Run away? No Way!

Last year, I received this card for Father's Day, "Dad, there were times when running away from home seemed like a good idea . . "   The inside of the card reads, '.. but you never did!"

Isn't it interesting how events in our lives, positive or negative, good or bad, can sometimes move us in a certain direction?  It did for me!  My father left our family when I was just 5 years old.  The negative impact was traumatic and unfortunate.  But, one good thing that came out of this situation was my strong commitment to my future family.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart, timid in spirit or weak in mind.  Yet beyond navigating the turbulent rapids of teen years, college, employment and marriage there is a beautiful landscape of memories.  I love spending time with my children. They are now parents with families, homes and jobs of their own. (And it's amazing how much smarter I am now in their eyes.)

There is no such thing as a perfect parent.  But if there were a "Father's Battle-cry" I think it should include these thoughts.  Be the best example you can be.  Live a life of integrity.  Be honest. Work hard. Never make excuses.  Think of others.  Don't just live for yourself.  

The bible says in Proverbs that a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children. So I would add to the Father's Battle cry -  Leave a Legacy!  

You've seen the bumper sticker on the back of the RV that reads, "I'm spending my children's inheritance."  While it may bring initial laughter, in my eyes it seems incredibly misguided.  

An inheritance, no matter how big or small, is a memorable gift. Perspective is everything. When I think about leaving an inheritance for my children I don't think of them as "taking" it, but rather "receiving" it. An inheritance is an opportunity to leave a legacy.

More important than the monetary amount we leave our children is the MESSAGE we send. I am happy to say, a few years before my Dad died, communication was re-established.  He left a small inheritance for his children. I can't remember how every dollar of this inheritance was SPENT but I do remember the message it SENT.   I knew he wasn't trying to replace the lost time and opportunity to be a father.  He was merely doing what he could to give one final gift..

What will you do if you receive a windfall of money via bonus, tax return or inheritance. Would it not make sense to be wise and intentional? Perhaps use it to get your savings and retirement ship pointed in the right direction.  Be an example.  As the saying goes, "More is caught than taught."

Consider the legacy you will leave behind.  The clock is ticking.  Have you considered your legacy?