heritage

Heritage: valued objects and qualities such as cultural traditions, unspoiled countryside, and historic buildings that have been passed down from previous generations.

I have southern blood strong in my veins. A line of great grandparents, and grandparents who were born or lived a significant piece of their lives in the deep South. On the best days, lace doilies and beautiful tea sets are scattered among monkey taters, homemade pies, and belly laughs.

Both of my Dad's parents have passed away, his Dad within the past two months, and my Mom's Dad has been given weeks to live. There is a terrible, persistent sting that has lingered around with this heartbreak. A friend who knows the sorrow attached to the natural progression of life and death, recently helped pick me up and dust me off in conversation ending in beautiful prayer for my Grandmother whose role as complete caregiver is soon to shift into the worldview and life of a widow. The last thing she prayed was for "Sally (my Gram) to continue on her husband's story, so that his legacy may carry on beautifully." 

The words were stunning. Something about conversing with the author of all life, asking Him to somehow carry on life through death in my Grandma so that her husband's story doesn't end with his last breath. We hugged, wiped tears, and I quickly fumbled with my notes app, typing out this sentence that seemed to resonate in some way deeper than beautiful composition.

Today, two weeks later, munching on leftover fourth of July peach pie with my two year old, a recipe made famous in our family by none other than Gram herself, the connection is whispered into my thoughts.

The prayer that hit me so deeply, so profoundly is the same breath of God that hovers throughout the Gospel. The death of Jesus bringing deep heartbreak to His inner circle, His bloodline, His people, Creator God Himself, and yet out of it we were given His Spirit to speak and guide the story of our lives so that His story may continue on in us, so that His legacy may be known and told.

I can't help but wonder if part of the sting of death and joy of lives well lived comes from the "in His image" detail we are all composed with. Made in His image, to create, to love, to work, to rest, to understand the hope of Heaven through the death and life continued on in our own bloodlines.  

I love the blur of theology and Heaven's mysteries. I also love that God speaks, even on a miserably hot, 103 degree afternoon, where you're just trying turn lemons to lemonade by eating cold, leftover peach pie with your toddler. I love that heritage and legacy are written into things like family recipes, and dish towels that remind you of those beautiful lace doilies miles and miles away, steamed and tucked away neatly in the cabinets of the people you love the most.

So here is my hope for us as moms, may we gladly open our ovens to recipes rich of those who snuck us the first bites of pie when our moms weren't looking. May we break out Grandma's china every once in awhile because we believed we were royalty every holiday we got to dine from it, a thrill of imagination perhaps lost in us, but ever alive in our babies. May we learn the art of story telling now, so that the family tales of hope and triumph we are uniquely written into, live on to inspire, challenge, grow, shape, teach, and direct all the little hands we have reaching up for that first bite of pie next to us.

But most of all, may we always, always, always, show any kid who finds their way into our home the love and heritage that we all have access to by the blood of Jesus. He made it simple, because truly, sometimes that means nothing more than sitting down for some leftover pie and belly laughs on a hot, Colorado summer day. May it be so in all our homes, to all those we mother, and to all our legacies lived on long after we are gone.

Brittany KellyComment