"Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;" Psalm 80:14
A Father Through A Little Girl's Eyes


To My Dad, Arvil Nathan Lee

Father’s Day, June 10, 2004

Daddy Brought FUN Home With Him!

Daddy brought FUN home with him! so we loved it when he walked through the door. That’s probably why Mom was always so crazy about him and all of us kids loved him so.  He chased us and played hide and seek with us and had us jump with closed eyes from high places or fall backwards into his arms.  He made “Flying Jennys” and “See-Saws.”  (Bobby broke his arm on a Flying Jenny.)  He hung swings from thick branches and often stood in the middle with an attached rope that allowed him to swing us in a circle around him like a carnival ride.  He built trailers to hitch behind tractors and rode us by the pond in the summertime and through the snowy woods in the wintertime.  He let us drive the tractor.  He treated us to ice cream cones after church and made snowcream in the wintertime.  At the County Fair every year, he rode “The Bullet” and other rides with us so that we learned to love the “scary rides.” He captured the runaway pony with a daughter on its back (me!).  He killed the spiders and bugs and mice that we thought were going to “get us” and teased us about them to try to help us get over our phobias (didn’t work).  He went outside to check out the noises and peeping Toms at the windows.  He filled our house with music.  He and Mom loved to sing and loved to hear their children sing.  He had each of us kids sit with either of the church’s “alto,” “soprano,” “tenor,” or “bass” section so we could learn individual parts to harmonize.  He loved to sing with quartets and loved to play the guitar or piano.  He taught himself music and loved to teach others.  He walked around whistling all the time around the house.  He loved to act silly in the morning when you were sleepy at the breakfast table and say silly things like the game of “what if you woke up in the morning and you were 7 feet tall and weighed 600 pounds?  What would you wear? Where would you sit?  How would you fit in the car?” He loved to make up singing rhymes on the spot and have you join in with trying to supply a rhyme.  He loved to tell a long, drawn-out joke and make the punch line worth the listening.  He repeated over and over funny or interesting things each of us kids had said or done or that had happened to us, making each of us feel special because he remembered.

Daddy Was There To Help Us!

As each child moved out and then from place to place, he carried boxes and boxes of possessions for them without complaining, up and down stairs, or wherever he was directed.  He could always fix whatever needed to be fixed, from pulling teeth with wire pliers when we were kids, to tuning a piano, to oiling squeaky drawers, to building things, to finding out what’s wrong with an engine. 



 Daddy taught us to love and reverence God!

I was so blessed that my Daddy loved God and we always thought of the church as our second family.  Our best friends were our church friends and Daddy and Momma always obviously enjoyed our friends and having our friends around the house.  I think Daddy’s inner self and character are revealed in the fact that he started preaching when he was 16 years old.   That was always a dear thought to me and a shining example that he loved God from an early age.  I always thought it so impressive that Daddy decided to go to the Free Will Baptist Bible College at a time when he had six kids, pastored a church, worked full time and also had a son at the BibleCollege.   He and Steve worked full-time at nighttime at the Nashville Aladdin factory, went full-time to BibleCollege and studied during the daytime.  Dad came home on the weekends to pastor the church.  Although he could only keep up that pace for one semester, his attempt to make it work always spoke volumes to me about his deep desires to serve God however he could and to the best of his abilities.  I always thought my dad had such unlimited potential and thought he could have been anything he wanted had he had access to advanced resources and time and mentoring.

Dealing With Life!

Daddy taught us how to deal with life and what was important!
I don’t recall Daddy ever saying he needed or wanted any material thing or ever begrudging having to support six kids.  I do recall his constantly trying to develop other lines of work plus working in a factory to try to bring in extra money.   He tried his hand at raising chinchillas, raising hogs, selling insurance, selling air purifiers, selling long distance service, etc.  He always plowed and worked in the garden and helped Mom plant and weed and harvest the garden.  He loved the fresh vegetables, especially tomatoes off the vine.   He and Mom also loved to grow peanuts, blackberries, rhubarb, and strawberries and loved to share all their garden produce and cuttings.  They loved flowers, birds and animals and taught us a love for them.  Dad loved knowing the names of birds and flowers and interesting facts about them.   Daddy rescued an injured raccoon once that got its paw caught in a water well pulley, and kept it in a shed until it was well.  He also kept coon dogs and knew the “voice” of each coon dog and what they had treed and how far away they were.  He took care of his animals, and dipped the dogs when they needed it and trimmed their nails.  

He built a barn and fell and broke his jaw while he was working on it.  I remember his coming into the house, looking in the mirror and then getting in the car and driving himself to the emergency room without complaining or telling anyone what had happened.  They wired his jaws shut and we teased him about the “peace and quiet” we were all going to have.  Daddy has always been a “people person” and would do anything to help anyone out.    

I always thought my Daddy was big and tall and handsome and talented and had a great sense of humor and could do or fix anything.  I always thought he was a very interesting person and I knew I was safe when Daddy was around.  I always knew Daddy loved me and had great confidence in me.  He always would refer to each and every one of us as “his prettiest daughter” or “his smartest daughter.”  The best gift he gave us though was his love for God and his love for serving God.  I became a Christian under my Dad’s pastorship and he baptized me in the creek down at Dodson Branch.  Among the other souls he has won to Christ, he can include his six children.  What a great father!  I am proud to honor him on this Father’s Day!

Web Hosting Companies