If I could leave a legacy that exemplified these six words, I’d die happy!
First, I want folks to say, “She loved the Lord with all her heart ❤️ and she sincerely loved her family and friends.” 🥰
(Yes, my family is a huge part of my legacy… they will live on and on … and hopefully exemplify the values I hold so dear!)
Additionally, may they say, “She was ethical and lived a life of integrity. Trying to avoid hypocrisy, Jan lived to show her faith on her sleeve, striving to behave in a way that would be pleasing to God.”
Gracious living means extending to others the undeserved love and forgiveness, the acceptance, inclusion, and hospitality that we received daily from the Lord. May they say, “She was gracious.”
I hope my legacy includes the idea of attentiveness to others, attentiveness to the details of the responsibilities assumed, and daily attention to prayer and Bible Study. I happily shared those with others. A desired part of my legacy would include, “Jan was attentive.”
Daily I asked God to help me shine His compassion through me to others. My heart reached out regularly to family, friends, former students, neighbors, and others in need. Strangers were just “friends I hadn’t met yet.” I would like my legacy to include, “She was compassionate.”
Yummy? It’s not that I want to be considered yummy, it is that I love to cook. As part of my legacy, may I be remembered as someone who delighted in preparing yummy meals for Bob and for guests in our home. May I be remembered as someone whose greatest joy was in serving others.
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
When I leave this earth and join the heavenly angels, I am counting on seeing all those saints who went on before me… And we’ll feast on heavenly food and feed the scraps to all my Boston Terriers who’ll be there at the pearly gates to greet me.
Yes, you’re in my life for a reason. Thanks for showing up on my blog!
When I searched to see if I have used this theme of tenacity already this year, I found a link to “Tenacity Defined” written a couple of years ago … before I started the current “Embrace” series. So, I decided it was OK to use the theme again because I have whole different take on it now.
So much has happened in these last three years since that 2018 post. Among the defining “happenings” is COVID-19. Impacting my view of life has been the way in which the pandemic exposed some of our worst tendencies. The issue of racism raised its ugly head. (I guess it never really was hidden)… but … In spite of the tenacity of people who to this day follow the non-violent teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., there has been an increase in violent crime – and especially racially motivated hatred.
I saw images of people of Asian descent being knocked to the ground, innocent little Chinese ladies being beaten, and people standing by observing these horrendous acts – and doing nothing to stop them.
Where does tenacity fit in to this line of thinking?
Jeremy Liew from Riverside, Connecticut wrote in Time Magazine this week, “The last year made me comfortable with being uncomfortable.” In his article titled, Newfound Empathy, he explains his discomfort, ending with, “I am still uncomfortable, but now I am confident. I appreciate who I am. I am grateful for what I have – my education and health, and my three annoying sisters.”
Jeremy’s tenacious attitude, at the tender young age of 13, does not come magically. He must have some role models out there who are helping him appreciate his uniqueness, and value his attributes.
The song’s theme of “Never Give Up” reminds me that change comes slowly, but it comes. Like MLK,Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech, we need to adopt that attitude of hope. Tenaciously hang on to HOPE. And then we need to live it! We need to be able to say, along with Jeremy Liew, “I am confident.”
In 1936, when she was a bride, transplanted from Washington to central California, my mom had a habit of cutting favorite poems out of the newspaper and taping them to a piece of cardboard. She hung that cardboard inside her kitchen cabinet.
It is now hanging inside my kitchen cabinet here in Montana. I treasure it… and I hold tenaciously to the lessons those various poems teach me. What a legacy, huh? The poem above was brought to mind today by Ann Koplow’s wonderful blog. She titled her post:
“Wouldn’t life be lots more happy, If we praised the good we see? For there’s such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me.”
It takes TENACITY to look for and find the good in others. But it is so worth it!! I have a plaque in my dining room that reminds me of this fact. Here it is:
In that Time Magazine article, Jeremy Liew went on to explain, “I was uncomfortable being singled out for how I look (I am an Asian American Pacific Islander). A year ago, people looked at me as f I had COVID-19 or brought it to my community…”
Since when do we traumatize people because of the way they look? Since when do we marginalize them and make them feel inferior?
You say, “Since time immortal”??
Well, I say, “Well, It is time to make a change!”
As the song at the top of this blog says, “I will take a chance to be who I’m meant to be. I won’t let fear keep me from trying. It’s time for me to make a change. Start living the life I want. I’m gonna reach for the sky way up high. I’m never giving up. It’s up to me to see who I can be. Make change reality. I’m never giving up.”
Not only do I need to live the life I want and be who God made me to be, but I need to spread that message to others. Find the gold in them. Encourage them to be all that God made them to be, too.
One of my favorite bloggers is Cristian Mihai “The Art of Blogging” … If you go to his About page and read his explanation of who he is, you will see that it ends with these 4 lines:
“Sometimes I think I am who I am because someone has to be.
I believe it’s always strangers who ask the most difficult question.
‘Who are you?‘
I just wrote 1,500 words and I’m still not sure you know who I am.“
That last link is one of Cristian’s blogs that I think is so powerful that I told him he needs to bookmark it and read it when he is 80, because he writes about the trials of being a 20-something-year-old. He writes it now as a 31-year-old who has wisened beyond his years. He looks at life through very unique lenses. He is tenacious about passing along to others “The Art of Blogging” with the hope of improving us all.
The road to our best self is a long and arduous one. No one ever said it was gonna be easy. After all, we’re only human! But in our humanity is a divine core. We were made in God’s image. We are His Beloved. So, when I talk about finding the gold, that’s the core I am talking about.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Do you have something you are needing to do? Something you might feel ill equipped to accomplish? Or maybe, just not as strong as you thought you might be… and needing to take it one baby step at a time? Well, that’s where tenacity comes in. Start slowly… work yourself up to the full extent of your power … the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
Mom used to tell me, “Everything worth having is worth working for!”
I believe it. And that includes things like love, equality, unity, strength, freedom, peace, clarity, and direction.
One thought at a time. One step at a time. One act at a time.
Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
I went to our Madison Valley Cemetery this morning. The grave sites of veterans were marked by American flags. Many of the tombstones were freshly decorated for this important holiday. Come visit with me – and let’s honor the memories of our brave military ancestors.
The music at the end of this blog is so beautiful, you may want to scroll down there, click on it, and listen as you view the rest of this post.
Only in Montana might you find a gravestone decorated with a set of antlers!
The Daems memorial was especially meaningful to me. Doris was a friend of mine here in Ennis who was a faithful volunteer with the Women’s Club as well as the Madison Valley Manor and at the Medical Center. What a wonderful lady! Her 86 year-old brother and 90 year-old sister were there today to honor her memory as well as the many veterans.
It was a beautiful blue sky day. A memorial service brought many people from our area out to this beautiful cemetery today… an opportunity to honor those brave men and women whose blood was spilled on the battlefields so we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.
If you were given the opportunity to select the 3 words to go on your tombstone to describe who you are, what words would you choose? Gene Wilkins was known as “Doc” here in Ennis… “Healer” was a perfect word for him!
Two of my words would probably be “Mother” and “Grammy” – A third word would need to be “Wife” since that identifies 60 years of my life. Although I was a teacher, a principal, and a district office administrator for 36 years, I think I’d have to choose “Child of God” or “Friend” before I’d call attention to my professional career. But, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to limit it to just three. How about you?
Would you include “Hero” for a description? How about pets, would they be part of your cemetery memorabilia? I’d like an angel by mine… (my maiden name is DeAngeles – and angels are a big part of my world!)
Some of the tombstones were decorated in very special ways, but a simple stone flush with the ground with letters worn away by time and weather intrigued me a lot. Who was that veteran? Is his/her family still in this area?
Rest in peace, dear ones. May your service to our country never be taken for granted!
God bless you, dear friends. May your life be a long, happy one and may you leave a legacy that inspires your grandchildren.
“To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”
Today we are celebrating the life of my brother-in-law, Stan. He gave us many reasons to smile. He will live on in the hearts of all who knew him.
If you could write your obituary, celebrating your life, what would you want folks to say about you?
Here lies __________________ (insert your name) S/He was __________________ (insert an adjective) We could count on him/her to ____________________ (what could folks count on you for?) His/Her life was noted for ________________________ (what’s your legacy?)
Have you discovered how to discern His Will? Are you asking God each day to help you do His Will?
How are you using your time today? Time is our greatest gift. Use it wisely!
I am praying that you have a Marvelous Monday!
Hugs to you. See you tomorrow (God willing)… JanBeek
My friend, Sue, shared with me this morning the page below from a Hallmark gift book of collected saying, quotes, short stories, titled Wit & Wisdom of Women.
Today is the day my friend, Carol,
(I wrote about her earlier in My Friend, Carol)
made her journey over the “Rainbow Bridge”
to her Eternal Home.
When Sue read this page to me, I told her, “That perfectly describes my friend, Carol. Her 95 years on this earth were a testimony to kindness, strength, courage, wisdom and wit,
as well as her impact on others, and her ability to connect in very profound ways.”
Rest in Peace, dear Carol. You certainly brought a “special touch
that no other person has.”
You will be missed here on earth,
but your legacy will live on
in each of us who had the privilege of
knowing and loving you.
My prayers and condolences go out to your family.
They were certainly blessed to have you as their mother/grandmother!