Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#37 - What is #1 in Leaving a Lasting Legacy?

Good morning. It's so fun to be a parent. Tyler and I walked in to "the boys" room this morning, as we frequently do... just to look at him. He was face-planted in his bed with his butt in the air. He is so funny! His sleeping positions make me laugh. And now... as we speak, it's funny to hear him... he just started moving around in his bed. He's playing with some toys and listening to himself make noises. It's so funny! He totally makes me laugh!! What joy a child can bring. 
Proverbs 20:11 - Even a child is known by his acts, whether [or not] what he does is pure and right.
Proverbs 31:29 - Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all.
So... as I was reading this morning, as these verses jumped out at me, I felt like I had a few obvious observations. Like... if a child is known by his acts... what does that say about me? I am known by MY acts. Right or wrong, people look at me and judge me by what I do. People judge me by what I accomplish or don't accomplish. Am I responding in a situation or "off the cuff" reacting? Like a child is known by his or her actions, I am known by my actions also. What do I want to leave for this world to remember me by? 

Tyler & I have talked and thought about this. We know that we will one day, in a ripe old age, leave this world and go home to be with Jesus. Well... when that day comes, and we are home with Jesus, what will we have left for the world to remember us by? What will we have left for our great, great grandchildren to remember us by? Will we leave a lasting legacy? 

I have heard a lot lately of interviews done with older people in their 70's, 80's & 90's. One of their big thoughts & questions is, "What is the lasting effect that I have had? Has my life counted for anything? Am I leaving a mark?" I think of this because as Tyler & I have talked about it, we reflect on what we know of our great grandparents... or great great grandparents, and it's very little if anything. I'm sure they did good things, but I do not know them nor do I know what they did or if they did anything great. Tyler and I want to be the great-great grandparents that stories are told about... in year 2190 when little Gracie Jo is sitting on her mom's lap, she looks at the picture above the fireplace and asks her mom and dad again.... "Mommy, tell me some of the stories about Great, Great, Great Grandma Amy & Grandpa Tyler. Tell us again about the things they did... about the people they helped and how they changed lives. Tell us one of the stories about them. Please mommy, please." I want to leave a mark that meant something. 

SO... that was my "obvious" take-away... and what jumped out at me. BUT... that was what I saw on the surface. As I started asking the Holy Spirit... he took me a bit deeper and in a completely different direction. To do virtuously, nobly & well... what does that take? Let me share with a story....
A former president was interviewed. As he opened up about some mistakes he had made, some very key factors were revealed in why some catastrophic mistakes occurred. He talked of working late hours, of sometimes staying up through the night to try to handle some of the major decisions that were needed to be made. He made decision after decision, some nights only going off of 2, 3 and 4 hours of sleep. During these critical times some of the major mistakes took place. The reporter asked him if he could change anything, what it would be. He said one thing. One word. One activity. He would change one thing. Sleep. At the time of his most critical points of decision, he messed up partially because he was not alert, he was not sharp. He messed up because he was running on empty. He was running on lack of sleep. He tried to accomplish too much and it caused mistakes. 
There is a great tip to be learned in all that. Accomplishing is important... but rest plays a valuable role in accomplishment. As I was reflecting on this, the Holy Spirit said to me... 
People need permission to take a break. Permission to rest. Resting is important. Some people are too tired, they just need to rest.If the enemy can just get you to KEEP going, he knows when you are tired, he can get you to sin. He wants you working off of fatigue. 
I know for me, firsthand, this is the case. When I am tired, physically and mentally fatigued, I am walking in a danger zone of sin. I need to take a nap. 

So... if it was a Word you needed today... if you are running on empty, take it as a word to you! Take it as the Holy Spirit talking to you. Today, when you get home from work, do something different. Go take a nap (and don't feel GUILTY about it!)

Go take a NAP! There is something not only refreshing about it, but freeing! Especially when you do it GUILT-FREE! NAP! NAP! NAP! 

Do you want to leave a lasting impression on this world, leave a legacy that is a positive one, that generations to come remember you? To do so may mean taking a nap, getting your rest. Or, like the president... you may leave a lasting impression but it was due to the mistakes you made because you were too busy to sleep. Don't make the same mistake and be remembered for your major pitfalls. Get your rest and let the Lord lead you to accomplish what you were called to do! Leave a lasting legacy and start today by going to take a nap!

OK... I'm going to go give the boy his bottle and take a NAP! :) YIPPEE!


Kimberly Bestul said...

great post A.J. ur words r ALWAYS an encouragement to me. :D

Amy J. McCart said...

Thanks Cambodina! :) Mwaaa! :)

Deb Ellis said...

I love this post Amy. It reminded me of a sister in Christ who lost her mother this year. I didn't know her mother by she is one of the most awesome Christian women I know and I sent my condolences to her and she followed up with a Thank You letter to the many, many friends that emailed her their condolences and as I read the beautiful letter she sent, it brought tears to my eyes because I was so touched by all the things her mother did to serve others and touch the lives of other people. She left a true LEGACY. This helped me to realize why her daughter (my beautiful sister in Christ) was so totally amazing and awesome.
I really want to leave a legacy. I have thought so many times about this, and wandered what people would remember (if anything) about me if I went to be with the Lord. I'm not afraid of dying, but my heart just yearns to make a difference, to touch people's lives. I don't want to be that person people remember who 'worked hard - long hours' but never really had an outreach in the community.
I have taught 3rd grade sunday school clas for several years (not sure how many) and I do feel like that is a great outreach, but I want more than that. I want to be known as a faithful servant, someone who gives the best of my crop and is gracious.
Anyways, this was an awesome post. I wish my friend Cindi could see it, because I think she would be blessed.
Cindi, if you see it, you have a legacy and you are amazing!

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