What Will Your Legacy Be?
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
I gotta start by saying, I know there are some phenomenal mother-son duos, but as Martina would say, "This one's for the girls!"
What can we learn from the mother-daughter duos of then and now? This is the question I want us to think through today.
Every relationship is different. There is not one relationship that is exactly the same. I can speak to this with confidence because what makes up relationships? People. And there are no two people the same.
I think that's why I'm fascinated with relationships. Connection with others is a passion the Lord has given me and cultivating connection and helping others do the same is the task to which I know He has assigned me.
Sometimes the assignment is hard. Like write a book about it. That part is not so hard, not because the words always come easy but because the living-it-out-so-you-can-write-a-book-about-it part, yeahhhh that's where His grace shines the brightest.
Sometimes though, the assignment He leads me to is altogether fun. This post is one of those. Let's take a look at the mother-daughter duos of our time and those who lived before us and see which we most naturally identify with, which inspire us most and what we can do about it!
1. Lorelai and Rory, Gilmore Girls
When the duo shares a name, they get to go first. It's only fair, right? Their story started when Lorelai (Lauren Graham) gave birth as a teenager to her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). Because of this, they grew up together in more ways than one. Having grown up under a household of perfection, Lorelai's legacy for Rory was about the beauty in the imperfection, the laughter in the mess and the joy in the heartache.
...and of course, the power of starting every day with a full cup of coffee! Gosh, can we all go watch an episode together and then come back to this? Kidding, this is good too.
Lorelai's was a legacy of strength. For many of us, we don't plan to be brave. Rather we wake up and because of the circumstances before us, we have no other choice but to be brave. If that's you today, know you don't have to muster up the courage in your own strength. Your heavenly Father is with you and ready to lend you His strength to help you through this.
2. Sophia Petrillo and Dorothy Zbornak, The Golden Girls
Speaking of strong women, we gotta pay our respects to the women who taught us about the longevity of love ...one late night episode at a time. Oh just me? Well, friend, you missed out. I blame Sophia (Estelle Getty) for my blatant honesty on this one. She was always a firecracker, the never-back-down or filter-your-thoughts type. (But because it's not directed at us, we kind of love her for it, don't we?)
The Golden Girls were pretty much a part of our family growing up. Sophia's legacy for Dorothy (Bea Arthur) was not without a few bumps. Together, they taught us it's okay to bump heads and it's actually better to bump heads from time to time than to sweep your feelings under the rug. Her legacy was one of perseverance.
Like Jesus said, "In this life, you will have troubles but take heart for I have overcome the world." I think one way we "take heart" is by taking the hand of a good friend beside us.
While having your mom become your roommate in your 50s is not how you might have expected life to go, friendship is a treasure and getting to call your mom a genuine friend is a rare treasure indeed. Thank God for this and trust His plan for your life.
3. Mrs. Incredible and Violet
Pixar does a lot of things well, and they were on point for this name for mom: Mrs. Incredible. She (Holly Hunter), like many of the moms we know and love, know how and when to stretch herself thin - literally - to keep their families safe. Sometimes the stretch is mental. Ever wonder why men can compartmentalize their thoughts while women have no idea what that's even like? (For women, our minds are like an internet browser with countless tabs opened ALL THE TIME.) Well, my guess is because God knew mothers and fathers have different roles in the family and would need to hold and process information differently in order to live these roles out.
As "super mom," she leaves a legacy of generosity - giving of her time, resources, physical and emotional support. Moms, remember sometimes the fruit of your labor is subtle but it's never insignificant ...cue the scene where Violet finally gets the courage to pull her hair back. Ah, it's a good one.
Ask God to help you see the fruit of your labor today, even if it's small.
4. M'Lynn and Shelby, Steel Magnolias
Now, for one of the most quotable movies... Steel Magnolias. If you haven't seen it, load up on Kleenex before you turn it on. Through M'Lynn (Sally Field) and Shelby (Julia Roberts), we get to see two generations of motherhood play out, how one builds upon the other. It has been said all of parenthood is a journey of letting go. How true it is. Because of the love she had received, Shelby is able to leave a legacy of the highest form of love, sacrifice.
Ah, watch it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll think twice about red velvet for an armadillo groom's cake, and you'll be inspired to treasure all of your friendships - even those with the Weezer's in our lives.
5. Tess and Anna, Freaky Friday
I don't believe there's ever a point when you are fully prepared for motherhood. I think it's a leap of faith for all of us. We don't know what's going to come. We anticipate the baby snuggles but if we fast forward instead to the confusing and emotional teen years, we may not be so eager to sign up.
Those years that, like Anna (Lindsay Lohan) in Freaky Friday, scream out, "You're ruining my life!" But it wasn't really Anna, it was Tess, the mom who was upset with how her daughter was now living her life. Thankfully switching bodies is only for the movies, but the switching perspectives, that's something we could all gain some wisdom from doing. Through this experience, Tess was able to leave a legacy of understanding and grace.
How might your legacy change for the better with a perspective shift?
6. Gerre and Ree
All these television examples are fun, but what about a television example of a real relationship, one which spent much of its time being formed in the kitchen? Yep, we're talking about Gerre and Ree Drummond, which most of us know as The Pioneer Woman.
How was Ree prepared for this life as "The Pioneer Woman"? While there is much she may attribute to this, Gerre's role as her mother is no doubt a driving force. Ree says, "I think my cooking POV comes from my mom, who is an elegant from-scratch cook." Watching the show, we see this. But we also see a legacy of passion handed down from Gerre to her daughters and now her grandkids. That's the beauty, and also the importance, of legacy - it outlives us.
What do you want to outlive you?
7. Lois and Eunice, umm who??
"Umm, who??" is my point. We aren't are familiar with them because they aren't from our time. But we're talking about them because their legacy has outlived them... for thousands of generations! For this one, we don't need to watch a movie or a show but instead open The Bible and take a look at Paul's second letter to Timothy. In this, he writes,
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. - 2 Timothy 1:5
The legacy of faith which now so clearly resides in Timothy came through the legacy of his mother Eunice and her mother Lois.
Moms, the work you are doing - the dirty dishes, the laundry, the carline pick-up, the supportive phone call, the patience you're practicing, the release you're giving, the trust in God you're choosing to hold onto - it matters. It matters for today, but even more, it matters for tomorrow.
Paul goes on to tell us why,
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God... For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. - 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The work of a mother is a partnership with God, equipping a child for the purpose God has on their life. There is no greater investment of our time or energy or gift. May the Lord help us to see every load of laundry and every dish, every prayer, every small task as mundane as it may feel is part of the most significant way we can serve God. Every act of love is allowing us to partner ever more closely with Him.
Legacy is worth our attention and our devotion. It's not just for our kids, but for those in our circles, those with which the Lord has given us influence. What will your legacy be?
Let's find our strength renewed as we depend more and more on strength from above. Let's find joy in the mundane moments and tasks as we shift our perspective to see how even this is a partnership with God. Let's find peace as we let go and trust God cares more about this, more about our child or friend, than even we do. Let's find rest as we cling to Giver of it all.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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