• Jennifer Hastings

Legacy of Love

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

I'm so excited to share my piece, Legacy of Love. It was published in our local GoodNews Christian Magazine! The GoodNews Magazine's mission is to bring people into a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ- a relationship that empowers them to see how God can work through individual personalities, situations, and talents.

You can checkout their website here. GoodNews Christian Magazine Dalton and Chatsworth

Legacy of Love

The holiday season is upon us. Time seems to pick up and move with neck-breaking speed. If we are not careful, we can begin to chase our to-do list and miss the joy in the small moments. Christmas tree...check. Presents wrapped...check. Must have Christmas toy on the list...check. Slow down! Do not go through your holidays in a mad rush to conquer. It can seem like the pumpkins whizz by the front porch, the turkey trots onto your table, Santa drops a present under your tree, and the next day is New Year’s Day before you have turned around. Whew!

I encourage you to take the time to enjoy the important people in your life. You never know when this could be your last with all your loved ones.

This season will be a difficult one for me; I’m approaching this holiday season knowing there will be an empty seat at my table. A seat no one can fill. A seat whose absence fills the room.

How do you enter a season steeped in tradition without the main ingredient for it? Traditions are a blessing and a curse! I’ve always known the holidays can be a difficult time for people; I’m bracing myself for this season. It is my turn for a first, my first Christmas without the person who taught me to love everything about it.

It will be my Mother’s first Christmas in heaven and my first Christmas without her.

When I think back to my family’s first Christmas after my Papaw passed away, it was the year we broke tradition. We always had Christmas Eve dinner at their house and like most families enjoyed our familiar routine. I remember asking my mother, “Why are we not having Christmas Eve dinner at Mamaw and Papaw’s house like we always do?

She said, “We just want to try something different this year.” My little heart screamed inside me, it will already be too different without him, so let’s keep the rest of it the same.

As a seven-year-old that Christmas was hard. We all felt his absence. I know my Mom, my aunt, and my uncle worked hard to help my Mamaw through that Christmas. That year, I watched Mamaw’s children present her with a special ring to wear in the absence of her wedding ring. My little heart hurt in ways I couldn’t name. I watched them wrap their arms around my grandmother and cry and laugh all at the same time. Their tradition of love continued in the midst of their grief.

This year, I now have my own seven-year-old getting ready to face her first Christmas without her beloved Mimi. I worry about her little heart and how can I help her make sense of her own feelings when I’m struggling with my own? What can I do to easy my Dad's grief?

I’m choosing to revise my definition of tradition. The actual events surrounding my holiday season will be vastly different this year, but I’m going to summon the love my mom had for this time of year. I will keep the tradition of loving those I’m blessed to have with me, taking time to enjoy the small moments, and cherish the memories I carry in my heart. The legacy of love will continue.

My prayer for you this holiday season is you will take sometime and reflect on the memories you are making. Are they what you want your kids to remember? If this was your last Christmas, will your kids continue with a legacy you are proud of? If not, change it! Start today, create a Christmas for your family that matters.

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