Leaving a Legacy Worth Imitating

Field Day 2011. Groups of moms stand around and chit chat. I chase two pre-schoolers.

Mrs. Morgan asks if I can help with the name tags and I say “Sure” and thankfully the two preschoolers don’t do a dive off the bleachers while I’m helping, although trying to keep an eye on them effectively prevented any chit chat on my end.

{And I wonder why I always seem just a bit out of sync with everyone else around me.}

While the other moms stand around and talk or sit in the bleachers to watch the races, I take the preschoolers for a ride down the hill in the stroller.

When I get back to Mrs. Morgan, she says, “How does my hair look? I don’t do sweat,”   and I wonder if she is trying to say something.

I watch oldest ditch it several times doing the three legged race…they didn’t even finish! They had to have their legs untied in the middle of the field, the poor things… and then we go for stroller fun again. I walk them up the hill under the trees and marvel at the way the wind plays those leaves. It’s music to my soul.

We find a bench in the sun and I dole out trail mix, one little grubby handful at a time.

That’s when I see it, a stone under the tree. From where I sit, I read the words, “Leaving a Legacy Worthy of  Imitation.”

The graduating class of 2002 gifted it, their imprint on their alma mater.

And I know it: we are all leaving imprints.

For a moment a deep sadness washes over my heart, a grief over pieces of legacy I’m leaving that aren’t worthy. Pieces like bad choices, quick choices, thoughtless choices, selfish choices.

I could stay in this grief, remain immobilized by introspection. It’s one of my signature sins and I’ve spent years of my life doing it.

But Loving Father’s shown me a better way. “Lord,” I prayed one day, “there is so much wrong with me, I don’t even know where to start.”

“You start by getting your eyes off of what’s wrong with you and onto what’s right about Me,” came the reply.

Yes Sir.

It’s a huge jump, going from a self condemning, sin groveling person like me, who frets about all she’s messing up… to one who fixes her eyes on Jesus and basks in His utter, complete  SUFFICIENCY.

“He is able to save to the uttermost…”

Yes, it is a re-training process and a discipline to be sure, but it is gloriously possible!

After the little ones have made lunch off of trail mix, while moms still sit in bleachers, I walk over to the stone.

The smaller print on the stone reads “Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. This will allow me to say on the day of Christ that I haven’t run for nothing or worked for nothing.” Phil 2:14-16

Holding onto the word of life, the sufficiency of Christ, our completeness in Him, this is the key to shining like stars. This is the key to leaving a legacy worth imitating.

I pack up makeshift lunch and with it, pack away the groveling introspection that has become less and less appealing in my life. We walk back through the rustling trees and I run the kids down the hill in the stroller.

“Go faster, mommy!” one of them shouts and I give it my all. We pass a parent who looks at us like I’m a bit off my rocker, a little out of sync. I just smile and nod.

We make it back to the chit chatty moms and the teacher who never sweats and the scores of other parents who know nothing of a stone that reads of legacy worth leaving.

I can’t get the silly grin off my face.

Thank You, Jesus. I’m shining like a star.


7 Comments on “Leaving a Legacy Worth Imitating”

  1. Bree-Anne says:

    Thank you! Thank You! This is one of my favorite posts from you. It is so true that it is all about taking our eyes off of ourselves and our sinful failures and casting them onto Jesus and who HE is! AMEN! Push that stroller with joyful children one more time!

  2. Georgette says:

    Thank you for sharing. I feel the exact same way. Always looking around but never feeling like I fit. Like you I have learned to embrace it. Enjoy it even. Although for me it gets lonely being an only child I have always felt a desire for a connection. The Lord is my connection & I will fix my eyes on Him. Amen to enjoying our children! Sad how others don’t get that. I am blessed by you as you share your heart. Thanks again……

  3. Kristen says:

    Thank you for your words this morning. They echoed Oswald Chambers’ words to me this morning. “Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies. The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mould us.”

  4. Jodi says:

    At exactly the right time I read this. I just got up off the stairs, holding my face in my hands, heaving silent, bitter sobs at my failings at mothering my 16 year old. This was just what I needed to keep from spiraling back into the abyss of self-condemnation. I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank you God, for Arabah.

  5. Dawn Phenix says:

    wow, that was so good to read, and so personal for me. This is the place where I live too. Right now anyway. I have been fleeing it for many years, and accept your premise that-

    “He is able to save to the uttermost…”

    Yes, it is a re-training process and a discipline to be sure, but it is gloriously possible!

    thank you 8)

  6. Monica Locke says:

    I so needed this today. I am just a tired homeschooling mom/ ministers wife…and sometimes I feel like all I do is mess up and how that is going to mess up my kids:) I do want to leave a legacy of love…for God and others. So thank you for your words today:)

  7. Renee says:

    Amen, great post! LOVE IT!

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