Leaving a legacy….
Yesterday we laid my grandmother to rest.
Today I am still mourning and celebrating her life. There is question that I keep asking myself “is everything I am doing in my life worthwhile?” Yes, I feel busy and productive and I feel like I get lots of stuff done but is it truly worthwhile? Or even deeper, is it Kingdom building and does it have eternal outcomes?
My grandma lived a very modest life in earthly terms. Many years of her life were hard and a struggle. She told me stories of when they only had enough money to have bread and milk, they would put slices of bread in a bowl and pour milk over it, that was dinner. She worked hard over the 75 years of her life, she raised 3 kids retired from a factory job and then worked another 22 years for another business. When she passed away this past week she was living in a 700 square foot home. In a worldly view she was not ‘rich’ and she was not living the American Dream of all the “things” we all wish and hope for.
But she was rich, because she was living a life committed to the Lord and full of spunk. She loved Jesus with all her heart and she had a feisty side to her that you sometimes didn’t want to cross. Many times you didn’t need to wonder what she was thinking because she would let you know. You also didn’t have to wonder if she was committed to the Lord, she would let you know that as well. At her funeral her pastor shared how she would sit down next to people on a bench outside of Wal Mart and ask them if they knew Jesus. He said she didn’t’ have a shameful bone in her body about sharing who Jesus was and what He did for her in her life.
I found a book in her house while looking for photos….in this book she had wrote:
My hands were made so I could help my neighbor.
My eyes were made so I could read His word.
My feet were made to walk after Him.
She lived this out. At a very young age she took my dad in, her brother, and raised him as her son. She would always be the first to help her neighbor or friend. Her eyes read His word and her lips prayed His word. Her feet walked after Him. She has told me for years that she was ready to go when Jesus was ready to take her.
She was the matriarch of our family. She constantly tried to get the family together for meals, to celebrate graduations, and to just stay connected as a family. She was the leader, or at least that is the way I saw her. She loved her family with a vengeance and she loved her friends the same way. She was committed to her church and church family and was constantly talking about prayer chains and church gatherings.
She left a legacy. She knew what was important and this is what she focused on, all the “other” stuff just didn’t matter. She loved her family, she loved her church, she loved her Jesus and she had whole lot of spunk to go with it. She had fun with her friends and coworkers and she made me laugh up until the very end. She is not leaving a big inheritance, or big house or fancy stuff now that she passed. What she is leaving is a legacy. She is leaving us with more important stuff like loving your family, loving your friends, working hard, taking care of your neighbor, reading HIs word and walking in His way. She is leaving us with the courage to have a feisty side and to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong and to not be afraid to apologize when you get it wrong. She is leaving us with memories and a legacy that are way more important than “things”.
I want to leave a legacy. I want to make sure my time and all the work and busyness that I have is important and worthwhile. That it is kingdom building and life giving. I want to raise children that will know and want to follow that legacy. I want to allow my kids to have that feisty side without being ashamed or worried what people will say about it. I want to have fun and laugh and enjoy life. I want to a leave a legacy that at my funeral they say “she had a feisty side but she loved people, she loved the Lord, she was committed to her family and not only her words but her actions showed it”
Isn’t it interesting how death causes us to have perspective? Or maybe it’s not interesting at all, maybe it’s actually part of the plan of how God speaks to us, even convict us. How he uses death to remind us of what’s important or more importantly how important He is. My grandma is whole and healed and singing and dancing in Heaven I have zero doubt of that….here on earth she has left a legacy.
Leaving a legacy….what legacy are you leaving? Or maybe a better question is what legacy do you want to leave? If you aren’t living the life of a legacy you want to leave, today may be the day to make the changes. Do it, make the changes. Even I have some changes I am making since her passing. We have to be ready, just as my grandma was, she constantly said “Raelenna I am ready when Jesus is ready to take me.”
I would love to know your thoughts on what legacy you want to leave.