Oh so many winters ago, lonely, broken-at-birth Little Judy filled endless week ends sitting at our family’s piano playing hymns. Living for Jesus was a favorite, though I secretly wondered: “Lord, will there be a blessing with my name on it?”
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
Three score plus ten years later my life overflows with blessings beyond measure so that I’ve declared 2015 the jubilee year of my life!
If jubilee means celebration, festivity, gala, I say ‘bring out the balloons’ as I celebrate 70 years of God’s faithfulness. For out of His Fullness we all received one grace after another, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, even favor upon favor and gift heaped upon gift. (John 1:16 AMP)
Indeed His Majesty showed up in the wilderness years turning my missing legs into spiritual limbs – His Masterpiece. I’ve progressed from living for Jesus, as the hymn describes, to living in Christ, to living in the names of God as described in my Living in the Names of God chapter and Bible study books. And in 2015 my focus turns to ‘living my legacy.’ What do I want to be remembered for? What do you want to be remembered for?
Dr. James Dobson answers that question in his new book Your Legacy: Your Greatest Gift, in which he encourages us to make our highest priority introducing our family and friends to Jesus Christ. Dr. Dobson describes legacy as what we do in someone versus an inheritance being what we give to someone. For me, what I do in someone is based on what Jesus Christ has done in me. Jesus and Judy, we’re a team.
Recently I realized, I’ve already written my LEGacy! My life story – a life lived in relationship with Jesus – fills the pages of His Majesty in Brokenness and Living in the Names of God. Hmmm, it’s interesting how God chose me, the lady with no legs to encourage people to identify their LEGacy.
Each one of us is living our legacy right now. How are we going to preserve it? Make 2015 the year you collect photos and write short stories that highlight God’s presence in your life. As you savor the memories be on the lookout for a key picture that conveys your life message. Be forewarned: The photo may land on the front cover of your book, like mine did.
- Do you sew? Make a life story quilt out of fabric or if you don’t sew –
create it out of paper.
- Design a map of your life with emphasis on your spiritual milestones.
- Fill a shoebox or hope chest with memorabilia that tells your story.
- Make a list of your 100 Favorite Bible Verses to give to your family.
(My friend Terri is currently making a butterfly chain containing her much loved verses. Can’t wait to see it.)
- Make sure you are writing names and dates of special God-moments in your Bible margins. Our worn Bibles carry our legacy.
- Record how the God with oh-so-many-names has shown up in your life. (My cousin Sue compiled a list of her favorite Hebrew names of God and how they have appeared in her story. Her adult children received the list as a 2014 Christmas present.)
- Make keepsake CD’s or DVD’s of your life. (David and I are thankful we did this before our parents died to keep their voices and their stories alive for ourselves and the future generations.)
On and on go the ideas.
I’ve decided to do something unique this year to commemorate my seventy years. David will print 70 copies of our grandson Finn’s tiny foot on which I will record the names of individuals who have left their footprints on my heart.
What about you? Are you ready to take on the challenge? I’d love to hear what creative ideas Elohim and you come up with to archive your legacy. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get you started –
7 Good Books to Assist You in Identifying Your Legacy
- Guiding Autobiography Groups for Older Adults: Exploring the Fabric of Life
by James E. Birren and Donna E. Deutchman.
- My Paper Memory Quilt: A Family History Pack
by Bill Zimmerman.
- Passing On a Written Legacy: An Easy Guide to Memory Writing
by Lana Rockwell.
- Remembering Your Story: Creating Your Own Spiritual Autobiography
by Richard L. Morgan.
- Spiritual Autobiography: Discovering and Sharing Your Spiritual Story
by Richard Peace.
- The Story of Your Life: Writing a Spiritual Autobiography: A Step-by-Step Approach to Exploring Your Past and Understanding Your Present
by Dan Wakefield.
- Your Legacy: Your Greatest Gift
by Dr. James Dobson