Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Do You Want To Be Known For?

I have an overactive imagination.It sometimes causes me problems but other times it's very helpful! (I stopped watching crime shows when I was pregnant with Micah and that helped my nighttime jitters a lot!) But my imagination allows  me to picture scenes in life that haven't really happened. Sometimes I think about what I want my funeral to look like. It reminds me of that scene in The Jungle Book when they think Baloo has died and Bagheera says all those nice things about him!  What are people going to say about me? Obviously I'm not trying to live for what others think but my life does speak to others and I want it to say the right things.

Our preacher read a story in church from one of our missionary letters and in it the lady mentioned that it was much easier for her family to serve God now that her husband had died! And after hearing the rest of the story I believed it. What a sad testimony for a life!  That's not what I want to be said about me after I'm dead!

Maybe you have grandiose ideas of how you are going to be and who your family and loved ones will remember but that's not reality. They are going to remember today. They are going to remember yesterday. Who are you in those moments? Every day you are becoming the person you will be when you're old. 

When I think about the legacy I want to leave there are a lot of things that don't matter. I don't care if my kids remember how smart I was. Or how hard I tried to be pretty. Or how other people admired me. I don't care if they think I was a good piano player. I don't even care if they think I kept a really clean house!  If those aren't the things I want them to remember they should not be my first focus. 

There are some things I want others to know and remember about me. These are the things I want to focus on in my life. 
  • I want them to know that I loved Jesus. Am I loving Jesus today? Do they see that love lived out in me? It's not enough to say that I love Jesus. I want them to see Jesus' love through me. 
  • I want them to know that I loved my husband. I want my life to be a testament of my faithfulness and love to him and his vision for our family. That is manifested in our day-to-day moments not in a couple of "big" memories. How do I greet him when he comes home? How do I answer his questions? How do I respond to his suggestions? How do I talk about him to others? 
  • I want them to know that I loved my children.  God is letting me raise His precious children. I want them to know that I loved and cherished and took seriously my opportunity to be a mother. I want them to look back at what I taught them and know that it was all to point them to Jesus. 
  • I want them to know that Jesus can transform their life. I'm nothing special. There's nothing good in me. But Jesus can take anything and make it something He can use. I don't want them to see those first three things and think that I'm anything important. I want them to see those first three things and know that I couldn't have lived that faithfully my whole life on my own. I needed Jesus. They need Jesus. 
It's easy to see from looking at this that I want to be remembered for love. Not my love but God's love coming through me. My love is impatient, expectant, selfish, demanding. God's love is kind, longsuffering, humble. (1 Cor. 13:4-7) What am I doing today to show this love so that it will be what's remembered about my life? 

Knowing what I want to be remembered for will help me prioritize and make decisions. It will help me bite back angry words. It will help me discipline my children (Pro. 13:24). It will help me look over trangressions against me. It will help me choose not only the right words but also the right tone to say them in. 

As the Veggie Tales song says, "Our lives are better because (s)he loves us." I hope that's the truth for those who know me. Maybe I'll ask my husband to write it on my tombstone.  It certainly sounds better than "She lived her whole life for herself." 

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