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

We are HOME!!! :-)

Honestly, I love the sound of a room full of people sharing a meal, conversation, and hearts!  Nothing fills my soul more!  It is with this heart that I decorated my wonderful new home.  I wanted a place where my loved ones felt at peace, cozy, and welcome.

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It was huge for me to create a space for any children that might enter my home; a place created JUST for them.  Imagine being a child coming into a home without a place to “hang”, to play??  I created that place.

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My husband and I are truly blessed to enjoy the home we have purchased; many miracles have brought us here.  Because of this we know this home will be rich with memories of laughter, tears, teaching, and prayer.

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How about you? Can you see your home as a place of love and warmth? Have you created an atmosphere that would welcome neighbors and friends alike?  Consider seeing your home as a place of love and outreach in a world that often times is cold and closed!

We are the light of the world…….our homes can be a great place to shine!

We are blessed and because of that we pray that we will also bless others.

Do you have a HOUSE or a HOME?

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This week I have enjoyed the unique opportunity to assist my son and precious daughter in law as they get re-settled in CA for a new life there~ a new adventure.  What I have loved the most has been watching them transform a “house” into a “home”!

Nate and Kate are no strangers to setting up house as their short married life has already had numerous moves.

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Furniture, bedding, dishes, and blankets are all needed in order to set up house. However,  Pictures and memory-based items make a house a home!

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As I have spent this past week alongside these two I have observed the MOST important aspect of what makes a house a home. KINDNESS.
In the midst of boxes, unfamiliar streets, new noises, and the idiosyncrasy’s of a home build in the 1920’s, I have seen these two show incredible kindness to one another.

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Whether you live in Bend, OR., Seattle, WA., or Palo Alto, CA~ You can make a house a home IF you are intentional about doing so.

Today–look around your home….does is represent your family with all it’s uniqueness’s?  Is your home full of kindness and care?  I pray that it is and that your house is indeed a HOME!  🙂

It’s Been a Year~~ Miss you Christopher Ryan Smith.

It was around this time last year that we learned that our beloved Christopher Ryan Smith had his life brutally ended by an evil, greedy individual.  The hearts of our family and hundreds of his friends were shattered.  We experienced despair, grief, and many questions for God.

As I wrote in previous blogs ( Christopher, Aug. 2011, We said Goodbye for Now, Oct. 2011, and the Uniqueness of Grief, 2011)  losing Christopher is the deepest grief I have ever experienced in my life. Ever.  Through this grief I have learned a great deal.

I have learned that God remains faithful in the darkness of night when questions flood my heart. I have learned that I don’t understand all the ways of God; but that my role is to trust Him even in the midst of deep sadness and unanswered questions.

I am reminded of Christopher in a song, a picture, facial features of a stranger, a smell or even a memory that sweeps across my heart at random and inconvenient times. Thoughts of my precious nephew are simply a heartbeat away.

I now have a very eternal perspective; one foot on earth, one foot anxious to be in Heaven.  I hold a short list of offenses recognizing that life is short and uncertain. I filter my calendar to be sure that I spend time with precious friends and family; never assuming I will get the chance “tomorrow”.

I will never have the perspective that Christopher was taken from us and that all the lessons are “worth it”. NO, I would rather have the chance to make memories, laugh, and discuss the mysteries of the world with that precious young man.

But–God is faithful to give us small opportunities to find “beauty for ashes” in the midst of great grief.

It’s been quite a year.

Perhaps you, too, have gone through grief points this past year. I pray you find, as I have, that God is very very near to the brokenhearted. May you find “beauty for ashes” as you navigate that sadness’s you have faced.

Breathe.