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Creating a Family Legacy

Family legacy projects are usually about preserving the history of your family. There are many resources to help create scrapbooks to pass on great grandfather’s story to the generations that follow. What if grandparents and parents were intentionally considering the legacy they wish to leave for future generations? Do you take time to think about what your grandchildren will think of you? Families have an incredible opportunity to impact the future by carefully considering what they are passionate about and seeking to live a life that will communicate that passion.

Where to begin. Start with making a list of the values and causes that are most important to you. Perhaps your greatest desire is for your children to have a strong work ethic or to be good stewards of the environment. You can only sincerely share what you care most about. Kids will be completely turned off by anything less. Maybe you are dedicated to the arts or fitness. Put it on your list.

Action step. Impacting the future depends on the actions and choices we make today. Find an activity that your family can do together on a regular basis that will reflect the value you want to inspire in the next generation. Be sure to make it something everyone in the family can do. Perhaps your value is gratitude. You could have a time each week where every family member shares one thing they are grateful for that week. You could keep a family gratitude journal and read it over together when the family is experiencing a hard season of life.

When I was growing up my uncle was passionate about art. He wanted to share his appreciation to his nieces and nephews. I remember in the basement of his house he had set up an art studio complete with blank canvases, brushes, paint and photocopies of famous works of art. My cousins and I spent many afternoons studying those photocopies and creating our own versions of the great masters. He would talk to us about the colors, shading and the brush strokes. Now I take my own children to art museums and have arts supplies readily available for them to enjoy creating their own works of art.

The little things that families do together on a regular basis become the memories of tomorrow. Don’t worry about taking on a huge project like digging wells in Africa. What you do now will be your legacy. Your family can impact the future. It just takes an intentional parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle with a passion.