Rachel Jenae

The Legacy of a Grandfather

I am one of 13 grandkids, followed by 25 great grandkids so far…

I’m fully convinced I was the favorite, but I’m pretty sure every grandchild felt the same.

I’m fully convinced my grandparents have been one of the greatest expressions of Gods unconditional love in the way they loved their family, others and the way they loved me.

And, I’m fully convinced we have our amazing family today because of hard and consistent choices my grandfather made, as well as the generations before him.

Decisions made again and again, big and small through good seasons and bad – to trust and walk with the Lord, to love others incredibly well, to choose hope and joy no matter what life looked like, to think the best of others, to work hard, to laugh often…and those are just a few.

The older I get the more I realize that choosing those things had to be intentional. That often times in the middle of life is where people stop short, but at the age of 94 my grandfather was still laughing, still witty and awnry, still smiling, still giving amazing hugs, still teaching and pouring into others…still loving incredibly well.

It’s easy to start something, but not so easy to finish. It’s easy to start well, but much harder to end well.

The funny thing about legacy and inheritance is it isn’t something you earn. It isn’t something you choose or even get to ask for.  Rather, you’re simply born into it and get to receive it.

If you knew my grandfather well you know he had a woodworking shop for years and was always building things. Wooden swords, shelves, tables, porch swings and much more. He was a builder. And many in our family have tangibly inherited that gift and talent. Some more than others.

But my grandfather was a builder far beyond what he built with his hands. He built a firm foundation on His relationship with the Lord. He built an amazing family. He built character and integrity into all of his children. He built the kingdom of God by teaching and building other people up.

And what I’ve realized is that with each generation we have the opportunity to build on the legacy we’ve received. The ceiling of one generation should be the floor of the next.

Often it’s more comfortable to stay in the house that was built for you, because building takes intentional work, but I believe that’s how we honor the legacy we’re given and don’t take it for granted. In a million big and small ways we keep building on what we’ve so richly received.

To my parents and aunts and uncles – you get to stand on the shoulders of your parents and the ground they tilled and sowed, the territory they gained, and you will be able to reach farther than they were able to – to build and restore Gods kingdom to earth everywhere he places you and influence people with Gods love. And we, the next generation, will stand on your shoulders.

The legacy of my grandfather will influence generations to come, not only in our family but the people he impacted personally and the people each of us will impact. It’s a ripple effect going forth from his life and we’ll never know the full impact.

So from the perspective of the 9th grandchild, I feel like the richest person on the planet to have been born into this family and I plan to never get over being grateful for the life my grandfather CHOSE to live and the legacy I inherited.