Debbie Lees co-author of : http://thetumblelees.me/ with her husband is a wife, mother and today a grand mother. She and her husband, her life in marriage, her faith in God is truly inspiring and amazing.
She and her husband travels most of the time in their motor home to keep in constant touch with their only daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids. She shares with us her journey, her life in marriage, the hardships and challenges she faced. She hopes to write a book sharing her 40+ years of marriage life with its ups and downs.
This is definitely a must-read interview especially for all the couples out there and those looking forward to be in a relationship.
☆ Who are you? What defines you?
My name is Debbie. I’m first defined by my faith in Jesus Christ. I’m an America of Romanian descent (my dad) and part Irish and German on my mom’s side of the family. I’ve been married almost 41 years and my marriage is one of our Lord’s miracles. We divorced after 13 years, which broke our family up and apart. But within the year, we returned to our faith and forgave each other as our faith teaches us.
I’m a mother to one daughter, age 33, and a grandmother to her precious two sons, ages 2 1/2 and a baby brother almost 6 months old.
I’m a daughter, the youngest of 3 girls. I’m currently helping my 92 year old mom sell her house after my step dad’s death.
My husband and I travel full time in a motor home, so we can move around and help family!
☆ How did you get into blogging? Tell us a little about your journey..
My husband and I began blogging in July 2011, about our marriage after we saw more and more precious couples giving up on their marriages and seeking divorces. We are so grateful our marriage was restored after we fell into the same hopelessness. We really felt the Lord was inspiring us to be transparent and share with others what He had done in our lives and how we had changed to put Him in the center of our marriage, and not ourselves. Here is the introduction to our blog from that first post: http://thetumblelees.me/2011/07/16/we-love-the-beach/
Our blogging then changed to a travel blog in August 2013. We still share marriage stories but we now entered a new phase of life, being grandparents. But we had a dilemma. We now lived 800 miles (1287 km) from our daughter, her husband and our first grandchild. To make a long story short, our solution was to buy a recreational vehicle and travel and sightsee our way to and from time with our daughter as she began to have children. Our blog just morphed into a Travel Adventure Blog! You can read our first post on how we began traveling here: http://thetumblelees.me/2014/11/08/how-our-rv-travel-adventures-started/
Slowly, I began to feel a need to have my own blog, in my own voice as the other blog was “our” voice. Every once in a while, I felt inspired to write a post separate, and I named it “Lifetime of Forgiveness” and it the first post can be found here: https://lifetimeofforgiveness.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/unbroken-by-laura-hillenbrand/ This blog is still trying to define itself! I finally took Blogging 101 to try and help my personal blogging. While the course helped me, and in fact, I took the 101 course three times and also Blogging 201, I don’t seem to have the time or the wifi (traveling full time means my wifi is limited). So I still struggle a little. But I really care more about being an encourager and helping others with their blogging! And it seems helping marriages and sharing about travel adventures seem to be the focus of most of my blogging, while I always include my bless-ed hope in life! Bless-ed as opposed to blessed. My life is no doubt very blessed, but by adding the dash changes it to more than what has happened to me, but it about Jesus and our temporary journey on this earth, preparing us for eternal life in Heaven!
☆ What were the challenges you faced when you first started your blog?
We really didn’t have any with TheTumbleLees. The challenge is how to keep it going! When we moved into a motor home, we lost unlimited Wifi. We now pay for limited use and blogging uses a lot. We’ve found ways to work around it. I do wish the app was easier to use for quick posts.
☆ What is your life outside blogging?
My life outside of blogging is reflected in my blog! I like to write about our travels, which is the main thing we began to do in September 2013. But I also keep a personal blog about other aspects of my life, such as spiritual matters, international travel (without my husband) and I re-blog other blog regularly on it.
Back to my life outside my blog, while we travel to see new sights, learn more about our wonderful country and meet new people, we travel to and from our scattered family. Mainly, to visit our only child, a daughter and her family. She had her first baby in August, 2013 and second one in August 2015. And they are the reason we sold our dream retirement home in Florida, a wonderful state to “retire” in because of mild weather and low taxes. But we lived 800 miles from our grand sons! Our solution was to keep our official residence as Florida but travel full-time.
☆ What are your other interests?
I don’t like to sit much and love the outdoors. When not enjoying our grandsons, we try to travel to and from mountains and beaches. Our oldest grandson (2 1/2) shares our love of the outdoors. My favorite activity is hiking in the mountains or at least walking two miles to five miles (3.2 K) five times a week when in flat places. We like beaches where you can take long walks. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the United States is our favorite beach because we can walk 5 miles or 3.2 K!
I’ve always been a reader, or book worm. As technology has taken over, I now “read” on my Iphone, starting each day reading the Bible (different year long plans are offered at Bible.com), enjoy browsing my WordPress reader, FaceBook and Twitter feeds and for the few times the weather allows it, love to sit outside with a really good suspenseful novel.
I also enjoy volunteering to help others, through church and community. But that has changed some as we are on the road full time. Our focus for these two years has been to help our family: First, my husbands mom relocated from our care in Florida to his brother’s care in Illinois. We cleaned out her home and had movers take what furnishing she could use. We helped our daughter and her husband remodel their first home to sell it, helped them move out and into another home. That house needed some repairs and painting. We helped them settle in, painted and did repairs over a years time. And of course, helped with our grandson during all this. And then when she was in her 8th month of pregnancy for our second one, we stayed nearby for over two months, helping and getting the nursery ready. Our daughter was off work for 3 months, so we traveled and then came back and watched the baby for 6 weeks. And lots of great outdoors time with our toddler grandson! And finally, we’ve been helping my mom back in Florida on and off all year, after my step dad was diagnosed with cancer and was given only months to live. I am currently here, staying near her. We’ve helped her her house ready to sell and are downsizing her belongings to a few suitcases. She’ll share time staying between my two sisters homes.
Phew, didn’t mean that to be so long!
☆ What are you looking forward to do in near future?
In the near Future – fun? We do want to travel to new places we haven’t seen before. We will start traveling in 2-3 weeks, after we get our RV repaired. We’ve been a bit bogged down to begin researching what’s next. We’re still helping my mom clean out her house and minimize her belongings so she can travel between my two sister’s homes. And my husband had been consumed doing safety maintenance on our car. We’re not in an exciting place right now.
I’m most looking forward to April when we will be reunited with our grandsons. They are the joy in our lives!
☆ Any thought on writing a book?
I may look into it now-and my topic? Probably share our 40+ years of our own struggles as a couple! What has worked for us, what hasn’t worked and how incredibly happy we now are, sharing our lives with our grandchildren. That was never a conversation we had in our early years of struggles: “what about the grandchildren?”
☆ Given your experience and your journey of life, what do you have to say to all the struggling couples out there?
We were recently asked to share advice on another bloggers site, https://arpitablogs.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/guest-post-can-you-have-a-perfect-marriage/. I would recommend reading it before becoming a couple.
I also like this post I wrote on “What is Love?” https://lifetimeofforgiveness.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/what-is-love/
I would say in a few words what the bottom line is: First, love is a choice. You actually choose to love and you choose to leave that love. Maybe your partner helps with that choice by being unfaithful. If that’s the case, you are a bit late in seeking advice. So it’s best to guard your relationship when you first state your intentions, get engaged and finally marry.
Our bottom line advice is to put Jesus first in your own lives, then form a relationship around Him, His Word and His people. His greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor (who is also your boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, employer, teacher, ANYONE) as you love yourself!
And that’s a tall order. We THOUGHT we did that when we first married. We started out by seeking to please ourselves before we sought to please God first, then our spouse. We put our own needs first-and that’s human nature. That marriage ended in divorce. But Praise God, we sought Him after our failure and HE restored our family, marriage and relationship with Him! So I say that to say it’s not easy at first, but once you started, it gets easier and the Lord is able to begin blessing your relationship in ways we never dreamed of! For us, it is the absolute joy of our grandsons!
Find Debbie Lees:
- Blog: http://thetumblelees.me/
- Twitter: @dalees107