You Are Building Your Legacy Today ~ Mom Heart Thoughts, Part 3

Years ago, when our oldest was about three years old, my husband told me, "I think I have discovered the secret to becoming a better parent.  It is to become a better person."

As I walk this journey of motherhood, over and over I have seen that the state of my heart and mind has the greatest impact on how I parent, indeed on how I relate to the world at large. Not a parenting book, not wise words from an older woman, not an inspiring blog post... the state of my heart and mind.

And let me just tell you, there has been more than one occasion on which I have cringed reading this verse:

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks
~ Matthew 12:34 ~

So often when we are faced with a challenge, especially with another person, we focus on what they need to change, or what we can do to deal with them. I wonder what would happen if every time we faced a challenge we sought God about our own hearts?

At a recent Mom Heart conference, one of Sally Clarkson's sessions was entitled "Your Optimistic Spirit Matters ~ It's How You Live As a Mother." Join with me in considering these gems from Sally:

"Choose to walk in the light"
"Do not weary in doing good"
"Stay faithful to your ideals"
"No one can be obedient for you"
"You're either living or dying"
"Don't take yourself too seriously"
"You are not defined by the circumstances in your life"
"Strength takes a choice, but God has strength to give you"
"It is to a woman's honor to overlook a sin"
"Bitterness does not look well on a woman"
"Cultivate contentment"
"What do you want your legacy to be?"

Don't you just want to decorate your house with all these wonderfully uplifting and challenging quotes?

But how on earth are we supposed to do all that, be that woman who is content and not-bitter and patient and strong and humor-filled? A woman who lives a joyful legacy?

It all starts with seeking God.

You can't just make yourself joyful. But you can choose to desire joy and to persistently seek God. He alone can transform a worn and weary woman into an in-the-light-walking girl, filled with joy and laughter.

And because, by design, you were made to be His girl, and to be your husband's wife and your children's mother, it is God's good pleasure to strengthen you, in Him, to be patient, to be content, to be obedient... to be joyful.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 ~

So I seek Him, and pray that He helps me become the woman He has called me to be. And as He molds my heart and mind it changes how I behave, how I parent my children.

Sally Clarkson asked "What do you want your legacy to be?"

I wonder what my children will remember when they look back on these years. What I hope with all my heart that they remember is how much they were loved, and that God was ever-present.

I will never be perfect (oh my cluttered house!), but I want to be intentional about allowing God to grow me.

Sally suggested we ponder the question of our legacy, and choose five words we'd hope would be used to describe us in the years to come. This word girl, of course, chose five sentences. {smile}

How much joy it will bring me if my children can say from their hearts:

"My mother...

... chose love in action"

... found beauty in the mundane"

... sang through life's sorrows"

... spoke life-giving words"

... lived the joy of the Lord"

What is the legacy you wish to leave? How do you want your children to remember you?

To read Parts 1 and 2...
Mom Heart Thoughts Part 1 ~ Discipleship and Family Ministry
Mom Heart Thoughts Part 2 ~ Taking the Time to Choose People Over Things 

Other mothers' Mom Heart thoughts:
God is at Work in Your Child's Life
What I Learned at the Sally Clarkson MomHeart Conference
MOM Heart Conference
Mom's Heart

Linking to Thought-Provoking Thursdays at SomeGirlsWebsite

photo by Scott Liddell


  1. Wonderful post and thoughts! I'm definitely linking to this next Tuesday!

  2. "What I hope with all my heart that they remember is how much they were loved, and that God was ever-present." - With all my heart I want this too. I loved how you said that we are designed to be "His girl." Your beautiful thoughts here have touched me.

  3. What a wonderful post. I wish I had read this when my children were young. Such great words of wisdom thank you.

  4. You can just call me convicted. Thank you for the encouragement to not weary in doing good. What wise words from the bard, too.

  5. Such important food for thought! So many good nuggets there to chew on this week...

  6. Thank you for your words. I have been thinking a lot about relationships over the past year as I worked on a book I've been writing. But the idea that God made me specifically for the people he has now placed in my life just cemented some of the ideas floating around in my head. Yes, we were made intentionally, made to serve those God has given us in a way that no one else ever could. We must do it well - we are part of God's plan. Isn't it amazing to think just how many plans God has laid intentionally.


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