"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Legacy

As I near the next decade of my life, I am consciously aware that I want to leave a legacy.  A positive legacy.  Sure, I am still two years away from the big five oh, but goodness, a legacy is something that is created over time, nurtured like a garden and cherished like fine china.  Why?  Because I want my children to know that I stood for something, and that my life on this earth (albeit temporary) meant something substantial to both them and to my corner of the world.  I love Nichole Nordeman's song, "Legacy."

"I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me.
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest.
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery.
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best.
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much.

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights.
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world.

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy
Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one..."

Amen.  I want this to become one of my many mantras.  Is what I am doing today something that will assist me in leaving a positive legacy or a negative one?  Would my character still shine when no one is looking?  Would I still bless another person even I knew they wouldn't notice and no one else would know?  Is what I am doing making a difference in the life of someone less fortunate, in my family's lives, in my own little corner of the world?  Will my children be able to honestly speak good things of me, and more importantly, will I hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant," when I need to hear that most?

I want to pass on a legacy that is consistent with the Word of God, my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, my pro-life stance, my political stance, my heart of worship and dance, a servant's heart in a 'master's heart' world.  I want my children to know that the Word of God is 'sharper than any double edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'  That the Word is infallible, to be trusted always, and is true.  That the stories of Noah, Jonah, Esther, Ruth, Jacob, Joseph, Jesus, Paul and Deborah are as true today as they were back then.

I want them to know that there is only one way to heaven--there is only one Way, Truth and Life, and that Jesus is it.  There aren't any compromises, and it is not unreasonable or intolerant to only follow that One way.  I want them to know that I knew that I couldn't get to heaven by just believing in myself, by following Oprah or Ellen, by praying to Allah or Buddah, but only through the door of Jesus Christ.  And I want them to know mercy, grace and forgiveness.  I only hope and pray that I have been able to model that so that will become a part of my legacy.  I want people to know that God's mercy and grace are unlimited, his forgiveness is forever.

I want them to know that a life is a life, no matter how precious or how small.  That no one can refute the fact that life begins at conception and continues until the day that person (and yes, I said person and not fetus) dies a natural death.  I want them to know that I fought the good fight for protecting 'even the least of these' little children when society said that it wasn't politically correct.  I want them to know that being politically correct is typically not the way I lived my life and typically not the way I would like them to live theirs.

I want my legacy to cause people to remember that when the Holy Spirit hits you, it's best to react; when your heart tells you to sing and dance before the Lord, just do it; when the going gets tough (and it will), turn to God, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  I want it to remind them that there are others in our world that need our resources and love more than we do.  They crave attention, kindness, goodness and God's love, just as much, if not more, than we do, and it is our responsibility to ensure they get it.  That just because we have been blessed beyond measure, by having been born in this great country, doesn't mean that we should just bask in it's goodness.  We need to 'share the wealth, the health, and the faith.'

I want my children to know that I valued my position as a mother more than any other position on this earth.  Although I earned wonderful grades, had many degrees, and great positions throughout my life, it would not have meant anything if I hadn't had my children to come home to every evening.  It would not have meant anything if I didn't know that my children were truly walking in the truth.  I want them to value family over possessions, relationships over money, and faith over everything else.  I want them to remember that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, to take chances, to work hard and play even harder, to dance as if no one is watching, that they are beautiful and were made for such a time as this.

I want my legacy to scream those little things in life that make life fun, those things that parents learn from having active boys and curious girls--

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep. 
2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.  
3. A 3-year old's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant. 
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound child wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room. 
5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.  
6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan. 
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late. 
8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.  
9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man claims they can only do it in the movies. 
10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old.
11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence. 
12. Super glue is forever. 
13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water. 
14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.  
15. VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do. 
16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes. 
17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.  
18. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy  
19. It will, however, make pets dizzy.   
20. Dogs and cats (and hamsters) throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.  

Yes, I want that to be my legacy, too.  I want them to be able to experience something, that would be otherwise frustrating and crazy, and be able to laugh it off.  To realize that kids will  be kids and that all kids are typically the same--they all crave love and attention.  Who doesn't?

Tonight, as I am playing a board game with my son, or watching a movie with my daughter, or cooking dinner for my family, may I remember that everything I do may become a part of my legacy, and let it be 'good.'


  1. Worried that you have not left your mark?
    Well I can testify that you changed my life
    for the better.
    AND I can ALMOST thank you for my son.
    (you know what I mean)
    It was so nice to have found you again.
    Through me, you did God's work, impeccably.
    Thank you.

  2. Thanks so much, but really did it ALL yourself. You were so much stronger than you ever thought you were. I am sure that your family is extremely proud of you. I know that I am. Thank God for your life and the lives of your precious children.