Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inheritance

I'd no sooner returned from work & set down my purse when our youngest son, then 19, ambushed me at the door and asked if we could talk.  It was not a strange request, for many were the occasions when one or all of us would gather up around the kitchen table and chat about this or that, or resolve issues.  It was the particularly urgent nature of his request that had my interest piqued.
 
At once he asked:  "Mom, in some families the parents prepare an estate to leave their children.  I'm wondering if you and Dad are planning on leaving us such a legacy?"

What???  So few words, yet somehow I thought I'd misunderstood his query

I questioned him:  "Are you asking if we've set aside a vast sum of money or a trust to bequeath to you and your siblings?"

"Well ... yes.  We've never talked about it, and I was just wondering.", came his immediate reply.  Obviously he'd given this some serious thought (no doubt with some worthy purchase in mind).

I didn't wear the grin that graced the face of my heart, but I did take great delight in announcing quite emphatically:  "No, son; we've done no such thing."

"Oh, I was just wondering.", was his final word; and with that, our coming-of-age discussion ended.

Many times since (it's now been 18 years) I've thought of that day, and the grin is born anew, though now it surfaces from my heart in visible array.  To think the young man thought us to be of enough means to set aside the hoped-for estate tickles me.  To think he had formed, even for a short while, a plan & purpose for HIS portion gives me the giggles.

Inheritance, legacies, estates, trusts and endowments.  What is it I hope to leave my children?   I've given that some much thought over the years.  Some time ago I crafted a personal Mission Statement:  To leave a trail I'd be proud to have my children & grandchildren follow. 

I would hope that trail includes, though not be limited to an unwavering love for the Lord, devotion, a heart for those in need, respect for themselves & others, a great sense of humor, and a valuing of the eternal.

To all that, I would add a bequeathing of what has been bequeathed to me:

...no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the LORD.
 
Isaiah 54:17
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping
your decrees to the very end. 
Psalm 119:111-112

15 comments:

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful legacy to leave! I'm with you, this is the kind I wish to bestow. Earthly things will perish, but spiritual things will live forever. Have been reflecting on this topic, especially in the last year. Thanks, Kathleen, for sharing your thoughts with us. :)

Rebecca said...

Our children will be in the "same boat" as yours...and I have equal aspirations re. the legacy we pray to leave them.

The older I get, the more conscious I am of LIVING that legacy in such a way that they recognize it and embrace it wholly for themselves!

Nancy said...

I too have thought about this issue often and agree with you that our legacy should be a heart that yearns to know and be all that God has created me to be.....and that they will strive to know the Lord above all else....

Worldly goods come and go but God is eternal......

NanaNor's said...

I think this legacy is so much richer than the temporal kind-add to it a legacy of marriage!
Hugs to you today dear friend.
Noreen

Maryann said...

That is the legacy we wish to leave as well. We want to be remembered as people who "walked the talk" Lived a live that reflected what we said we believed.

I did have to chuckle at your story though because I could so see my one son coming up with that at that same age

Nel said...

What fun memories of your son! But nothing can top leaving a legacy binded by the Lord! Amen!
There is a song by Susie Luchsinger called In Your Eyes. That is one of the things I am trying to accomplish.
until next time... nel

Just a little something from Judy said...

Do you know how many grown children long for, in the depths of their hearts, legacies left to them like your heart desires to leave to your children. Many a story has been written about those who were left millions and are still lonely and sad. I can tell you put much prayer and thought into the inheritance issue.

Your new blog look is beautiful!

Terri Tiffany said...

I know the legacy you have left your family is so much more valuable than a sum of money!!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

There's a lot of crumbs on your trail, sister. No doubt your family will easily be able to find their way home one day!

Keep to it.

peace~elaine

Peggy said...

What a wonderful post. I hope to leave my children and grandchildren a legacy like you want to leave yours and like the Lord has left us. thanks for the reminder and Blessings to you.

Connie Arnold said...

Great post! That is the best legacy to leave. I like the little cartoon!

Cindy said...

I hope we have left that kind of legacy to our kids because there is no "estate"! lol

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

This reminds me of a Steve Green song called, "Find Us Faithful." I think you'd enjoy it.

Cheryl Barker said...

The heritage the Lord give us is certainly the only sure heritage, isn't it? It would be wonderful to leave our children a bit of a financial heritage, but I hope more so to leave them a heritage of wonderful memories.

Rosezilla said...

This reminds me of the song, based on the story in the Bible where Peter and John healed the man outside the Temple - "silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee..." Leaving our children a heritage from the Lord, of hope and peace and a future, is far more valuable than any earthly riches!