In many of the circles I find myself, I often hear the importance of leaving a legacy. A sweet friend, Sherry Lee, recently said, "The legacy you leave is the life you lead."
How so very true.
Recently, at our little lemonade stand, one of the girls' customers was a local man. I didn't immediately recognize him. But after taking a few glasses of lemonade, he asked me if the man who had once lived here had died.
Well, yes, that would be my father.
(Some of you may remember, my dad passed away about a month before we traveled to China for Jonathan and Josiah. We have moved to his little farm and are now in his house.)
When I told the man that he was my daddy, he stuck his hand out to shake mine and began to tell me how wonderful daddy was and how much he had thought of him. He explained what an impact he had on his life and how much he had always respected my father.
In his words: "If there were more men like your father, this world would be a much, much better place."
What a blessing to hear those words and also for my daughters to hear them, too.
Actually, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. On many, many occasions, people around here have told me and/or my husband the same type of thing. Dozens of people have made a point to tell how much they appreciated his prayers or his concern for missions. Several who knew him before he became a Believer, have said the same words--what a drastic difference in his life before he came to know Christ compared to after he knew the Lord.
Now don't get me wrong, Daddy was not perfect. He had his struggles just like everyone else. But what I often had referred to as "Daddy is mellowing out" was really Daddy being sanctified. The Christian will always persevere bc God is faithful to continue the work He began.
Truly, my father left a legacy. But it was really the Lord leaving His mark through one of his children.
I want to leave a legacy to my family. I pray I will persevere til my dying breath serving and ministering to my husband and children and to my husband's parents and maybe even to my grandchildren one day.
I also pray that my legacy will extend beyond my family, like my daddy's does. I pray that I will, like the Proverbs 31 woman, reach out to others with wisdom and kindness.
Like Paul said, "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us" (Philippians 3:17).
We are to keep our eyes on those who walk according to the example of Paul (who imitated Christ). Should we no less strive to be one who also can be watched?
Will one day someone reach out to shake your daughter's or son's hand bc of the legacy you left behind?
I know one thing. My daughters were reminded of more than lemonade and marketing skills that day. Long after the change has been counted and the cups put away, they will remember that their paw paw prayed for people and encouraged them in this weary life, and more important than all of this, he pointed them to Christ.
What better legacy is there?