Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Want to Leave a Legacy

When I interviewed for the assistant principal position at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, in Dallas, I was asked what kind of legacy I wanted to leave behind. That is not your typical interview question but it really got me to thinking. How do I want others to remember me? What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind for my family members? Do I want them to remember how intelligent or how organized I am? Or, do I want them instead to remember that I loved them more than words can say? Do I want people around me to remember that I was too busy to listen? Or, do I want them to say, she always listened when I needed her to?

The legacy I want to leave is one of love and compassion. I want others to remember me for showing mercy and grace. I want my life to have been a servant's life - a servant to the King of Kings and to His people. My intelligence, my accomplishments, and my material possessions don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. I want my love for God and my family to be what they remember about me. I want to leave that kind of legacy!

Nicole Nordeman's song Legacy says it best:

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When I count my blessings.......

He is on the top of my list. My words will probably do a poor job of expressing just how blessed I am to have been given such an amazing husband. I am frozen with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that God allowed us to meet and share our lives together. If I had my life to do over, marrying Kevin Shindoll is one decision I would make over and over again. Today, on our anniversary, I am reminded of fourteen reasons why I love him more each day.
  1. He is my best friend.
  2. He is an awesome daddy to my kiddos!
  3. He has the anointing of God on his life.
  4. He loves God and seeks His will.
  5. He allows me to be both independent and dependent when I want to be.
  6. He NEVER forgets a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion!
  7. He believes in me.
  8. He supports my dreams and helps me reach them.
  9. He has taught me what unconditional love is.
  10. He forgives easily!
  11. He brings me coffee! (Actually that should be higher on the list)
  12. He is teaching my son how to be a good husband.
  13. He doesn't mind helping me around the house when I am tired!
  14. He tells me everyday that he loves me.
I look fondly back at the fourteen years we have shared, and I look forward to what lies ahead. I am Truly Living!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Don't Let Others Define You

While browsing through the clearance section at the Pentecostal Publishing House booth, last month, I came across an excellent self-help book. It is called Simple Suggestions for a Sensational Life by Paula White. I opened the book just to see what it was like and the first page I turned to had the subtitle, "Don't let others define you." Obviously this caught my attention because being the "people pleaser" that I am I tend to do just that - let others define me. Paula went on to say that when we let others define us, they'll limit us and define us in a way that is less than what God has for us. She says they'll define us as less intelligent, less effective, and less spiritual than what God wants. This is so true. Psychology has even proven that "labeling" can be detrimental to a healthy development of the mind. Paula was right on with her thoughts about how important it is that we not let others define who we are. We have all been around those who feel it is their God-given duty to define us. They cannot see what God has in store for us or how we fit into His plan. God sees us for what we can be for Him. He looks past our every little mistake and sees the potential that may be hidden from others.

So, when you rub shoulders with those who try to make you feel unintelligent or unsuccessful just remember that God has greater plans than they can see. Most of the time those who try to define you aren't happy with who they are. The only way they can gain satisfaction is through pointing out your flaws. Remember, we were all wonderfully and fearfully made. Know that God is in control and He has great plans for you! Let God define you!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Special Lady

Charlotte Ann Hollman Owen, my mother, was only here on earth for a brief time. The time I was given with her was too precious too explain. God gave me fourteen short years to spend with her and during that time I am convinced that she was most influential in making me who I am today.

She was born September 2, 1950 and was received into Heaven on February 24, 1988. My mother left quite a legacy for which she will always be remembered. She had God given talents and always used them for His glory. She loved to play the piano and sing. She started piano lessons at the age of 6 and at age 8 told her parents she didn't need them anymore. She proved so by teaching herself to play by ear. By age 12, she was playing during church services. She went on to earn her degree in music from PBI and was used by God in music ministry. She had many piano students and choir members who loved her dearly.

Her personality was infectious and she brightened a room when she entered with her laughter. She rarely met a stranger and had the ability to make you feel like you had known her all your life. She loved to shop for bargains - maybe that's where I get it from! She loved shoes and purses. Recently, I met up with one of her friends from college and she told of how she thought, "only princesses had as many shoes as Charlotte." My mother taught me how to be a lady and how beautiful ladies should carry themselves. She would tell me not to be ashamed of how tall I was and to hold my head high no matter how much money I did or didn't have.

Sadly, at the age of 30 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She maintained good spirits the entire time and continued singing and playing for God. Even when the chemotherapy took a toll on her body, she continued praising God and being a vessel of honor. The news got out about how she faithfully served God during those times. So, she was asked to be the guest of honor on our local radio station where she testified about God's goodness and sang and played for the public. Then after eight years of fighting two different types of cancer God chose to take her from this life. I know the angels in Heaven welcomed her as she no doubt began singing the moment she entered those gates.

I can't say that I don't miss her terribly, because I do. The trial of her sickness and losing her is what drew me close to God. I know I was blessed to have her and I know I will see her again. On that glorious day I will see what God has done for her. I will see that He has restored her body, and given her back what she once lost!

Remember, life is short. Make sure you say I love you often and never take loved ones for granted!

Happy Birthday, Mama!