Tag: legacy

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Welcome to a new series entitled, Lesson Learned, where I discuss what stood out the most for me from Sunday’s sermon at church. Basically, it will be about the epiphany I got or the light bulb that went off, something that resounded with me at the time and that I think others can benefit from hearing. I hope you enjoy!  

Grace to Serve – Part 1

Last Sunday’s sermon was phenomenal. The title was “Grace to Serve” and it was all about how we were created to do God’s work here on Earth. Towards the end of the sermon, my pastor asked a series of questions, but one stood out more for me than the others. He asked us what type of “con” were we? At first we were puzzled, unsure of what he meant. Then he asked a profound question about how we were living our daily lives, “Are you a CONsumer or a CONtributor?” 

Take a moment to think about it.

Pretty mind blowing isn’t it? 

Image result for mind blown emoji

I mean if you really stop to think about your life, every aspect of it, you may be proud of yourself in some places and ashamed in others. The “consumer versus contributor” concept is not about money (although it can be). It’s about life in general. When you go about your day-to-day life, are you adding to other people’s lives or just taking what you can get? 

I know, personally, that I really had to consider just how much I am contributing to the world versus how much I am taking. What difference am I really making in the lives of others? How can I be more intentional about putting the needs of others before mine in my home, at my job, my church, and when I am out and about? 

Building a Legacy

My question to you and to myself is: What legacy will you leave behind? Will people remember you with your hand out because you were always begging for more, in your pockets because you kept everything for yourself,  or clenched in someone else’s because you were always lending a helping hand? 

We all matter already; we’re all important. I mean, we were created in God’s image and loved by Him before we were even thought of by our parents. Therefore, our mission in our lives should be to make our lives matter in an even bigger way. I’m not referring to obtaining fortune and fame. I’m talking about doing those things that will matter most to God, that will matter in eternity, those things that will most impact other people’s lives and eventually draw people to Him. Isn’t that what this life is all about?

Whether or not you’re a believer, you should understand that there is no way that we were put on this earth to just look out for ourselves, not when we’re constantly surrounded by so many other people, not when we’re constantly seeking companionship, to feel loved, appreciated, and accepted by others. Our lives were made for so much more than working, gaining material wealth, and dying. We were created to be there for one another.

Your life cannot be just about yourself. While we can work on making ourselves better every day, part of that should be about our working hard at helping other people. How do you feel when someone does something helpful for you, puts your needs before their own, or goes out of their way to make you happy? How do you think it would feel to make someone else feel that same way, not just once, but over and over again?

Moving Forward

I’m challenging not just myself but you as well to try to spend every day being more of a contributor than a consumer. What can you do to be more giving in your own home? How can you help out more at work? What can you do for your neighbor, your friend, that stranger you pass each day? What can you do to make the biggest impact here on Earth?

It can be as easy as being determined to do one good thing for one person each day. Imagine your impact on the world in just one year! 

What legacy are you leaving behind? What difference will you have made to the world around you? Will the world be a little better because you were here?

Will you be remembered for being a CONsumer or a CONtributor? If you don’t like your answer, I dare you to make the necessary changes starting TODAY. 

Peace & Love,

Michelle 

We Are Called to Love

It’s November already.

Wow.

Where has the time gone?

I remember the beginning of this year and the promises that I made to myself to make this year my best year yet. I was determined to be #unbothered by life and people, to focus on setting goals and achieving them, and to change things in my life that were no longer working for my good. I am happy to say that while I may have lost my cool a few times (or many), I didn’t reach all of my goals that I set, and I haven’t made every change that I wanted to make, my life has improved drastically by what I have accomplished thus far.

Spend more time in the presence of God. Check!

Lose weight. Check!

Transfer to a new school. Check!

Reduce my debt. Check!

These were just some of my goals that I made and achieved, and my life has definitely been much more fulfilling. I must say that I am quite proud of myself. When I do my check-ins with my accountability partner, I get a certain sense of satisfaction when I realize all that I’ve done to improve my life and my state of mind.

However, lately something has been missing. There’s been this empty space that’s been longing to be fulfilled. While I’m not a selfish or self-centered person (although we all are in some way), I didn’t feel like I was doing all I needed to do in the area of service. My heart has always gone out for other people (I mean, I am a teacher), but I have not been consistent with going that extra mile to help others.

Lately, I’ve felt the need more to do more to help others especially when I consider how I can have a bigger impact on the lives of my children. How do I really get them to love and to appreciate and to be grateful for their lives and all of the blessings they have?

How do I get them to understand that they should give more than they take in this world?

What is the legacy that I want to leave behind that my children can take up and continue even when I am gone?

That’s when I decided enough was enough. The end of this year would be the beginning of my journey in purposeful serving. In other words, I would be purposely seeking opportunities to be a blessing to others. Some things that I have done thus far:

  1. Gotten more involved in my Raktivist (Random Acts of Kindness Activist) community on Facebook, getting inspired by all of the wonderful, beautiful things other people are doing to serve others selflessly. These people have hearts so big that I don’t know how their chests can contain them.
  2. I’ve joined a campaign this month called Neighborly November. Instead of just doing 30 days of Gratefulness in which most people document 30 things for which they are grateful, we are challenged to put action with our gratitude. Every day I must find a way not to just speak of my gratitude but to actually live it out. (Created by Carrie Wisehart)
  3. I took my younger son (6 years old) to my school’s sorting of the items from our Harvest Drive. We had an enjoyable time while running food from the center of the gym floor to the designated areas around the room. More than 100 families were able to receive food just in time for the beginning of the holidays because of this Harvest Drive. I felt so fulfilled just watching all of the volunteers running back and forth cheerfully sorting food even after a long day of school and work.
  4. I started working on a community service project with my team at work so we can get our students involved in serving others while learning the concept of giving without expecting to receive something in return (more to come on this in future posts).

While it’s easy to live in our bubbles and focus on just our own problems and needs, God has called us to love and serve one another, to use our gifts and talents to be a blessing to others and that’s just what I want to do. I want to do it and teach my children and my students the same thing. I pray that my children and my students will learn to love helping others, not because they will be rewarded, but because it feels good to do so, that they become intrinsically motivated to do what’s right.

I write this post not because I want any accolades or praise but to hold myself accountable. If I tell everyone what I am going to do, I know that people will be checking to see if I’m doing what I said I will do even on those days when I don’t feel like it and just want to focus on self.

Maybe I can motivate others to do the same.

Maybe I can start a small movement.

Maybe I can open more hearts to the love that God has called us all to show.

Stay tuned for more…