November 2015 Final Issue
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Legacy

I sat down to write this article the day after my uncle died. He was my mother’s only sibling. My mother is deeply saddened he is no longer here and mourns with his wife and children, but she knows he would have suffered from terrible pain and developed worsened dementia. Her emotions are not unusual. My Mom remembers her brother as her protector, both as a child when they lost their mother suddenly and later in life during difficult circumstances. He was the quintessential big brother. My memories of my uncle are few because he lived more than 12 hours away. However, the memories I do have are all similar. At 6’6” tall and most often wearing overalls and a white under shirt, Uncle Donald had a larger than life personality. His deep voice boomed when he told a story, which was often. He had a penchant for pulling practical jokes, and he could talk like Donald Duck. His laugh was contagious, and you couldn’t help but be pulled into the moment when his baritone voice enveloped the room. He was also gentle and kind. When we think of leaving a legacy, we most often consider our immediate family, our children, and our grandchildren. We might branch out to consider our nieces, nephews, and cousins, but in today’s society, families don’t often live in the same city or region. What is your legacy? Have you been intentional about what you want to pass on? Legacy as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 1:  a gift by will especially of money or other personal property 2:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past As a Christian, the legacy I desire to pass down is a path of continuous growth in my relationship with Jesus. I yearn for my children to witness this and then pursue it on their own. How do we do that? When our children were young, my husband and I took them to church, prayed with them, and listened to worship songs in the car. We read them Bible stories and tried to exemplify the fruit of the Spirit -“tried” being the operative word. When our children entered their teen years, we continued to take them to church, encouraged them to be involved in a small group Bible study, and established boundaries which were unpopular at the time. During those years, the fruit of peace and patience were harder to come by. Two of our three children live on their own now. They must decide whether they want to continue to pursue Christ on their own. That doesn’t mean my husband and I no longer have an obligation to model a legacy to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. But what does that look like? After finishing a study by Peter Scazzero, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality,” I was encouraged to make these intentional steps in my own relationship with God. I believe they are foundational for leaving a Godly legacy for the next generation. Prayer
  1. Scripture – to read scripture and memorize portions of it
  2. Silence and Solitude – to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7)
  3. Prayer – to pray several times daily prompted by devotional, Psalms, God’s creation or a prayer journal to prompt prayer for other’s needs
  4. Study – Bible study, reading books, listening to teachings, attending workshops, classes and seminars
Rest
  1. Take a 24 hour period to enjoy the Sabbath – reflect on the four characteristics of biblical Sabbaths—stop, rest, delight, and contemplate
  2. Simplicity – remove distractions and remain free from attachments. “Live as free of complications as possible [so] you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master” (1 Corinthians 7:32, MSG).
  3. Play and recreation – engage in activities that are pure and healthy and breathe life into you
Work/Activity
  1. Service and Mission – in what way(s) is God inviting me to serve Him
  2. Care for the Physical Body – exercise, work habits, diet, and rest
Relationships
  1. Emotional Health – pay attention to my feelings, journal them, ask God how He might be speaking to me through them
  2. Family – be intentional and specific with relationships in our family of origin
  3. Community – be intentional in seeking out healthy friendships
To build and leave a Christ-like legacy does not happen by accident. It takes perseverance, determination, and planning. My Uncle Donald was a believer, and I look forward to seeing him again someday. In the meantime I plan to be intentional about leaving a legacy. How about you?
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About Margo Bodishbaugh

Margo Bodishbaugh
Margo is a writer, speaker, and actress. She lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, Matt, of twenty-six years, and has three daughters. Her mission is to encourage women in their relationship with Christ through creative communication. She is passionate about being intentional, and she’s at work on her first novel.

2 comments

  1. I have missed attending FBC Tuesday am studiy last year. I miss your smiling face and encouraging words. I will look forward to reading your aarticles. God Bless

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