Thankfulness: Legacy

“Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many” Hebrews 12:15.


He sets the lonely in families.

Legacy.  It wasn’t until I became I mom that the word began to overwhelm me.

There is something safe about receiving a legacy–at least it was safe for me. I had a grandma that passed on a love for good food.  A grandpa that modeled selflessness and steadfastness.   A mom who taught me to suffer well.  A dad who taught me never to scream; problems need a wise response, not a reaction.  My sisters helped me take into adulthood the necessary understanding that it’s not all about me. If you dig deeper into my heritage you’ll find Anabaptists (which I’m sure accounts for my feisty contrariness and intensity), missionaries, ranchers, builders, farmers, hymn-singers, and creative innovators.  Everyday my legacy whispers to me, “Go make your life your count!  We believe in you!”

Conversely, there is something humbling about providing a legacy.  The well-springs of my heart never seem deep enough to pass along the legacy I want to leave for my children.  Instead, they get the legacy that is.  This legacy my children receive from me is flawed and fragile.  As my oldest prepares to leave for college, I find myself melancholy with want that there would be more time to invest in giving him the legacy I wish for him.

Legacies are no respecters of time and calendars; of to-do lists and distractions.  Legacies are ever-collecting the memories of the moment, compiling them for storage in the archives.  Legacies don’t wait until you get it right; everyday is showtime for them.  Do not be fooled:  “Tomorrow” is the enemy of your legacy; it must be seized today!

In this season of disciplined thanksgiving, I am thankful that grace speaks into all the corners of  the legacy my children will receive from me.  I’m thankful that grace always compels a hug at evening’s end, no matter how difficult the day has been.  I’m thankful for grace to laugh at and learn from our mistakes.  I’m thankful for the grace t0 tolerate a lousy meal just to enjoy the company it would provide in its sharing.  I’m thankful for the grace to try again–happy is the home where do-overs come in unlimited supply! I’m thankful we have learned to shout “grace, grace!” to each other.

Don’t wait!  Today, make an intentional investment in the legacy of your children.  Speak grace into each moment.  Hold hands with happiness.  Walk steadily with faith, hope and love.