Leaving a Legacy

Lincoln and advent

Our daughter Hannah recently shared this story with a group she leads at her church – MOPS – Mothers of Pre-schoolers. She sent it to me and I thought I would pass it on as a “guest blog post”. I hope it blesses you as it did me.
“Thank you for letting me share a story with you today, but first I have a challenge for all of us moms. Whether we birthed our kids, adopted them, and/or fostered them, God still made us moms and we must raise them in this troubled world. This is a heavy responsibility, but one we can accomplish when empowered by God. And, thankfully we also have the encouragement of our friends here at MOPS. So, my challenge for all of us is this:

What legacy are we leaving with our kids?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter
• how much television your kids watch,
• how late their bedtime is,
• whether they sleep with you every night – or in their own room,
• whether you spank or use time outs,
• whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, or both,
• whether you sent your kids to pre-school or home schooled or neither,
• how long it takes for you to upgrade your six year-old to a booster seat.

We moms disagree on all of these topics. But, bottom line, what really matters is how our children understand our FAITH. Do they see it? Do they know the real reason for Christmas?
On the wall of my kitchen hangs this quote I want to share with you. It was written by Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham.

“For the Busy Mother, the pressures of daily living tend not so much to CRUSH as to DISTRACT and DIVERT us from our main purpose. They ‘scatter’ us. How easy I have found it to go through the motions of being a mother but without the real object in view. Our main purpose in life is to lead our children early to know Jesus Christ and to train them to live according to His standards – it’s a daily job. “Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.” Time for us mothers is slipping by quickly and we cannot afford to be distracted. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 speaks about the ten commandments and then the Greatest Commandment – to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and might. Specifically that we should “teach them diligently to our children, talk of them when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise.”

Twenty one years ago I was riding in a van on the way home from a youth group hayride. I’m from the mountains of North Carolina and the roads are curvy, up and down and around the mountains. The car I was riding in was struck by a speeding Corvette. The crash resulted in two deaths, four hospitalizations, and injuries for the passengers. I sustained a closed head injury and was air lifted to the large hospital 50 miles away in Asheville. I was in a coma for approximately three days.

My parents kept a vigil at my bedside and prayers from folks literally around the world were offered up for me and the others. My father went home on the third day to check in with my siblings who were staying with family friends and pick up changes of clothes for himself and my mother.

While mother was alone with me she began singing Silent Night while gazing at the Christmas lights shining throughout downtown Asheville. Suddenly, as Mom tells it, I began singing with her. I awoke from the coma to join my mom in singing Silent Night.

I’ve told this story probably 200 times and now that I’m a mom, it feels different to tell it. What would I do if this happened to one of my kids? Would I be in constant prayer at her bedside? Of course I would be – but I need to be reminded that life is precious and so fragile. Horrible things happen all the time – many of us in this room have had miscarriages, several have had stillborn babies, perhaps some of you have buried a child, and for lots of us, medical issues are very familiar. My Mom stayed by my side and sang about Jesus to me, and as I woke up, I was singing with her.

That’s my mom’s legacy to me.

As soon as I woke up, all my vital signs improved dramatically and I was only in the hospital for a total of six days – 2 ½ of those I was comatose. Every time I hear Silent Night I thank God for life.

Because of Jesus’s birth and God’s love for us, we can pass on this amazing love to our kids and to each other. Miracles do happen – I am one of them and I am so grateful that I was able to grow up, marry a wonderful man, have four kids, and share this mothering journey with all of y’all.”

6 thoughts on “Leaving a Legacy

  1. Patty Hamilton says:

    Thank you Hannah for posting your experiences. How well many of us remember that night and the subsequent ones that followed. May God continue to bless you with abundant wisdom as you walk out the example of His faithfulness and love before your children. May this season of celebration and joy continue to be a blessing to all you come in contact with through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.


  2. Jennifer Hupko says:

    Beautiful! That was a tragic night, but indeed many miracles happened. So thankful that you were one of them Hannah!


  3. What a precious legacy, Gayle, that you have passed on to each of your children, and now grandchildren. And what an amazing testimony Hannah has to share with others. So blessed to know you!


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