Are You Ready to Create a Spiritual Legacy Part I

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Children and grandchildren—We love them, treasure them, remember the special times, and laugh over their antics.

I watched my grandchildren take on unique personalities and sensed a need to leave more behind than an image of me as their Mimi, photos, the books I’d written, or the many hours of being with them. Although quality time and memory makers are critical to our legacy. I wanted to give them something tangible, lasting long after I was gone.

We have a responsibility to leave our values to those we love. We won’t always be there for our grandchildren, so the idea of leaving a spiritual legacy meant a lot to me. And it may mean a lot to you too.

My desire was linked to my life verse: 

Jeremiah 20:9 NIV But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

All of us leave a legacy. If we can show strength through our challenges and give God the glory, our legacy is a spiritual one. We want to provide wisdom by showing how we learned from our mistakes and grew to become better people.

Your spiritual legacy is not like mine, but what’s important is laying the foundation for loved ones to see Jesus in us, which makes what we leave behind a sweet fragrance of our faith.

What is the one thing you want to pass on to your children and grandchildren? What paths have you taken and are not afraid to talk about? Young people today value transparency. They respect others who are not afraid to talk about their weaknesses. Many of us grew up with tremendous respect for those in prominent positions, such as a pastor, teachers, and those older than us. We revered men and women of wisdom. Our grandchildren want role models they can relate to, people who talk their language. Recording our life experiences in a creative way that makes us real will encourage them more than a list of rules.

Ever skim a stone across a pond? The ripples are like the impact of our lives on others. We have no idea how far the circle will extend. When I committed to a spiritual legacy, my faith grew in the process. Not sure why I was surprised.

Daniel Taylor in Creating a Spiritual Legacy urges us to think about the following:

  1. What have I done in and with my life?
  2. What have I learned?
  3. What do I value?
  4. What is most important in life and how has my answer to that changed over time?
  5. When have I been happiest or felt my life had the most meaning?
  6. What have I learned the hard way that I want someone else to learn more easil?
  7. What can I pass on to others that will make their lives better or easier or deeper?
  8. What stories capture all this?

We are complex creatures with various:

  • Values
  • Beliefs
  • Insights
  • Passions
  • Actions
  • Life experiences

If you believe you’re not equipped to do this. Remember God won’t set us up to fail at a task that is in His will. We have to be willing to trust Him. When God says He’ll do something. He acts.

Next week, we will dive deeper into what it means to create a spiritual legacy for our children and grandchildren.

Are you ready to take the above guidelines and start to work on your legacy?

Comments 20

  1. An adage shared by a friend that I hold dear is; “Let no one find out I’m a Christian at my funeral.” I think that goes a long way in motivating us to create a legacy of faith. God’s blessings, ma’am.

  2. DiAnn, my mom is now in heaven but one item she left behind that I treasure most is a journal I gave her years ago. It is titled, Reflections from a Mother’s Heart. Each page has a question at the top and space to write the answer. Examples are, What are your earliest memories of church? What Bible verse puzzles you the most? Which blesses you the most? Why? Describe a time when God answered a prayer. There are many questions about holidays, dating, friends, disappointments, jobs, school, etc. All provide the opportunity to share thoughts she may not have told anyone. All give me glimpses into her unspoken thoughts. It is a lasting legacy I will pass on to my daughter and grandchildren. In fact, I bought a similar book many years ago to fill in and give my daughter and my sister-in-law gave me a similar book titled, Grandmother’s Journal, that I can pass on to my grandchildren. These can be a springboard for writing or video recording a spiritual legacy.

    I look forward to you next post.

    1. Karen, what at amazing journal! I love the idea and all the prompts. That is the perfect gift for all moms, grandmas, aunts, sisters, and girlfriends. I love your creativity. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. I treasure the legacy left to me by my parents and grandparents. I wish I had known how important this is when I was younger so I could have asked them more questions. That’s one lesson I have learned that I want to leave to my children. Tell them everything I can and never stop talking about how important a relationship with Jesus is. Because that is the only thing we leave behind that will last.

    1. Barbara, love this: Because that is the only thing we leave behind that will last. I wish Id been more observant when growing up. My grandparents showed their faith, and I needed to have paid attention.

  4. This very idea has been on my heart and mind. Currently my mom is in rehab after a stroke and I’ve been talking to her about sharing her faith stories for her children, grands and greats. I love the questions – I’m always looking for “conversation starters.” Thank you for sharing. I look forward to next month.

  5. Thank you. I have no children, but I do so think it’s important to try to leave the next generation & the future generations with hope from our generation & lessons we can share with them. Pay it forward. I do some volunteer work with Academy4 & VBS.

    I saw you recently at the NRH Library speak & enjoyed your talk & bought your latest book. It’s on my list to read.

    Thank you for inspiring readers & people to get out of their comfort zones. Thank you too for having this email group. Be well.

    1. Beth, thank you for responding. Those we nurture, love, and pray for are our families. You have experienced that, and I thank you for sharing your faith. Be blessed! And I appreciate your reading my book.

      Be blessed

  6. Hello, DiAnn,

    Interesting content. I am also from Texas. Dallas, born and raised. Then settled in California via Denver, Colorado.

    Very nice article.

    Until it reached “we will dive deeper” into…..

    That’s where you lost me. Why, you ask. Simple, really. I’m so tired of reading and hearing those particular 4 words. “We/I will dive deeper” has been used by every YouTuber this side of the Atlantic Ocean….. so from the Atlantic to the Pacific “dive deeper” is starting to get on my nerves. “Dive deeper” are 2 of the newest over-used words in the English language.

    Please don’t take this personal. This is probably the 7th email covering this content I’ve sent out. I’m also not trying to be the “deeper dive” police. I’m only expressing an annoyance and you aren’t the first to receive it.

    That said, hope you had a lovely Easter. Thank you for sharing. God bless. Jesus is Lord.

    Best Regards,
    Georgia Francis

    1. Georgia, Thank you for taking the time to read my article and share your thoughts. I appreciate your feedback, especially your honesty.

      I completely understand your sentiment regarding the phrase “dive deeper.” It’s important for me to consider varying perspectives, and I apologize if its overuse detracted from your reading experience.

      I hope despite this, you found value in the content of the article. Your input is greatly appreciated, and I thank you for sharing your perspective with me.

      Wishing you a wonderful day, and once again, thank you for your feedback.

      Best Regards,

  7. Yes.
    My grandfather used to pray around the dining table words of blessings for the coming generations—something like, “… and bless my children and their children’s children.”
    We used to giggle as little girls, finding his words, funny, but now they mean so much. That legacy left for me—that’s what I desire to continue!
    Thank you, dear friend.

  8. I have done this , from your inspiration.
    I cannot begin to say how meaningful this was. Once I began writing in a Bible for my children and grandchildren, I couldn’t stop. Faithfully each evening I would write. Tell stories, draw pictures, added some stamps or stickers which were meaningful for each person.
    I had traced each person’s hand print , then traced it on a page in their bibles.
    Mine being the last page.
    It means so much to them now, and when I am in my heavenly home , I pray it will become something even more beautiful to them.
    Thank you DiAnn for this amazing gift idea. You will never know just what a gift it truly is!

  9. I am grandma to 6 children. I am also a widow. Nothing means more to me than leaving a legacy of faith in the Lord Jesus. All 4 of my children are in solid Bible- believing churches and are raising my grandchildren to know the Lord.

    1. Mary Ann, I so agree with you. I first presented the concept of a spiritual legacy to a large group of widows, who like you and me, wanted something lasting to give to their beloved children and grandchildren. Thank yiu for your sweet words.

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