It’s been a bit since I’ve written in Love’s Legacy, not out of ‘writer’s block’ or lack of desire, but because my house has been flooding repeatedly! You see, we have needed a new roof for some time and have been awaiting a local roofing company to replace the tired, damaged and missing shingles post Hurricane Irma, September 2017. In the meantime, a lot has transpired in my home but a total roof replacement has been a very slow process indeed. To add to this whole sordid affair, it is now our rainy season here in Florida with only a partial roof replacement completed at this time. Conclusion: When it rains, it pours…IN MY HOUSE!
With that said, I have had some time to think about what I’d like to write. I’ve also had time to think about what’s important to me. My family, church family, friends and, yes, my home are all very important to me. The property itself is a beautiful parcel of land or it was prior to being water-logged. The tree and garden lined landscape sustained a fair amount of hurricane damage. It will take quite a bit of time, money and elbow grease to restore it to its original beauty. My approximate 4000 sq. ft. homestead and surrounding property has a small lake across the street and Shingle Creek borders the serene backyard which resembles more of a state park than someone’s yard. The home itself is not exquisite but it is something that I’d like to bequeath to my children and their descendants. I’m hoping restoration is possible.
In the last eight months, I have seen just how temporal these beautiful things are in life. They are here today, gone tomorrow. Without constant care and maintenance, they begin to crumble and fail. Sometimes, even with the best of care, the storms of life beat them down till there is nothing left. How depressing, you say! Ah, yes but I’m not finished yet! There is still hope of inheritance.
So, what kind of inheritance should we leave to our loved ones and their descendants? There is nothing wrong with estate planning and bequesting money and/or property to those left behind. It can be one of life’s greatest blessings OR a family’s most devastating curse. What if we were to birth something far more valuable?What if we were to impart our knowledge, share our skills and/or reflect Christ’s character traits while we are still on this side of eternity? That way, when we do pass into glory, our friends, loved ones and even strangers will have inherited something that “ the thief”…can’t…” steal and kill and destroy“. (John 10:10 paraphrased)
What kind of things am I talking about? If you are unsure, you can start by doing a little self- examination! I would challenge you to do the following, especially if you are a ‘family historian’ or genealogy buff. We will discuss why in just a bit.
First and foremost, I would encourage you to take a piece of paper and a writing implement (what you use is of no importance). Make three columns and labeled of them as follows:
- Character Trait
Next, name at least three things under each category that you would like to share with others. For example, let’s take something from your knowledge base.
You may know stories about your family that need to be passed on because, if not shared, they will go on to glory with you! If you know the Lord, share your faith! That’s a legacy with an eternal inheritance for all who choose to accept the offer. The inheritance never runs out, never expires and can never be destroyed!
What about skill? Do you sing, draw, play a sport, cook or fish? What is your line of work? Are you an Executive, a factory worker, a tradesman? Everybody has a gifting or a skill they can share. This is where it is okay to say something GOOD about yourself! Flaunt away! Share at least THREE things with others. If you have to start with one gifting then so be it but list something, even if it’s something you once did but no longer can do on your own. There’s a saying that goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.” You can always consider teaching the skill with help. The actual quote is this:
He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches.” George Bernard Shaw
This is a home made Christmas ornament that my daughter, Elayna, made in preschool. She has since gone to be with the Lord but someone cared enough to teach her this craft and I’ve had it for about 25 yrs. I still hang it on the tree every Christmas.
Our last ‘legacy-leaver’ is character trait. How does one leave a character trait, you might ask? Why, you live it out. Plain and simple. You live it out in your everyday life as a witness, a model, or as a testimony to a changed life in the Lord. Even if you are not a person of faith, you can model love, kindness, goodness, selflessness, and generosity for family, friends and strangers alike. What better legacy than to leave than one of love; a genuine, abiding, unconditional love for all.
So as you can see, leaving an inheritance, or even more so, a legacy of love, which transcends time and place, is of utmost importance as part of our purpose here in this lifetime. That’s why we want to take a personal inventory. We want to know our strengths and/or gifts so we can leave the best of ourselves with our loved ones when our Spirits are with God. Whether it’s family stories, the family business or the faith of our fathers, let’s take the time to share all that we are and all that we have with a world waiting for hope, acceptance and love. And the greatest of these…is love.
Till we meet again!