Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Phil. 2:3-4
I want to leave a legacy for my children.
But, the thought overwhelms me. It makes me anxious and fearful and worried that I am doing everything wrong.
I mean, I have made too many mistakes. Said too many hurtful words. Not showed up enough. Not had enough patience. Not had enough forgiveness. Not had enough compassion.
If I look at the entirety of my life, I feel like trying to leave a legacy at this point is impossible.
Oh, but something has changed within my thought process. God has turned on a light in my heart about this that will forever change my legacy making mindset.
Here's what changed it...
The life of Jesus.
Jesus left for us the HUGEST legacy of all. Not one other human has left a legacy and a hope like Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If I were to just focus on Who He is, it is overwhelming.
However, if I focus on His life and how He lived His life, something starts to unravel.
This big, huge, Legacy of a Man, was built upon his day to day life with regular, everyday people.
His friends, His disciples. Ordinary men. Several of them fisherman.
His parents. Ordinary.
His town. Small and very ordinary.
His congregation. Small.
His following during His lifetime. Small.
The people He touched and healed--the forgotten, the sick, the diseased, the hated, the sinners....
Yet, His Legacy-is HUGE. Eternal. Worldwide. Limitless. Timeless.
How could this be?
This is what I think....
He took great concern and care for the people right around him. He didn't go out trying to get famous, to make big splashes, to make a name for Himself...
He took care of the business at hand. A leper begging to be healed. A woman bleeding for years who touched the hem of His garment in a crowd of people. An adulterous woman he met at a well in Samaria. A demon possessed man. A blind man. A stubborn and hard-headed disciple [Peter].
Jesus made very personal interactions with very ordinary [and flawed] people. THAT'S what made His legacy HUGE and impactful.
Jesus spent His time well. There was enough work to be done right around Him to keep Him occupied with His calling. He was wise enough to know that the small things, are where the big things are found.
He was wise enough to know that His one on one dealings with people, would lead to the biggest change of heart. Crowds were not His thing. He knew the power of one heart changing. One heart changing creates a domino effect.
Jesus knew that everything He did in the heart of one, would have a reaction and would make a world-wide ripple for the Hope of many.
What if we had the same mindset as Jesus?
What if we looked at our legacy on a smaller level?
Instead of thinking how it will look years from now, how about if we think of how it looks TODAY?
What choices am I making today to build a legacy for my people?
What words am I saying, or not saying, to build a legacy?
What love, or lack of love am I showing?
What grace am I showing to those around me, or am I constantly demanding my own happiness to be upheld?
Who am I intentionally investing in for their betterment instead of my own?
Am I even present in my day? Or am I constantly distracted by the demands of striving for "better", or "more".
We often seek quantity over quality. This is the exact opposite of Jesus' life.
Sometimes I can totally miss out on the joy of the present when I am anxious about the many things I have to do. When I do this, I suffer. And my people suffer. An opportunity missed. Again.
Jesus had no concern over His needs. He scheduled His life around the needs of others. Every moment was filled with the showing of His love, compassion, joy, healing, ministering, teaching of others.
That's what leaving a legacy looks like.
How are you treating your people at home? They are the ones that you are leaving a legacy for.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
Be a giver.
With your people.
The impact will be greater than you can ever imagine.
** I finished this post and had to come back and add this. As I wrote this, I kept thinking of my mother. She is leaving a huge legacy behind. She's not famous. She's not well-known. She's not a professional anything. But, she's present. Always. I know that I can call her at any time of day and she is there for me. She will drop whatever she is doing to be with me or help me. [tears] Yesterday, I casually hinted that I was craving her cooking. She told me to come over tonight and she will cook anything I want.[I cannot wait!] My mother knows her place, and she knows it well. She takes good care of her people. The ones right in front of her. The needs are many right in her very own family. She's making an impact on my life and the life of my children. What a legacy.
Oct 18, 2015
"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Some days I have about twelve topics for posts that I have running through my little brain. I will write down notes and scriptures to remind me when I finally get to write. Sometimes I even write on the mirror [with a dry erase marker] in my bathroom as I am putting on my makeup. Good stuff happens right there at my bathroom vanity. Who knew such spiritual things could happen as you apply your mascara?
Usually, when I do finally sit down and write, the Lord leads me in an entirely different direction. Which always makes me think, "Oh, Okay, Lord. I get it. That whole lesson I was going to write about wasn't for anybody but myself. Right? Got it."
Well, this post is for all of us, I suppose.
My daughter and I were out walking recently in our neighborhood. It was early in the morning and there was a slight chill in the Autumn air. I had worn my jacket and had reminded her several times to bring hers as well. She told me for the fourteenth time that she would not need a jacket. Okay then.
Five minutes or less into our walk, she said she was cold. I turned my head so she couldn't see me furiously roll my eyes. A few times. [yep, sure did]
I knew she would get cold. I even told her so.
We were already a good distance from the house and I did not want to go back to the house to get her coat. Really, just because I wanted to prove a point. I was right. She was wrong. She needed to learn a lesson.
Really mature, aren't I.
A few seconds after I had these less than graceful thoughts, I heard this scripture in my heart, "'The Son of Man did not come to serve, but to be served."
Seriously, it came like a bolt of lightening to my heart. UGHHHH.
I knew what I needed to do. But, I didn't want to do.
Again, I hear Words straight from scripture to my [shivering] heart, "I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." Romans 7:15
Paul wrote those words in the book of Romans. Paul gets me!! Listen to the scripture following this one.."For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18b
So, there I was walking with my daughter. I knew she was cold. I knew I should give her my jacket even though I didn't think she deserved it. But, I didn't want to give it to her. I wanted to teach her a lesson. Furthermore, I didn't want to be cold!
I pictured Jesus in my head. I pictured us walking together and what He would do if I were to get cold.
It was pretty clear what He would do. He would strip Himself of every piece of clothing to make me warm.
Am I a follower of Jesus? I sure want to be.
So, if I want to follow Him, I must do what He would do.
Paul then goes on to say in the book of Romans this little ditty:
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:14
I took off my jacket. The wind ripped right through my shirt .
My daughter was surprised that I handed it right over to her.
She smiled hesitantly and said, "Wow, Momma. Thank you so much."
My daughter learned a sweeter lesson than my words ever could have taught her that brisk morning.
She learned what serving looks like. When it's not convenient. When it's not what you want to do. When it's going to make you feel uncomfortable.
Serving is putting another's well-being above your own. Every single time.
Whew. It is not always easy.
However, I have learned a secret in serving others. Want to hear it?
The more we serve others, the easier it gets. The sweeter it gets.
There is also another miraculous thing that happens when we serve others....
We are served by God.
Here is what I mean by this...
He pours into us when we pour out. Every single time!
One Summer I was struggling with panic and fear really, really bad. I had told my husband that I was going to get back on medicine although I did not want to. I was devastated that I was going to have to take medicine again. During this time an opportunity came for me to serve with a dear friend at a place in town with underprivileged children.
We poured our hearts into these precious souls that Summer. It was life-changing. More for us than for them.
At the end of the Summer, I realized that I had not had ONE fearful moment. NOT ONE. Y'all, this was HUGE for me. HUGE.
I was so caught up with helping these precious children that I didn't have a moment to think about myself and my suffering.
God had poured every last ounce of refreshment back into me that I had poured out that Summer.
Not only that, but at the end of that Summer, a miracle occurred. Something that my husband and I had been praying about for YEARS came into fruition. In an amazing way.
Do you see this?
We were created to serve. When we serve, we are fulfilling God's design for us!
As we serve others, He serves us.
His way is the complete opposite of the world's teaching. The world tells us to put ourselves first.
God tells us that in order to be great, we must be a servant.
I love the way this looks. I picture us bent down washing feet, just as Jesus washed His disciple's feet.
Jesus, the Son of God, a servant. It makes no sense, does it?
Oh, but that's why it's so miraculous.
I challenge all of us to be intentional about serving.
Look for ways every second to serve in what you are doing.
As I was brushing my teeth yesterday, [again in my bathroom], I was thinking of a way to serve my husband in a way that would bless him. Want to know what I did? I cleaned the goo off of his electric toothbrush. Yes, gross, but true. I don't think he has noticed yet, but that is not that point. ;)
As I was making my breakfast that same morning, I noticed there was only enough milk for one bowl of cereal. I wanted that cereal! [If you know me, you know it's true] I used that as an opportunity to serve Lem. He got the bowl of cereal. He never even knew I had left him the milk. [although I really wanted to tell him how I had served him!]
But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Matthew 6:3
Warning: Serving does not come naturally, as Paul says in Romans. However, the more we use this serving muscle, the stronger it gets.
Let's go and serve. What do you say?
buying more milk today,