What Kind of Legacy Will I Leave My Children?

Will They Remember What’s Important?

While we were raising our three children, I often wondered what I was impressing upon them. At times, I dreamed that they’d love classic literature or determine to change the world all because I had inspired them. In those years, I certainly wasn’t a neat-and-tidy mom. I was the clean-up-before-company-comes-over type. So, when I took each of them shopping for their first-year, college supplies, I was surprised to see Clorox® wipes at the top of the list, next to toothpaste and shampoo. I realized, then, that I had impressed upon them the importance of surface cleaning for germs. Not a bad legacy. The habit of cleaning surfaces with Clorox wipes could serve them well in their future dorm life.

In the years since they left for college, I see other priorities that they picked up from us. All three children are hard working adults who realize that they must earn grades, respect, and jobs. Since I’m a recovering workaholic, I hope that they are also now learning from me to balance work and rest.

Another legacy I instilled is a love for stories, whether books, TV, or movies. They’ve taken that love and shared it with roommates and friends. My middle daughter introduced her friends to Gilmore Girls because we have laughed and cried through every episode together.

Will I Leave Them a Lasting Legacy?

Recently, I contemplated, “What am I giving my children that has lasting importance? What will be my legacy when I’m no longer an active part of their lives?”

The Robards Family

Last week, I visited the family of a childhood friend who passed from this life and into her eternal one. Joy characterized her life, and it became her motto as she battled cancer for three years. That sweet friend left a lasting impact on her children. She gave them the gift of joy as she faced death, teaching them to live joy-filled. On social media, her daughter shared,

“Mom always wanted a party, a good time. She went out with joy and we will carry on her legacy, walking with joy from this day forward.”

The blog that her daughter began in those last days of her mother’s life tells the story of a legacy, not the story of a loss.


What will my children remember? What gift will I leave them?

I hope they’ll remember that my roots were anchored in Jesus. Jesus first. Jesus alone.

And, I hope they remember that I was their biggest cheerleader (minus the short little skirt ).

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Daily, the power of stories amazes me–moves me, shapes me–an ordinary wife, mom, teacher, writer, Jesus-follower.

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