Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee are a mother-daughter duo with a passion for inspiring women to shape their legacy. While traveling the country sharing about a project they were both deeply involved in – Museum of the Bible – they met many inspiring women. Hearing women share their stories launched Jackie and Lauren on the journey of co-authoring a book Only One Life to celebrate incredible stories of female legacy builders. It’s a grace to welcome Jackie and Lauren to the farm’s front porch today…
Are you a woman of legacy?
The idea of leaving a legacy may sound intimidating. But legacy is not meant only for the elite few who have great power or influence.
It’s certainly a grand word, and a daunting word at that.
So let’s start by what we don’t mean. Legacy is not the idea of leaving financial wealth to someone. It’s not reserved only for people whose names will be in history books, on monuments, or in record books.
Legacy is far more.
It is the story of your life that lives on after you leave this earth. You write this story every day through the values you embrace and live out.
Your legacy can be positive or destructive, but the outcome is always up to you.
When viewed from this lens of small daily actions and how they add up, creating a legacy is the most important job we can undertake.
Legacy is crafted by our faithful everyday choices. Anyone can truly leave a lasting legacy—even you.
The hope for a legacy is: to outlive our lives by the impact we leave behind.
Now, whenever the subject of legacy arises among Christians, it is usually a reference to the legacy of men. It’s pretty safe to say that there are more men mentioned in the Bible, recognized throughout history, and likely to be recognized in leadership roles even today, not just in our country but around the globe.
Does this mean that women don’t matter as much? Of course not! We simply are more likely to be valued for roles that don’t get a plaque or an award.
This sentiment was reiterated by Bishop Ndimbe of Kenya when he said, “Train a man, you train an individual; train a woman, you build a nation.”
Not always, but most often, it is the women who have a directional and influential role in the way a society goes, because they are the ones most often taking care of that society’s most valuable asset: the next generation.
In a similar way, there are certain cultural and societal impacts that we women are uniquely gifted by God to make.
In every place on earth and in every time in history, right down to ours, women have been the keepers of the flame of family unity and the binders of the cords of connectedness. We are seemingly handcrafted by God Himself to be the conversation starters, the communication hubs, and the culture keepers.
Typically, women serve as the family scribes and historians. With our scrapbooks, newsletters, cards, and social media posts, we celebrate the milestones, keep in touch with friends and family members, share the news of both victories and challenges, and chronicle every aspect of family history.
We also tend to function as the cultivators of connection and relationship. Who takes the time to care for the office staff and maintain culture? Who plans the office Christmas celebrations and birthday parties? In most cases, it is we women.
We are usually the ones reading the stories or saying the bedtime prayers, snuggling in rocking chairs, whispering words of comfort, affirmation, and biblical truth into impressionable little ears.It is in our nature to pour ourselves into the ones we love, and that is a beautiful part of legacy.
Legacy is so much more than your family history or the possessions you pass on to the next generation. As Dr. James Dobson once said at a conference, “Heritage is what you give to someone. Legacy is what you do in someone.”
All of this and more endows the Christian woman with an amazing power, not to mention an immense responsibility. Our unique roles and gifts provide us with the opportunity to be influencers.
How we use that power is up to us. We can wield it in positive, negative, or neutral ways.
As a woman, whether or not you happen to be a mother, you have an irreplaceable role in our society.
God created women with unique gifts and traits, and we all have an important role in passing on our legacy of faith.
Our hurting world needs godly women leaders now more than ever.
We can lead. We must lead.
Future generations will bless us if we press through our obstacles, fears, and insecurities to meet the sobering challenges our families and communities now face, and invest in others.
Doing so will create a positive ripple affect for generations to come.
What will your legacy be?
Life keeps us running so fast and frenzied that we often lose sight of each day’s holy potential. Yet as a woman loved and called by God, your ordinary everyday matters more than you could possibly imagine.
Your choices today shape the legacy you leave for future generations. You are part of a story that has existed long before you and will long outlast you. And you can play a unique and irreplaceable role.
In Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy , mother-and-daughter team Jackie Green and Lauren Green McAfee invite you to join the company of women God is using to change the world. Through vivid portraits of women of the Bible, women of history, and women shaping the world today, you will discover how God multiplies seemingly small daily offerings of faithfulness.
Jackie Green, co-founder of Museum of the Bible, is a full-time homemaker who relishes her roles of wife, mother to six children, mother-in-law, and “Gigi” to four grandchildren. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Steve, Jackie actively supports him in his high-profile role as president of Hobby Lobby and chairman of the board of Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. An adoptive mom, Jackie served on the Advisory Board of a local Crisis Pregnancy Center and has worked with her family in orphanages worldwide. Lauren Green McAfee is a speaker, writer, connector and coffee enthusiast with a heart to engage others in the Bible. While pursuing her graduate degrees in pastoral counseling and theology, Lauren worked for her father Steve Green as he founded Museum of the Bible.
Building a legacy through your “only one life” is not a calling for the elite few. It is a calling for you—as a woman with unique capacity to shape the future through your faith, family, gifts, and leadership. Only One Life will encourage and empower you to develop grit, grace, and the long view—able to change your world forever—starting today.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]