Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring is Here

Spring is here.... even if it feels like summer!

The blue tailed skink Jessica found! 

Erin's lovely garden continues to grow

This photo was taken before Daddy saw what they were dong to the freshly tilled soil. 

This was also taken before that moment!

Rachel and Michael watered together

Not-so-freshly tilled soil!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Why did this tree remain after the storm, and not that one?

Why did the kitten live, and not dog?

Why did the photo remain unscratched, and the wedding ring is no where to be found?

Why did the horse sustain no injuries, and the house is gone forever?

Why is one car trashed beyond belief, and three families walked out of the basement unscathed?

Why did he lose his wife and child, and the family papers didn't even blow away?

Why did the father lose his life, and the family china isn't cracked or chipped?

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 21:19

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9  

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27th

This one makes me cry!

The Day that time stood still

The clock that hung in the C's house stopped at the time the tornado hit, and time stood still.

No one wakes up and thinks, "today is the day that will change the rest of my life".  We just don't.  The storms of April 27, 2011 taught a lot of lessons.  They taught the importance of church and community.  They taught the importance of sacrifice.  And they taught the fragility of life.  We aren't promised tomorrow.  We aren't even promised this afternoon.  The Lord has numbered our days, and the days of the world, and we don't know what those numbers are. 

April 27 started like any other day... except for the voice of the weather man talking 24/7.  He had told us today was going to be REALLY BAD.  We had taken that to mean bad.  Certainly not storm shelter worthy.  The morning was stormy... really stormy.  We found out later, a tornado had passed 2 miles from us. 

We spent the day reading, playing violin, and praying for our friends (their dad was in the hospital).  Then we turned on the live weather cam and watched the mile long tornado hit the campus of a prominent college in our state.  We had close friends who lived right there, so we kept calling them.  We finally heard from them.

5:00pm rolled around.  Spaghetti was in the pot.  I don't like storms at all (even before the 27th) so I started shaking as it grew darker.  The weather man started saying our town by name.  We live in a tiny hick town, so when he uses our name we take that as a bad sign.  The kids and Mom took shelter while Dad continued listening.

Nothing happened.  It didn't rain.  It didn't thunder.  No trees, no wind, no sirens, nothing.  Weird.

We came out and went out.  It sounds silly now, but we took a walk!  The weather was to weird to miss.  It was warm and chilly.  Sweet and threatening.  All at the same time. 

We returned to the phone ringing like crazy.  Our grandad had gotten the tail of the storm as it came lower and prepared for touch down.  In 3 minutes it had grown to an F2 and taken down trees and his land had sustained damage.  He couldn't leave his driveway, and he wanted to make sure we were okay.

Passing thought.  Call the C. Family and make sure they're okay.  Mrs. C had a 3 week old baby, and her dad was in the hospital).  Dad was on for 30 seconds max.  "They're trapped, the roof is gone, they're calling 911.  They can't find the L's."

And time stood still...

To be continued!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reali Life People


Seeing it on the television is one thing. Removed, distant. You can cope with it.

But when you're there. And you hear the crying, feel your own tears, hold your sweet friends, hear the prayers to the Lord.

Dig through a house, bury a calf, search for a wedding band, wash loads of clothes, and cry to the Lord.

You will never look at a storm cloud the same way.

You will never listen to the weather man the same way.

You will never beg for the safety of your family and friends in the same way.

You will never tremble through a storm in the same way. 

For I know, whate'er befall me...

Jesus doeth all things well!

Shoal Creek was a place of happiness, laughter, joy, smiles, hard work, dedication, family values, and good old fashioned hard work.

There were brown cows grazing, little chickens pecking, dogs barking, laundry flapping in the breeze, and children running through the grass.

The Valley was filled with Moms that loved their kids and kept their homes, families that loved the Lord, kids that loved the outdoors and the world God had created, and Fathers that loved their families.

To us, the Valley seemed perfect. A place to visit. To be welcomed to. To be graced with hospitality. To us, the plan was to stay the way we were.

But to the Lord, it is different. He has a great and marvelous plan. One we can not always understand fully. One that is strange to us. One that is sometimes, heartbreaking. But, he holds us in His hand. And he loves us more than we can know.

Now, when you come to the valley it is different. Most of the land marks are gone. Destroyed, vanished, and torn apart. The trees are fallen, the houses are crushed, family land will never be the same. Not quite.

To one of the families, the story of their life will never be the same. They will pick up the pieces and put their lives together, but there will always be a place missing. A hole in their hearts.

A hole for the man that loved them and who they loved. The man who taught them to listen, to work, and to love their life. The man that above all, taught them that God is good and everything is a blessing and has a part in God's plan. Even if it means leaving his precious family.

When Tom Lee lay down his life for his 13 children and his dear wife, he left the earth leaving behind one last servant hearted act, one last legacy, and setting one last example of a true man of God.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fresh Wounds do Heal...

But Old Scars never Fade.

Republished from the Archives of last year
The moment of seeking shelter under our dining room. The fear.

The moment of seeing the clouds part and the sky shine through as the storm passed. The hope.

The moment of thinking it was gone. The unawareness of despair and pain.

The moment of settling in for the night. The peace.

The moment of one last phone call to make sure all is well. The care.

The moment of six hurried words and a click on the other end. The fear.

The moment of thinking, readying, preparing. For anything.

The moment of one last email check, is all well? The assuredness. Surely it is.

The moment of hurried feet on the stairs, the fear in her eyes. She is never upset.

The moment of knowing your friends are without a home. The helplessness.

The moment of finding out that no one can contact the other family in the valley. Helplessness.

The moment of sending your dad into the dark and rain. No preparedness for whats ahead.

The moment of the his lights fading away and no cell service. Tears, fear, and shaking.

The moment of waiting, waiting, waiting, and watching. The prayers. Whispered.

The moment of calling a sweet family in town and telling them their best friends were unaccounted for. The hardness of saying it.

The moment of laying down to rest. Trying to sleep. The sleeplessness.

The moment of waking in the night. Crying, shaking, praying. Begging God. Let them get the Lees out.

The moment of the morning. The hope that comes with sunshine. The quiet of the house.

The moment of the news. Mr. Lee died last night. The tears, the prayers, the sadness.

The prayers and tears that morning. The sadness mixed with joy unbelievable. God is in control, he alone sits on the throne.

This week, we can't stop wishing we had one more day of normal. Of blissful peace. One more moment before the email, before the call, before our world was turned upside down.

Only God can help us, sustain us, and lead us on. Our prayers are with the people out here, suffering, but knowing God is in control.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Friday, April 6, 2012

What Instrument are You?

I'm a piano... what are you?
What Orchestral Instrument are You?
You possess a great intelligence, adaptability, and dexterity. Individuals often look to you for support; you provide a high level of stability and assistance for your friends. You are also extremely self-sufficient: while others almost always need you, you don’t often seek them out because you have to but because you want to. You can also be a bit of perfectionist and for this reason also you often prefer solitude.
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