Monday, August 5, 2013

Leaving a Legacy

This weekend was a bit emotional for me. With my youth pastor husband out of town on a youth canoe trip, the kids and I packed up for one of our rare and soon to be ending weekends at my childhood homestead. My parents have reached retirement age and mowing three acres of lawn, plowing a long driveway from two feet of snow, and harvesting a massive garden has worn out its grandeur.

That left Mom and I to start going through the nooks and crannies where small family heirlooms and memories had been tucked away, forgotten, but alive with legacy. A drawer in the spare room's antique dresser was stuffed with my Great-Grandmother's tatting projects. Rows upon rows of delicate thread hand-tatted into delicate circles of lace to be sewn to the edges of pillowcases or towels, or a collar or cuff. Her tatting spool was still threaded and attached to a project she never completed. My writer's mind was alive with why she never finished the pink and white lacy border. Another drawer was packed with carefully folded doilies that brought to mind the competition of who would have the most doilies upon setting up house as demonstrated in my favorite movie Anne of Avonlea. There was the wooden dresser chest of old photographs, the handwritten letter dated February 6th, 1891, and my Great-Grandmother's wedding dress.

Then Mom pulled out a narrow hinged box, with two tiny hooks to hold down its lid. She held it reverently and flipped the hooks. "This was your Great-Grandmother, Eva Marie's writing pen. We wanted you to have it, since you are the writer in the family."

I teared up as I reached for the mother-of-pearl stem, stared at the tip stained with ink, and wondered if my fingerprints pressed where her thumb and finger once rested. She was born in the late 1800's. I was named after her, for once bearing the middle of name of "Marie" not because it was popular but because it meant something. Eva Marie lived a tragic life. She married young, bore five children, watched her young husband drown as she stood huddled with her children on the shore helpless to save him, then died three years later leaving five orphaned children behind.

But her legacy went far beyond her writer's pen or heartwrenching story. Her testimony of faith traveled into the heart of her second oldest son. That man's faith traveled into the soul of my father. His faith buried itself into my own heart and now my faith has touched the searching little spirit of my daughter who whispered last night:
"But I don't KNOW Jesus." Thoughtful three-year-old blue eyes. "How do YOU know Jesus, Mommy?"
... how do I know Jesus? Because 100 years ago a woman with a mother-of-pearl pen formed her own faith...
"Let's get to know Him together, Baby Girl," I replied. "I have much to tell you."

... and the legacy continues ...

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

-- Hebrews 12: 1 & 2


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Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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10 comments:

  1. Wonderful post Jaime. Great challenge to pass on a legacy of faith.

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    1. The most important role we can play in this life!

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  2. What a beautiful post, Jaime! Made me think of my grandparents and the legacy of faith they've passed on in our family.

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    1. Grandparents lay such rich foundations!! I see that being done in my kid's lives today and it blesses me.

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  3. So beautiful! My parents both came from very large families (10 kids in one and 9 in the other) and so I have many aunts, uncles and cousins, and very few tangible items from my ancestors. But what I do have is the same legacy of faith. It's a fairly new legacy, started with my father's father, but it's deep and eternal and I know it will continue to produce an abundant harvest from this time forward.

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    1. Harvest away ... planting seeds with you!

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  4. Just beautiful... I tear up in light of Allie asking that very question yesterday and ultimately giving her life over to the Christ who died for her sins! Such a beautiful legacy our great-grandparents and grandparents and parents leave behind!

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  5. Such a beautiful writer you are! Definitely made me ugly-cry!

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  6. Beautiful! Made me tear up...

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  7. Tend you gardens well ladies. sigh.

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