i know nothing, except...

[Posted exactly one year before Hannah was born!]

i want to leave a legacy 
how will they remember me? 
did i choose to love? 
did i point to You enough 
to make a mark on things? 
i wanna leave an offering, 
a child of mercy and grace 
who blessed Your name 
i want to leave a legacy. 
[nichole nordeman] 

it hit me hard a couple of weeks ago that i'm getting older. i know that i turned 27 this year, but i guess i always just live in my own little world of early 20's. it doesn't seem like i graduated high school a decade ago nor college six years ago! 

as God's plan for my life unfolds, i know that it may not be the Lord's plan that i live to a "ripe old age". my days were numbered by God before i was born, and those days could be over tomorrow. or before i go to bed tonight. or in 4 years. or in 60 years. i have no idea. but since He has called me to be a good steward of the time He has given me, and since i desire to leave a godly legacy for my children and everyone else in my life, i realized that i really need to start living on purpose. it feels some days like i'm just existing day to day, taking care of the immediate needs of myself family without planning too much for the future. 

what do i want my children (and Will and my family & friends) to glean from my life? when they look back in 1, 5, 10, or 50 years, what do i want them to remember about me? what lessons, what principles, what skills do i want them to learn from me? i started a list, so that i could live my life deliberately before them. 

and over the past few days i have been revising the list, whittling it down to the essentials (because it was a long list!!!). and here is my list: 

1) i determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. [1 corinthians 2:2] 

that's it. 

when my life is over (and before that too!), i desire nothing except that when my children and my husband and my extended family and my friends evaluate my life and everything i hold dear they see nothing except Jesus, and that He loves them enough to have borne the weight of their sin, once and for all, to Calvary. 

"but what about all of that other stuff that you crossed off of your list?" you might be asking? what about kindness? love? the ten commandments? practical domestic skills? patience? schoolwork? money management? ...and so on. 

What about it? 

i want them to remember me telling them how much Jesus loves them before they fall asleep every night. i want them to remember singing and dancing to 'Jesus loves me' with me. i want them to remember that mommy took time every day to read her Bible, and to read the Bible to them. i want them to remember me telling them the story about the man who couldn't walk, and Jesus healed him, just like He did with elizabeth when she was little. i want them to remember me taking the time to teach them how to be kind to people and love the outcasts unconditionally the way Jesus did. all of that other 'stuff' that seems important can be and must be taught in the context of God's love for us through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. 

what about you? what legacy do you want to leave for your family and friends? be deliberate. when you die, there probably won't be many people who rave about how many hours you spent cleaning your house to throw awesome dinner parties; no one's going to gush about the fact that you spent way too much time working overtime to pay for that top of the line car or house or new computer or to get yourself out of debt. determine what is most important for your children to learn from you, and live that way. if you tell your kids that sharing and kindness and being open-minded are important, but you don't share the wealth you've been given with people who need it more than you, or your snicker about people who are different behind their backs, or you swear at your spouse and make fun of them, that is the legacy you will leave for your kids. and if you don't have kids, you're not off the hook. there are plenty of people in your life who are influenced and affected by you. 

cling hard to Jesus and His love for you; the rest will come. get to know Him better through the Bible. and as you get to know Him better, imitate Him! be His hands, gentle and willing to touch even the lowliest. be His feet, willing to go the distance for the sake of saving those He loves. be His eyes, noticing those who are hurting, broken, and lost. be His mouth, speaking the Word of Truth in love and humility. and then step back and watch Him take care of everything else!!


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