When Bry and I were going through premarital counseling, surprisingly our Myer’s Briggs Personality Test scores came back the same: ENFJ, with Bry dancing between Extrovert and Introvert. Mine was off-the-charts Extrovert. We love being with people.
Twelve years later and our Extroverts remain: We still love people. We love opening our doors, turning on the grill and playing music over loud laughter and sweet conversation, while kids romp, jump on the trampoline, and make our home feel lived in.
I love people so much that at times I can care more about their needs, showing up for them, tending, nurturing and listening and cheering them on, and forget this simple fact: Who cares if the world gets my attention if those with whom occupy our home don’t feel loved and seen and cheered on first? If I’m not tending to the hearts of my hubby and boys, my legacy is worth very little.
The world tells us otherwise. Society screams Success! More! Bigger! And it taunts daily.
The conversations I have with our neighbor, Billy, and a stranger at Trader Joe’s suddenly aren’t enough. Simple seems insignificant and unseen can be mistaken for unnecessary.
Do you ever believe our voices should reach across the seas, our Instagram accounts should be followed by millions, and really, if our legacies matter, people should seek our work and advice and time by the droves? And if we’re not, something is terribly wrong with us?
Not true. Not true at all.
When I become distracted by reaching the world, I forget my world is right here. It’s when Ty wants me to lay on the couch and scratch his back while he brushes my cheeks with the tassels on my hoodie strings. It’s when Tanner throws the basketball and yells, “Let’s go mom. What’s your team name?” It’s when I’m overwhelmed by all the things I should be doing and my husband grabs my hand and pulls me close and then he whispers a really lame joke in my ear and suddenly we’re newlyweds – giddy and stupid – with no cares in the world.
Recently Bry grabbed lunch with Seth, a creative producer who plans conferences. They talked about ideas, pursuing dreams, and the artistic process and Seth told him, “Do what you’re doing and do it well. Ultimately, that’s the first step in doing what you feel like God wants you to do, and being who He wants you to be.”
Our world, friends, is about loving others. It may even mean reaching that love across the seas, but before we can do that effectively, we have to focus our intention on who God has put in our paths today. Leaving a legacy is not indicated by lights or a building named after us or a huge social media following. Our legacy is the consistent small steps that are repeated day after day with our families, our co-workers, our neighbors. It’s leaving each person we interact with feeling more valued and giving our best to the mundane activities. Legacy-making is living out Colossians 3:23. “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord.”
Doing well in the small things build to great things.
And it starts with those we share beds and walls and meals with.