God's grace covers and has covered a lot of my parenting mistakes but we have a job to do.
We have our part to play in the raising up of Godly children and The Lord wants us to keep at it and not be surprised with the summer showers.

Blessings from the farm,


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