Leaving a lasting legacy.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on a huge project for my husband, his siblings, our children, and for generations to come.
It is a project that I have been wanting to do for the past couple of years...ever since my father-in-law passed away.
The project? Going through old photos...sorting, adding names, scanning and placing in a digital album...for all to enjoy.
What a wonderful look into the past.
Many of the photos were tagged with simple inscriptions such as "Aunt Mae" or "Cousin Severt" or similar bits of information. Several photos were not marked at all.
To me, there is nothing sadder than a photo without a name. A forgotten soul...someone here...and then gone.
And so...the mystery...and the scavenger hunt began.
What started out as organizing photo's turned into a mystery...a treasure hunt...the creation of a genealogical chart...the perfect project for me!
I have done genealogy for many years...on my side of the family. A family that I am familiar with...and have relatives still living to help with. However, my husband's side of the family is a whole different story.
Of course, I had a starting spot so I just worked backward...filling in the missing parts as I went along.
I have searched census records, marriage records, birth and death records...and with the little bits of information that I gleaned from the photos...I now have a genealogical report that goes back several generations...complete with many photos.
Each of these people have made a huge impact on my husband's life. They are his role models...they are the souls who have shaped and molded him into the amazing person that he is today!
Not only have they influenced my husband's life, they have also shaped, molded and influenced generation after generation of children.
They are strong individuals who have endured many tragedies...and deaths due to The Depression, typhoid, scarlet fever and polio.
They have experienced war...WWI, WWII, The Korean War...and many others.
They have demonstrated and taught values such as. Self-reliance Pride in a job well done The importance of family The value of working hard and going to bed tired The importance of helping a neighbor in need The reality of "If you want something, you work hard for it" The concept of being humble The effects of loving one another The importance of family And above all...Putting your faith in God and God alone...not in others...not in yourself...but in God!
This has been a wonderful time of reflection...of stepping back into the past...of prioritizing what is truly important in my life.
It's also been a time of self-evaluation... what type of legacy am I leaving behind? What am I teaching the children of my generation...what am I leaving for them to pass on to future generations?
Am I leaving behind the things that were taught to me? Am I passing on things that are important to me? A heart for children, a thirst to lead children to Christ, a burden for those less fortunate than myself, a heart for those hurting or struggling, a desire to encourage, lift up and lend a hand to those faithfully serving the Lord...am I leaving those values behind for my children?
Am I leaving these values behind with the children that I teach? Am I leaving them behind for future generations?
And then, as I watch...my own children...I see them taking on many of the same roles that I have taken on over the years. I see them displaying many of the same interests, passions, and missions.
It is then that I realize that...the legacy continues.
When I see my grown children teaching their children...as well as other children... when I see them serving in the community... when I watch them helping those who are less fortunate...when I see them reaching out to the hurting or lost...I see the legacy...being played out through them...right in front of my eyes!
During this time of "world on pause" take some time to meditate on what you want to leave behind for future generations.
Slow down...prioritize...work on the values that you want to pass on...the ideals...the things that you want future generations to remember.
Realize that we will not be remembered by future generations for the job position that we held...we will not be remembered for our social status...we will not be remembered for how many activities we sponsored...we will not be remembered for the huge services we orchestrated, we will not be remembered for working every single moment to keep kids and parents involved and entertained.
The THINGS we do will not be remembered by future generations the VALUES we instill will!
Let your words...and your actions lead you! These are the things that will make lasting results!
Be kind, be patient, be strong, be humble, be courageous, be faithful, be compassionate, work hard, love your neighbors, and share the message of Christ every chance you get.
These things are legacy makers!
Have a blessed day!
I have been praying for each of you!