barn paint lulyLuly doesn’t like surprises. Maybe that’s because she’s had a life full of them. Luly was adopted from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, an unlicensed agency that, under the operation of Georgia Tann often kidnapped or illegally coerced mothers to terminate their parental rights so they could sell the babies on the black market. Although she had a happy childhood with her adoptive parents, she launched an independent investigation into her biological past. Her persistent “snooping” led her to locate her birth mother and forge a relationship with her that was both meaningful and healing. As a young adult Luly met and fell in love with Jerry. They later married and had a daughter together. Their fairy tale was not meant to be because shortly after their daughter’s birth, Jerry learned he had Leukemia. He lived for 9 months after his diagnosis. At the age of 21, Luly was a widow and a single mother to a toddler.

In preparing for his death, Jerry and Luly hired attorney Pat Snyder to help get their affairs in order. It wasn’t only their finances that were at stake, fate also played a role in this meeting. One and a half years later Luly and Pat married, he adopted her daughter Susie, and they went on to have two additional children. These series of coincidences enhance Luly’s faith that there is a divine plan and everything happens for a reason according to His plan. She also learned that “nothing is too tough for this old bird!”

Luly’s “happy place” is a hunting lodge that she and her husband, along with her brother-in-law and sister-in-law purchased in the 1970s. As a young couple, Luly and Pat had a vision of creating a space where the family could congregate to spend time together. It was purchased with 6 bedrooms and over the years, they’ve added 13 more beds to accommodate their growing family. Beyond Luly’s wildest dreams, the lodge has hosted more than 30 family members at one time. Luly, now a mother of three, a grandmother of seven and a “great grand” of two returns there with four different generations in tow. Luly’s growing family gives truth to the old Hollywood adage: if you build it, they will come…..and they keep coming. Even after her husband, Pat, passed away, the family still enjoys their beloved “Rustic Haven Lodge” near Minocqua, Wisconsin.

This is my story. This is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.