Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I know, I look different than you expected...but that's my knee and my pen with kitten all over it.
This kitten can be a real inconvenience but he's so crazy cute, that I don't mind. And when I pick him up and feel his fragile little frame in my hands, at the mercy of my grasp....well, it does something to me. I mean his rib cage feels like a furry goose egg, so breakable, and suddenly my heart gets all mushy.
This is a good mushy.
I got this picture of how I am like this to God, very fragile. He could crush me in a nano-second. I am not convenient (there are witnesses for this). Yet He welcomes me.
It is a really comforting to realize that He actually likes my playfulness, my curious questioning, understands when I am frightened or confused, AND thinks I'm crazy cute, in a flawed-from-the-21st century sort of way.
Maybe I'm thinking on this because it's Christmas week and the manger that the kitten keeps trashing is really on my mind, not so much the porcelian one though. The smelly messy real one thousands of years ago with the God-Child in it. He made Himself fragile. Like me.
He really gets me.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
2009 has been a good year….
Warning, this Christmas letter contains mainly good parts of the year. There is a danger that you may fall into the erroneous belief that the Lees have it together. Be strong, don't fall for it.
Dave has kept busy all year. Late spring through mid-fall he kept the growing mowing/lawncare business going with help from the boys. He is entering his 24th year of teaching and his 23rd year of coaching wrestling at Elmwood. His favorite read this year was Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Trevor graduated from Hallmark Institute of Photography in June and has been shooting weddings and other work back at home. He is helping coach wrestling with Dad again this year. Biggest news this year for him - he proposed to Jamie Hoke and she said yes! They are getting married in early fall. We are excited to welcome Jamie to the family! You can find more of Trev's story and photography at http://www.tmleephotography.blogspot.com./ Mitch is working hard in his sophomore year at BGSU. He has done a lot of mowing to pay for college and is also coaching junior high wrestling again this year. A nice article appeared recently in a local paper on all the boys' wrestling involvement, you can read it at http://www.fostoriafocus.com/viewarticle.asp?artID=14072. Wes loved making it to state in wrestling last winter. Over the summer he and Dex went to Young Life camp, always a hit! This fall the Cross Country team made it to state too and took 10th. A nice thing for the senior year. Now he and rest of the crew are in the throes of full tilt wrestling. Dexter was excited to "make it into the 16's" this year, that means running a 5K in less than 16 minutes (Crazy right?). He enjoyed being part of the Elmwood Cross Country team this year a lot! He's working really hard at wrestling along with a good team. Shelley is still working in development at BG Christian Academy. She keeps writing on the side. Really enjoyed going to a writer's conference in Philly over the summer, and has had a couple new things published. You can read more about that on her blog http://www.shelleyrlee.blogspot.com/. Her favorite read - also Blue Like Jazz! Family stuff: We all enjoyed visiting Trevor at Hallmark, near Boston, for his graduation. We also took a vacation in Port Clinton. That's right. Had a great view of the nuclear plant too. More recently we've been thoroughly entertained by a new kitten who has joined the crew. The kittten's name is a subject of debate. Mac, Leo, Bruce, or Meatwad? Send your vote via one of our facebooks or firstname.lastname@example.org. Bruce loves playing with the baby Jesus, and well, the entire porcelain nativity cast actually. Presently two wise men are down. ..oooh, Joseph just face planted into the camel. Ed and Zoey are exhausted just watching Mac. The hermit crabs have nothing to say.
Just in case all this good news is really getting you down, maybe this will make you feel better. Last month, 4 of our 6 decrepit vehicles (Trevor has the 2000 Alero starship of the fleet) were broken down. Six people. Two vehicles. A real kick-in-the-pants sort of week that was. Also, I did not get out on Black Friday to shop, but someone else did - with our card number. I think that qualifies us for Visa identity theft commercial appearances.
We hope 2010 is awesome and that you have very few breakdowns, of any kind….this goes out with a prayer that the coming year finds you closer to God with deep peace and a Hope beyond this world.
In the Christ who came to a messy manger to rescue us,
Love, The Lees
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The book I contributed to, Heavenly Humor for the Dog Lover's Soul, will be released in June 2010, also by Barbour Publishing.
Monday, November 30, 2009
This fuzzy little kitten is curled up at my feet as I write. Trevor found him at a photo shoot and said I should get him because he looks like our 12 year old cat, Ed (I mean, King Edward)...who we don't know how much longer we will have.
So here this kitten is, as cute and good as a kitten could be, really. I thought his good behavior would wear off as he got more comfortable with the dog and the now, very grouchy cat. But he has been good and accident free from day one.
Edward does not see the value in any of this. He's delivered many paw bats and blows to put this threat in its place, which should be in the woods if he had anything to say about it. The kitten is not detered though, he still persues Ed's approval, approaching him playfully or following him in constant observation of how big cats do what they do. His punished persistence is admirable and at the same time, a bit heartbreaking.
Sometimes the kitten will be sitting three feet away or so and Ed will charge over and bat him a time or two. The kitten just closes his eyes and braces himself. Minutes later he follows Ed like nothing ever happened.
Today Ed watched him try to acsend the couch where Ed was perched and gave him a "you fool" sort of look. I have to say, I think he's warming up.
I have to look at this from Ed's perspective. After all, we did crown him as King Edward. He's ruled the place for 12 years. The dog, five times his size, fears him. Ed had a really good gig going and now a mini-me shows up completely unexpected. I mean, certainly Ed had some expectations, as much as a cat could, I imagine. Dreams, if you will, and we made a train wreck of them.
This little blog story has got me to thinking more than some others. I have had many expectations in life, haven't you? I just wanted and expected a few things to go a certain way. When they didn't or don't I get to being pretty grouchy myself. I have to remind myself that life is pretty wide open and limitless, or at least it can be if I work with what I've got and hold fast to my dreams. I need to be more like the kitten, expecting the best, exploring my world in amazement, living in punished persistence sometimes, and curling up at the Master's feet.
The better of the two above photos was taken by Trevor Lee, http://tmleephotography.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
by Shelley Lee
Good car cry is not to be confused with good car, or a cry that is good. Let me explain.
Our family of six possesses a fleet of six vehicles, each with...character. LOTS of character.
Trevor's 9-year old Alero is the starship, we all love a chance to drive it. It excellerates like a race car, I'm sure of it. It also isn't all dented up. A real plus.
We have gone an incredible stretch of time, the entire summer I think, without needing any major repairs at all.
So I should have seen this coming.
It started last week with Wes' Teal Topaz, he loves this 6 cylinder manual. It had overheating issues, and needed a new thermostat. Dave decided to get him a new exhaust while he had it at the mechanic. When it came back, not only could I not hear Wes coming up the drive (a real downer), but the car had a new noise (not a good noise said the mechanic listening on the phone).
Too bad that when we picked it up we had dropped off Mitch's White Topaz with a fried clutch that apparently is my fault because I had to drive it when Teal Topaz and the now-not-starting Green Machine Astro were putting a squeeze on our 'normal' routine. Someone else had my Crunched Cavelier. So, if you're counting, three cars are down. Keep counting.
This morning Trevor hitched a ride with a friend, "my window fell inside my door...I heard glass crunch." he said. It was raining.
The Red Astro is off with the Lee Lawncare crew (see photo, she's a beauty), and Crunched Cavelier is off assisting the teenagers with their social lives.
Stuck at home this evening with only dirt bike and bicycle options, I was writing a story submission to a publisher. The point of the story was not being afraid to ask God for things, because He actually cares about us and wants to give good things to us.
Well, I have to admit, as I looked outside at our stellar fleet lined up for the mechanic (who apparently can only work on one at a time) I got extremely grouchy and sad, and well, I regret that everybody around me felt the ugliness of this.
So, God, would you help me with what I need most. Unfortunately, it is probably my attitude about 'stuff'. But a couple decent cars gently dropped from the sky would be OK too.
Photo by Trevor Lee http://tmleephotography.blogspot.com/
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So when the older neighbor girl, Ruthie, from down the street came knocking at my door and wanted to play with me and both of our Mrs. Beasley dolls I quickly accepted. My mother seemed to think it was nice that the older girl wanted to play and went about busily in the house. I ran to get Mrs. Beasley as Ruthie so impatiently requestly. Eager to play with me, I thought. That's nice.
Now out on the front porch, the same concrete porch that held the day's heat and warmed me in the evening, on this porch she told me, smiling from her large frame, to take the scarf I put on my Mrs. Beasley, hand her my doll ,close my eyes and spin around. I did. She handed me Mrs. Beasley and said "they look exactly the same." Yes, they did.
That was all the playing she wanted to do. Odd I thought, but whatever. I went to my room to have tea with Mrs. Beasley. That's when my little girl world unravelled. Mrs. Beasley would no longer speak her kind words that I don't remember to me. The string was stuck, broken. I had been duped by the classic bait and switch! I ran crying to my mother.
I approached Ruthie's house many times in an attempt to get my friend back. She had two very large, very mean brothers, which could explain a few things. But I never did get my Mrs. Beasley back.
As a child I was sad for quite awhile about this and I couldn't fix it, no one would fix it. I have thought often of this since, and thought how mean Ruthie was, how much I'd like to tell her a thing or two about how to treat people. But then what could I say about how I treated her?
This story brings me back to the only thing that can fix the unfixable stuff. Forgiveness.
Makes me think of how many tangled situations I've put myself in when I make bad choices, it gets unfixable. And God forgives me every time.
OK, so Ruthie, I still miss Mrs. Beasley, but you're off the hook.
Forgiveness fixes a lot of things, not Mrs. Beasley's voice box, but still, a lot of things.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The first time a child sees or discovers something is so fun to watch, usually anyway. A kitten, furry and playful - you have to wonder what thoughts are running behind a little kid's saucer size eyes. A massive world is busting out with discovery, continually unfolding.
At our house discoveries like these are still occuring for our 2 year old dog, Zoey. The cat and his claws are old news for her. The two new hermit crabs were not.
When we bought the unusual shell-abiding creatures at the pet store, we also purchased a rawhide bone for Zoey to accomodate her obsessive paw-chewing, blanket drooling habits - we hoped.
Very excited about her new chewy bone, she held the large clunky double-knotted rawhide in her teeth and would not put it down. In all the excitement and preoccupation with her new possession the presence of the new pets had escaped her.
Hermie and Pearl clunked around in their aquarium, still unnoticed. So we decided to introduce them. We put Hermie on the kitchen floor and let him crawl around. Zoey was standing at attention with the rawhide still jaw-locked. That is, until she noticed that the shell had legs...that functioned. Her eyes grew to the saucer stage at precisely the same time that her body froze and her jaw dropped. The huge bone clunked onto the floor. Hermie's shell clunked onto the floor, legs drawn in.
Zoey went into a playful frenzy, barking and pawing at her new friend. The newness, as predicted, has worn off.
I am thankful that the discoveries of this world and God's greatness are never ending, even though the shiny new bone is now gnarly nastiness and buried somewhere, and Hermie clunks around all night in his aquarium while Zoey sleeps nearby.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I could see she was also school shopping with teenager, but for my life I could not have told you who she was and my blank face conveyed it. Then it occurred to me, I slapped my hand over my name tag and peeled it off with a smile. "My name is Shelley," I said laughing, "who are you?"
I guess really the question should have been, what is your name? Because before I knew that I could have told you a bit about who she is, a friendly woman with a great sense of humor.
"Shelley," Becky said a few minutes later, "what do you think of this shirt?" And we talked a little about how even though we're school shopping for our kids doesn't mean we shouldn't look for ourselves. This is what I've been telling my kids for years, even when we're not school shopping.
Funny how a little humor goes a long way. I left there with a smile, a story, and a new shirt.
Thanks Becky, I hope you find this blog!
Monday, August 17, 2009
The next day my 23 year old son Trevor, "Mom, did you hear that (television) commercial? Back-to-School laptops for high school kids?! Even in college I never saw every student with a laptop." He laughs, "What are these companies trying to pull?"
I just laugh! -in not only good humor, but with gratitude, for practical minded kids. They don't always like to hear this, but I guess not being able to, and at other times, choosing not to buy them everything they want, is paying off!
But I have to say, a Back-to-School car really does sound good.
Monday, August 10, 2009
And now I guess if I'm going to see more in that box I better get to finishing those stories for Heavenly Humor. I learned so much at the writer's conference I went to in Philly, I'm excited to already be applying some of it.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Also, I recently was the recipient of a Cecil Murphey scholarship to attend a Writer's Conference in Philadelphia. I am very excited about what I will learn there - Thank you Cecil!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I have added some links to other writing if you are interested. Let me know what you think of what you read. I enjoy hearing feedback!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Now, I don't mean to sound critical, but am I really helping this person by doing them a favor? I mean, I would be enabling them to fall behind in a world that needs kept up with if any of us aims to be effective with others and not an eventual burden on society.
As not to sound uncaring, let me clarify, I'll let invalids, those with special needs, toddlers, and my 91 year old Grandma off the hook.
As for the rest, a request for said schedule is the equivalent of asking me to hitch up my horses and make a special delivery over the river and through the woods.
I could do that in a virtual program, but in this dimension I sold my horse and buggy last week. You know how to drive and you have a car. Transport yourself to the library computer lab or Circuit City (oh wait, they closed...), well, hopefully you get the idea.
As for my friend's specific request, I'm actually nicer than I sound. I plan to call him up and walk him through finding that schedule online himself...in the most loving way possible.