Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Die Empty

Imagine the day when someone (a relative, a friend, a stranger) comes in to your home and touches every single, solitary piece of paper that you have ever filed (or piled), every trinket you ever collected, every piece of furniture you dusted, every item of clothing and pair of shoes you wore (or never did wear), every journal you wrote, every picture you framed or put in albums or stashed in a box, EVERYTHING and decides what happens to it all. Eventually that day will come! It is not something we spend a lot of time thinking about…perhaps it crosses our minds periodically but we quickly dismiss it and act as if it doesn’t affect what we do now. Today.
There will come a time when someone WILL make the decision on everything you own, hoard, collect, etc. They will determine whether (1) to keep it. (2) Sell it. (3) Give it away—and to whom? To Goodwill? To a child? To a grandchild? To a friend? Or (4) throw it away.
Some of the decisions will be difficult and heart wrenching, others will be easy. Some decisions will lead to tears, others to laughter. Some will wonder why in the world you kept “it” in the first place, others will wonder how it could have lasted so long. Some decisions will take a very long time as they read what you wrote and look at your pictures, others will not take long at all. Regardless of the time it takes or the emotions that surface….the task must be done. Everything we own will be touched and a judgment will be made as to what should happen to it.
Why do I bring all of this up? Why am I asking us to ponder this? Honestly, for many reasons!! But for one....because I often “count what doesn’t count” and I forget to “count my days so my days will count”!! Because as David says in Psalm 39, my time on earth will be brief!! My days are numbered!! My life is no longer than the width of my hand and my entire lifetime is just a moment….a breath!! What am I focusing on? What I have or don’t have? What I want and/or think I need? Stuff? Trials? Or am I focusing on relationships? Memories? Eternity?
We get what we go after…Oh Lord, make what I go after matter!! Help me to count my days while I still have days to count!! Help me to die empty!!! Help me to do "that" now and not wait! Help me to say "that" now and not wait! Become "that" now! Love them now!! I don't want to wait and still have love or works or words left!! I want to die empty!!
Thank you Tara for switching blog weeks with me so that I could move my dad into a long-term care facility….touching everything he and my mom had….making decisions about each one….

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Free Opportunity for Ministers Wives from LifeWay

See information below.  Hurry, it ends on Tuesday.

Great blog post on Cindy Winters and Between Us ticket give away as well as Cindy's book.  http://blog.lifeway.com/womenallaccess/2013/07/26/free-friday-between-us/

Are you a minister's wife? Or do you love a minister's wife? Check out this neat opportunity → http://t.co/AaFqHmb1rl


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blogging, Blog Following, Blog Reader

Obviously, if you have been a long time follower of this blog, or have just recently found us, you are a Blog Reader . . .

I must confess, I am not an avid Blog Reader. I follow ours of course and will peak in on a blog that I see circulating around FaceBook. But, there aren't any that I never miss.

One of my girlfriends, Jessica, has several that she never misses a new post on. The other night, she another friend, Courtney, were discussing some of their favorites, when I walked up on their conversation. Courtney was disclosing that she was feeling led to start a blog and Jessica was encouraging her, that she had a lot to say and could say it in a way that would make want people want to "follow" her online. We discussed purposes and names. When we parted ways that evening, I knew it wouldn't be long until the debut of Courtney's online presence in the world of blogging.

Now, I have another blog to follow. . .

Courtney is a minister's wife here in Clarksville. She is the mother of a just-turned two year old and has a very real approach to her blog. She wants to be transparent as she seeks to apply Biblical truth and depth to her everyday life. She is honest. She is open. She is definitely worth reading.

Here is a link to her blog: She Smiles at Tomorrow - Seeing Christ. Finding Hope

So, fellow Blog Reader and Follower, what other blogs, (besides ours!) do you follow? Do you write one yourself? If so, where can we find it? Use the comment option to let us know what else you are reading.

Friday, July 26, 2013

One Way

Ladies, I know many women today face this same struggle. We have long to-do lists and way too many hats to wear. We use a variety of organizational tools an gadgets to attempt to keep "it" all together.

One of my daily prayers is that God would make me a good steward of all the blessings He has given me. This prayer includes our family's finances, home, and relationships, as well as my time. I recognize each day as a gift from God. He never promises me tomorrow and I know that each breath He gives me is a showing of His grace.

This morning, in my devotional time, I was confronted with this verse:

"Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul."
-Psalm 143:8

One word stood out to me like it never had before. The word that just stuck with me was the word "way."

I have so many "ways" I feel like I need to go each and every day. There are so many things I feel like I need to get done and be for so many people. I often ask God to set my priorities to help me get everything on my endless lists taken care of.

This morning it was as if God said "Stop. You are trying to go in too many different ways. Just follow me and I will let you know the one way you should go. I've got the rest."

How freeing! One way. His way.

I needed this this morning and thought maybe someone else did too.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Away Here In Tennessee

I love living in the great state of Tennessee.

My mother was born near Knoxville, but at age three, she and my grandparents followed the available jobs to the Buckeye State of Ohio. My granddad worked on an automobile assembly line for over 30 years until his retirement, but he and my grandmother always considered East Tennessee home.

God brought me here to the Volunteer State after finishing my freshman year of college on summer missions. I never imagined that I would fall in love with the south and with the people of Tennessee. I literally married me a Tennessee boy and, though we have ministered in other states, we are so thankful that we have had this season to call Clarksville, Tennessee home.

This summer I have vacationed a little in Florida and visited family in Ohio, but there is something about hitting that state line and seeing the sign that just seems to have been put there to welcome me back to Tennessee.

This last weekend we traveled across the plateau and spent four wonderful nights and 5 great days in the Pigeon Forge area. If you have had the opportunity to spend ANY time in the Smokey Mountains, you don't need me to try and describe the great beauty and scenic displays of God's creative genius that surround the area.

We have made this trip annually for several years now. We stay with the same sweet family in the same cabin and share the same slow, easy-going pace. We have come to look forward to the respite and become dependent on this getaway.

Spiritually, this has been good for both my husband and for me. Just to get away, to get out-of-town, to be "unplugged." We sleep in, eat what we want and breath the mountain air deeply. We didn't spend a large amount of time in prayer or Bible study, but were constantly reminded of His provision, goodness and grace whether it was in majestic displays of rainbows over the mountains after a summer rain or in the blue tailed salamander that scurried down the sidewalk at the outlet mall. We found Him in our girls' laughter and in each other's arms.

My husband has always jokingly -yet seriously too, referred to Tennessee as the Promised Land. It has been in many ways for us. Part of that is being able to get away and be refreshed here in the beautiful state we love and call home.

As ministering families, we NEED this. We need to plan to get away and be refreshed. What kind of plans have you and your family made? Have you gotten away? Have you found a perfect retreat for you and yours here in the Volunteer State? Please share your special place, it may just be someplace that another one of us is close enough to to steal away to, to get away here in Tennessee.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Last week I went Shreveport to spend a few days with my brother and his family and to visit my dad.  My college age niece was home as well.  One night as I was passing her bedroom I noticed a painting on her bed.  I entered the room and asked if I could get a closer look.  The details of the painting were impressive.  She then took out several other paintings she had done and I stood in awe.  Colors, details, shading, and creativeness oozed from the artwork. 
Later in my room I began to think of all the talented people in my family.  My dad, mom, brother, niece, oldest son and his wife, and my cousin can draw and paint well.  I thought to myself, “Where is my talent?  Why can’t I paint and draw like so many in my family?”  You see when I look at a blank canvas I literally see nothing.  Where people see 3D I see in one dimension.  I took art classes but shading and color scheme just did not click in my blonde brain.  Sometimes I think my only talent is eating chocolate.

Ministry is like a blank canvas.  Just like an artist doodles or splashes paint on a canvas to get an idea, sometimes we try different ideas until God gives us a glimpse of a bigger picture.  We have to “doodle” with an idea such as which direction children or youth ministry should go,  how to more effective reaching young adults, or should the church build more space.  Sometimes the process is slow and sometimes you must rethink your idea.  However, I firmly believe when you allow God to be actively involved in your ministry He will take the “doodles” and create a masterpiece.

Hmm, I wonder if God “doodled” His idea when He was creating me.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Seeking God’s Strength

As I write this blog, I am asking God for strength today.  A dear family member is facing some uncertainties.   We are all praying that God will provide our family with the strength we need to face this situation with grace and confidence.

 God has been gracious to my family many times over the years.  Last year was a lesson in His strength as we walked through the valley of death with my mom and then dealt with my dad’s health issues.  So many times God simply had to carry us through the day because we did not have the strength to make it.

 Maybe I am being silly here but I find it very hard to admit that sometimes I want to question why God does the things He does in our lives.  My family is a strong Christian family.  In our family we have deacons, pastors, missionaries, faithful church members, and even those who are dealing with the call to ministry.  Why should WE have to go through struggles?  Then God in His mercy and grace reminds me that no one escapes the struggles of this life.  His very own son, Jesus, suffered and faced uncertainties.  Jesus even prayed for strength as He faced his final hours.

 So girlfriends, I am asking that you pray for my family right now.  My heart is heavy for this precious family member.  We need our Heavenly Father’s strength and wisdom as we face what lies ahead.


How has God strengthened you during a difficult time?

Monday, July 15, 2013

SIML-Such is Ministry Life


I just laughed out loud.  I just received a text from a sister in ministry and dear girlfriend whose husband is in his first pastorate after leaving youth ministry.  They had planned a vacation but a deacon in their church passed away this weekend.  As you can imagine and have probably done, they had to change all their vacation plans.  Her comment to me through the text was “SIML-Such is Ministry Life.”


I cannot tell you how many times Ricky and I have planned a vacation only to have to cancel our plans.  When our children were at home, we once drove several hours to a destination, unloaded the suitcases, and then received “The Phone Call.”  You know the one I am talking about.  It is the phone call where a person in your congregation has passed away and the family needs you immediately.  Now, how do you handle that situation?  For us it meant scrambling around to find a cheap flight for my husband.  He flew back, ministered to the family, and returned to finish out the vacation. 


Of course, there are always the Birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas situations.  So many times in our ministry we have missed out celebrating with family due to church obligations.  Over the years we have learned to set our own traditions.  Also, our families have learned that we are on called 24/7 and plans sometimes must be adjusted.  For example, we celebrate Christmas a few days later because of Christmas Eve services.  Ah yes, SIML.


However, ministry life is the greatest blessing.  For the Lee family, we have seen people saved and added to the Kingdom of God.  We have moved to new locations, gained lifelong friends, and experienced new cultures.  We have been showered with fresh garden veggies in the summer and seen our freezer stocked with meat for the winter.  Our children not only had their maternal and paternal grandparents but they became the adopted grandchildren by many senior adults in the churches.   Yes, vacations and holidays were cancelled or rescheduled but the blessings always remained.


Ah yes, SIML-Such is Ministry Life!
Ok girlfriends, it is now your time to share your "SIML."

Monday, July 8, 2013

The "Heat" of Ministry

Summer is here, and it is hot!   How are you taking the heat?   The heat of summer is one thing, but being in the “heat” of ministry is a very different matter altogether.
I certainly do not mean “heat” of a negative kind, yet I believe that many of you know exactly what I mean.  Ladies, as we serve as pastors’ and ministers’ wives, we are in the “heat” of ministry, not the sweltering kind of heat from the dog days of summer, but from being on the front lines of ministry…..praying, serving, encouraging, supporting, teaching, planning, organizing, and a host of other things too numerous to mention.   But be encouraged, do not lose heart, and do not grow weary in doing good!  Why?  Our Glorious Savior is right there with us in the “fire”.  I am mindful of a wonderful example from the Scriptures (God’s Word is sooooo full of wonderful examples) to bless our souls; it reminds us that we are not alone.
You remember the story of the three Hebrew boys in Daniel Chapter 3; they were steadfast in their devotion to God. They knew that no matter what happened to them, God is always able to intervene in any situation. Furthermore, when they were thrown into the fire for being wholly dedicated to the Lord, the Bible says that they were not alone…..the presence of the Lord was with them in the fire; some believe it may have been an angel or the pre-incarnate Son of God Himself!  Their faith stood the test, and the Lord delivered them.
You may feel like you are all alone sometimes in ministry as the wife of a pastor/minister, but Jesus is right there with you.  Keep trusting and leaning on Him because He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”.  Hebrews 13:5     He is always there even when we are not aware of His presence.
So when you are persecuted, misunderstood, slandered, discouraged, offended, and totally fed up, stay dedicated to the Lord!   He is with you, and just as the story of the Hebrew boys had a wonderful ending---remember they were not burned nor did they smell like smoke---our Savior can be with you in the “heat” of ministry and encourage your soul.
Also, we serve Him because we love Him; remember it’s all about loving Christ and doing the work of ministry out of love for Him.  So, if we all keep our eyes on Him as we serve on the front lines, we can take the heat and come out not smelling like smoke!!    
Here is a beautiful verse to meditate on…”When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.   For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”  Isaiah 43:2-3

Friday, July 5, 2013

God Bless You

Kink in the Plan

Don't you just love how when you think you have it all planned out, God puts a kink in the plan?  I am a very detailed person.....remember in one of my earlier posts, my husband is always telling me to birth the baby....he doesn't need the nine months of pregnancy.

Because I am a detailed person, I tend to PLAN everything.  Obviously, many times when I plan, it is Kathy's plan because God looks down and says...."watch this!!"

Now at the time all of this is going on, I freak out and go spastic because I am NOT in control.  (I know....confession time.....one of my greatest faults.)  I start worrying about what next when my plans don't go as planned.

When all I need to do is sit back in the passengers seat and let God drive me around.  He KNOWS the outcome.  I don't!

We should always turn everything over to God and let him guide us, but we are human so we tend to try to "plan" and "detail" ourselves.

I couldn't tell you how many times over my lifetime this has happened to me and also to Roger and I.  We have everything mapped out and God puts a kink in our plans......because He sees the BIG PICTURE and we are only seeing the small window.

Over the years God has send us traveling down many roads that we were confused about, but today....looking back, he saw the big picture and had a PLAN FOR OUR LIVES.  He never meant to move away from family and friends into another state.  We dreamed of raising our children close to grandparents.  God had other plans.  We are WHO we are today and WHERE we are today because when God threw in the kinks, we trusted him and followed him. (most of the time.)

Has God ever put a kink in your plan?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

God Bless America

Even though our nation is straying way away from God, it is still the best country in the world to live.  I am guilty of complaining and looking at the negative...............we need to stop and PRAY for our leaders..........PRAY for our country..............PRAY for each other


May you have a Happy 4th of July!!! 
God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


TOTAL EXHAUSTION!!!  Do you ever feel like your get up and go has gone home?  Is it just me, or do you ever feel like you have been stretched too thin?

The last couple of weeks I have felt that way.  First, we had V.B.S. and THAT in itself is always an exhausting week.  Then, our daughter and  her husband bought a house...........they repainted EVERYTHING in one week and moved the next week.  Because I have vertigo, I am not a good painter and I am too short for a lot of help, so my job was to keep our 7 month old grandson.  It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.  :)

In the middle of all of that, we had two funerals (an 80 old brother of two of our members and a 4 month grandson of one of our members.)  Noticed, I said...we had.  Remember....we are bi-vocational, so we do everything together.  We also, had a wedding and another church member is dying.  We also have two church members that are facing serious surgeries.

I also had the church bulletins, prayer lists, church email ministry, Sunday School Lessons, Wednesday night lessons, washing clothes, straightening up, grabbing bites to eat, etc.

WHEWWWWW........................I had FINALLY reached my limit.  Sunday afternoon, instead of visiting, etc., we went home and both CRASHED.  We were able to gain some much needed sleep.  I KNOW I can not do everything and sometimes I wonder how we do what we do.....but even with God's help, we still need to remember to take a breather sometimes.

The nap gave us the extra boost we needed to make it through the rest of the day.  At church Sunday night, one of the families invited us over after church for a relaxing time of fellowship.  What a great day!!!

I know we all have busy, hectic schedules.  Ladies'.........how do you handle your schedules?  Are you better at resting along the way than I seem to be?  Or, are you like me and keep going and going until you wind down and have to stop for a quick booster?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


JULY 2, 1972.

Forty-one years ago today, Roger and I had our first date.  Actually, he just came to my house and visited me.  I was only 15 and wasn't allowed to go anywhere until October when I would turn 16.

Roger was my first date.  We dated for seven years; actually one day, one month and seven years from our first date, we got married.  I married my best friend.....and today, forty-one years later, he is still my best friend.  I can not imagine life any other way.

I realize that we are in the minority, but that just makes what we have even more precious.

Ladies.....appreciate your man.....appreciate your married and remember......marriage is a lifetime commitment that you must work on EVERY DAY.  Satan is standing on the sidelines waiting to tear your marriage down, so stay close to God and don't allow him the opportunity.

How long have you been with your love?

Monday, July 1, 2013

FLW Tournament

The FLW Tour stopped in Dayton this weekend.  Saturday, we went to the weigh-in.  WOW....what a crowd!  There was not a parking space left in the Walmart Parking lot.....cars were parked in neighboring parking lots and down the highway, etc.  The weigh-in brought in lots of local folks and people from all over the Southeast.  (FYI.....this is a Pro Bass Fishing Tour.)

Dayton is a small town and the money brought in from this tournament will make a big difference.  Three local men were fishing in the tournament and all of them finished in the top ten.  One of the guys that has been coming to our church finished 2nd place.

I say all of this to say....at the weigh-in on Saturday, I stood there and looked at the crowd.  It was hot as fire.  People were sweating and miserable...............but everyone was enjoying being there.  I got to thinking.....wouldn't it be awesome if folks would show up at church and not care if it was too hot or too cold or too noisy or too long, etc.?  Instead....everyone seems to find "excuses" to avoid church.

I went home and kept pondering on the thought about church.  I even woke up Sunday morning thinking....I wonder if anyone will be at church.  You know....it IS vacation time, so the crowds usually start thinning....

MUCH to my surprise.....Sunday morning for preaching.....our church was FULL.  One family of six came in during the welcome and had to walk all the way to the front row to find a seat that would hold them all.  People were coming out of the wood-work.  We estimated that there were probably 150 there which is at the very low end.  (You have to remember....we are a small bi-vocational country church.)  And, I did not hear anyone say the temperature was too hot or too cold or anything negative.  (I had to stop and ask God for forgiveness for my lack of faith.................."oh, ye of little faith.")

God is so good..............and I praise Him for working in our church!!!  (I know it seems as if I brag a lot about our little church..................I AM very proud and thankful for our church, but it has not always been the case.  We have definitely had our shadows and valleys....but they just make the joy ever more sweet.)

BTW....our grandson, Cameron got his picture made with the Bass Fishing Pro, Jimmy Houston....