1 a legacy from a great aunt: bequest, inheritance, heritage, endowment, gift, patrimony, settlement, birthright; formal benefaction.
2 a legacy of the wars: consequence, effect, upshot, spin-off, repercussion, aftermath, by-product, result.
There is more to this than I once thought. Things. Money. The farm. The company. All that stuff does mean a hill of beans really. But not really. Things, money, the farm, the company have provided us with a lovely full life and speaking for my three sons, they would like to spend time on the farm long after we are gone.
In the past 10 years or so I have decided that that stuff is not as important as other things. Things that we can’t necessarily touch or feel. Our story. It is the only thing that remains of us truly. Who we are in our soul.
What about a Spiritual legacy? That is important to me. Passing on a positive, affirming legacy. The great news is we can all do that whether or not we were passed a positive, affirming one. Whether you know it or not, we are leaving a legacy. What does yours look like?
Everything we think, say and do contribute to our legacy.
Good or bad, a heritage is passed on to us from our parents. They were left with a heritage. Their parents were and so on. The way our grandparents raised our parents has a huge impact on who we become. Knowing what they know, they raise us in accordance. Realizing the environment certainly has an impact, I believe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Usually. We are profoundly affected by their behaviors and history.
How did they treat others?
How did they express emotions? With thought? Or did they just react?
How did they looked at the world? Did they look at the world with open eyes? Did they look at the world through a pair of cynical eyes?
Were they racist? Were they tolerant?
How did they show anger? How did they show joy?
Were they faithful to God? What/who were their idols? Money? Power? Alcohol? Materialism? Themselves?
Did they like what they did for a living? Did they complain about it? Or was it a positive experience for them?
Were they negative and griping? Or did they usually find the good?
Were they kind to others? How so? Were they giving to the needy?
I think you get the message.
The answers to those and many more questions give us an idea of who we become as adults. We are “marked”.
Just because we are passed something doesn’t mean we have to pass it to our children. I was passed many wonderful dishes in my day but I never liked canned spinach (still don’t). It made my stomach turn. When they passed the green glob to me, I said, “No, Thank You.” But I had to eat it anyway. But when it came to raising my children, I chose not to pass them canned spinach.
We have that same prerogative with all the other heritage dishes that are passed our way.
Keep His decrees and command, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:40
How do we do it?
We just have to claim it. It is ours for the taking. As always, when we pray for something that God is just dying for us to ask for, it comes full on. We just have to ask for the guidance.
This has become a vital issue for my husband and me. And as far as I am concerned it is the only issue. Am I being the mom, friend, sister, spouse, cousin that God created me to be? And if I can get to heaven and God says to me, ” Well done my good and faithful servant.” then I know that I have left a legacy worthwhile.
It’s all about intentional, prayerful, thoughtful living.