What will be your legacy?

I’ve been into Lincoln lately. What a man! Turns out I’m late to the bandwagon because there are more than 16,000 books written about our 16th president. In my study, I’ve noticed people often discuss Lincoln in terms of his results (ending the civil war, the Emancipation Proclamation, 13th amendment, etc.) or his character (integrity, ambition, and humor, to name a few). This sparked a question in me: What will be my legacy? What will I be known for?

IMG_0002Recently my boss wrote a summary of my accomplishments in the last few years. He talked about the programs I’ve managed, the projects I’ve led and the contributions I’ve made to our team. He talked about the improvements we’ve made and how I contributed to them. He was kind and generous with his words, but it made me wonder: Is this what I want to be known for? Will this be my legacy?

Around the same time, I read a biography for my sister-in-law that my brother had written about her role as the mother of their 5 kids. Like Lincoln, Becky is known for both her character and her results. I’ve included it almost in it’s entirety here because it impacted me so much:

Rebecca Ellen Thomas was born and raised in Olathe, KS.  She served a mission in Panama, Panama City and graduated with a 2 year degree from Ricks College and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Brigham Young University, Provo in Biology Teaching in 2001.  She married Damon Larry Johnson in 1999.

Becky and Damon graduated from BYU together, started a new job, bought a new house, and had their first baby all within about 1 week.  Life hasn’t slowed down since. They now have 5 children:  Parker, Ellen, Bryant, Leah, and Katelyn. Becky has been a stay at home mother from the beginning.  

Although most of her time is spent raising children and caring for home, she is a woman of other varied talents and experiences.  She has experience and love for dancing, piano, orchestra, science, sewing, outdoors, and reading among other things. But she is best known to her kids for her animal impersonations skills including “monkeys” and “crickets”!  :) 

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Becky and family at Lincoln’s tomb

She loves to learn!  She is a lifetime student and there are few things she doesn’t master when presented with an opportunity. She always learning something new and working on new projects at home. 

One of her most important qualities is that she is willing to pay the price when others aren’t. She feels great compassion for others and will sacrifice anything for someone in need. She is an avid listener, compassionate friend, and resourceful problem solver.  People flock to her to help solve their problems when others can’t help. She has a “no nonsense” personality that makes her practical, real, and determined. This, combined with her personal, warm and welcoming nature, creates the ideal atmosphere to help people grow. Because of this, she is incredible resource wherever she is called to serve.

Her bright eyes, warm smile, and welcoming laugh attract people to her, especially her family. They want to be with her constantly.  Her husband and kids adore her because of how good she is and good she makes them feel. She is like the “little stream” in the primary song, “giving” wherever she goes, making the “grass grow greener still”. 

What results do you want? What values will you live? What will be your legacy?
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