Monday, April 29, 2013

Remembering April 27th, 2011

As many of you probably know, April 27th, 2011 brought many changes for many families.  For ours, the change felt most was that of  learning that our Tom had gone to be with the Lord just minutes after a tornado brought down the house (and many others in our community and state) and left many trapped until help arrived (dear friends and neighbors).
We find it incredibly hard to believe that it's now been two years, and we wish to share with you how very grateful we are for the kind emails, notes, flowers, cookies and candies, smiles, hugs, phone calls, visits, and prayers sent our way and which remind us of the truth of the following statement:  Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by doubling our joy, and dividing our grief.  And..."A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." ~ Proverbs 17:17
We spent part of the anniversary weekend visiting with dear friends who also were hit by the tornado and an evening alone (just our family) remembering many a kind providence of the Lord and happy happy memories of Tom.  And speaking of kind providence's, no matter the difficulty, there always seem to be so many.  One I'd like to share concerns a jack which was used to lift a main beam.
As friends worked to locate and free each person, one realized a jack was going to be necessary in order to get  the main beam of the house jacked up and off of people.   He asked one of my daughters, who was already out, if we might have a jack and if she could get it.  We had many jacks, but they and the building in which they were stored had been blown away.  My oldest son, Jordan, was still trapped but overheard the urgent request for a jack.  He was the ONLY one who new that his father had purchased a new one on the way home from work and before the storm hit.  He could not see outside and didn't know if his father's truck was still where he'd left it (some vehicles weren't), but he told them that if it was, to look in the back floor board.  They should find a BRAND NEW jack purchased from Tractor supply...just because they were on sale.

Now, I must tell you that I can't fathom WHY Tom purchased a new jack.  We were trying to save money and we DID NOT need a new jack.  We already had several.  My husband didn't know we were going to need a new jack.  But God knew.  And even though Tom had no idea what was soon to come, the purchase he made was used to bless his family.

I can't tell you what a comfort that is.  And there are so many others which come to mind.

We're reminded in John 14, "Let not your heart be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me."  But it's hard to choose to not let our hearts be troubled.  Difficult things happen.  Storms of various kinds are experienced by all.  Tragedies, such as those most recently, seem to come frequently.

But we reach for the hope...knowing He's really the One holding on to us.  And we know that our great God works all things together for good... and that He leads His children along...EVEN WHEN WE DON'T KNOW IT'S HAPPENING.  Like when purchasing a jack we don't *need.*

And finally, in summing up, we still want to keep alive Tom's memory in our hearts and minds. And we want to continue to honor the legacy he left of serving the Lord from a heart very grateful to God for all he'd been given and forgiven.  And we desire to be faithful in telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord.  And of how He continues to lead His children along.

  And once again, we are also very grateful for you all.  For your prayers and kind expressions and for the gift of friendship and family.

God bless you!

The Lee Family

"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing..."   ~  Proverbs 10:7  ~

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Spring Day on Leegacy Farm

saturday was a beautiful day here on leegacy farm, and duck duck was often seen traveling with her new friend
we all worked mostly outside and on various projects and enjoyed soaking in the warm spring sunshine and the gentle breezes
lots of clean up work was accomplished and we enjoyed our first spring outdoor lunch 
it was very nice outside and rather warm, but little man chose a sweat shirt to cover the sunburn from the day before
we cooked on the grill brought by grandmother and lingered long at the table
some really enjoyed their leisure and lunch after plowing a field with the horses ~ others cut grass and used the weed eater
kitty was very happy to see us leave our leisurely lunch and she devoured any leftovers
some worked on wood working projects
and some old roots were dug up 
and flowers were planted
taking a break in the sand pile
some additional raised bed boxes were built and plants moved out of the hoop house
the large rocks had been used while cooking maple syrup (to make a circle for the fire) and are now being used for a rock wall
lots of spring water in the little pond since we've had an abundance of rain lately
clothes drying and taking on a spring fresh smell
planting or gathering herbs
 crocheting dishcloths
As Eric Sloane would say, "Happy doing!"

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Do's and Don'ts of Yesteryear

Does anyone else out there love Eric Sloane books?  I was reading a bit out of a new one I received in the mail today and a few of the sayings caught my interest and reminded me of a long ago prayer....
But first, the book I'm speaking of is Do's and Don'ts of Yesteryear and is a collection of vintage, nostalgic and homespun advice from bygone days.  The author, Eric Sloane, was one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.  He appreciated American history, tradition, and architecture and wrote many books about early America.
Here are a few excerpts:  "DO discourage ants by placing cucumber rind shavings wherever they appear." and "DON'T drink from your saucer.  While you must avoid this vulgarity, don't take notice of it or any mistake of the kind when committed by others.  (It is related that at the table of an English prince a rustic guest poured his tea into his saucer much to the visible amusement of the court ladies and gentlemen present.  Whereupon the prince quietly poured his own tea into his own saucer, thereby rebuking his ill-mannered court and putting his guest in countenance.)"

The second one I mentioned above, the one about not drinking from one's saucer, made me think of the word gracious. The prince in the story was very gracious, I think.  According to Webster's Dictionary, gracious means godly, pleasing, acceptable, marked by kindness and courtesy, graceful, and marked by tact and delicacy.  And when I read that little account, I thought of a very gracious family and a long ago prayer. All of our children were much younger then, and as many of you know, our family is quite large.  Looking ahead and being outnumbered, we longed to enjoy a simple life and not be on the road all the time carting people here and there and all going in different directions.  But we couldn't imagine how our children might enjoy opportunities to learn to minister to and serve others.  Just sheer numbers and logistics caused us to long for a way to serve together as a family -- and -- we really believed that to be the very best way for us to serve.  But what to do?  And what might that look like?  We prayed.  And our prayers were answered in a most unusual way.  One of our very most favorite mentors asked us to be a part of their ministry.  We were a very small part.  But not only would our children have opportunities to learn to serve others - and we believed that to be very important - our whole family would. Together. And not only that, but this opportunity meant that we would stay in close contact with this dear family.  And they were the MOST gracious couple we knew.  And we hoped at least a little bit of that graciousness would rub off on us.  Now, I'm not saying whether or not it did or didn't rub off, but what I am saying is that our prayers were answered.  Our children were given service opportunities which fit their ages and we were able to serve as a family and without everyone going in a dozen or more directions.  It was a retreat for families, missionaries and pastors, and I know we benefited most from meeting and learning from all these wonderful people.  And again, while customs change and drinking out of one's saucer doesn't really matter, the story of the gracious prince reminded me of this couple and was a reminder to me of how important it is that my children and I grow in this area. And if you're a mother of young children as I was and wondering how they might learn the joy of serving others... and without constantly keeping the family on the road or split up, keep praying!  Workable opportunities are sure to come to those who are prayerfully seeking them. And if you love early American history or folk wisdom and such, you just might enjoy one of the many works of Eric Sloane.  I know we have. Anyone have a favorite? ~ Blessings ~   Sherry    P.S.  Forgive me for not changing paragraphs.  I haven't figured out how to get this computer to do that unless there's a picture to break them up.  Sorry.:(     

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with.....

These past three or four weeks have been quite busy and have left little time for posting here on the family blog.  We've attended three weddings, three funerals and been much in prayer for friends and family who've experienced a variety of events in their lives these past weeks.
Of the three weddings we attended we were able to get a few pictures at only one of them.
The one pictured in this post was very lovely and suited very nicely the personality and interests of the happy couple.  The groom has been very busy building for them a period correct log cabin, and the talented bride and her family stayed very busy preparing for the wedding and marriage as she sewed her wedding gown and other dresses.
I wish I had more pictures, but I do not.  Many people dressed up and coffee was prepared and served back behind the house.  There was also a lady nearby who washed the china the old-fashioned way and in a washtub under an outbuilding.
Many of those in attendance dressed up and I thought the young people in the food line looked lovely.  My oldest son was invited to bring his Percheron horses to drive away with the bride and groom, but I had to leave with most of my other children in order to get them home to milk the cows and therefor didn't get to stay and get a picture of the horses and of them leaving.:(
I have no pictures of the other two weddings as they were out of state and I forgot to take my camera charger,  but both weddings were lovely.  The men in one of them wore overalls and the ceremony was held on family property and under a pole barn.  They had grass seed to throw as the couple left and each was packaged uniquely in a page of a seed magazine which had been twisted and shaped like a sugar cone.  Both the bride and groom are talented blue grass musicians and their wedding was beautiful and just perfect for them.
The third wedding was held in a beautiful little white church, and family members and friends worked very hard as they catered the food themselves, made the wedding cakes and also lovely favors of homemade soaps and seed packets wrapped in brown paper and including a cute little poem.
Above is another picture of the first wedding mentioned.  I love how they served period correct sweets and had an online sign up sheet for people to volunteer to bring something to contribute.  The very best part of each wedding was, I think, in how the ceremony was carried out, how each couple was surrounded by family and friends who truly desire that they have a blessed marriage and one that will honor the Lord, and how friends, family and church community were given opportunities to contribute something to the wedding feast.
This spring we also enjoyed a visit from a dear and wise friend.  We were so sorry his wife and little men had to stay behind in Ireland, but we heard many wonderful updates and were very encouraged by his visit and his many ideas for the farm.
And, of course, the girls loved the beautiful scarves...
and who can resist hot tea...
especially when there's chocolate to go with it...decisions, decisions.
We've also celebrated a few birthdays and welcomed a few ducks and two sets of twins (goats).  We've visited with hard working friends who helped with many farm chores, rejoiced with a church family who had a son recover after an unexpected hospitalization and rejoiced with them again as we gathered at the creek for their younger son's baptism.  We heard of difficulties faced by dear friends in Alabama who experienced storm damage... again... and we rejoiced with them that no one was hurt. And just last night, there was a very large forest fire not to far from the house.  My three oldest sons left at around 5:30 and returned near 11:00.  Thankfully no one was hurt and no houses were damaged.  And lastly... we've welcomed news of a new baby girl born to a sweet couple in our congregation.  She was welcomed into the world on the very day we gathered together to honor a very fine wife, mother and young grandmother, also from our church community, who unexpectedly (to us) went to be with the Lord.
 I said all that to say, it has been a very busy time, indeed, of rejoicing with those who rejoice...and mourning with those who mourn.  And whether the event be a marriage or a funeral, a birth or a frightening experience, all these various happenings seem to serve as reminders to our family and friends that, while our lives are in a constant state of change and we know not what tomorrow will bring, how very thankful we are for the One who does know and who never changes.  Even in times of transition and whether experiencing  joy or sorrow, our wise, sovereign and loving God can be trusted to order all the events in our lives.  And to those of you who have suffered loss these past weeks and will greatly miss your loved one, our prayers are with you.  And to those of you who have just been joined in marriage, our prayers are with you, too.  May God be glorified.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn.  ~ Romans 12:15

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  ~ James 4:14

"Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God.  And ultimately, marriage is the display of God.  It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does.  Marriage, therefor, is not mainly about being in love.  It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives.  And staying married is not about staying in love.  It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display." ~ John Piper

Blessings,

Sherry