Building a Legacy

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“What a pretty smile! You’re so sweet. Wow, look at you kicking those legs, yes, look at YOU!”

Not the kind of banter you typically hear in a work meeting. But on this particular day, it just came naturally. It was my first day back at the Care Center after having my second child—a baby girl who, in my opinion, is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. (I’m not biased at all. I’m an excellent judge of cute babies—and mine just so happens to be stinkin’ adorable.)

Anyway, because I was only staying a short time that day, my little lady came to work with Mom. She did a bang up job of sleeping through our staff meeting (thankfully no one was offended by her lack of attention), and was now chilling out on a blanket while I met with Carter to go over a few details.

Hence the periodic baby talk that interjected itself into my work conversation.

Way Back When…

I first started spending time at GPCC a little over five years ago as a volunteer. So much has changed since then, both at the Care Center and in my own life—the above mentioned little chunk being just one example. (And by “chunk” I mean my baby. Not Carter. Just to clarify.)

But I’d have to say that the biggest change in me personally took place about two and a half years ago. February 21, 2015, to be exact. That was the day my first child, my son, was born. I’d already been involved with the Care Center for several years at that point—and had a burden for the heart behind the GPCC much longer than that—but something changed the moment I met my son for the first time.

Suddenly, the burden that had already existed for so long in my heart was magnified. I realized with stark clarity that this tiny person lying in my arms was the exact same person I had been thinking of and anticipating and feeling inside of me over the previous months. This small child, who’d been so dependent and vulnerable while living and growing inside of me, was still just as dependent and vulnerable, only now I could hold him and see him face to face.

I knew then that I’d do anything to protect him. Yes, that’s when everything changed.

That was when I realized that the moment I start to think too casually about the value of life and my duty to protect it—at all stages, but especially when it’s most vulnerable and defenseless—that’s the moment I begin to lose sight of what really matters most.

Fast forward to the present. As I sat on the floor that day at work, typing and taking notes while my baby girl lay content on a blanket beside me, I couldn’t help but think of this year’s overall theme at GPCC:

Building a Legacy.

Such a nice sounding phrase, right? But what does it even mean?

It means we want to put the needs of others first. We want to act with integrity at all times, regardless of circumstances. We want to be known as people who uphold the value of life at all stages. We want to serve our community with excellence, and to do it in such a way that when we as individuals are long gone, the mission of the Care Center will still be functioning and thriving because we effectively empowered the next generation to continue.

The Legacy we Leave

My daughter won’t ever remember that she came to work with me that day. And that’s ok. Because I know it won’t be the last time she visits the Care Center. I will keep bringing her, along with my son (who already thinks the “big pink bus” is just about the coolest thing ever). I will share with them why we do what we do: That we seek to protect life, to care for women, to build lasting relationships, and to help women and men truly know the God who made them.

I will teach them about the difficult situations we encounter at the Care Center and how to respond in a loving, truthful, and helpful way. These will be tough conversations and hard lessons, but necessary ones. Because if my children don’t learn these things from my words and actions, then how can I ever expect them to step out of their own comfort zones to protect those who are most vulnerable?

My children are constant reminders to me that life is a miraculous gift and worthy of protection. Let it never be said of me that I didn’t do everything I could to protect my children and uphold the value of their lives.

And let it never be said that we as a community didn’t do the same for every life, whether young, old, weak, or strong.

That is the legacy I want to build for my children: That people matter. Life matters.

That’s the legacy we want to build at the Care Center.

And if you ask me, it’s just the kind of legacy worth building.

 

Mary Holloman is the Communications Assistant at GPCC and typed the majority of this blog with one hand while rocking her new baby girl to sleep with the other. You can read more from Mary at AllMySpringsblog.com or follow her on Twitter at @mtholloman.

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