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.
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.