Category: Faith (Page 1 of 6)

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What will be left?

I have been doing a lot of writing lately – obviously not on this blog, but I promise, there is a lot of writing going on.  As I was gathering and organizing some of my old blog posts, I came across something I did for one of my college classes last year and I HAD to post something here for y’all.

A few years back, Zak and I were preparing to go on a trip – and I tend to get very emotional about my children before I travel without them.  My mind will race and I think about all they will go through if something were to happen to one (or both!) of us.  What will they be left with?

When I ask that question, I don’t mean money or possessions, although I do believe that is crucial.  Like Dave Ramsey says, “It’s selfish not to have a will for your loved ones.”

When I ask “What will they be left with?” I mean, what will they remember about us?  How did we make them feel?  Did they know how very much they were loved?  Will they go through life knowing that someone believed that they could do amazing things?

And, because I am a writer, you know what I did when those thoughts took over brain?  That’s right, I wrote each of them a letter.  I didn’t just say “I love you so much and I will miss you while we are gone.”  No.  I got specific…

I told them that they have made my life exceptional – that because of them, I am a better person.  I told them that they can do amazing things in their lifetime – that they have more potential and talent in their little finger than I could have ever dreamed to have for myself…

I told them that they are beautiful, but that the kindness and compassion they have for others will be where their real beauty shines.

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(The picture is a real letter – but not to my children.)

I told them to continue relying on God throughout their lives.  To pray.  To ask for forgiveness and to offer grace and forgiveness to others.

These are just some of the things I want my children to remember during their journey on this earth.  They may read these things in books or hear them in a generalized way on a TV show, but I needed them to hear it from me.

So, the question for all of us becomes this… What are we leaving our loved ones with when its our time to go?  Will they know how we felt about them?  Have we written them down so that they can be a life-long reminder – a treasure they keep close to their hearts for as long as they live?

How will our words change them?  What about our LACK of words?

Words are powerful.  Not only do we need to use them wisely, but we need to USE THEM.

~ Roxanne

 

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What we ask for VS what we get

It was a little more than 11 years ago that we found out we were having twins.  When the doctor first said to us “I hear this might be twins – don’t get too excited yet,” Zak and I looked at each other with the kind of wide-eyed excitement a kid who had just entered the “World of Candy and Toys” store would have.  Yeah, we did not listen very well.

We spent the next few months praying we would make it through each phase of the pregnancy.  We prayed constantly for healthy children.

Then we found out we were having two girls…we, of course, started praying for all kinds of other things, but one was this…

God, please let them be individuals.  We don’t want them to be exactly the same.  Please give them each their own little personalities.

We knew when they entered our world – a little premature, but overall healthy – that they LOOKED very different.  One was blonde, the other brunette – one was a little chunkier than the other.  As they grew, they continued to do things on their own – Kimber was walking at 9 months and Kenna took her sweet time and didn’t walk until almost SEVEN months after her sister!  Kimber was always smiling and Kenna seemed annoyed by all that joy… we were a little amused.

We have watched them both grow into beautiful young girls, but still very, very different.  Most people wouldn’t even know they were sisters, much less twins.  One looks just like me, but acts just like her dad – the other, you guessed it – looks more like her dad, but acts like me.  One is a hunter – the other a ballerina.  One loves being a twin and we think the other would love to be an only child!  One loves to be affectionate and the other will barely hug us.

It is bizarre.

And I laugh about it a lot.  I remember praying that specific prayer and I think it is hilarious what God did with them!  Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would have twin girls who were so completely opposite.  For a long time, we wondered if they would even be friends with each other!  We are reminded that He has a sense of humor – I have a vision of God hearing our prayers, chuckling, and saying “Just wait.”

What God does with our prayers is so beyond what we could ever imagine.  What Zak and I wanted was simple – two daughters who were different enough that we could tell them apart.  What He ended up giving us is an every day reminder that He listens, that He cares, and that He can go above and beyond what we could even fathom asking for.  And isn’t that what we need so often? – A daily reminder of His goodness?

While we don’t always get exactly what we pray for, we get what we need, from the One who knows what that is better than anyone.

“But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” ~ Psalm 66:19

~Roxanne

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THIS should make us ALL rethink the way we live

There are times in our lives when we have what are called “a-ha moments” or moments when an idea is put in front of us in such a way that it changes the way we think about certain things…

I am in major self-development mode, which means I am digging into books and bible studies and talking to people I can learn from in order to – well, be a better person all the way around.

So, it was while I was reading the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (please bear with me here) that one of those ideas took my breath away momentarily, made me sit back in my chair, and go “whoa.”  The author, Stephen Covey, presents the following to us… (and he suggests that you are undistracted as you read this, make sure things are as quiet as possible, if possible):


“In your mind’s eye, see yourself going to the funeral of a loved one.  Picture yourself driving to the funeral parlor or chapel, parking the car, and getting out.  As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music.  You see the faces of friends and family you pass along the way.  You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known, that radiates from the hearts of the people there.

As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself.  This is your funeral, three years from today.  All these people have come to honor you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life.

As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand.  There are to be four speakers.  The first is from your family, immediate and also extended – children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who have come from all over the country to attend.  The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who can give a sense of what you were as a person.  The third speaker is from your work or profession.  And the fourth is from your church or some community organization where you’ve been involved in service.

Now think deeply.  What would you like each of these speakers to say about you and your life?  What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect?  What kind of son or daughter or cousin?  What kind of friend?  What kind of working associate?

What character would you like them to have seen in you?  What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember?  Look carefully at the people around you.  What difference would you like to have made in their lives?”


Did you say “whoa?”  Or maybe something similar?

This is actually something I have thought of before.  I’m sure you have, too – at some time in your life.  But, seeing the words written out in front of you puts it in a different perspective.  It really is something to think about!

So I will ask you the same questions I asked myself… What are you doing right now that is changing lives for the better?  What contribution are you making?  In what way do you want to be remembered?  Is the impact I’m having on my children, on my husband, positive or negative?

Here’s the deal, friends – even if you aren’t doing the things RIGHT NOW that you think can make a POSITIVE difference or influence in others’ lives, you can START doing something now.  Just because we haven’t yet, doesn’t mean we are a lost cause.

What do you want your loved ones – people you work with – people you know – to say about you after you have left this world?  I would think we would ALL want to have made a positive, lasting legacy – even if it is “just” within our own family.

This – this is about the way we live our lives on a daily basis.  This is about our attitudes and the way we treat people, every day.

This is one of those things we may need to print out and put on our bathroom mirror.  “What do you want people to say about you when you’re gone?”

Live today like you’re making a lasting impact – because you are.

Blessings,

Roxanne

 

(Selection in italics is from the 25th Anniversary Edition of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey.  Obviously, I highly recommend it.)

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