Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Ultimate Home Project

I've been thinking a lot lately about legacy and what is most important in life.  I'm not sure what led me to ponder such deep thoughts.  Maybe as parents we all wonder at times if the way in which we spend our time day in and day out is the best use of those precious minutes.  Whatever the reason, these thoughts have been swirling around in my mind for the last few weeks.  My visit to my parents' house this week has allowed me the time to reflect on the subject of legacy.

Hanging in the hallway of my parents' house is the gift that I gave to my parents and my in-laws-to-be on the eve of my wedding.  I had wanted to give our parents something meaningful that would mark this momentous occasion in each of our families and so at our rehearsal dinner I gave them a framed family tree of sorts that listed their marriage, the marriages of their children, parents and grandparents.

As I stood looking at it this week, my eye was drawn to the very top, to the names and marriage dates of my great-grandparents.  I thought about how much, or rather how little, I actually knew about them.  I knew their names and their wedding dates (thanks to some investigative work by family members) but other than some vague holiday memories as a small child, I really didn't know who these people were as individuals.

I certainly didn't know or care what kind of sofa they had or if their throw pillows coordinated perfectly with their drapes.  In fact I thought it silly that they would care about such mundane things.  Especially, I thought, if they could see and appreciate what their lives had led to - the continuing of generations of loving, beautiful individuals who were carrying on the family legacy.

These thoughts have led me to consider carefully what I deem important in my own life.  I spend so much time and energy on things that seem important in the moment, but I often wonder...

Will my children care if the beloved living room sofa is beginning to show signs of wear?  Or will they only care that our home was a safe haven for them, a place to find rest in a sometimes difficult world?  

Will my grandchildren care that I never could figure out the right furniture placement in the office?  Or will they only care that they inherited their grandfather's strong work ethic because he instilled the same in his sons?

Will my great-granddaughters care that I never could seem to finish all of my house projects, or will they  only know they inherited an eye for beauty and a passion in creating a loving home environment from their own mothers?

Most of all, will they know God and serve Him with their lives?  Will they show His lovingkindness to those around Him?  Will they love God and love people?  

If this is my ultimate goal for the generations to come after me, then how I spend my time should be a reflection of this goal.  

I do believe that God has created me with purpose and that my passion for creating a lovely home is part of that design.  But I'm smart enough to acknowledge that my passion for creating outward beauty in my home should never surpass my passion for creating inward beauty in the lives of my children.  This is what matters.  This is what is of utmost importance.

The same passion and excitement I feel in creating the next beautiful decoration for my home should pale in comparison to the excitement I feel at a new day of helping to create who my children will be.  I think sometimes I get it confused and switch around the priorities.  I want to be different, though.  I want to live my life in such a way that, even if someday my great-grandchildren only know my name and marriage date, they will be God-serving individuals because of what I chose to do today.

It is for this reason that I have had to accept the fact that my idea of perfection may never come to fruition.  I will never post as many blog entries as I would like, finish as many home projects as are on the to-do list, or ever feel like we have enough money to do everything on my wish list.  But I will strive to live each day with the goal of laying my head on my pillow at night knowing that I gave my all that day to the things of importance.  I gave to the things that will last long after I am gone from this earth.  

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