Sunday, July 10, 2011

Leaving A Legacy

This past week we attended a funeral - Tony's grandmother, Alma, passed away. As the family gathered to plan the service and to share memories, I began to think about the kinds of things I want to be remembered for.

The family was asked if there were any Scriptures of importance to Alma, if there were any sayings she was known for or things she did which sort of defined her life.

So I began to think: what Scriptures will my children and grandchildren say were important to me? What kinds of sayings, attitudes, and actions will they remember as defining who I was?

And I began to realize that while some things I'll want to be remembered for are things I already do, some are things I will definitely need to work on!

First and foremost, I want the overarching theme of my life to be that I was a devoted wife and mother. There may be many things in life that I am good at, but I want it to be known that my family always came first.

To that end, the Scriptures I hope define my life are ones like:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-9

**(May it always be remembered that spending time with my children and teaching them was a significant part of my life.)**

Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
~ Psalm 127:3-5

**(May it always be remembered that I counted each of my children to be a blessing. That I never saw them as a burden, a nuisance, a pain, or an inconvenience, but rather that I took great joy in my "reward.")**

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
~Psalm 84:3-4

**(May it always be remembered that I did my best to bring my children near to God, and to raise them in a Godly atmosphere.)**

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.
~Proverbs 24:3-4

**(May it always be remembered that I held knowledge and wisdom in high esteem, and that I tried to make our home a treasure trove of knowledge and to impart wisdom to my children.)**

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
~3 John 1:4

**(May it always be remembered that my truest joy came from seeing my children grow and mature in earthly knowledge, and more importantly, in spiritual wisdom.)**

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.
~Song of Solomon 8:6-7

**(May it always be remembered that our marriage was one of love, of passion, of fun, and of fierce devotion to one another.)**

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. ~Ephesians 5:22-24

**(May it always be remembered that I took my Biblical role as a wife seriously, that I submitted willingly to the leadership of my husband and placed myself happily under his headship.)**

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. ~Titus 2:3-5

**(May it always be remembered that I devoted myself to the Biblical ideal of being a keeper of my home, and that in my later years I was a mentor to the younger generation.)**


The "Little Things" I want to be remembered for:

* That I loved to cook - that I saw it as both a joy and an art form. And that - hopefully - I passed on that love to my children.

* That I hated clutter, taught my children to clean up after themselves and others, but that at the same time, I realized that a child's needs were always more important than a clean house.

* That I loved nature! That a nature walk - which we took many of - was often my idea of a perfect afternoon. That I taught my children to notice the things many people don't - shadows on the path, moss on a bridge, patterns of leaves, snails and dragonflies. And that butterflies were my special obsession!

* That my favorite hymns were those which talked about nature - because it was through the awesome wonder of creation that I connected best with God.

* That I loved books! That our home was always full of them! That I spent hours and hours reading with my children and tried always to instill that same love of reading in them.

* That Tony and I were crazy in love! That we still acted like newlyweds after years and years of marriage. That we never fought, or complained, or nagged. That never did we speak negatively to each other or about each other, but instead lifted each other up in praise and encouragement. That we laughed a lot, held hands a lot, loved to sit close together, and kissed a lot!


I hope that my children - and grandchildren - will remember me as crazy and fun, but also as passionately devoted to their upbringing and well-being. I hope they can look back on their childhoods and remember that Mom was always there when they needed her, that she would always listen, even when they couldn't find the words to express themselves, and that there were always fresh baked goodies to eat! I hope they never look back and think, "Mom screamed a lot," or "Mom griped a lot." I hope they remember Mom reading Bible stories with them and singing church songs while washing the dishes or sweeping the floors.

I hope they can say that I was an amazing woman - smart, talented, and passionate. More than that, I hope they can say that everyone always knew that God was my first priority, and my family was a very close second, above all else.

They are my legacy, my message to the world. They are my "arrows," and I hope that by the grace of God and with the help of my wonderful husband, they are aimed well.

I hope that, if nothing else, people will remember me and say, "She loved God, and she loved her family."

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    ReplyDelete

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