Saturday, May 10, 2014

Leaving A Legacy

Mother's Day is here  That means the stores are stocked with a wide variety of cards for the choosing: some funny, some generic, some sappy, some heartfelt.  Flowers are neatly displayed.  All the ads on my email and Facebook pages have suddenly turned into billboards for flowers, restaurants, and jewelry.

Don't get me wrong.  Mother's deserve to be celebrated.  It's by far the hardest job I've ever had.  Yet I can't help but feel that there's more.

At the end of the day when the flowers are wilted, the meals are over, and the jewelry is gingerly placed in the jewelry box until the next special occasion, I want more.  I want something that money can't buy.

I want to know that I'm leaving a legacy worth leaving.

I recently sat in a large sanctuary filled to the brim with people there to mourn the loss of an incredible woman.  The sheer number of people there was a testimony to the impact one life can have.  I watched as her son got up to speak about her, to tell of her love for everyone she came in contact with.  And then I watched the impossible - her husband of 54 years get up to preach her funeral.  Proverbs 31 kept coming to mind: "her children rise up and call her blessed", "let her own works praise her in the gates".  This was true of her.  I remember having conversations with her where she would talk about how she was raised, what it meant to be a wife and mother.  I always left feeling refreshed.  She had the innate capacity to breathe life into those around her.

She left a legacy worth leaving.

We'll all leave a legacy.  Those who do nothing leave a legacy.

It's leaving one worth leaving that matters.

And let's just be real, there are days that I feel like I've been sucker punched in the gut and that the legacy I hope to leave is nowhere in sight.  Motherhood can do that.  All the early morning hullabaloo just trying to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door on time.  The remembering to do nightly reading, sign their school folders, and teach them how to count currency... accurately.  It's running late only to find that the baby's diaper has leaked and all the bottles are dirty.  It's being tested with open defiance and having the stand down of the century until he/she decides to comply.  It's being told "I wish I never had a mom" and catching the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes until a more private moment to shed them.  It's standing my ground with discipline and feeling like I'm losing ground all the while.

It's enduring loss after loss and hoping, nay praying, that my faith will not only sustain me but leave a lasting impression on their tender little hearts.  That they will see faith in action.  That they will see all my flaws and imperfections as their mom and love me in spite of them.  That they will hear me apologize, rest in my embrace, and grant and accept forgiveness.

Those are the things worth leaving behind.

I want them to know that they're loved beyond comprehension.  I want them to know that from the moment I saw two pink lines that they were loved.  That I loved growing as they grew inside me.  That I loved watching my stomach move as they kicked and turned and had the hiccups.  I want them to know that I loved delivering them despite the pain and recovery.  That I loved feeding them and changing them and rocking them and singing to them.  I want them to know that on the hardest of days when we're butting heads and tears are shed that I love them... that my love isn't dependent on their behavior or performance.

I want them to know that I love their daddy.  I want them to see us laugh and giggle, to kiss in the kitchen and stand at the door giving goodbye hugs and kisses as he leaves for work.  I want them to know we bicker and argue and love each other all the same.  I want them to see commitment first hand.  I want them to understand mutual respect and submission.  I want them to see faithfulness.  And I want them to know that one of the best things we'll ever give them is our marriage and love for one another.

I want them to know these things so that in turn they'll understand just how much their Creator loves them.  I want them to know and see and live in the understanding of just how loved they are.  That all that I've sacrificed to be their mom is nothing compared to what Christ has sacrificed for us.

I want to guide them straight to the Father's feet when their life turns upside down.  And it will.  It always does.  More importantly, I want them to have seen me do the same thing.  I want them to have seen love in action.  I want them to see what caring for the widows and the orphans means because we're doing it (I guess it's official now, we turned in the adoption paperwork this week).  I want them to have seen me get slayed time and time again and yet say "Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him." Job 13:15.  I want them to remember #3 and #4 and to glean from their losses that He is faithful.  So faithful.

I want this to be my legacy.  I want them to know their mom was faithful.

I don't care if they can say they had the best house, clothes, toys and gadgets.  I don't care if they can say that they had cool parents and fully funded college accounts.  It doesn't matter one iota if they remember perfectly decorated rooms yet missed the whole of life.

I want them to remember learning at the feet of their momma.  I want them to know how to cook and clean and sort laundry.  I want them to remember baking together, family walks and movie nights.  I want them to remember holding hands in church and singing songs together around the piano.  I want them to remember losses and how they drove us straight to the foot of the cross.  I want them to remember praying over meals and for ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars as they fly past us.  I want them to remember being corrected and disciplined and come out on the other side of it saying "Thank you for loving me enough to correct me."  I want them to remember family devotions and us sitting on the sidelines cheering for them.

I simply want them to know they're loved.

I want these things, yet I also know wanting is insignificant if not coupled with work.

When I'm in the trenches or on top of the mountain, may I always be found working.... faithfully serving my family.  And one day, just maybe, they will be able to rise up and call me blessed.

Now that's a legacy worth leaving.

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