Last week I discussed the importance of learning to say no as mothers (and fathers). I promised I would tell you why I have already written my eulogy and here is the short answer: I want to live like I want to be remembered.
At the end of July my sweet hubby and I were able to escape for a few days to a family member’s lake house to rest, read and to write our Life Plans. We had read Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy‘s book “Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want” back in the spring, following its release. We had yet to set aside time though for the book’s big assignment, which was to write our Life Plan. The Life Plan is really the answer to the three powerful questions that Hyatt and Harkavy pose:
- How do I want to be remembered?
- What matters most?
- How can I get from here to where I want to be?
The authors liken it to planning a vacation. The first thing you plan is the destination, once you have chosen, it determines everything else. So it is with your life.
Where do you want to end up? What do you want your friends and family to remember about you?
What do you want to have taught your children, and others, for that matter? What is really important to you and will that be obvious to others at the end of your life?
Life is so busy, especially in our American culture. It is easy to just go through the motions of life and wake up one day and realize all the years you lived without really living consciously. This is an easy trap to fall into and frankly, it is a trap set by Satan. He loves to lull us into thinking we have plenty of time to make a difference. The truth is, we may not. None of us know the days we have left. None of us knows the days our loved ones have left. That is just a fact of life. As the Apostle James wrote,
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14*
So what did I write in my eulogy? I wrote about my closest relationships. I wrote about what I cherished in those relationships. I wrote about why I dreamed of having four children and how God blessed me with that dream.
I wrote about my salvation.
I wrote about the relationship with my nieces and nephews and then wrote about what I see that being for the remainder of my life now that they are grown. I recalled my grandmother’s relationship with her nieces and nephews when imagining what this might look like in the future.
I wrote about causes I am passionate about but right now am not able to help with. While I was writing in past tense, I was looking to the future of what I might accomplish if I am granted the days to do so.
I finished with some of my greatest enjoyments in life.
When we had finished the task of writing these eulogies, Robert and I shared them with one another. We each read our own and we were barely able to finish. It is very sobering to read your own eulogy. To read about your life and what is has been and what you hope it will be. It is an exercise I highly recommend everyone endeavor.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12*
We all will leave a legacy, whether we like it or not, whether it is for good or for bad. I know what kind of legacy I want to leave, do you?
Have you written your eulogy? Share with us what you would want others to say about you.
Next week, “What Will You Do With the Time That is Left?”
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.