As the soon-to-be newest member of the Many Meadows, I've been blessed to witness not only how heritage has affected the family thus far, but also how they continue to build it every day.
I see it in the way Robin and Dirk never say hello or goodbye with out a word of encouragement and Christ-centered love. I see it in the way Andrew makes his relationship with God a priority, gently teaches me to let things go, and calmly but firmly disciplines his girls. I see it in the way Erin uses real-life situations as teaching moments for her boys. I see it in the way Ali spends quality time with her daughters. I see it in the way Katie follows her husband's lead while still voicing her opinions. I see it in the way Anna breathes Christ-filled words of love and encouragement into all those she encounters. I see it in the way Kody and Jacob pursue their passions for music, all the while completing their daily schoolwork and helping Dirk with his business.
To me, heritage is a firm sense of "This is who we are and this is why." But like many other wonderful things, heritage is not something you build once and then forget about. It's a process, an ever-evolving state of being based on core values that never change.
The trick is that you have to be intentional about making sure your family's heritage is always growing. Recently, Dirk read Robert Kiyosaki's book, "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", and humbly admitted he still has room to learn. (After all, life is school, right?!) Rather than gathering all this financial knowledge for himself, he wants to teach us and learn with us so we can all build a better, brighter future for ourselves as well as generations of Meadows to come. Last Thursday was our first get-together to discuss aspects of the book, and although Dirk facilitated the discussion, there was never a sense of "I know all the answers, so your opinion doesn't matter." And THAT is true leadership: humility, a willingness to listen to others, respecting various ideas and so on.
In getting to know this amazing family better and better, I'm realizing it's never too late to start building a heritage. And if you have already started, it's wise to keep building on it!
Upon which core values are you building your heritage? What are some areas in which you could intentionally improve your heritage?