Legacy

When I attend a funeral and listen to the the words people select to describe their loved one, or when I read an eulogy or obituary, I wonder, “what will they say about me?” We probably all do that to some extent. We may even think, ‘well of course they say nice things, no one is going to tell you what a jerk the dead guys was.…’ I always find it hits me during those moments and I walk away telling myself to be conscience of my actions, words and example and conduct myself in a way I would want to be remembered. I try to carry those thoughts with me… ‘what will they say about me? how will others remember me? what is my legacy?’ With the hustle and bustle of every day life, I soon forget. I need reminders. 

I had a reminder a couple days ago when I came across the below prayer:

Lord, remind me of the legacy that I am building every day. May my actions and reactions never betray the woman You’ve called me to be. I pray that I am known for laughter, perspective, discernment, fun, faithfulness, integrity, and genuineness. Keep these characteristics always in the front of my mind so as life marches on, I stay the course toward the legacy I so desire. Lord, more than anything, may the message of my life make You and those I love, smile. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Amen! It is within the every day moments, amidst the hustle and bustle that we define ourselves. I can only hope that those that know me best would label me with some of those characteristics. In reality though, I know I have much work to do to live up to those qualities. And it extends beyond just those that know me best. I want the acquaintance, the stranger, the service attendant, my colleagues, and those in passing to know me for those qualities.

None of this is for status or popularity. Rather, to know I am living a life true to that of a good Christian, a good mother, a good wife, a good friend. As a mama now, my legacy means more than ever. Not for any fame or recognition, but for the values I instill in my daughter and the example that will be her guide. I can’t shape her with words alone, I have to illustrate love, compassion, loyalty, integrity, and faith. She needs to witness what it means to be a wife, a mother, a friend.

I want to hide my ugly flaws from her. My insecurity, my judgement, my suspicion, my negativity. Right now, I am the most amazing person in her life. As she gets older and is able to interpret behavior, words, tone, actions and the like, she’ll identify an imperfect mother. I’m OK with that. I want her to know there is no ideology of a perfect person. We all have flaws. At the core of it however, I want her to see a mother who loved deeply, gave more than she took, had faith, and sought positiveness in every situation. Again, I have some work to do.

I received another reminder. One of my colleagues posts daily quotes in our company’s virtual chatter feed. Today’s quote:

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. – Thomas Jefferson

Actions speak louder than words. I do believe that. I’ve been blessed to have some truly genuine souls come into my world. Individuals I deeply respect and am in awe of. They see the best in others and are a friend to everyone. I see these qualities in their actions. They inspire me.

Going forward, not only do I want to work at those qualities, but I want to have the strength to acknowledge those qualities in others. May I find the words to tell someone they inspire me and why. May I find the words to tell them why I appreciate their friendship. May I lift them up and recognize them.

For Christmas this year, I purchased a book for Miss Connie, our nieces, and our nephew: The Little Girl/Boy Who Lost Her/His Name. I loved the concept. A customized book built around their name (https://www.lostmy.name/). One day she wakes up and can’t find her name, so despite her fears, she embarks on a journey to find her name. Along the way she meets many creatures, all who have a unique quality, and all who are kind enough to share a letter of their name to help her discover hers. It will be a few years before Miss Connie realizes the story is based on her name and I look forward to her solving that puzzle.

When you order this book, you have the option to include a customized message on the first page. For each of the books I ordered, I included my hope that they would always be kind and enjoy the adventure.

As I review this post, I realize my theme or point is not clearly defined… the ramblings of a new mama who is emotional with hope and foggy with a head cold…

Be kind, people. Our world, our society needs that more than ever.

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