A legacy of a joy filled life

I haven’t personally known too many people that have lived almost a 100 years, but our family had the privilege to know grandma Anna, Steve’s paternal grandma at 98 years old.  We just returned from her funeral in CA and beautifully celebrated a life lived well! This is how i would describe Grandma Anna...She LOVED people, no one was a stranger and she was so so kind to everyone. She ALWAYS had a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye, she was HOSPITABLE and she drank enormous amounts of coffee with her family and friends! Every California visit included sitting in the kitchen with her and the other sweet ‘ol ladies hearing them laugh and share. Priceless. She seemed so HAPPY, even in her old age when she had to move into the home the last 3 months of her life. Grandma Anna was someone that you felt joy and love just by being around her.  She loved Jesus well.  

Sitting in the pews yesterday at church and hearing what others said about Grandma encouraged me to live my life with intention, joy and enjoying the moments and not sweating the small stuff.  I remember at my own mom’s funeral almost 11 years ago the beautiful things i heard people say about her; her love, care, beautiful smiles, faith, generosity, sacrifice for others, and that no one was a stranger to my mom. It was overwhelming and beautiful!

So after a funeral, life goes on for the rest of us. So i ask myself and you, what are we giving meaning to in life? What grabs our attention and to what are we giving most of our attention? The pastor repeated this at Grandma Anna’s funeral yesterday, “happiness is not a byproduct of pleasant circumstances”. I am not promised a happy life. Grandma always seemed happy. I am sure she had some tough, hard, challenging, disappointing and awful days. But she seemed to carry a joyful disposition that was genuine and real, not fake. She seemed to live with an eternal perspective in mind and chose to not let her circumstances dictate her mood, her attitude or her demeanor.  I have a LOT to learn from this!!  I want to live with joy and intention and heart, blessing my family and others and leaving a legacy that makes a difference for my kids and the good of others.  Seems lofty, challenging, hard, but worth fighting for and choosing a path each day that builds into that vision and dream.  

We need more of these ladies, my mom, Grandma Anna, in this world that leave an indelible mark on others and changes lives. I believe the baton was passed and I’m ready to run my part!