We all want something for our kids. Often, it’s success, a good spouse, healthy kids, to live in peace or another positive aspect for their lives.
Now that my dad has been gone for nearly three years, and my mind turns more eternal than earthly as I grow older, there are some things I want for my boys. My dad was rather quiet and didn’t always express himself with words. He did lead with his actions and deeds, though, leaving an example by his steps and conduct.
That said, I don’t remember him necessarily ever expressing his desires for my life, at least not in a particular list or unofficial record of sorts. So here are some thoughts for #mythreesons — not as in accomplishments — but a list of who you can be and suggestions about making a difference.
Seek God first, daily and always. This tops the list, for if you follow God, other things fall into place and you’ll have boundaries and guardrails along the way. No, it doesn’t mean life will always be easy or that you will be without difficulty or adversity. Instead, if you find God, know God and continue to grow in God, you will ultimately rest in God and his safety, peace and knowledge. Josh, Jason and Destin, you have a substantial godly legacy from dad, to grandpas and even great grandparents. Stay tethered and connected.
My word to #mythreesons: Make God first, honor Him with your talents, money, thoughts and service. When you’re in trouble, seek God. When you’re on the mountain top, ask God. When you’re searching for answers, find God. In all things, seek God (Matthew 6:33).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6.
Surpass me in your skill, knowledge, wisdom and joy. No, it’s not a race, but everyone wants their kids to be better than they were. In many ways, #mythreesons have already surpassed this goal. I was a music major for some years in college, sang lead roles in various musicals and had an understanding of music. Josh, Jason and Destin, on the other hand, learned mostly on their own without formal training, at least in school. They are fabulous musicians and play in church on Sundays.
Furthermore, Josh throws a baseball over 90 mph and now is a college pitching coach. Not everyone, including me, could ever do that. Jason is a counselor with a Masters Degree and teaches piano. He released a music CD a couple of years ago. Destin is meticulous with his hands, something I am not gifted with. He once designed and built a homemade controller to match the Christmas lights at his grandpa’s house to the music playing songs of the season. Yeah, you can buy those for a few hundred bucks or more. He had a piece of plywood with yards and yards wiring.
My word to #mythreesons: Don’t stop now. You’ve already mastered many areas I will never master. Dig for your gifts, hone your talents, become the expert and allow God to bring to completion what He has started in your lives.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11.
Follow the dreams God gives you. Indeed, God places dreams and desires in your hearts. Psalm 37:4 is absolute, and God will provide you with those desires. He will both “give you” — as in plant those desires in your heart — and “give you” — as in fulfill them — in your life. Become the best that God has created you to be. Dig down into your heart and let God reveal those dreams He placed there when you were born. Indeed, you were born for greatness, for victory, and for fulfillment. Indeed, #mythreesons, you are very original, so I don’t expect you will ever die a copy.
My word to #mythreesons: Resist being placed in a box or conforming to a world that is average or mediocre. Go back through all the experiences of your life and remind yourself of the original dream God placed in your heart. You may need to open doors of your heart that have been closed for some time, but there you’ll find the peace of all of God’s dreams for your life.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4.
Carry the Bailey Legacy to your generation and beyond. My mom and dad weren’t perfect, but their values and character and their desire for serving and helping others rose to the top. The older I get, the more I realize that those things naturally flow out of me. I don’t have to work myself up to it, I don’t have to check back to the “list”, it’s just natural. Still, I am learning to accentuate those things because it’s who I am and it’s part of the Bailey Legacy. My grandpa was quiet, but a pillar in his church and in his neighborhood. My dad followed suit and, so, it is part of me as well.
My word to #mythreesons: You are charged to carry forth the Bailey Legacy. You know the distinctive character traits. You are your own men with your own futures, but will always be remembered as Bailey and carry the characteristics of goodness and kindness and a willingness to help others. You are the #baileylegacy for future generations. You bear the mantle, the torch and the baton. Together, you will represent the Baileys to the future and beyond. Wear the legacy well and share it with your generation and the next.
Make a difference and have the time of your life doing it! I have two goals in life. Haven’t achieved them continually, but still pushing forward with those objectives in mind. In reality, those goals aren’t specific in nature, but they are more driving forces to me than actual goals:
- Make a difference.
- Have the time of my life doing it!
Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy. Moreover, it’s essential to make a difference in people’s lives. Always seek to improve the lives of those around you. Zig Ziglar says “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” Obviously, you know the sow and reap principle. Sow greatly!
It’s been said in many ways before, but do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
My word to #mythreesons: Stick with what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is people who have come alive! ~Howard Thurman. Stay on the path you love and love the path you stay on. Each of you already has learned that you enjoy helping, teaching and encouraging others. That comes in part from the lineage of the #baileylegacy because your story started before you were born. Live your life abundantly and hand it off to the next generation.
Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly. love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. ~Mark Twain.
In closing, Chase the Lion, and remember that you battle an enemy called average, so focus on the One Thing and know that God is your Dream Giver. Keep the main thing the main thing, stay Wild at Heart, avoid the Bait of Satan, learn the principles of The Greatest Salesman in the World and you can and will experience the Double Blessing! All because you were Born to Win!