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Plant a legacy of faith

Today I chose to read from my great-great-grandmother’s Bible. The pages are yellowed with age and the outside is worn but the truth in it still remains the same . I found myself reading Ecclesiastes 3 because it was written in the front of her Bible.

The Bible is marked “to Mama from Paul”. Paul is my great-grandfather. As I dug in, God’s word filled me with a sense of excitement1939655_620380091372648_1537100982_n. A small glimpse of my great-great-grandmother was revealed to me and God had a lesson for me to learn. I began to understand that she knew the Lord, and upon her passing, the Bible went to her son Paul and his wife Ruth. Ruth Ann Turner, Grandma “R.A.T.”, was my great-grandmother. Ruth also seemed to know the Lord.

In the Bible, there are things that my great-grandmother Ruth added when it became hers. There was a newspaper clipping about President Lyndon B. Johnson, prayers she cut out of things she had read, a couple of bookmarks and a page out of a devotional. On the devotional page, someone named Minnie had written a note to my great-grandmother Ruth. It said,

“This is for your own self. I just read this and it made me think of your life. Your smile does bless lots of folks.” -Minnie

There were a few generations between my great-grandmother and me that became unfruitful soil. Holding this Bible, their Bible, I understood that I needed to pick up where they left off. I realized that I have been given a chance to water what was once planted and then neglected for a few generations.

In God’s perfect timing, I found myself in Ecclesiastes 3. I was reading what either my great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother felt was important enough to write in the front of this Bible.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In this passage, I see that it is time for me to make a change in my own family to prepare for the generations to come. I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.

My kids know the Lord, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to dig in and turn over the ground, pull out the weeds, and water the seed that was planted by my great-great-grandmother and her daughter-in-law all those years ago. I want to leave behind a legacy of faith. To have people remember me as a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, that is what I long for. It is so important for me pass my faith onto my kids and the generations to come.

As you are reading this, I hope you want the same thing for your family. Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith? Then start with your own kids. If there’s neglected soil in your family, even if it has been left for generations, you can make a difference. Dig in! Tear out the weeds, plant your own seeds, and water them. Tend to them and grow something beautiful. Plant a legacy of faith.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls

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Clean your own closet

By Cassie of Cassie’s Corner

CassiesCornerButtonSo often we find ourselves as parents scolding our children for behavior that we see as wrong, unruly, or down right disobedient. Sadly, we discipline our children for simply being a child. I recently had a conversation with my daughter regarding her behavior and lack of respect. When I asked her why she kept acting out and would not listen to my directions to clean her room she answered soundly, “Daddy doesn’t put his laundry downstairs. Daddy doesn’t put his shoes away.” And on she went with a ‘laundry’ list of behaviors my husband and I do that we should not do, things we say that we should not say, it was a brutal list of our behaviors as parents that were rubbing off on our children. I listened to her speak and I silently wept as I realized that I had become a ‘Do as I say, not as I do” type of parent.

Some would say that as a child, my “sweet-face” should not be allowed to tell us Mt St Helens(her parents) how to act or what we are doing wrong. They are welcome to their opinion as we are welcome to parent our children as we see fit. In our home our children are free to communicate whatever they are feeling as long as they do so with respect and at the appropriate time. Our daughter was holding up a mirror and revealing to us how her and her younger brother view my husband and I as parents, as examples.

Proverbs 22:6(NIV), “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

All I could think about as I listened was the above verse. I kept asking myself what kind of legacy am I teaching my children. I wondered, how do my children view their father? I wondered how our son and daughter viewed God, if we were a reflection of His love for them while on earth. My heart broke. An innocent conversation about being good stewards of what God has blessed us with (clothes, toys, beds, a home), turned into a self-reflection that was seriously ugly.

Thankfully, our children forgave us for being poor examples in some areas and thanked us for being great parents in others. We asked them for forgiveness and they asked us to forgive them. We prayed as a family and asked God to look at our hearts, to search us and to know us and to reveal himself to us. The night ended with us listening to worship music and being grateful for open communication.

Once the children were asleep my husband, Geoff, and I processed the conversation and how it made each of us feel. I reminded him that the whole thing started over a mandated instruction for our 8-year-old to clean up her closet and put her clothing where it belonged. Then, I said, “As parents, we need to clean out our own closets before we reprimand our children. I was referring to examining our own behavior before we react to our children living as we have shown them. As parents, self-reflection is always a good thing. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s down right nasty. We were both very sad and pondering how we had allowed ourselves to be so consumed with life that we had forgotten our most precious positions; living as children of God and being parents to our most priceless gifts from our father above.

I laid in bed that night asking God to make me the kind of mother that my children could be proud of. The kind of mother that they would want to have at school and around their friends. I asked him to open my eyes to areas in my life that need Him the most and to start a work in me that would filter into my children and their children after them. He is so very faithful to answer our prayers.

Exodus 20:6(NIV), “but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Gram H Legacy 2My hope is that every person that reads this article will stop and think about the example they are to the next generation(s). Parents or not, we are all examples to someone. What type of LEGACY do you want to leave?

 

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