Enjoy Mimi's inspirational post for this week. It reminds me of what I heard a few years ago at a Beth Moore conference, "Live your legacy now!" I am so thankful for the Christian legacy of Mimi and other precious ladies the Lord has placed in my life! Read, share, and enjoy! Shannon :-)
Lineage, Legacies, and Family Trees
I was almost overwhelmed Sunday as I drove home from a wonderful weekend ladies retreat with my two daughters. I received a lot of Biblical knowledge and spiritual renewal to chew on for quite a while. Much was put into the Lineage of Grace theme of our retreat and much is required for me now to recall it all. Typically after I participate in one of these much needed retreat weekends, I like to reflect and catalog exactly what my soul fed on. I try to reflect and apply honestly all that I have taken away from these magnificently-orchestrated weekend retreat.
Funny as it seems, in spite of all the knowledge and renewal I enjoyed as a part of the weekend, what I remember most is a game that we played at one of our round tables. In small groups of 7 or 8, we were given a piece of poster board with 2 specific names listed. In a strictly-timed (but very fun) game, we were asked to trace these two people back through generations of bloodlines, marriages, births, and deaths in order to make them connect.
In all actuality we were tracing backwards through their lineage or family trees. In our timed game we were frantically tracing a blood line for the highly sought-after grand prize—a pack of Pixie Stix. I quickly listed names of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, etc. across the poster board that we had been provided
As I worked to connect the two names on my board, thoughts crossed my mind of all the folks that I was quickly listing. They were just names—hastily written—that, once put together, had become a funny looking family tree…a slanted lineage…a family heritage scrawled on poster board. There were precious names listed there that made me smile and recall sweet memories.
It really was not so much the game or the names listed that impacted me. It was the reality of the thought that one day when future generations sit around a round table and play a game such as this, I may be a name included in the lineage. And yes, I would like to think a smile or chuckle might cross their minds when they think about Anne Lyles (Mimi).
So why was I still (60 hours later) continuing to ponder the “lineage game” and not some deep spiritual insightful point? It suddenly became clear to me. I want to be more than just a written part of a lineage; I want to be a shouted part of a family legacy. I don’t want to be just a name haphazardly written; I want to be a voice consistently remembered. I want to be more than just part of a family line; I want my energy and enthusiasm to make others want to boldly underline my name!
It takes little or no real contribution at all to be a line on a branch of a family tree. But understand this—it takes purpose and determination to be a part of a legacy that produces good fruit on a family tree…a family tree that is healthy and thriving…a tree that has resulted in a family rooted firmly in Truth and living mightily in Love. A tree like this bears fruit that has been harvested generation after generation for others to enjoy.
Is my life producing a harvest for future generations to partake of? Not this present generation, not the next generation, but future generations…the generations that are four or five lines down the hypothetical poster board family tree. Is my life producing a fruit harvest that’s worthy to discuss a century from now? The Lineage of Grace study by Francine Rivers that was at the center of our retreat weekend carefully examined the placement of precious women in the ancestry of Christ, portraits of the redeeming love that God offers. We must also live out our legacy for future generations to learn and live!
I stop now to remember an older lady who invited me to my first Bible study/mini-retreat, The Study of Philippians – Chapter of Joy. She did not just invite me. She was waiting patiently for me, Bible in hand, in the parking lot of her church. She took my daughter to the nursery, took me by the hand, and made sure I was at her table. The tables of Godly ladies there that day were part of a legacy that impacted me.
I pause now and reflect on this past weekend that I enjoyed with my sweet daughters. As I look back and think about them sitting in their own table groups, I pray that there will continue to be ladies in the lineage that will continue to Live Out the Legacy for them and for their children and grandchildren. Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)“For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” (Psalm 61:5)