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A thousand generations

Last Mother’s Day, our church service closed with the song “The Blessing” (Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes). This particular part of the song hit me in the gut:

“May His favor be upon you

And a thousand generations

And Your family and your children

And their children, and their children”

It reminded me how much the trajectory of our lives is shaped by those that came before us. It also reminded me that mothers have the unique ability to build a legacy for our families moving forward.

My granny is a petite woman. But she will always finish every last morsel that’s left on her plate--and mine. She’s a product of the Great Depression and will let nothing go to waste because she was raised during a time when everything was scarce. Resourcefulness is part of her core, shaped by the generation before her.

The decisions we make today will impact the lives of generations to come… our children and their children and their children.

This can seem overwhelming and even burdensome. It’s also exciting and empowering. We can honor our family’s legacy while also building a legacy that’s best for our immediate family. I’m sure we all have traditions and generational tendencies that we’d rather not carry forward. And there are those we want to keep intact. The decision is ours.

As a parent, I’ve had to become comfortable making tough decisions almost daily. As an enneagram 1, the idealist who wants to do the right thing all the time, I often face decision fatigue. The “what-ifs” and “maybes” put me in analysis paralysis.

The chaos of the world we live in today doesn’t help, either. It’s easy to get distracted, to focus on everything that’s complicated. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Recently, my husband and I were talking through a tough decision that he helped simplify.

He said to me (and I’m paraphrasing/word-smithing here) “Take everything out of it. Take out the podcast commentators you listen to, the stylized lives on Instagram, the political talking heads… take it all out. What is best for our family? What should we be doing now that puts us and our children in the best possible position to live out a meaningful life 10 years from now?”

So, that’s it. That’s my advice for you today. Turn it all off. Silence the noise. Stop collecting gurus, as Emily P. Freeman would say. Take some time for self-reflection to remember what you value. Lean in to your intuition. Remember that God gave you unique gifts and talents. He gave them to YOU, no one else, to impact generations to come.

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