Legacy Stones | By Amanda Whittington
I am so excited to host my friend Amanda Whittington on the blog this week! We met when I started teaching her two youngest children piano lessons, and I've come to appreciate the joyful and wise way she embraces her calling as a wife and mother. Today, she's sharing about what it means to build a gospel-centered legacy and some practical ways to create a family culture of making memories.
Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. This momentous occasion has me contemplating our legacy. What legacy have we already created, and what more do we need to purpose in our hearts to create?
We are all leaving a legacy, as our lives are constantly affecting the lives of others and have the potential of positively impacting the lives of those we love for years to come, and even long after we are gone.
Joshua 4:21-22 says “And he said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’"
It is my hope that my life leaves legacy “stones” that point our children, their children, and other people God places in my life to the Gospel and all that our God has done for us.
One way we have attempted to accomplish leaving a healthy legacy is by connecting heartstrings that bind our hearts to our children and the others in our circle by shared celebration, shared joy, and shared memories. The concept of family is God’s gift and a tool to help us understand the gospel story. It is our memories, in large part, that bind us to each other and build trust, relationship, camaraderie, and intimacy.
Our memory banks are filled by
*daily or frequent routines
*seasonal or annual traditions
*once-in-a-lifetime happenings that break routine
It is worth our effort to prayerfully consider our legacy and what we hope will fill the memory banks of those we love, asking ourselves questions such as:
*What daily routines should I put in place or continue (or discontinue)?
*What seasonal or holiday traditions should I want to establish or pass on?
*What “bucket list” type items should I purpose to attain?
We have built part of our legacy, and have already reaped some of the fruit of that. We’ve learned some lessons along the way and are now reassessing where we are and how to proceed as we enter a new phase of life.
Here are some legacy “stones” that we are glad that we established, in hopes of being a practical vehicle to perhaps get your wheels spinning on what legacy you would like to begin to leave or continue to leave.
We created our own family holiday, complete with a special meal and a day trip. We gave it a name that holds a special significance, and built meaningful traditions around it. It has forced us to make time every year to enjoy together many of our area’s local attractions and events that we would have neglected otherwise.
We vacation at least once a year. We make it a family affair to pick a location and plan together. We build excitement all year. We may take an epic road trip to multiple states and several national parks, visit a theme park, or simply tent camp on family land in the next state over. We take the time away from the responsibilities of home to focus on just each other, take plenty of photos, and be playful.
We make a really big deal out of every holiday we observe complete with decorations and traditions.
We share coffee time! Every day, we share coffee with each other beginning with teenagers and beyond. It has become a rite of passage and a common love.
On cold days, I bring warmed blankets from the dryer and wrap every person in a warm hug with their warm blanket.
We make our State Bible Drill competition and Scripture memorization a priority.
We sit down for dinner around the table as a family to share “bread” and share the moments of our day.
We spend time in nature to observe God’s wonders.
We attend church services together and participate in church family life.
We have had various bedtime routines through the years. My daughter shared that her favorite was Daddy carrying her to bed like a princess and making up bedtime stories.
It is my prayer that you be encouraged by my words here, to consider your legacy and to contemplate what memories you are leaving in the hearts and minds of those you love, and how those memories may impact eternity; that you be inspired to ask God to direct your steps as your purpose to leave legacy “stones”.
May all who come behind us, find us faithful.
About Amanda: Hi! I'm Amanda. I live in the rolling hills of the deep south, among the magnolias, azaleas, and moss-covered live oaks. I'm joyfully married to my beloved, a very patient man, and together we've raised (and homeschooled) a daughter and son into adulthood, and are currently raising another daughter and son. I'm not a good cook or a great housekeeper naturally, but homemaking is my calling and my passion. I'm most thankful for God's grace, for words, for loyal friendships, and for frequent trips to smell mountain breezes.