What Legacy Will You Leave?

January 24, 2013
by Karen Knuff

2 Timothy 3:14-15 – But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Three years ago, I took my mom, then 90, to a nursing home to visit her even more elderly friend, Winnie, who was basically not "with it" anymore. I was in awe of my mother, who despite her own dementia, really "cared" for Winnie. It was caring in action. She touched her face with tenderness, stroking her cheek and asking how she was doing. She clasped her hand and squeezed it; she rubbed her shoulders, all the while speaking in a loving, caressing, tender voice, telling Winnie how much she was loved. This was a mother whom I had not seen before. Even while she herself was not doing well mentally, she reached out to her friend and just "loved her up", as my mom would say. Later, as we got lost trying to find our way out, we passed by a resident just sitting outside her room. My mom, in her wheelchair, veered off to see this person, and she spoke to her like a close friend, held her hand, and loved her up too. I was terrifically impressed by my mother on that day.

I have noticed in the last ten years or so that when I am having a struggle about something and I share it with my mom, dementia or not, she will say, "That's something that we should pray about." Then she'll suddenly grab my hands, hold them tight, and say, "Let's pray about that right now, dear!" And so she does. And then we hug. So when God urges me to pray for someone, I will think of my mother, and say, "Let's pray right now." I have been impacted by my own mother sharing her faith in action. My mother is leaving me quite the legacy of prayer and faith in action, caring in action, and loving them up.

As we go through this journey we call life, we are continuously creating a personal legacy. It is our morals and values, the examples that we set, the paths that we choose, and the decisions that we make that are imprinted on the minds and hearts of those closest to us. Every one of us will leave a legacy for those coming after us. The question though is, what legacy will you leave?

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (NIV)

This Scripture tells us what kind of legacy we will have if we love the Lord our God with everything that is within us. Let us look to Jesus for everything. Let us focus on His love. He is the lamp to our feet; He will show us what path to take, what words to say, when to say them, how to say them, where to say them, what love and faith actions that will bless someone else. All of these things are to be upon our hearts. If we are grounded in God, our children will hear it and see it in action. We can then be assured that we are leaving a positive legacy for our children or other loved ones.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your wondrous love for us. Help us to love You with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength. These are the things which will make a difference in our lives and how we live our lives for others. Help us to show our families what faith in action is really all about. Thank You for guiding us and being a lamp to our feet. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Knuff <karen-knuff@shaw.ca>
Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Thank you Karen!


    Thanks Karen for writing.


    Karen: God works in mysterious ways! Thankfully.


    Excellent Karen. We need more devotions like this from you.


    Thank you so much, Karen for sharing your mother’s example of practical love.. a good example for all of us.


    Dear Karen: Thank you for your touching Devotional this morning! Even through those “misty” times of life God is near and ever present to help, and heal!


    Dear Karen,
    I really enjoy your story “What Legacy Will You Leave?”.
    Thank you.


    Karen, thank you very much for sharing this story about your mother. I pray that I can keep this in my mind now and to carry it out in my future with others. May God bless you and I look forward to you sharing with us again soon.


    Dear Karen:
    How absolutely wonderful! Thank you for your words of encouragement and love. God bless you and yours always and please continue to help us all with your writings.


    Thank you for your statement about leaving a legacy. I am teaching church school and we are discussing change and how we might adapt to it. Some are forced upon us, others we choose. Your statement fits right into what our theme is this week. I would like to use it in my class if you don’t mind.


    I really loved your devotional from today.
    I visit my 92 year old neighbor almost every day.
    Help him with anything he needs.
    He lives all by himself and he does not know the Lord.


    Hello Karen,
    Thank God and you for today’s devotional. I pray for God to be totally in control of my surgery this week.
    Thank you and may He bless you.


    Hi Karen,
    I just want to thank you for your devotional today. It brought back such wonderful memories of my parents both of whom were very loving and faithful people. I am a semi-retired minister working with seniors, especially the shut-ins and those in nursing homes and your message today is a blessing. I pray that many will be so blessed by your sharing your mom with us. Have a grace-full day.


    Thanks Karen, for sharing the pure love of Jesus, as reflected through your dear mum’s Heavenly demeanor.
    How the Heavenly Hoste must be gathered in awe, with Father, Son and Holy Spirit in their midst, to joyfully observe and celebrate these beautiful visions of Heaven on Earth!
    I pray a blessing on your mum, and yourself and family, as you each continue in loving service to The King!


    Good Day, Karen:
    What an inspiring devotional today. We should all be following the mond of Christ and when we are urged to pray or care for someone right then and there, we should be ready, and willing, to reach out and respond. Sometimes that requires us stepping out of our own comfort zone – but God will give us the strength and power to reach out, or across!
    Bless you for sharing.


    Dear Karen: I have tears of fondness as I read your devotional about you gracious mother, whom I have known for many years. She is surely a great servant of God and a wonderful Mom. I shall always remember her radiant smile and I bet it was in evidence when she was praying with her friends. Thank you for sharing this story of God’s love at work. How blessed you are to still have your Mom. Give her a hug please for me.


    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for so graciously sharing and inspiring us with the story of your mother’s compassion for suffering people.
    God give us the grace to follow her example be we afflicted with dementia or not. A thank you for proving to us that Christian love and compassion for others can transcend the power of dementia.
    God bless you and your dear mother; and when we meet in glory the sight of her will add lustre to the joy of heaven.


    Dear Karen
    Thank you so much for your message.
    I have grown daughters and I didn’t think they were still learning from us I was wrong.
    The legacy of our rocky though strong relation ship shines like a beacon of our relationship with Christ of over thirty years. Actions often speak louder than words to our children that are now adults. We give our children roots but must also give them wings which the use to leave the nest and venture into our world alone.
    May God continue to bless you as you continue on the journey.


    Dear Karen,
    What a wonderful devotional!
    I thank God, and pray thart he will continually inspire you to write more devotionals including God’s power being manifest in the passing on of God’s love, and in praying for people.

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