legacies

717-scenes-1i’m slowly reading a really wonderful, water-for-the-soul book that my sweet MIL recommended called Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Need to Breath by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.

at the end of one chapter, the authors challenge the reader to intentionally write down five legacies she wants to leave for her children, then to think about how those can be intentionally built into the family culture and daily rhythms.

so i thought i’d share what i wrote (it’s a lot more than 5)!

  1. A conversational relationship with the living Christ, in which they speak to and hear Him
  2. Curiosity and compassion toward those who are different than they are (instead of judgement and fear)
  3. A practice of rest and sabbath
  4. A rested confidence in their belovedness
  5. Trusting yeildedness to obey God’s will and call, even when it seems scary or foolish
  6. The ability to ask good questions & knowledge about how to seek out information and answers
  7. Sharing meals around a table & appreciation of real/whole food
  8. A practice of hospitality
  9. An understanding of Church as the family of God (not a Sunday event)
  10. Stewardship and basic life skills competency (e.g., thrifting, cooking, creating order, budgeting)
  11. Enjoyment of music and silly dancing
  12. A tendency to see and savor beauty and to create beauty
  13. Using their voices to ask for what they need and to advocate for those who don’t have a voice
  14. Interdependence and problem-solving together
  15. Simplicity and minimalism

Next, i went through and wrote out a few practical ways that I can begin to embed each of these legacies in our family life and model them to our kids at this particular stage of their development. I know that the particulars of how we communicate these values to our kids will change as they grow older. For now it’s a lot of modeling; of showing them a certain kind of “normal” that will feel natural to them for their entire lives!

It was really exciting to do this exercise. And I have a simplified list of these values posted on our fridge now, in language that might be understood by a toddler. Each one begins with “We are a family that __[insert value here]_____.” Having these big picture goals in sight and in mind really adds another layer of meaning to the nitty gritty of our days, reminds me of why we do the work we do, why we live where we live, and why we’ve chosen the spiritual family that we walk with. It challenges me to model values that are part of my best self, and to do it consistently and joyfully.

Have you ever done something like this? I’d love to hear about your experience with it, or what your own hoped for legacies are!

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5 thoughts on “legacies

  1. I, Gaba, would love to help them develop the following from your list!
    The ability to ask good questions & knowledge about how to seek out information and answers
    Enjoyment of music and silly dancing
    A tendency to see and savor beauty and to create beauty
    Using their voices to ask for what they need and to advocate for those who don’t have a voice
    Interdependence and problem-solving together
    Love you all! Gaba

    • well, it’s very fitting that you would help them with those ones, mom, since i think YOU passed them down to ME!! thanks for that. they are valuable enough to pay forward for one more generation! 🙂

  2. Great list! Loved reading it again and reading it on your fridge. I have been thinking more about this – but haven’t written any down yet. I have been reading that book recently too and have been finding it a helpful and encouraging read.

  3. Ms Brooke,

    Such a great list… as a single father of a 5 year old little princess I have struggled to prepare a mental list concise of all things I hope my daughter will be as she navigates her way down God’s path. This list provided a mental check to make sure, from a mother’s perspective, that I as a father have some right concept in what that list shall entail.. Thank you for sharing.

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