Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me...

These days everybody and their mom has a blog. I know that what I am attempting is not very original, however, my intentions are that what you read here is original... thought provoking... stimulating... and because I don't feel that I am able to come with something so deep on a regular basis I end up only writing every six months. Or at least that's how it feels.
Please know that the above was not the diving board from which we will plunge into some deep thoughts...
A few weeks ago my family got to together to celebrate my sister's 21st birthday (which is today- Happy Birthday, Brynnie Sue!). It was for me, perhaps, the most enjoyable weekend of the many we've spent together in the last couple of years. I think it is such a blessing when you reach the point in your life when your parents become some of your very best friends, and mine are truly that to me.
Saturday evening we sat around looking at some pictures my dad has on a cd. Beautiful pictures of my great-grandparents from the 1930's. I wanted to print out 8x10's of all of them and fill my walls with these beautiful pictures. Not just because they are beautiful pictures, but because of the beautiful people in those pictures.
My great-grandfather, Perry Lou Crawley (you can call him Papa, he preferred that), passed away six years ago but his memory... his legacy, is still so fresh in my mind. I wanted to share a few of my very favorite pictures of Papa and Gran. Johnie Lee Holland married Perry Lou Crawley when she 15 and he was 20, why my great-great-grandfather allowed that nonsense I'll never know. Beyond raising 5 children, owning a couple of bakeries, and making the best bread, rolls, and pies you've ever had, they enjoyed 65 years of marriage, would give you the clothes off their back, and saved probably a million dogs and cats... guess that's where I get it. :)

Johnie Lee Holland- so young and so beautiful!

Perry Lou Crawley- seriously, how handsome is he?

My handsome Papa in his Navy uniform- this is sometime in the late 30's, I think.

Gran Johnie with her youngest daughter and my grandmother, Charlotte, we affectionately call her "Chuck".

My beautiful Grandma Chuck and that precious little boy she's holding is my dad! Too cute!

So, all this has me thinking, what is MY legacy? One of my very favorite songs is "Legacy" by Nichole Nordeman. In it she sings,
"I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me. I enjoy an accolade like the rest... but in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides the temporary trappings of this world".
I have to stop and remind myself daily... okay, if I am being honest, it's hourly, that my worth is not measured by the things I have. Jesus doesn't offer salvation only to those who are size 6, carry designer handbags and have a closet full of Stuart Weitzman's (that's a brand of shoe, for you men out there), drive the biggest car, have the cleanest house. Praise the LORD for that! God doesn't require us to accumulate all of those temporary trappings. He has given me, US, something that is so much better than all of those things. It's more beautiful than a new pair of Jimmy Choo's (again, shoes), it's softer than the finest Coach leather, and it's one size fits all! Have you guessed it? It's the Holy Spirit! This morning I read from Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
We are called to be witnesses- to leave a Legacy, and not just any old Legacy, the legacy of CHRIST in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of this earth? I have never been to those actual places, but I live in a similar setting. I can be a witness in my Jerusalem (city) of Columbia. I can be a witness in my Judea (state) of Kentucky. I can be a witness in my Samaria (enemy territory)... and since satan is every where, unfortunately, almost every where we go can be Samaria, maybe even our own homes.
I am blessed to have so many people in my life who serve as examples of being a witness and leaving a glorious legacy. I don't think I will ever tire of telling my Aunt Lesli's beautiful story- that while enduring chemo treatments, she shares the Gospel with her nurse and all she meets. She shared the love of our Lord with a man who died the very next day. What a beautiful legacy. Though it isn't easy to share her faith with her unbelieving nurse, she does. Though it probably wasn't easy for my great-grandparents to share their food, money, time, and talents with people in need, they did.
Not only have they left a beautiful legacy on this earth, beautiful memories of great acts of service, God was well-pleased with their witness. I believe Papa heard, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." As will Gran and Lesli when they meet our sweet Jesus face to face.
I am striving to leave a legacy... to be remembered not for the clothes I wear or how skinny I ever was or was not or much stuff I collected... I want to be remembered as a good and faithful servant. Because I have been given much, way too much in fact, I want to share too  much. To give until it hurts. To share my faith outside of Sunday school and bible study, even when it's incredible uncomfortable.
What kind of legacy are you leaving? Here's to witnessing to the people in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth and striving to make sure that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts are pleasing in His sight.

Much love,


jennyb said...

Thank you for your sweet spirit and your words. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa after reading this: "Following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts and then love some more." And I think that so much of the time our legacy is not about what we have or what place we've been given in the world, but whom and how we've loved. Sometimes loving our enemy is going to be so hard. Sometimes loving a stranger is going to put us out of our comfort zone. But the temporary "hurt" associated with that love is nothing compared to the overwhelming love we receive in response for expressing our love. I look forward to building a legacy based on that principle.

Tevie & Allysa said...

You are beautiful inside and out, Jenny B. I am so honored to call you friend. I'm saving that quote. Thanks. xo

The Fox Family said...

Wow... just what I needed today. I too LOVE that song (shocker, we share a preference in music too). But it's also nice to hear the heart of someone else who is desperately trying (while sometimes feeling as if we are fighting the world and it's views with a BIG STICK) not to get consumed with the "Stuff" and focus on the love of Jesus. Much Love.

Jamie said...

Amen sista! What a wonderful word...I also struggle with "my flesh" on a daily basis. It is so easy to get caught up in this world and forget Jesus doesn't care about your house, car, clothes, etc. He just wants us. Satan is EVERYWHERE and we must carry our shield of Jesus with us at all times. Thanks for sharing! I love hearing the heart of other christian women!
And ps...I love your great grammy and never even met her! Owned bakeries and all those homemade treats? My dream is to have a bakery!! How awesome! :)