When we talked about doing a series on legacy, I immediately started thinking of it in terms of what I would want my legacy to be. As the mother of 3 small-ish kids, I think about this sometimes. So many days feel like they’re spent rushing, yelling, disciplining, and wanting to cry. Is this what I want my legacy to be?
Of course I want my children to know that their mother knows the Lord. I try to talk about it and use otherwise ridiculous situations as teaching moments. I remember the fruits of the Spirit, though they will probably never think of peace or gentleness when they think of me (especially this week).
The thing that I most want them to see in me is kindness. Not kindness when it’s easy or when it’s my friend. Kindness that we are called, as children of God, to show to everyone. It’s not easy, especially for kids.
My oldest child is in second grade. He’s a little awkward, a little more immature than most kids his age, and has some challenges in the classroom. He isn’t always the recipient of kindness because of that. It will come as no surprise that children can be mean. So far, he’s kind of brushed it off, but he’s getting to the age where that will be harder to do. The way I talk about kindness with him is a little different. He is taught that your kindness toward others does not depend on theirs to you. You don’t have to be friends with someone who is unkind, but you do have to be civil.
My daughter just started kindergarten and this whole concept looks different for her. She is a pleaser. She will fit in with no problem in any group. She needs to know that she is expected to be kind even if her friends are not. It’s easy to try to impress others by being rude or hurtful. I’ll never understand this, and she has never been faced with it. But she will. So, I’ve already started talking to her about it.
Now what about me? How can I show them what kindness looks like as an adult? Honestly, it’s not hard to do. They’re always watching so typically I don’t even say it out loud. But a nice word to a cashier who is having a rough day can do wonders. I hope they see that. Getting an extra burger for the guy holding the sign near McDonalds is a small but sometimes powerful act. My husband and I shave our heads for childhood cancer research every year. I’ve had people ask me how I’m ok with my kids seeing me bald! What I want them to see is that you give when you can with whatever you have. It’s easy y’all. And it can change people’s hearts. If you can make someone’s day better, why would you choose not to? You can show Jesus in Walmart. And they need it a lot.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Proverbs 16:24).