On Legacies

We went on a family retreat this weekend – hence the lateness of my post. We rushed back into town today, swung by the house, picked up some presents, ran frantically through Giant grabbing Lego batman toys, a premade cake, candles and a pack of lighters. Because today is my Wee Man, my second child’s sixth birthday. It was a haphazard affair but we made it work, and hello, birthday bowling!

So why am I telling you this? Well, this weekend we talked about leaving legacies, in our marriage and for our children. Now, I get a lot of things wrong doing this parenting gig, but this one, I just might be doing alright. I am leaving them legacies of words, of letters, written on their birthday (ish) or just because. Because I love them, and because when they turn eighteen, or when our words wound each other in the teenage years, they will know, without a doubt, all the ways we love and cherish them.

So, I am posting a letter here, a just because letter, written a summer or two ago but true more than ever. A picture of the legacies we leave, yes, and the way our children teach us.


“We spilled out onto the beach overflowing with umbrellas, buckets, chairs, and all the detritus that comes along with a family of five setting up camp in the sand.

And my girl, eyes wide seeing the curve of broken bits deposited haphazardly on the shoreline, is racing toward the water, catching up the pink pirate bucket in her hands.

She loves to collect things. 

beach, shells, daughters, legacies

And when she is finished, her bucket groaning with the weight of it, she is talking circles around me about jewelry making, collections, and the beautiful broken bits of calcium  carved up by the wind and the waves.

And I look at this girl of mine, who has meticulously sorted through her bucket with an artist’s eye and I am flooded again with awe at her, who teaches me every day how to live better between a Heavenly kingdom and this Earthly one …



I struggle a lot with purpose. And I wonder, about these Kingdoms, and how they marry up and then meander apart. Where, exactly, do I breathe in the wispy spaces between the two?

Most days I feel a little paralyzed.

I know all the Sunday school answers. All the doctrinal answers. (I am presbyterian, after all, we are nothing if not thorough).

I know about sin, and being broken. I know the gospel, and the chief end of man. And too, I know about grace, and the power of the cross.


But there is more than just a matter of fact recitation of the Truth that comes from celebrating this life and living for the next one.

More in loving the broken beautiful bits of the people around us and how they point us to the cross. And this girl, it is her gift, to see beauty in the broken. 

beach, shells, daughters, legacies

Because, really, that’s what we are, carved by the wind and the waves. Fragmented souls whose true beauty comes from redemption in Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. We are all ready grace reflected in the grooves of this life we bear.

beach, shells, daughters, legacies

So I will tiptoe in the sand prints of my girl. Loving  the broken, loving the gospel, and marrying up the two in the grey spaces. Purpose a’plenty.”

What legacies will you leave your children? 


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