What Will Your Legacy Be?

IMG_3299
Roy & Delight…Legacy Builders

 

As we wind our way through the Thanksgiving holiday  weekend, I am reminded of how often I hear someone speak of the lack of gratitude or appreciation they see in so many people and especially younger people.

 

As I consider this today, I think perhaps each of us needs to pause and consider that none of us come into this world with a gratefulness or thankfulness DNA genetic code built in. As a whole, each of us arrives focused on getting our needs met and from the very beginning we find some amazing ways to accomplish that.

 

If nothing interrupts that process, it continues and can become more and more ugly.

 

The truth is that gratefulness is learned. It doesn’t just happen.

 

The first place of learning for you as well as me was at home. It was there I was taught to say “please” and “thank you”. But beyond what I was taught, I was blessed to observe parents who modeled that daily in their own lives.

 

Neither of my parents was born into wealthy families. They both grew up on farms where hard work was needed and expected. Each of them experienced significant loss early in their lives. My father’s dad died when he was only five years old so he never grew up knowing him. A fire destroyed my mother’s home when she was a freshman in high school and her family spent a year living separately in different homes while a new home was built.

 

Perhaps those very difficulties were used by the Lord to nurture gratefulness versus bitterness and self-pity. Each of their families pulled together during those hard times instead of breaking apart as a result of their faith that was not dependent on circumstances or everything going well.

 

I was born into that legacy. Along with the model of gratefulness and thankfulness came another. They were generous with time, love, service, and limited income.

 

Each of my parents served in PTA, Sunday School, and a long list of other opportunities that church, school, and community provided. But there were other things I saw which were not visible to everyone.

 

One example that I watched was how they worked and tended a huge garden for the whole of their lives. They probably could have sold produce that we did not need to add to their income, but instead they offered what they did not need to others in the neighborhood or at church who had less. Their garden bore fruit beyond the produce they shared with others.

 

Our Thanksgiving table always included a patchwork of people who had no one to share the day. Sometimes these were widowed sisters or other relatives or people from our church who were alone. Anyone was welcome at their table. That included my friends and later friends of our children and even the families of friends.

 

Gratefulness was a way of life that was evident every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

 

My parents sowed seed not only in me, but also in our son and daughter, their grandchildren. Each of them is now married with children of their own. I see in them the fruit that began many years ago and I see it in their children, my grandchildren, their great grandchildren, as well.

 

My parents have been at home with the Lord for twenty-four years and no other celebration brings a greater sense of them than Thanksgiving. I am reminded again this year of what each of us can pass on to others, to the next generation. Two key principles stand out: 

 

Gratefulness is learned. It doesn’t just happen.

 

Gratefulness should be a way of life every day.

IMG_3426

 

13 thoughts on “What Will Your Legacy Be?

  1. Pam, this is a beautiful legacy and a great reminder for me to realize that my children were not born with gratitude. I have to teach it to them. And there are days when I get so frustrated that it does not come naturally. I live a very grateful and thankful life so I am always trying to instill this in my little ones. I just hope that when they are old enough to realize it, they will! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. Thanks, Shelbee♥️ Bless you as you seek to model and teach. Take heart! It doesn’t always show up right away. We all deal with not having it in our DNA and more so as children or when we are very old and have lost hope and forgotten goodness.

  2. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up. I agree thankfulness must be learned. We must choose to be thankful. What a legacy your parents left. Blessings, Maree

    1. Sure thing, Maree! They did indeed. Sometimes we have not idea how much of one until years later beyond when the legacy was being built.♥️

  3. oh what a beautiful legacy … and a lovely ode to all those things that matter most. your parents would be delighted with who their daughter has become, friend …

    1. I think they would be surprised perhaps. I have moved into a path they did not imagine for me, but then I think our dreams and hopes for our children are never as big as those the Lord may have for us♥️

  4. They look and sound like lovley people Pam – you are very blessed to have been raised by them and to have those values as part of your foundation. I wish I had that influence and didn’t have to create it from scratch – still, we have to start somewhere and I was lucky enough to have my husband’s family as my example.

    1. They were far from perfect and I too often used to focus on what was missing, but maturity and experience has brought greater insight into some of the great gifts they brought me. My husband’s family was not as my own and my parents added immeasurably to his life out of their love and generosity.

  5. What a beautiful legacy your parents left you with! Being grateful and happy with what we have, as well as sharing it, is certainly a wonderful thing to teach our children. Thanks for sharing this reminder to always be thankful!

    1. Thanks so much, Cathy! It is indeed and now after 24 years of them being gone I recognize its value even more!!💐

  6. Gratitude was also modeled in my home, and I appreciate that very much. Still, gratitude is something I consciously cultivate on a daily basis. I’ve learned that even in the most difficult times, there is always something to be grateful for. Thank you for this reminder. I’m coming to you from the Blogger’s Pit Stop this time.

    1. Isn’t it powerful to think of this small modeling and training has such long-lasting results! Thanks so much for stopping by and responding about your own family.🍁

Leave a Reply to Miz Helen Cancel reply