Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

Hi Girls-

OK...don't let the title get you down, I'm going somewhere with this but I don't want it to seem at all morbid.  I was going to go with "Dearly Beloved" because of my massive adoration for Prince but wanted this post to be on a more serious note. 

If you've been around this blog for a while you know that I've experienced a whole bunch of heartache in my life with the loss of both of my parents at a really young age in a short amount of time.  I never knew my grandfathers and lost both of my grandmothers early on as well.  For a lack of better words, I know my way all too well around a funeral home. 

But I'm not here to sulk or be sad about these tragedies in my life.  I'm here to talk about my future---my life and what I will leave behind when I'm gone.  OK, so maybe that does really sound morbid but I swear I REALLY am going somewhere with this.

On Monday night, my LifeGroup girls and I met and were trying to decide on a new book to take on (which by the way we decided on Glennon Doyle Melton's 'Carry On, Warrior' because we loved 'Love Warrior' so much). We heard her speak at the Belong Tour in Charlotte late last year and she is in one word---amazing!!!!   Anywhoodle, in trying to decide what that book was going to be our leader gave us note cards and asked us to write out the things we wanted to be better at and what we wanted our legacy to be. 

But first, let me back up just a skosh....Sunday afternoon I attended the funeral for my BFF Lizzy's sweet grandma.  I unfortunately never had the pleasure of meeting her but after leaving that day I felt like I had known her my entire life and that she was the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman.  The reverend who performed the service asked if anyone wanted to say a few words or tell any stories about this beautiful soul and person after person stood up and told of how wonderful she was, about the delicious foods she made, about how she always sent cards when people were sick or celebrating, how she helped raise their children, how she was so kind and loving and how her family was the most important thing to her only coming in second to Jesus...I could go on and on. 

OK, now back to Monday leader (who is also one of my favorite gal pals Courtney) attended the service with me on Sunday so it got her to thinking that what we wanted our legacy to be and how it could possibly help us choose what our next book should be.  And I'll be honest, I thought it was kind of a hard task.  I mean, have you ever really thought about what you wanted your legacy to be?  In being totally transparent, I get nervous when I'm at funerals and the pastor does this for fear that no one will stand up and say anything.  I mean, what if that would happen at my funeral?  That's why I've told my sister that when I die, I don't want a viewing, a funeral, nothing (she's most definitely shaking her head as she's reading this).  But for reals y'all, not like I would care because I'd be dead (ok, I know I know--morbid) but what if no one stood up and told a story?!? 

When my parents died, people stood up and told stories about them.  I don't remember a single one of them because I was in a fog for most of it, but I know they were all heart felt and true.  My mother was also a true Proverbs 31 woman encompassing everything that I always wanted to be.  And my father was strong, a leader, treated my mother like a Queen, loved his family and had the hardest work ethic of any man I've ever known.  I know the legacy that my parents left behind because I am one of them.

So I reached down inside myself and my soul and dug deep...and this is what I want my legacy to be (which also means that these are the things that I need to always continue to work on).
  • Was generous with my time, love and heart.
    • I value my time similarly to how I value money.  Let me explain.  I measure how much my time is worth on an hourly basis.  Meaning that if I can pay someone to do something for me less than what I consider my hourly wage to be than I will hire them to do the job (think lawn care, grocery shopping, cleaning out the gutters, etc).  Quality time is my top love language.  And I want to be known as someone who was generous with her time--whether that be through calling to check up on someone just because, going out to dinner, just sitting and being together for no purpose, going on vacations together, etc.  All of those things are just snippets of how I show my love for everyone in my life.   
  • Loved my friends unconditionally.
    • I talk about my friends A LOT.  A WHOLE LOT.  They are what makes my heart continue to beat.  Loyalty in friendship means everything to me.  I miss friends who were once in my life that are no longer because we simply just grew apart and sometimes I still mourn them.  But I rejoice in friendships that have come full circle and that I can't imagine ever doing life without them again.  When I was writing this, a Sex & the City episode popped into my head.  I love SATC--it was one of my favorite shows and there was a quote that Mr. Big said in one of the last episodes when he told Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha that he knew that they were the loves of Carrie's life and that a guy would be lucky just to be 4th.  That's kind of how I've always felt.  My friendships mean the world to me and I want my friends to know that no matter what they do or decisions they make or life choices they go with that I will ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS have their back.  I would take a bullet and gladly give my life for any of them.
  • That I was passionate about life.
    • I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  Are you passionate about something in your life?  Your family, your kids, your friends maybe?  Maybe even your job or cooking or reading or hell, even shoe shopping?  I want to be known as someone who was passionate about it all.  Passionate about life in general--someone who gave all of me in every facet of my life.
  • That I was authentic and real.
    • My LifeGroup spent a lot of time talking about this Monday night.  I don't know if this is true in your life but in my life I have different "representatives" of myself that I give to people.  In Glennon Doyle Melton's book 'Love Warrior', she talks about being a representative of yourself to certain people and not the real you. "I just always felt that there were two of me.  There was the real me, and then there was my representative that I sent out into the world who stuck to the script.  That voice that when someone says, 'How are you?', and you're really not good, it says 'fine,' she explains".  (Quick side bar, this is a freaking amazing book and I totally recommend it--real, raw, just what every woman needs to read).  And I honestly couldn't agree with her more on this.  Do you find this to be true about yourself too?  Here's how I see it laid on for me.  There's the real deal, raw, unfiltered true me that swears way too much, never denies her love of vodka, talks about and says things she shouldn't, actually cries so that she doesn't seem weak to others, loves fiercely and loyally that I show to my closest inner core of friends (and my sister).  Then there's the next tier of me that is a less abrasive version of Jenny #1.  Then there's the next tier of me that is what my work colleagues see that is professional and direct and strong and straight to the point.  Then there's the next tier of me that is what my church friends see.  Then there's the next tier of me that is similar to what church Jenny is that my extended family see.  You get what I'm saying here?  I'm like a damn onion I tell ya!  But what I truly want to be remembered as is that I was authentic and real to every tiered group in my life---that I was the same person to all of them (and that they still loved me).  This, my friends, is probably the hardest and biggest thing I need to work on. 
OK girls, yes I know that was a little deep for a Wednesday!  But I couldn't get it off my mind and felt like I had to write about it.  What do you want to leave behind as your legacy?  What do you want to have your friends and family stand up and say about you?  Are there things that you need to work on to make that true? 

I'll close with this in honor of Lizzy's grandma and my mom because both women were both spectacular....
Being a #Proverbs31 woman is not about being “perfect.” It’s about living life with #purpose.

The 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman

1. Faith – A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3.  Mothering – A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service – A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances – A Virtuous Woman spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7.  Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time – A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)