Our Legacy, Our Heartsong

When my daughter, Abbey, was about 12 years old, she came to me with a very worried look on her face. I asked her what the matter was. She pointed to her neck and with an absolutely horrified look asked, “What do you think THIS is?” After an experienced motherly investigation of her neck, I calmly replied. “It’s dirt.” I believe Abbey began a new personal hygiene regimen that day. And I am proud to have been a part of it; I’m sure her husband very much appreciates it today!

My daughter recently celebrated her 26th birthday! So today I want to celebrate mothers and daughters! There is nothing in life like the mother-daughter relationship. A mother teaches her daughter to be a woman. She passes on the joy of family, of relationships, of being a woman and making a purposeful mark on the world. Every woman is a daughter.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~Rajneesh


“Of all the haunting moments of motherhood, few rank with hearing your own words come out of your daughter’s mouth.” ~Victoria Secunda

I often hear Abbey saying my silly words: “whatserschnauzer” or “oh, my stars!” You have your own list of “mom sayings”. We do want to leave a true legacy for future generations, not just the silly words or phrases we often say. The definition of legacy is something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.

A local funeral home used to run this commercial on the radio:
“Memories are a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose. Remembering a summer rose in December, or the laughter of a child. The flicker in your eyes when you see an old photo. Memories of family and friends are our own books – the stories that celebrate the wonder that is life. EVERY LIFE LEAVES A LEGACY.”

What kind of legacy will we leave? One way to leave a meaningful legacy is to keep remembrances of the milestones in our lives. In Exodus 16:32 Moses said, “This is God’s command: ‘Keep a two-quart jar of it, an omer, for future generations so they can see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness after I brought you out of Egypt.'” (manna)

I have a little velvet drawstring bag that belonged to my great Grandmother. I specifically asked for it when she passed away. Inside are little trinkets from her childhood, meaningless when they were new but priceless to me generations later. I had my sister in law make two bags just like it … one for me and one for Abbey. At Abbey’s bridal shower last year I gave a talk about the faith and strength of the women who came before her in our family and gave Abbey her own “omer bag.” I put a couple of trinkets in it to get her started. She will have a lifetime to decide what to put in it. The second bag was for me. It will be part of my legacy to my daughter and her daughters and their daughters.


So after all this legacy-building, we eventually send them off into the world to be those happy, healthy, confident, giving PEOPLE we dreamed for them to be. But they can’t just remember where they came from, they have to know where they’re going.

“We mothers are learning to mark our mothering success by our daughters’ lengthening flight.” ~ Letty Cottin Pogrebin

I also want to give my daughter a good start on her “heartsong.” I love this word/phrase! What is a heartsong? Some might call it a mission or purpose. But Mattie Stepanek more accurately used the term your heartsong. Mattie was the young boy who many of us came to know on The Oprah Show before he died in 2004. One day, Mattie was talking to his mom and he had on a sweatshirt with a music maker sewn inside. As he leaned across the table, it activated and a melody came out. He said, “Mommy, listen! That’s my heartsong!” He later defined a heartsong as, “what we are called to offer others … what we hope to be remembered for.”

Your heartsong gets you through the tough times. If you are overwhelmed or tired, it gives you confidence, and makes you act. Abbey, I hope your heartsong reminds you of the confident, joyful being God created you to be. And I hope it reminds all of us to be inspired by our own lives and heartsongs … enough to inspire others, and especially our daughters. Our legacy and heartsong have everything to do with theirs.

“Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your children’s children.” Deut. 4:9

“Future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to generations yet unborn— for he has done it.” Psalm 22: 30b-31

Losing Hope? Listening to Too Much News?

Today’s Headlines:
Is Your Home’s Value Sinking?
Poor, Poor Billionaires: America’s wealthiest lost $300 billion
Quake Traps Thousands
Division Over Afghan Strategy
Bank of America’s CEO Leaving by Year’s End
Taking Aim at God on “Blasphemy Day”
Amber Alert Issued for Missing Newborn
Stocks Struggle at Quarter End

It would be easy to give in to the headlines, wouldn’t it? But God also has some things to say.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” -Jesus (Matt. 11:28 – The Message)

We have other choices and options than complaining and worrying and allowing the world to invade the sanctity of our family’s life. No matter the outside circumstances, our homes still need to be places of peace and safety. Our homes should be safe havens from all the stress and pressure we endure “out there.”

One way to do this is the long lost family activity … the family dinner. Here are some thoughts from a couple blogs and websites I’ve enjoyed.

From Dine Without Whine:
How often does your entire family gather around the security of your dinner table to enjoy a home-cooked meal, relax, and share about your day?

Facts That Can’t Be Ignored…

– The average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. (A.C. Nielsen Co.)

– Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children. (Harvard Research, 1996)

– Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004.)

– Adolescent girls who have frequent family meals, and a positive atmosphere during those meals, are less likely to have eating disorders. (University of Minnesota, 2004)

From E-Mealz:
Goal #1
Spending time with your family
Goal #2
Save time and money
Goal #3
Serve delicious food
Goal #4
Save yourself from multiple and last minute trips to the grocery store
Goal #5
Stare at your children across from the dinner table rather than into the
pantry looking for a dinner idea

Just give it some thought. Do a little extra planning. Cut out some extra activities. Enjoy some home and family time together over a simple meal. Sharing meals invites conversation, also a lost art these days. You’ll find out a bunch of stuff! And don’t watch so much news.

Let me know how it goes.

Priorities: 1-2-3


I love this article by Barbara Rainey on Family Life Today! (I would copy it here but don’t want to violate copyright laws. So please follow the link to read the article.) I get a daily email about marriage from Family Life and they are very encouraging.

My ears are burning from listening to women talk about their husbands and families. Since when is it all about the children? I was taught that a married woman’s priorities should be 1-2-3 God, husband and then children. Most Christian women will say they believe this but their lives tell a different story.

When we first fall in love and marry, it’s all about our man. Vows, dreams, spending time, conversation, being close … we start building a life together. Then children come along. So often I watch women allow their children to consume their identities. They function in mommy mode and forget about wife mode. And they expect their husbands to understand and be satisfied with the arrangement. No babysitters because something might happen, calling home during a night out to check on things, no overnights away, treating their husbands like babysitters instead of parents, endless children’s activities without scheduled “couple” time, etc. Over time, these things take a toll and can kill a marriage. It’s called neglect.

Our children need to see us loving each other in tangible ways. They need to watch a good marriage being modeled for them. Our sons and daughters learn how to treat their future spouses by watching how we do it. And, let’s face it, our kids need a break from us, too! The purpose of parenting is to teach and train them to become independent adults. This doesn’t start when they graduate from high school. It’s dozens of daily decisions and lettings go.

Save some of your energy for your husband; he is your number two priority. He can make you feel beautiful and sexy. He can make you feel safe and secure. He can make you feel cherished and adored. And he wants to if you can spare the time. Treated with respect and care, he will do all these things for you. Your children cannot. When they are grown and gone, it will be the two of you again. Having a healthy marriage when the empty nest comes takes intentional nurturing.

So our todays reflect what our tomorrows will be. Today does matter. Love on your man!

Self Care: do you practice it?

Self Care

Stop right now and take a moment to become aware of your physical body.

Are you uncomfortable? Are you hungry? How do your feet feel in your shoes? Bra strap? Do you smell nice? Is your skin scratchy? Do you feel fatigued? Got a torn nail that is driving you crazy? Are your shoulders tense? Any pain? How does your outfit make you feel today? Maybe you just finished exercising and you’re exhausted but exhilarated! Or cooked or baked up a storm as a love gift to your family and you’re tired but delighted. And maybe there are a few out there who smell nice, feel soft, are perfectly manicured and feeling fine!

Do you find it difficult to focus on your physical body?

What are you going to do about it? Have you ever stopped to think that something should be done about it? Will you carry on being uncomfortable and troubled? Will you go to bed that way? Our mental and emotional and physical health is all intertwined. A stressed mind can contribute to an uncomfortable body. And ill-fitting shoes or bras can contribute to a restless mind. These things can overflow to our husbands and children and co-workers and friends and are reflected back to us.

What can take you from uncomfortable or restless to cozy and peaceful? For me it is having on as few clothes as possible, spa or chamber music and any association with water … the sound of it, the weightlessness of it, the warmth or coolness of it, the quietness of it. What is it for you?

Here are some lovely things:
Aroma therapy
Dimmed lights
Hot or cool bath or shower
Manicure or pedicure
Fresh hairstyle
Get a new bra, for heaven’s sake
An old black and white movie
Nap with a pillow and blanket
Cuddle with ________________ (husband, child, pet … you choose)

Enjoy some intensely-flavored foods

Just a couple of bites of any of these fruits, savored and truly tasted, can change your whole outlook on life today! They have zest and energy and joy in them! Truly! Make it an eating “event” instead of just a snack. Bite, taste, chew, taste, savor, chew, swallow. Any happy memories coming up? Are your jaws tingling?

* citrus fruits
* peach
* berries of any kind
* watermelon
* Granny Smith apple

Sometimes we have to learn to care for ourselves. Women are always caring for everyone else. Make your own list of cozy peaceful so you know what to do when you need it. Don’t let discomfort be the norm. Let it lead you back to self care.

“Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Do you have other caring verses you’d like to share?

Random Dozen Meme

I’ve been learning about memes but have never participated before. I saw that Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee had created a Random Dozen meme that looked like a great place to try it out. And what a great blog, too. I’m a new follower. Thanks, Barbara!

1. When you go to Wowmart, what one thing do you get every single time, besides a funky-wheeled squeaking cart full of frustration?

* Bananas, my husband is a banana freak
* Diet Pepsi, I am a Diet Pepsi freak

2. What is something that people are currently “into” that you just don’t get or appreciate?

pants that fall off their rear ends, tongue piercings

3. What is something that really hoists your sail that other people might feel “ho-hum” about?

the taste of cola and the smell of lilacs; oh, man, the smell of lilacs can make me cry!

4. Favorite song to sing in the shower or car?

worship songs

5. A really great salad must have this ingredient:


6. Advice in a nutshell to new bloggers (one or two sentences):

Get to know the “community” out there! Comment and care. It’s really fun!

7. What was the alternate name that your parents almost named you? Do you wish they had chosen it instead of the one they gave you?

When I was a child I wanted to be named Crissy. But despite the sweet and flavor questions and jokes over my lifetime, my name ‘Candy’ has grown on me. A little silly-sounding now that I’m older but mine nonetheless.

8. What in your life are you waiting for?

To steal Barbara’s comment … grandpeoples! But I’m also waiting to retire in a couple of years so I can be more available for my speaking ministry and the grandpeoples.

9. You get a package in the mail. What is it, and who is it from?

Creative Memories, with all kinds of ways to celebrate memories! I am very sentimental.

10. Today–what song represents you?

Take this job and shove it,
I’m not workin’ here no more.
(a little crass but I had a long day at work today)

11. What is one thing that blogging has taught you about yourself?

I am a reasonably good writer and people want to read the things that have been rolling around in my head. Who knew?! It’s helping me through the fear of getting out there.

12. How are you going to (or how did you) choose the clothes you’re wearing today? What do they say about you in general or specifically how you’re feeling today?

They were the next clean things in the professional category. When I dress more professionally I feel a a little stronger.

Let Linda know if you choose to participate in her fun meme!


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