“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
A year after my mother passed away, my daughter married. A few months afterward she was expecting a baby as her husband embarked upon his three-month internship for his college degree. He was to make the 2,000 mile trip and get settled while she stayed with me the first couple of weeks, then she would fly out to join him.
It was bedtime when I wandered into the living room to say good night. As I did she casually told me he had arrived safely and really loved the area. “He would be interested in taking a position and living somewhere out there,” she explained. I don’t believe I flinched, though my heart sank to my toes. I made a graceful exit and headed to the bedroom.
My husband was sound asleep so I felt my way in the dark to find my Bible. I slipped into the bathroom for some light and sat on the step beside the tub to cry. The only way I knew to express myself to the Lord was to be direct and that’s how I proceeded. “God we’ve got a problem,” I candidly prayed. “I need to talk to my mother, but You had this bright idea to call her home. Now what am I supposed to do?”
Mom had a remarkable gift to speak a “word in season” that would calm my troubled spirit. My only daughter and first grandchild could potentially move thousands of miles away and if ever I needed a word in season, this was it.
Then I desperately flipped open my Bible and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Scripture leaped off the page from Mark 8:35. Then, as if we were sitting at the kitchen table, I heard Mother’s voice in my head. I could visualize her leaning in with her hand gently patting the page as she began to explain, “Let me tell you what this Scripture means,” I heard her softly say. “The Lord knows that Kimmy is your life and always has been. But God is a ‘people mover’ and He strategically places them around the world where they can be utilized for the Kingdom.” I heard her continue, “He’s asking you to lay your life down for His sake. But it’s your choice. You can pitch a fit and get a bear hold on her and refuse to let her go. But she could be living on the other side of the wall and not be yours. On the other hand, as long as she is in the will of God, there is no distance that can take her from you.” In those few moments, “I got it.” I allowed myself to cry through the night, but by dawn I washed my face and prepared to lay my life down.
So far, I have been spared… she has lived within a reasonable driving distance. But as a result, it has been a joy to watch first-hand as she has grown and matured in God, standing on her own two feet, becoming what He has called her to be.
I realize from the moment God loaned her to me, she was really His all along. But as a young mother I spent my time cleaning the “sticky fingers” without seeing the big picture. He could see it all along. The sticky fingers were mine to care for, the calling on the one whom those sticky fingers were attached, was His.
I learned a valuable lesson that would serve a young mother well to realize now. Because in order to keep your life, considered it a privilege—for His sake—to lay it down.
To learn more about Lona (pronounced like Donna with an “L”) please visit her website at www.lona.org. She has an amazing testimony that you will be nothing but blessed to read about!
It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.
So how can we set those examples before our children and others?
Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.
Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.
I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”
Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?
Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.
How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?
I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?
Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.
I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉
What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?
Isn’t it funny? There are a million books and websites you turn to when you find out you’ll be a mother. You’re worried about everything from what to eat, how to decorate the nursery, making sure you set a Godly example, sleep routines, safety, and fashion. Sadly, in the midst of most mainstream books, blogs, and websites the whole subject of passing on your family legacy or even creating one is left out. (Notice I said “mainstream”, there are a ton of resources, just not “popular” ones.)
For a lot of you, this may come easily. Others, not so much. Maybe you came from a family where legacy wasn’t important or a broken home and you were left confused. Or, perhaps, unfortunately you didn’t know your parents. Some of you may have had a wonderful legacy as far as family, but you’re parents did not instill Christian values. Just where does one start or even begin?
What does “legacy” mean? Webster defines it as:
Definition of LEGACY1: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
A legacy can include teachings, morals, traditions, thoughts, property, name, etc. It literally covers just about everything, as long as it is passed down. The goal is to make it a worthy legacy. Something that your children’s children will say, “I am who I am, because of my legacy, and for that I am grateful.”
How do you do this, exactly? Well, it’s certainly not simple. In a nutshell, think of what is in your life that you want to pass down and amplify that. Think of what you do not want to pass down and bring that to a halt. Children are sponges, soaking in every thing we put out whether good or bad. (Ouch, huh? It hurt me to type that last part, probably more than it did for you to read it. 😉 )
I, personally, grew up in a Pastor’s home. My Grandparents were very Godly and amazing to our family as are my parents. However, even so, there are things that I want to pass down that are “my own” but still of Christ.
I wish I could fit this all into one post. I’m sorry. I know I have 4 other series going right now, but when God says to write, I write. So here it is: On Fridays I will be writing “Creating A Legacy”. Please remember that I am no expert, just somewhat experienced and still learning. Feel free to chime in at any time with comments, questions, suggestions, etc.
God bless and have a great weekend!
I was walking round in heaven and I just could not believe,
God looked at you and mommy and said a son you shall conceive.
He will make you happy he will bring you so much joy,
I’m sending you my very best my favorite little boy.
Please don’t take it lightly there’s lot’s of work to do,
For with my little boy comes lot’s of work for you.
You will teach him wisdom and how to be a man,
But while he still is growing you’ll need to hold his hand.
And as he grows away from you,
To make it on his own,
To everyone that he meets,
He’ll make his daddy known.
For without my hand to guide you,
Your walking all alone.
So take good care of him,
In a loving home.
Originally written by Diania on June 4th, 2010 for her Son, Adam, and Grandson, Little Adam
I take such pride in being able to make the statement that is the title of this blog post. Especially in a time where parents are taken for granted. Let me explain:
The way my Dad became my Dad is not the same story as most, but similar to many. I’ve known him my entire life, but he did not become my “Step Dad” (I HATE that phrase.) until I was 14 when after many prayers on my part he married my Mom. I’ve been estranged from my biological father since I was about 3, and while I had an amazing Grandpa who helped my Mom raise me until he passed away when I was 11… I never had someone to call “Dad”.
Naturally, having a new authority figure during my teen years was quite a challenge. Dean, my Dad, had only had sons and was not used to the emotions that come out of teenage girls. I had been without a father figure for a few years, and didn’t know how to react to him some times. We did, however, eventually find our niche and have realized the blessing we are to each other. Through the years we have had our ups and downs. But, I never realized just how much I loved him until this year.
Dean has scoliosis and many other problems with his back. In the past year and a half, he has had 3 back surgeries and will soon have another. With this last surgery we nearly lost him though.
Early one morning in April of this year, he was put under anesthesia. The neurosurgeon told my Mom it would be about 3 hours. The surgery, however, lasted 18 hours. Yes, you read that right. 18 hours. Everything went wrong, they were not equipped, things were worse than expected, and they had to cut deeper and further than planned. He was laying on his stomach the entire time. When we finally saw him, he didn’t look at all like the man who WALKED into the hospital. He was extremely swollen, had a breathing tube down his throat, and wires/tubes going in and out of him over most of his body. We had planned that we’d be taking him home, but now he was in the ICU in critical condition.
The next day they informed us that he was experiencing renal failure. They took out the breathing tube, but still had to stay on oxygen. Gradually over the next few days he made less and less sense. His kidneys were getting worse. We became very concerned and began to prepare for the worst. I was almost 30 weeks pregnant when he went in the hospital. I would sit next to his bed and cry. Would he know his new granddaughter that he was so excited for? Would he ever be able to hold his other grandchildren again? I cried at the thought of never taking him home. My best friend had lost her Dad just a few weeks before, and as much as I hated seeing her pain and anguish, I did not want to experience that. I was determined a miracle had to happen, but at times my faith would slack. How could anyone recover from this?
That Tuesday, Diania and I set up a prayer vigil. We all gathered outside his window and prayed. All over we had people praying at exactly the same time as we had made it a Facebook event and got the news out by word of mouth also. Right then, he woke up, was lucid, and from there he very slowly recovered.God had answered our prayers!
After more than a month in the hospital, he finally came home. He is still unable to walk without a walker and has other issues, but he is on the road to what I have faith will be a FULL recovery. Tonight he is “on tour” with his country gospel band, The Tomes Brothers, as they minister in Illinois. God gave us a miracle!
I knew I loved my Dad, I just never knew how much. He has taught me so much over time about God, life, cars, and many other things. Every day I praise God, my Heavenly Father, that He did not take my Dad here on earth from me, and that Dean is still able to minister through song and teaching to so many others. Hallelujah!
If you’re old enough, you may remember this commercial from the 90’s, where the kid from Last Action Hero and Heartland (I think that was the name of it…) goes into Circuit City because he bought a Walkman one week and it was advertised at a better price the next.
“Last week I bought this… and today I saw this…”
Words forever implemented into the brain of a child of the 90’s…
When it comes to our relationship with the Lord, we never have to worry about this. See, our souls are purchased with blood. There are no “sales”, “bids”, “rebates”, “coupons”, “economy versions”, or “upgrades”. The price of our soul does not change. What we were then, that is what we are today, and that is what we’ll be in the future: It is the same. Our value does not deteriorate like may things do in this day and age. We are still the most valuable to God!
Sometimes, when you are like me and have a past, it is easy to think, “Well, yeah, I can do good. But not near as good as Sis. So-and-so, they’ve never done anything wrong so obviously they are closer to God.” THIS IS NOT TRUE! Remember how the Bible says that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy? This is a PERFECT example. Don’t let him win!
You are valuable to God. Irreplaceable, as a matter of fact. You can do just as much for him now as any one else. Pray about it and seek God about what he wants you to do and then do it. You have a testimony and there are people out there who need your encouragement. Whether it’s going on the mission field, helping out at your church, or leading you children just follow the call of Jesus. You’ll be so glad you did!
Sis. Judye Jackson, a very gifted teacher, spoke at church on “Family Trees” and about the legacy we leave behind. This got me thinking- my life is a direct influence on the lives of my children. Whether I realize it or not, they pay attention to everything I say or do. This sort of worries me.
See, I have a habit of looking at my very attractive husband and telling him that he is sexy. Why? Because he is and I am madly in love with him. The next thing I know, I’m driving down the road when I hear my three-year-old daughter, Naomi, say, “Mommy, Daddy’s sexy, ain’t he?” Extreme heat crept from my neck into my cheeks. Yes, I do believe my husband is sexy, but do I want my three-year-old to share that information? Umm…no!
Then there are the moments I live for- she sets an example and makes me proud. As I’m babysitting for a friend, her little girl says, “Oh my God.” I’m not on my soap box or anything, but I teach my children not to say that. Naomi looks at her friend, and in her best serious voice says, “We’re not supposed to say that.” Her friend says, “I’m trying to stop,” and they continue to play. You would have thought the forbidden phrase contained curse words.
I’ve learned that in the process of raising my kids, they notice everything. This means that they see in me the good, the bad and the ugly. When I’m mad and frustrated and I want to rip my hair out, they see. When I’m praising through the battle and giving God the glory no matter what, they see.
I wonder if my children will start conversations with my future grandchildren with the phrase, “My Mom always said…..” And I wonder– if they use that phrase, what will they say that I said?