What will be said of Me?

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I have a wonderful privilege of gathering with some amazing women every other week to spend time talking about the things that we care deeply about.  We discuss the season of life we are presently in and look for quality ways to navigate the many challenges and opportunities we encounter everyday. We talk about learning to say our “best yes”, to make sure we find ways to re-fuel in order to be the best version of ourselves, and we look at focusing on those things we consider the highest priorities at this time, using them as a good filter when choosing how to best use our time.  These conversations are always rich and encouraging.

Last night we spent our time talking about Legacy.  We were all able to point to a person in our life who impacted us in a powerful way. Each one of us teared up simply talking about it! We could clearly see that without the gift of that person having touched our lives we would not be the women we are today.  Then we turned our attention to the fact that each one of us could be “that” person in someone’s life.  Down the road when a group of women gather, perhaps our name with be the one mentioned when expressing appreciation for key impact on their lives.  This is what leaving a Legacy looks like.  Lasting impact.

In a small study written by Dr. James Dobson, he expresses Legacy this way:

“Legacy is what future generations recall about you. You are a patriarch or a matriarch and your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will take what you have done with your life and build on their own lives.  It is the continuation of your ministry and influence (both positive and negative) beyond your lifetime, reflecting what you value and what you believe is important.”

Wow, does that mean that the choices, behaviours, values, and traditions we do ( or don’t) intentionally choose will be passed on to our future family? You bet!  Think about your family of origin; is there a legacy you feel compelled to carry forward?  Perhaps that legacy was unhealthy and you now have the chance to make choices that will turn it around in your generation.  Choosing to leave a good and lasting Legacy requires intentionality, long-term vision, strong values, and time spent building rich relationships.  We all have a choice as to the Legacy we leave behind.

Look at your life today and answer this question: “Who influenced you to be who you are today and how does their Legacy encourage you to leave behind a Legacy that continues to bear good fruit in the lives of those you dearly love? Take time to write out the type of Legacy you would like to leave behind and then make choices consistent with your hearts desire.  🙂

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Ugly Oranges~

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 My local grocery story was bought out and within 3 days had been unveiled as a new, more “northwest” store. I actually approve of the changes but when I re-entered the store for the first time after the grand unveiling my eyes were drawn to the front display case with piles of shrivelled up oranges.  These oranges were really ugly; I remember thinking ” what are those things, they do not look appetizing!!”

As I made my way to the store register I overheard a conversation between the Checker and the woman in front of me. ” Checker~ “Wow, you are getting a big bag of Oranges today but have you tried those ugly oranges in the front of the store?”  “No” said the shopper  “those oranges look really awful!”  The Checker replied ” OH!! I will never eat another normal orange again!! Those ugly oranges are the best things I’ve ever tasted!!”  About 4 days later I grabbed a few ….just to see if she was right and OH MY –best oranges ever!!!  I was so surprised!! As ugly as they were their taste was so wonderful!!

As small and silly as this “aha!” moment may seem, my mind and heart heard a profound understanding from the Lord!  Sometimes the most priceless people are not the most “attractive”.  We may fall prey to those first impressions about people that cause us to decide within minutes that this person/people aren’t our style; our kind of people.

However, I wonder if we often miss out on experiencing rich relationships and priceless people by deciding that they are merely an “Ugly Orange.”

Scripture says”

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
The next time you have the opportunity to move beyond your initial reaction, your first impressions; be willing to give individuals a fresh look ~ they just might be the sweetest person you’ll have the privilege to know!  A real hidden treasure! 🙂
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