Thursday, May 19, 2016

Leaving A Legacy~

"The greatest legacy one can pass on to 
one's children and grandchildren is not money
or other material things accumulated in 
one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith."
~Billy Graham~

One year ago today my precious dad was called to his Eternal home
where he is beholding the glory of God,
and praising his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The absence of a loved one leaves within our hearts
an emptiness and longing of those days gone by
where love, laughter and memories were made.
Never again will I hear the voice of my dad
(only through the recorded cassette tapes I have of him)
 feel the touch of his strong hands,
 laugh till I cry, find comfort from his big hugs,
receive another phone call from him as he lovingly says,
 " Hey kiddo, what's happinin" 
and then to hear his ending words as we would close our visit over the phone with,
"love you kiddo!"
Ride with him to the Landfill
 praying my way there hoping to avoid some sort of episode with the dump trailer;
or sit with him by the pool side and watch the doves come and go
 for their little drink and dip in the shallow end of the pool.
Those were the beautiful days spent down south 
where dad and mom would spend their Winter months in the warmth of the sunshine.
 Those days of working along side of dad on his job sites
or on his 40 acres of property are never going to happen again.
Family gatherings where dad would share endless stories
will now be remembered through memories only,
so long as I can keep my memory.  ;)
 These are just a few of the precious memories I have tucked away in my heart,
but those who knew my dad either through relation
or friendship hold their very own special memories
because dad was the type of man you wanted to make memories with.

Every day of my dad's life he created a legacy
of the best and most beautiful parts of himself.
My dad was a man of noble character ~
He was an honorable man full of strength in many ways.
He was a man of integrity who was genuine 
in his care over those he loved.
He looked for opportunities to do good in life,
to be of help to others,
and he gave without regard for anything in return.
Dad never cut corners with the relationships 
he made with people. 
He was honest, decent, loving, sincere and trustworthy. 

Dad was an honorable man in his love for my mother in their marriage,
 becoming a husband early in his life through a bond of love
that was permanent for nearly 58 years.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
Though dad had disabilities from polio he was a hard working man
looking to the needs of his family. 
My dad would let nothing stop him from doing a job that needed accomplished.
He was the type of man that believed you do what ya gotta do to get er done!
As children we were taught to be respectable individuals
with good work ethics ourselves. 
Dad loved each one of his family members with genuine love and respect,
teaching and training us along the pathway of life.
Five children 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren all created uniquely,
and he loved us for who we are.
"One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare Your mighty acts." (Psalm 145:4)

~ One of dads hobbies was restoring automobiles~this is his 56 Ford "Cherry Delight" one of his first restoration projects. She now belongs to me ~

Dad never sat idle, when not working you would often  find him in one of
 his garages with his favorite recorded cassette tapes playing
 as he enjoyed those hobbies that brought him joy and fulfillment.
Dad was a steady man with a vision for his own life 
as well as those of his family.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." (Proverbs 29:18)

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from 
everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,
and his righteousness unto children's children." (Psalm 103:17)
Dad has left an impact on my life through his values and virtues
that will remain with me all the days of my life.
In his later years when he gave his life over to Christ,
he became a changed man, still a man of noble character,
but a man now changed by the grace of God.
He desired to be more like Christ,
and so therefore, he allowed the working of the Spirit
to purify him so as to come forth as gold.  
I can remember after dad gave his life to Christ,
he had a hunger and desire to read and know the Scriptures,
he would study and ask questions looking for answers to things he didn't quite understand.
Dad was a new man in Christ, and it was glorious! 
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
 not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2Timothy 2:15) 
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land:
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever."
(Psalm 112:1-3)
One week to the day before dad went home to glory
I had the privilege of sharing a devotional with him from my personal study
that was on "Honoring Parents" found in (Ephesians 6:2)
"Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise"
"Whatever your age, whether you are married or single,
whether your parents are even still living or not,
God expects you to honor them."
~Nancy Leigh DeMoss~
That is just a small glimpse of the devotion I was able to read to dad.
As I read that beautifully written devotion about honoring our parents
I had no idea that those would be the last spiritual words I would utter from my lips
to my precious dad.
I believe it was no coincidence that my devotion for that day
was on this very subject and that my dad would hear those precious words
from the Word of God, taking them with him into surgery and then into Eternity.
Dad was never conscious again after his surgery.
One way to honor our parents is by speaking to them with honey on our lips.


Dad left behind a legacy that will long be remembered
by those who knew, loved and respected him.
We miss his presence and all that he graced our lives with,
but those deep loving memories will live on in our hearts. 

Everyone will leave a legacy, for good, bad or indifferent.
We all leave footprints behind us.
How will we be remembered by those who knew us?
As I get older it seems as if death surrounds me
more and more through the loss of my loved ones,
friends, acquaintances and even famous people.
I can't help but ponder on my own life and how I have lived it.
What will I be remembered by?
Should I be the subject of conversation,
what are people going to say about Debbie Harris?
 "Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.
A legacy is etched into the minds of others
and the stories they share about you."
~Shannon L. Alder~
 Will I be remembered as a women of noble character,
a women who knew, loved and lived for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
Have I been the vessel God desires for me to be
because I have choosen the pathway of obedience as He has
instructed through His Holy Word?
 Am I concerned about looking to the spiritual needs 
of others whom God places in my life?
(Romans 10:13-17)
"How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things."  (verse15)
 Is Christ seen in and through me
as I run the race He has set before me? 
Will I finish well?
(Hebrews 12:1-2)
So many questions we can ask ourselves,
as we look into our own lives.
What footprints will I leave behind?
What footprints are you leaving behind?

Precious Heavenly Father,
create in us a love so strong for You
that we cannot help but live a gracious and honorable
life with You, as the Center.
Therefore, leaving behind footprints of a lovely legacy.

Be Lovely!
~ Debbie ~ 


Simply Linda said...

What a sweet and beautiful post, Debbie....thank you, it is such a honor for you to share your dad with us...truly it is...many sweet memories, friend.

Debby Ray said...

Wow...look at that smile of his! Debbie, your dad sounds like a remarkable man and there is no doubt that he raised his children to honor the Lord. I am so glad that you have these precious memories of him! It has been 14 years since my daddy passed from this earth and I was given the gift of being at his bedside when he crossed over...oh, the look on his face!! My heart is with you today, dear friend, as you re-live some of these blessed moments with him. Much love and hugs to you, especially today :)

Elizabethd said...

A lovely post. You must have such precious memories of your Dad.

LV said...

How proud you father would be of this marvelous tribute to him. You are blessed in so many ways. Memories are a treasure storied forever.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

There are tears in my eyes Debbie, as I read this post... such an incredible tribute you wrote about a man whose legacy is indeed living on, even though he has passed from earth to an eternal home. Beautiful memories that the two of you shared through the years! I can't believe it has been a year! Do you know that your dad died on my father's birthday? I didn't realize that until today. I just called to wish my dad a Happy Birthday today and then came over to visit you, and saw this beautiful tribute. My heart was very touched by your words about leaving a legacy... and the quotes you shared are so timeless and true. You have given me much to think about today, and your precious family are in my prayers, as I know how much you miss your father being there for you. Much love to you today dear Debbie!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, dear and precious Debbie, you could not have written a more beautiful and insightful tribute to your dad and the life he lived for the glory of God this one year of his passing into the presence of his Savior Jesus Christ. What beautiful photos and wonderful insights into his life and yours. Your dad sounds much like mine...a man whom I dearly loved and who loved people so much. What a great blessing and legacy he has left you all, and I am blessed to call you friend and see that you are a woman who desires to leave a legacy of your own as well...glorifying our Father in Heaven. We are so blessed to have had dads who loved us so very dearly and would want to hold us and comfort us right now as we feel their loss. But we have the precious Holy Spirit to comfort us and to help us remember that this is not our home. It surely makes me yearn all the more to be Home for eternity. But until that day comes, may we each live a life worthy of His praise and Glory as we shine for Him! Sending tender hugs and praying for your comfort on this very hard first anniversary of his Home going. I love you, dear friend! Warm hugs and much love!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a beautiful tribute you've written, dearest Debbie, honoring your loving dad. I can just tell from his pictures that he was a good, hard working man, with a love for Christ. You've posed some thoughtful questions on how each of us would like to be remembered. I pray that the Holy Spirit transforms me to be the best version of myself. I send my love, hugs, and prayers to you today as you reflect on the memories of your dad. Thankfully we have eternity to look forward to, in which we will be reunited with our loved ones.

Camille said...

Beautiful....what a wonderful blessing to have had such a Dad. He still lives...just not here. What a precious thought that is! Big Hugs to you, Debbie. May the Lord give you daily all you stand in need of. He is faithful and will be with you each step of the journey. With Love, Camille

Linda said...

Debbie, this is such a lovely and touching post! Your father was a handsome man and it sounds like he had much inner beauty, and was a great example. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Karen said...

A beautiful tribute to your father. What a great legacy.

Melanie said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. What a remarkable man he was! Those who never had a strong father figure in their lives cannot possible understand the blessing that you had with your dad. Thanks for this precious post.

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Debbie, What a beautiful written tribute to you beloved father. I know he is very proud of you as you carry on in his honor. You bring forth the spirit in you of who he was and his legacy. What a special blessing to pass down and you glow in all you learned from him.
You can see the inner beauty and sincerity in his smile and he passed that on to you. God blessed you with a wonderful father. I know you miss him terribly and I can relate in the way I miss my own father too. One day we will have a glorious reunion and what a special day that will be.

Thanks for sharing this special post. Sending you love and hugs my friend. xo

Roosterhead Designs said...

"...that we cannot help but live a gracious and honorable
life with You, as the Center..."

So much beauty in all that you've shared with us today Debbie~
What a wonderful wonderful man he was~
I appreciated what you've said - and those last words (I quoted above) will stay with me.
These anniversaries are difficult; but you have brought great honor to him.
Bless you today and always, Karen O

Devona Walter said...

That was beautiful. I cried of course..
You always word everything so beautifully..
Love you sis

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Oh Deb, what a wonderful tribute for your father. He sounds like an absolutely amazing gentleman - and one you may be proud of, for certain.

And I know without knowing how proud of you and your children he must have been - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, ya know?

May he rest in peace for the Second Coming of our Lord Savior Jesus so that you may be reunited with him again.

Thank you for sharing. Sending up some prayers for you, too, as grief doesn't really go away. Peace to you, dear friend. And hugs and love. ♥

Jean | said...

Debbie, what a beautiful tribute to your wonderful father! It will be the 10th anniversary of my father's death soon, so he's been on my mind even more than usual. Reading your post I can see that, like me, you had the kind of father every daughter should have. I really think women who were raised by good men have an advantage in life. We don't have to overcome the damage that comes from bad or indifferent fathering.

April Ortt said...

Debbie, That was such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. I've had your Dad on my mind a lot today. I recall my mixed emotions on this day a year ago as my Uncle Donnie passed away but yet my daughter graduated high school. But you know what stuck out to me today? I was in the garage, cleaning, and came across a picture of the cake that Spike made for him of the truck. It was by itself sitting on a table face down. I turned it over and smiled. It was really awesome. How it got there, I have no idea. Anyway...I'm sending love to you and yours. Give your Mom a hug for me when you see her again. :) Love and miss you!

doodles n daydreams said...

A lovely tribute, Debbie. Thank you for sharing your heart.


Pom Pom said...

What a cutie pie your dad was! I love the wedding pic! I miss my daddy, too. I have photos all around my study and I say, "Hi, sweet Daddy!" to him. There are five kids in my family, too. Where are you in the line up? I'm number 4.
I hope you are enjoying yourself in AZ or are you back? Thank you for the lovely "thank you" note, friend.
YES! Let's meet soon! I'm so glad to hear you come to Denver a lot!

NanaNor's said...

Dearest Debbie, What a wonderful tribute to your dad; I know he is smiling down on you! I have been without my dad for 25 yrs now; so thankful he is in glory and with my Savior. Thanks for sharing-sending you big hugs today.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

This is such a sweet tribute to your sweet Dad. What great pictures of him. All that you describe about him can be seen in his eyes and smile.

Bonnie said...

I love the pic of you and your Dad as well as him and your mother on their wedding day! What a beautiful post about your Dad. It is good to describe him in written words to share with your family for a long time. It is a beautiful testimony of his life and God's plan.
Blessings to you today.

Kelly @ Homespuns 'n Hayfields said...

Hi Debbie, what a wonderful post about your Dad. I hope you're doing okay getting through the first year anniversary. I will always miss the visits with him, he was such a joy to be around.

Consider It All Joy said...

These are precious photos and a truly beautiful tribute to your dad! God's Blessings, Cindy xo

Cheryl said...

Oh, precious friend! I am SO sorry for your loss...I know how hard those anniversaries can be. That first year seems to be the hardest. May the dear Lord just bless and comfort your dear heart in each moment of grief and missing your sweet father. You can just tell by looking at his picture that he was a wonderful, caring, warm person. Your memories of him are beyond precious, and they will help to sustain you in moments of overwhelming heartache. Sending you so much love and many hugs and sharing in your pain. I was SO touched by your dear, precious package that came in the mail. I just had to sit and cry as I opened it. THANK YOU ever so much...from the bottom of my heart. :)

Nikki said...

What a great honor for your Dad to be remembered in such a way as this. :) I often think about that " what do others think when they hear my name? " but even more so," what will our children remember as they are the ones who live with us through the thick and thin of our lives together." What a testimony your Dad seems to have had on your life. blessings!

Anne Payne said...

Ah, Debbie, Such a precious post honoring your dad. Your love and genuine affection for him shine brightly from your written words! I can see he had the love of Christ in him because he literally glows with goodness. Praise the Lord that he came to know our Father in Heaven, and that you will be reunited with him one day.

hobbyloes said...

What a great post to honor your dear dad.
Your father was a great example in your family, especially his love for Christ.
It is commendable to uphold his memory.
Have a blessed week Debbie.

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful, God-honoring post. Forgive me for not stopping by yesterday as I simply did not get on the computer...

The words you have written go straight to the heart. Reading this post will hit everyone differently and for me it was bittersweet. As I read the words I remembered with love and fondness the man I called "Grandpa." He was a rare and special individual and he most definitely left a legacy.

Thinking of you! Love you lots!

Mehrll said...

You have so many precious memories with your dad. His godly influence has made you the beautiful person that you are. Thank you for sharing these memories with us. Hugs.

Kim said...

Reading your lovely, heartfelt words about your dad, Debbie, I have captured an insight into his wonderful character and the amazing footprints he left with all those he loved and met in life. Such a lovely tribute of his legacy. What an amazing treasure chest of memories you have of your darling dad.

Mindy Whipple said...

Such a beautiful and honoring tribute! Our Pastor spoke a little about legacy just this morning. Hold tight to those memories sweet Debbie.

Anonymous said...

A simply lovely tribute! Debbie, your words are beautiful. {{HUGS}}

Elizabeth Savage said...

A beautiful post and tribute to your Dad!

Wood Fairy said...

I loved reading about your dad, his pictures are delightful and his personality/soul beam out from them, he must have had huge charisma. Thank you for visiting my blog, naturally I wanted to see yours! (found through a simple stationery swap!) I do hope you enjoy your 'time out' and feel renewed afterwards. Betty

Linda Walker said...

This was such a nice post about your dad! I did remember his great smile from a post you did some time ago. Your words honor your dad and I am certain that he is with you always. Hugs to you my friend!

Mrs. White said...

This was absolutely beautiful! It reminded me of my own Father. Thank you so much for writing this!

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