What Will Be Your Legacy?

Today would have been my grandmother’s 104th (I think) birthday.  As I reflect on her life (what I can remember), I wonder what my legacy will be?  Have you ever thought about yours?

During a recent study at church, I was hoping to discover my spiritual gifts, personal style and God-given passion for serving.  I will admit, some of it was eye opening but it got me thinking about my past.  Now for those of you who follow my blog, you know memories are in short supply as a result of the MS lesions but I try to reflect often in the hopes, the gaps will one day be filled.

What will be your legacy?  

A legacy is “an amount of money or property left to someone in a will” but it is so much more.  I remember hearing once it is not the dates on a tombstone but the dash in between which people will remember.  On this Monday morning, I am wondering what my legacy will be and how it will be linked to my business.  

I want to make sure my business speaks to my passion.  Does yours?  I want to be sure “my dash” represents what matters most in my life, my passion.

When I am struggling in my business, reconnecting with my passion (or what I want my legacy to be) is a the easiest way to get back on track.

My degree is in Administration of Justice.  Yup, I bet you didn’t see that one coming, right? I wanted to be a lawyer, actually a public defender so I could help those who couldn’t afford an attorney.  I used it for a little bit when I worked for the Police Department and Security at the Claridge Casino many years ago.  During recovery from my drug addiction, I found a new way to use my degree – in Social Work.  It was the early days of HIV/AIDS so it was better known as “case management”.  It was there I found my passion.  My passion to make a difference in the lives of others.  Not sure what your passion is, here are some tips from a recent blog post I read:

  • Have kids? Ask them, “what does mommy/daddy do for work?” As you hear their answer, listen to your heart.  Do you beam with pride if they guess it right? Or do you feel pangs of disappointment when they guess things like “go shopping” when you really sit at a desk all day. For years, I’m not sure Belinda understood the work I did BUT she did get to know some aspects – Easter baskets for kids, special events, helping deliver gifts at Christmas & turkeys at Thanksgiving.
  • Once you have their answer, then ask what they think you should do for work. This could really be interesting.

Being in direct sales, I can pretty much guarantee when I am gone, my business will be gone.  No one to carry on the “purse gig”.  It wasn’t my intent to put a damper on your day!  I didn’t want to make you sad or think about things you had no desire in thinking about right now, but sometimes things come our way for a reason unknown to us.

Have you been thinking about changing jobs, starting a business or just feel there’s something bigger out there for you?  If so, know “life is short”.  You are not promised today or tomorrow, so why not live big? Why not put yourself out there and do exactly what you were meant to do?

Talk to your kids and see if they know what you should be doing!  I know it can be a little scary because you never know what they will come up.  Of course, it could depend on their age.  Put a plan in place to move towards your passion if you aren’t already living it.

When you sit back and look at your life, think about all of the lives you are touching.  I’m sure it is more lives than you know (or think)!

What will be your legacy?  Share it with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Are You a Titus Woman?

I am blessed with many positive people in my life who encourage me, support my efforts and know just the right thing to say.  When health struggles plague me, when fear and doubt creep; I am grateful for the reminder I am blessed to be a work in progress.  I am grateful God continues to refine me to be the woman he calls me to be…

I stumbled on a blog which talked about the qualities young women should learn from older women.  I guess in years – I would be the older woman but I am still a work in progress.  Here are the qualities as they are listed in Titus 2:3-5 which says:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1) Self-Control – definitely a work in progress here.  She is self-controlled with her spending habits, her words, her temper, her appetites, her priorities, and her use of time.   Yea, I would have to stay this is a HUGE struggle for me.  I call out for help when I am in a weak moment or in a crisis .  My prayer life is getting stronger as I some to God each morning.  As she pursues intimacy with God, her soul is satisfied and she finds contentment and strength through his Spirit. For me, contentment leads to self-control and with God’s help, I work on this daily.

2) Purity.  By God’s grace, this is something I obtained over the years.  The greek word for purity here is ‘hagnos’ and is referring to moral and sexual purity.  Unfortunately this was not the case growing up, but with a gift from God – my daughter Belinda, I was able to work towards this.

3) Working at Home.  A Godly woman is not lazy – she is to be a hard worker.  Okay, I am sure God did not mean for me to be a workaholic, unable to put down the “gadgets” and stop working.  The passage does talk about being skilled in our homemaking abilities as well.   We should shine like lights in a dark world. We should love maintaining a warm cozy home for our family and those passing through.  I have never professed to be good at the homemaking abilities – dust bunnies can count on a home for a little while BUT we are always neat.  I love to care for my family at home and am really more of an introvert.  I am a work in progress..

4) Kind.  A kind woman is a woman who is careful with her words, generous, thoughtful and compassionate. She is cheerfully helpful and gracious when wronged. Without sounding like I am bragging, I would say I am kind.  This is why my career in social work was a success.  I pray each day I am able to apply the same principles to my Thirty One business.  Yes, I can look back on the work I did and say “you did well”.

5) Submissive to their own husbands.  There’s just one specific relationship where God has called us to submit and it is to our husband.  She stands out in this modern world as a woman who allows her husband to take the lead.  This is definitely a work in progress.  On most days, I am okay with this and am willing to let hubby take the lead. Then there are those days when the independent woman kicks in – and he will let me know about it.  I am grateful he understands it is not intentional but comes from years of being an independent single mom.

I talk a lot about being a Proverbs woman as Thirty One is based on Proverbs 31 – The Virtuous Woman but the description in Titus made it a little easier to see myself as a work in progress.  I am a work in progress and JUST FOR TODAY, I will continue to work on this.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Addiction & Recovery

YEAH!  It is the weekend….Today is about a time in my life that was both a trial and a blessing.  In October, 1990 my drug addiction took me down a road that I never thought would be possible.  I mean, I was from a middle class family, a college graduate (Dean’s list in pre-law),  had a great job and was a mom of an AMAZING daughter – Belinda.  Life was good – so I thought.  My addiction caused me to lie, cheat and manipulate family, friends, and employers.  It was not a pretty sight.  On the outside, I was looking good (or so I thought) but on the inside I was an emotional and spiritual train wreck.

A bout with the law and a judge who saw the person inside, gave me a chance to get my life together.  It was a difficult time for my family – the perfect world that I had created had just shattered.  Off to detox for 10 days where a wonderful doc knew that if I was going to make it in recovery, heading home after detox was NOT an option.  So, off to Riverside in PA for 30 days of rehab.  Talk about life changing.  It took about that long for me to give myself a break.  See, as the counselors said – I didn’t need any help breaking down what I had done because I carried my own bat to beat myself up.  The hardest part was being away from Belinda.  At the age of 2, I left her for about 6 weeks.  There were NO visits at the detox and only twice did I see Belinda when I was in rehab.  She was with family but I feared that I would never be able to repair the damage by my leaving her.   My key motivation to get it together – to get home to my daughter.   When I did, life was not the same.  First, we were locked out of our home due to my drug using antics.  We were blessed with a site manager who practiced tough love.  For 6 weeks, we lived with Elsie (my aunt) and worked on getting our home back.  It wasn’t easy but I was determined to make things better for my daughter.  The people in Narcotics Anonymous became my second family.  Not only did I do 90 meetings in 90 days but I became active in using my talents at meeting planning to help organize the regional NA conference.  Belinda proudly wore her “NA Rocks” shirt whenever she could but I am sure that she didn’t understand it, but mom was home!  Life now consisted of meeting people and having fun.

Community service was also part of the agreement with the courts.  Now to find something that I could do and enjoy.  I mean, aren’t you supposed to enjoy community service?  I began to volunteer at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City.  My work with this agency and the clients that walked through the door would change me FOREVER.  Doors opened to a new field of interest – Social Work.  This was during the early days of HIV/AIDS and I quickly realized how blessed I was to have survived my drug addiction and my risky antics.

God has a plan for me and though I don’t always know what it is, he finds a way to get me back on the right path.  I detoured through my 8 years of drug use but a bout with the law brought me to my knees.  See, I always wanted to help people but I got caught up in the fast lane – drugs, alcohol, partying but my community service brought me back to God’s heart – helping others and serving him.

Today, I continue to help women to see their potential and do what I can to help them reach their personal goals.  At times I forget that sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences of my recovery can help others.  I still have doubts and fears but I figure if I was blessed to come through my past trials, I can accomplish anything with God’s help.  Life’s struggles make us stronger – what struggles have you endured or are you working on that will make you stronger?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

serentiy prayer