Everyone will leave a legacy behind, what will your’s be?
I once had dreams of leaving my children a bank account full of money, a home that they could sell and split the profit, and a few family heirlooms that they could fight over. Things have changed over the last twenty years and I realize that those things simply are not important. Don’t get me wrong, at the end of this life, I hope to leave my children a little money in the bank, but it certainly is not what my goal has become.
A Legacy of Faith
This is my most fervent prayer for my children. There is nothing in this world that I want more than for them to experience a rich, deep, personal relationship with their Savior. As my children grow into their adult years, I want them to be able to look back and remember that we made it as a family because God never gave up on us. That our lives changed for the better because we followed His way and not our own. But more importantly than that, I want them to know that they can truly trust Him, not merely trust in Him. That His Word is good and that He never makes a promise to us that He does not intend to keep. I want them to know right down into their bones that in their darkest times, He is there and if they trust Him, He will lead them beside still waters.
A Legacy of Family
For many years D, myself, and the kids were quite close to my side of the family. We spent every holiday with my family, lived very close to them, talked several times a day on the phone, and my mom came to have dinner at our home at least three times a week. My brother would fly home every Fall and sometimes again in the Spring to visit and go hunting. After my mom passed, things began to change. Life gets busy, people and priorities change, families, grow apart. This is one thing that I want to try my best to avoid. I don’t want my children to only come together and have a close relationship because me or D are around to make sure it happens. I want them to understand that there is nothing in this world like remaining close with their siblings and that sometimes, often-times, family isn’t just about who shares your DNA.
A Legacy of Gratitude
There was a time when I was not very grateful for who or what God had chosen to bless me with. In fact, it was quite the opposite. For many years I took for granted the people God blessed me with and I was not very thankful for the “things” He chose to give me. I won’t get into the personal reasons why or how I formed this attitude, but let’s just say, God made sure this was one of the first things He cut right out of me. I went through one very long season where D and I experienced a lot of loss in our lives. Matthew and Sarah, our twin babies born at 23 weeks passed away due to placental abruption on 11/7/2003. Then, three years later to the day, on 11/7/2006, we unexpectantly lost my mother. Later that winter D lost his job and that May we lost our home. Soon after I sunk into a five-year period of deep, dark depression and anxiety.
I want my children to know that there isn’t a single person and thing that is in their lives, is there because God chose to place them there. That the very fact that they have air to breathe, a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and people to do life with is a huge blessing and I want them to be grateful for every second of it!
A Legacy Of Self-sufficiency
From a very young age, I spent much of the summer and fall in my Nana’s kitchen watching as she preserved all sorts of fruits, veggies, and meats to get her through the winter months. And she didn’t just think about herself, she preserved enough food to help all her six children and their families as well. Her brother owned a large farm and grew much of his own fruits and veggies, much the same as they both had when they were growing up. He’d harvest everything, load it up in his truck, and drive over to my Nana’s for her to get to work on. Everything that ever came out of my Nana’s kitchen was home-preserved, home-cooked, or home-baked goodness. She was able to do this because she learned the value of having a supply chain that was family and close friends and she also knew the incredible value of being as self-sufficient as possible. She knew full well that the only Person she needed to lean on was the Lord and everyone else was a blessing from God. I am forever grateful that she passed this legacy on to me and I now have been given the opportunity to pass that legacy on to my children.
Our little people are involved in every process of our homesteading adventure. We want them to learn that although it takes dedication, tons of hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and a whole heck of a lot of faith, it is all worth it in the end!