Thursday, November 1, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6,7

Last weekend we attended the memorial service of an amazing woman who left a tremendous legacy of faith for her kids, grandkids and great grandkids.  We all leave a legacy to our kids and my husband and I want to leave a legacy of faith, compassion and prayer for our kids.

Here are a few ways we're trying to live out this teaching in our family and leave a lasting legacy for our family while talking about the things of God throughout our day:

We have a cup that sits on our kitchen table that contains craft sticks.  Each craft stick has the name of friends who live overseas, our kids' teachers, the preschool director at church or our pastor. Currently there are 11 sticks. Eventually we're going to start adding other friends and family members who need prayer.  Each night before dinner one of the kids gets to "pick a stick" and we take turns praying for that person or family.  We have been doing this for about 2 months and it's worked out very well.  The kids love picking the stick so much that it's become a reward for winning the nightly manners game we learned from a friend.   This has been a wonderful time of hearing our kids hearts as we lift up others in prayer.

We have this large map hanging in our hallway.  This hallway is the gateway to our bedrooms and our office/guest room so we all pass it multiple times per day.  This is phase one of what will be our "global wall".   Right now I'm working on getting shelves to display items we've been given, or personally collected, from around the world. We also want to have pictures of the friends who we pray for surrounding it.  Our kids are simultaneously learning about where friends live and world geography.  (The first several weeks we had this map the kids would find a flag in the pictures surrounding the map and would ask me where that country is).

Our daughter's Bible is being held together by duct tape from it's nightly use
Like most parents we read our kids bedtime stories as part of our night time routine.   From the time our kids started getting a bedtime story it has always been from their Beginner's Bible.  We usually read 3 of these stories a night before prayer.  Our son turned 6 in August and has graduated to his "Big Boy Bible", though we keep his Beginner's Bible handy as a reference tool since he is so familiar with those stories (and has several of them memorized verbatim).  After Bible time is prayer time. 

Each child gets one on-one-time for Bible and prayer. When our oldest was 2 and our youngest was infant it made the most sense for my husband to tuck in our son while I nursed our daughter and rocked her to sleep.   4 years later my husband still does the bedtime routine with our oldest  most nights while I do it with our youngest, though we occasionally switch it up.

We by no means have everything figured out, but these are just some of the ways we're trying to talk with our kids about the things of God on a daily basis.

4/1/13 Update: We now have 17 sticks including our Compassion kids, members of the military and ministries we support.   The wall is almost complete and I couldn't be more excited!  There is still some work to be done: I still need to get shelves to display our items that can't be hung on the wall and I still have 2 more pictures to frame.  In addition to our friends who live overseas we also have pictures on the wall of our Compassion kids.

Here is a really bad cell phone picture of the global wall as it looked in January, before I had any of the pictures framed.  The hallway is very narrow so I couldn't get the entire thing in one shot.  The blank space above the wall will be for the shelves.

4/4/13 Update: The Global Wall project is now done and I couldn't be happier with the results!


  1. LOVE IT! What a great post. Thank you for sharing your tips and your heart here. I love the pick-a-stick idea. Heidi, you are always a source of encouragement, smarts and joy!

  2. We have the same Beginner's Bible and are almost all the way through it. We've read stories from there sporadically, but have taken to reading 3-4 each night recently from start to finish. E loves her "God book".

    1. Yup. Our kids get 3 per night as their bedtime story :)