Here are a few of my most valued possessions. This quilt rack is proudly displayed in our bedroom.
The two on front and back left were hand stitched by my Grandma Bunton, probably somewhere in the 1950’s.
Both the quilts on the right were made for me by my Mama. The front one is also hand stitched — not a sewing machine touched it, and it took her two years. The back one is made from scrap pieces of the clothes she made for me when I was little — Holly Hobbie smocks, cotton dresses and polyester pantsuits. I remember each outfit with love.
The one in the back middle was made by my daughter, Lindsey for her senior project in high school. I’m incredibly proud she would want to continue a family tradition. Four generations of quilting hang on this rack.
If the house was on fire, after making sure all family and pets were safe, I’d grab this treasure on the way out.
My daddy was a wood worker. When they tore down his home place, “The Old House” as we called it, he took some of the boards off the walls first. The wood was so old it was almost petrified. He said he tore up several bands from his planer trying to sand it down.
Beside me and my beautiful daughter Kaitlyn is the cabinet he made me from those boards. He’s been gone nearly 10 years now, and my grandparents have been gone decades. Priceless doesn’t begin to describe it. I wouldn’t sell this for all the money in the world.
When I’m gone, my children will be left with quilts and furniture from their grandparents and great grandparents, and I think they’ll appreciate it — if for no other reason than they know how much it meant to me. But if that’s all I leave them, I’ve failed as their mother. I want them to have so much more than family heirlooms.
Not to be morbid or anything, but I’m going to die one day. And Lord, please, let me die before any of our children. I want to leave them what thieves and moths can’t steal and destroy. I want to leave them a legacy.
Here are just a few things I consider a legacy worth leaving — not just for them, but the generations that follow them. I’m going to be a grandmother in a few short months, and I’ve got a lot of dreams for that sweet little one.
A legacy of love. Crazy-like, unconditional love. I didn’t just love them when they were lovable. I loved them when they were throwing temper tantrums, messing up my clean house, sassing me, and getting in trouble. As I read to them every night, I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my babies you’ll be.
A legacy of provision. May they remember I put their needs above mine — not just financially, but emotionally and physically. From midnight feedings and changed diapers, to being grade mother in their classes, to planning their weddings, sending them to college, and giving tax advice.
A legacy of wisdom. I allowed my children to feel the consequences of their choices, both good and bad. Although it nearly killed me, I let them feel the pain of disappointment and disobedience. It makes them good people. Many times, I shut my door and cried to see them hurting, but if it was best for them, I let pain do it’s work.
A legacy of expectation. I didn’t demand all A’s, perfection on the ball field, or anywhere else. It didn’t matter how well they did, as long as they did their best. I didn’t push for success in the world’s eyes. I expected effort. Refusing to try wasn’t an option.
A legacy of dependability. The world is a crazy place. You just never know what’s going to happen. People come and go. Children need stability. I hope they saw me be the same person at home as I was everywhere else, day in and day out. They need to know their parents are always there when doubt and fear assails.
A legacy of an example. I’ve never bought into the “do as I say, not as I do” line of thinking. Sure, there are things adults get to do that kids can’t, but providing them an example of how to behave is the least I can do for them.Their personalities differ from mine in many areas, but kindness, honesty, integrity, and keeping your word should be how everyone lives.
A legacy of Jesus. May they know, deep down inside, that they are so loved, so wanted, so precious to God, that there is nothing they can do to slip from His grasp or His grace. I pray I have passed His love, faithfulness and goodness to them, like Psalm 78:4 instructs us,
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.
I guess time will tell if I was successful or not, and I may not know in my lifetime. Although my relationship with them has morphed into more of a friendship nature now that they’re adults, when they were young, they didn’t need another friend. They had plenty of those. They needed a mom, not another buddy. My intention was never to be the coolest, hippest mom, and I’m sure they’d all agree I probably wasn’t. That’s okay with me.
If my children are as kind and respectful to the waitress as they are to their boss, if they love and honor God and people, if they walk in the grace and mercy of the Lord, uphold justice and fight for goodness, if they’re honest and keep their word, if they do their best as employees, wives and husbands, friends and neighbors, if they love their children enough to teach them what they’ve learned, I’ll have left a legacy worth passing on. In my book, that’s true success.