What will be said of Me?

index

 

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

If you knew you had One month to live……..

 images

Recently my mother handed me 4 letters that I had written 10 years ago to my husband, sons, and parents “In Case” something ever happened to me.  I took the time 10 years ago, not because I was facing a crisis, but because I was in a healthy place, physically and mentally, and I wanted to express my thoughts towards them from a hope-filled place. My mother returned them to me wondering if I might want to re-write them and add a few more people ~ my precious daughter-in – laws and beloved granddaughters.  She was right…..I will pen them all very soon.

Reading through these letters was so interesting, so many hopes I expressed to my sons have come to pass, the heartfelt appreciation I had expressed towards my parents has only increased, and my hopes and heart for my husband remain sound. It was quite a journey to revisit my thoughts.

These letters have caused me to ponder this question:  “what would I do/say/complete/change if I knew I only had 30 days to live?”

Pastors Kerry and Chris Shook, in their Book: “One Month To Live: 30 Days to a No Regrets Life” say that they watched many people make real change WHEN they realized that their time was short.

“People would do the things they always wanted to do, and say things they had always wanted to say,” Shook said. “They’d ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness more freely. They took more risks. It seemed like they had this whole new clarity on their priorities, and we just began to ask ourselves, ‘Why wait? Why can’t we live this way all the time?’”

I think this is a profound and sobering question, don’t you?

As I read over my letters to my precious family members my only concern was their continued faith in Christ, their relational decisions for their wives, choosing a life with a legacy, and challenging them all to continue to love others until we would meet again. Those are still the key priorities in my heart.

The question of how much time I have to live could be hypothetical; and yet only God knows the time and the hour that He will call us home….so we never know for sure!  That being said, to know what is most important to us is key to having a ” no regrets” life!

So, I ask the question again:  If you only had one month left to live, where would you put your energy?

1.  What people would you re-engage with, love on, forgive, be bold in sharing your faith with, or re-express your love and appreciation for their impact on your life?

2.  What activities would you put aside in order to put your best energy toward key priorities?  A favorite hike, best cup of coffee, writing your thoughts, spending time surrounded by incredible worship music to fill your soul, or being brave enough to try something you’ve always wanted to try?

3.  In relation to your faith~ would you tuck under God’s protective wings anew? would you choose to spend quiet time praying and letting Him speak to you? Would your need to know Him heighten in light of knowing you have a month to live?

Most of us will never get forwarned that our last days are upon us so why do we wait to make the choices that really matter?

At a recent memorial for a wonderful man; his daughter read an email she had sent to her father months before he passed (he died suddenly for an unexpected disease), she had simply felt prompted to express to her parents how much she appreciated them.  She listed every trip, funny memory, acts of love, and things that meant the world to her. As she shared her most private thoughts with hundreds of attendees I could tell that she was glad she was sharing with us what she HAD shared with him rather than sharing with us what she had WISHED she had shared with him!  We never know, do we?

 freemanX-Gifts