An Interesting and Sobering Exercise: My Obituary

Yesterday I happened upon an article written by Josh Misner, Ph.D regarding an interesting and sobering exercise. He reflected on the death of the infamous pastor, Fred Phelps of the Westboro church who was in the news so often for his very controversial, outspoken opinions and unfortunately sad and hateful actions. Apparently, it got Dr. Misner thinking about what he would want to leave as a legacy, and so he decided to try to write his own obituary.  His article finished with these few sentences:

“How about you? What might people say about you if you were to die tomorrow?
Better yet, what do you want them to say?
Now that you have that thought planted firmly in your mind, take charge of your own story.
Live your life's story by writing it through the actions by which you want to be remembered.”

Great questions!
I didn’t want to read the entire article, for fear of being swayed by his words or plagiarizing his thoughts so I refrained.  My intentions are to read what he wrote after I am done here.  The idea really tweaked my interest and so, here is my obituary…a little freaky to think about! I’m sure it will be quite different from Dr. Misner’s, as yours would be from mine if you ventured to try this yourself!

Incidentally, I pray that this exercise is not a portent of things to come...I truly have too much to live for still! However, if you think about it, this practice (of putting your hopes and dreams down regarding what you want people to remember you for) is a good, healthy exercise.  Perhaps it will help me to direct my time and energies where I truly want them to go and encourage me to focus on leaving the legacy I wish to leave.  That is my desire…so here are the things I hope to be remembered for in my life - The Priorities:

Ann Van De Water
b. July 13 19XX - d. XX/XX/XXXX (You didn’t think I was going to reveal my age, did you?!)
Daughter of The King. Loving wife. Devoted mother. Ecstatic grandmother. Friend to many and lover of life!

Ann knew where she was headed, so we can miss her, but we won’t grieve! She humbly, and with deep gratitude, loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and wished to always reflect His grace and mercy in the way she lived her life and loved others.

She loved her college sweetheart and husband Wes ’til the day she died.  They had an extraordinary love affair for XX years (34+ & counting) and a committed marriage. As a mom of three sons, Ann did her best which, with God’s help and her husband’s dedication to fatherhood, turned out three remarkable young men. Furthermore, she couldn’t have been more thrilled to be a grandmother! Her legacy of time spent and love shared continues to reach down through the generations and will influence those she never had an opportunity to meet this side of heaven!  She is survived by her incredible husband, their 3 dear sons, her treasured daughters-of-the-heart, and precious grandsons.

Ann loved to laugh and believed that a sense of humor was key to choosing joy in life. Her friends will remember that she, more often than not, had a smile on her face and wanted to pass on her “joie de vivre” to anyone who crossed her path.  More than anything, she hoped to inspire women on their mothering journeys and couples in their parenting challenges, because she and Wes had such an amazing, blessed life together as husband and wife, and parents - raising their sons. Her goal was to inspire moms to thrive in, not just survive, their unique and common mothering adventures.  She was passionate about her calling as a wife and mother, believed in her message that children are gifts from God to be raised by us for His glory, and wanted with all her heart to be used by God. She always considered her family her greatest and most rewarding life work and couldn’t have cherished them more!

She treasured her friends and enjoyed making new friends. Ann will be missed for her enthusiasm and the energy she brought to life.
Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be…talk about "putting yourself out there"! The question is: do I have my priorities straight in order to leave that legacy?  How can I take charge of my own story and live it? I will be spending time reflecting on that thought…

Please don’t judge me, until you’ve tried this for yourself.  How can you take charge of your own story and begin to live it in the way you want to be remembered?  For a peek at Dr. Misner’s article go to this link: .

Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to leave a comment, especially if you did this exercise for yourself...As always, I really appreciate your visit to my blog.  Hope you've had a fantastic Friday and that you enjoy a blessed and wonderful weekend!