I have an online friend I would like for you to meet. But before I introduce her, I want to remind you that the giveaway for the amazing Quest Q and A Study Bible is still open. Just scroll down and over to the right to subscribe and you’re entered to win! I’ll announce right here next week! And now…it’s an honor to acquaint you with Sue Donaldson, who blogs and podcasts at welcomeheart.com on hospitality, relationships and building the kingdom of God – one cup of coffee or homemade coffee cake at a time. She also speaks and writes for women like us. Women who want to make a difference with what they have been given.
Sue recently posted this verse on her website: Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NLT With it she launched a conversation I want to be a part of. How do we live a legacy life? How do we make our lives count for more than just today? Can we bring glory to God and enrich the lives of those we come in contact with? Maybe even long after we are gone? Sue teaches us that we can by first, loving God and investing in His Word; and second by caring for and expending ourselves for other people.
I asked this mentor to answer some questions of her own choosing about how she is making her life count. I think she has much to teach us:
- What legacy do you want to pass down to those you know and love? Sue: That God is real and can be counted on. So much of what kids hear nowadays is antithetical to God’s existence, much less the call to abandon our lives to the only One worth living for. That’s the main thing: that [others] know that God can be depended upon, that God will love and forgive and strengthen and sustain and that this world and all its troubles are just a small part of their lives. Next I want to show them that following Jesus and inviting others to Him – strangers included – is the greatest joy. And that [my children’s] friends are always welcome in our home.
- How are you currently doing that? Sue: Well, the only way is to keep trusting God myself. So that those closest to me see a true faith – not only a Sunday/church-going faith. When things get frantic or worrisome or hard, to tell them I’m frantic and worried, but giving whatever it is over to God for His safe-keeping. I also spend the first part of each day in the Word and prayer. For being such a spontaneous person, this part is locked in. All grace. Also, our home is an open home though imperfect, and the kids know it and have begun to emulate a generous spirit and heart for others. And I feel compelled to meet with younger women, and they seem to like it. Even if it’s just coffee – to bring other older believers together with younger women is fruitful, fun and simple. I’m intentional in my guest lists and in my questions around the table to get the conversation to a deeper level quickly. Everyone’s busy, but we all need a place where we can share our hearts and be blessed by hearing others’ journeys of faith. I don’t always know what to do to live a legacy life, so I go back to the basics: love God. Love others as myself. And do the next thing. Which may be laundry.
- What changes did you have to make or obstacles did you need to overcome to make that happen? Sue: I had to stop comparing myself to other believers who seem to have it all together and continue to trust that God is working while I’m praying even when I don’t see it. It’s called faith for a reason, as hard as it is sometimes. It’s far too easy to live life in the short-form rather than the long view of eternity. So that’s an ongoing obstacle that I’m working on overcoming. Another obstacle [I have] is wanting to control the outcomes of events (and people!). The older I get, the easier it is to let things go as I experience God’s work and peace. I think parenting is the best lesson in learning to trust God (and I thought it was singleness!). Marriage is right up there with them both. I married an opposite. And sometimes that makes eternity quite appealing!
- What wisdom would you like to share with my audience on making our lives count for something beyond ourselves? Sue: Make this your every day to-do list: #1 – relate well with God. #2 – everything else. Find a devotional tool that works for you. Choose Face to Face by Kenneth Boa (found here and here) if you haven’t read it – scripture written in the first person, meant to be read in 5 minutes a day. Lastly, take a leap to invite people over. Hospitality is a simple way to live a legacy life because you’re investing in people – never a waste of time. If it’s challenging for you, check out my resources.
Sue added: I want to live an “appetizer life.” So when others are around I provide a taste of what it’s like to belong to God. An appetizer is to whet the appetite – to give a person hope that the best is yet to be. Jesus is the main course. How we live is the best apologetic. I want to leave a legacy which makes others hungry for God: A mind of peace amidst a complicated day; a heart of joy and laughter in spite of circumstances; a word of hope for those who forget the truth; a hand to serve others more than myself; a table to fill – inviting those who come my way be they stranger, friend or family; a life of faith – that God is in the heavens and in my heart, and in His time all’s right with the world.
Take a look at these verses to learn more about this passion Sue has for Jesus and for others:
Then jump over to welcomeheart.com to read blog posts or listen to podcast episodes that will spur you on to love and good deeds. Every time I visit her site I leave encouraged to be more intentional in my relationship with God and others.
What about you? Have you given any thought to the legacy you want your life to be? If so, what are you currently doing to let your life speak? Comment below to continue the conversation.
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