I have an old fashioned porch swing on my patio and I love to sit on it during the quiet part of the day and think. I have a reflective side about me and sometimes I think about things that others might call morbid or things they would prefer not thinking about at all. I love life and try to enjoy every moment of it to the fullest, but at times I ponder how I will be remembered by those I care about and have been closest to while here on this earth. Have I been the kind of person that I can look back on and be proud of? Sometimes, it helps to ask those who are closest to you to help you out with this. But be prepared to not get offended. My daughter gives me a reality check sometimes--that I may not remember things exactly as she remembers them. I may not get the "mother of the year award" after all. Something about a hairbrush...So, just be prepared.
So I am thinking, if I died today, who would show up for my funeral and what would they remember me for? My idea of a really good funeral is a room full of people, all saying good things about me and having a great time being together. Kinda like a party. I wouldn't even mind if they all were wearing party hats. That may sound weird to you, but sometimes I march to a beat of a different drum, if you get my drift. And I want to be remembered as one who loved to laugh. I am glad my name has the word "joy" in it. By the way, it has been five years since I was diagnosed with cancer and I am doing fine and probably should mention that I have no intention of dying anytime soon, in case you are getting the impression this is my last will and testament. Just for the record!
I love family. My favorite show is "the Walton's." I belong in their family. They are my brothers and sisters. My name is "Nanny Walton." Get the picture? I may live in a fantasy world, but it helps me, so bear with me. And God must feel the same way, or He wouldn't talk so much in the Bible about the "family of God" and the importance of being a part of it. I love gathering around the "family table" so we can share the joys and sorrows of our day. I love cooking in large quantities and don't believe only two people should sit down to the table. Goes back to my "Walton" roots. Extended family should be sitting down at that table. That's normal and here in America we need to get back to normal.
But I regress. Back to what I want to be remembered for. I want to be remembered by generations to come as having been a Godly woman. One who set the stake in the ground declaring that "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." A space in time where Godliness entered into the family lineage where it may not have been before. So my grand-children and great-grandchildren etc. can tell their kids they had a grandmother back there in time that prayed for them way before they were even born. Kinda gave them a head start in life, if you know what I mean.
I want to be remembered by others as a woman who was bold about declaring her love for God, her Savior and for the Body of Christ. I don't want my relationship with my Creator to have been a secret to those around me--those I rubbed shoulders with every day. I don't want to pass through life doing my own thing, never making a difference in someone else's life. I don't want to have passed through this life (at which I only get one chance at) always thinking about me and how things affect me. I want to learn early on that "life is not about me." Because when I am not centering on "me", I can think about you. I can give you hope when you are discouraged and feel that things seem hopeless, because I have been there and have found that God is faithful and able to be trusted. Because I have not been sheltered from life, I can share my disappointments and also my triumphs with you, hopefully giving you hope because someone else has also walked down that same road and came out on the other side whole. I want to be remembered as a friend that was willing to be vulnerable and open and willing to share my deepest secrets and let you even see the ugly side of me. Because sometimes you are ugly too. And if we are willing to be real with one another, we can help one another.
I may not always have the answer as to why some things happen in life, but I want to always be there to walk with you through those things. I want to be remembered as a friend that you can trust at all times. I may not always tell you what you wanted to hear, but I want to be the kind of friend that loves you enough to tell you what you need to hear. And I want you to be that kind of friend back to me. We can love each other enough to accept one another where we are at, but also love each other enough to not let us get comfortable in that place and settle there. I want to be remembered as being a part of a family that circles in times of stress and by their very presence protects one another.
I want to be remembered as one who had a deep respect and love and a willingness to care for the widows and orphans because God says that is pure Christianity. I want to always be teachable and I know that the older generation (of which I am rapidly becoming a part of ) has much to offer to the younger generation. And I want to be remembered as one that also loves the younger generation and knows that God intends to use them mightily in the coming days. They live in a different day and time than I grew up in and life will not be easy for them. I want to not be judgmental but always hold them up to God in my prayers. They are the hope for my future as well as yours. They too will carry the baton we pass on to them. God help them.
Life is made of memories. Good ones and ones that caused pain. But, I believe God's plan is for us to journey through this life enjoying one another and enjoying having a relationship with Him and also understanding the value He has placed in each one of us and the importance He sees in being a member of the "family of God". The Bible tells us He sets the lonely in families. Everyone is meant to be a part.
So, I hope you too have a quiet place with a porch swing so you can reflect on your life. What is most important to you? What will drive and motivate you this year? Is it your job and making more money than last? Is it acquiring more things to make you feel better about yourself? Will it be pursuing financial security through savings plans and IRA's and stocks? A better education? Or will your goal this year be one of pursuing God? There is nothing wrong with those other things as long as you are not pursuing them instead of God. During this year, I hope you too will stop for a short time and reflect on the importance of "family" and don't forget that, unfortunately, sometimes relationships take work and time and sacrifices made for one another. My prayer is that each one of us would have a tender spot in our hearts for not only our natural family here on this earth, but also for those that God has knit us together with- our spiritual family. I want to make it a priority to spend more time with my "family" and remember to enjoy life and live it each day to the very fullest. How do you want to be remembered?