An online legacy is tricky. Even if we don’t have a specific online website “home”, what we post on Facebook, Twitter, photos in Instagram and recipes or crafts on our boards in Pinterest, become our legacy.
These online social forums detail who we are by showing
- our emotions and reactions
- what we treasure
- what we dislike
- our view of the future and the past
- our opinions about people and events
This thought isn’t new to you, I’m sure. I’m not trying to put fear, uncertainty or doubt into your minds. I’m just trying to prompt some awareness.
Why am I writing this post now? Well, a few days ago I had a shock. A heart-breaking awakening. And a special awareness is growing…
How will our children view our online legacy?
Amanda Kelly was a Christ follower, a mother and a wife who believed worship was a way of life. She wanted to inspire women to realize that worshipping God is more than corporate worship in church, but can be an everyday practice where God is in control, and gets the glory for every aspect of life.
How did she do that? She wrote. Online. She left an online legacy on her blog, and all the other places we all post items online: pinterest, instagram, facebook etc. Here’s an example of her view and tribute to her oldest daughter.
Today, I am the mother of a sweet 16 year old. This girl radiates passion and loyalty – to her family, to her friends, but most of all to her God. When I think of everything I would have dreamed of in a daughter- she is 100 times more than I could have asked for. Parenting a teenage girl is hard, sanctifying work, but I am so glad to be on this journey with her. I am so proud of her and can’t wait to see what God does with this amazing young woman. I pray she continues to be sold out for God, passionate about what is right and loyal to those who love her. It is my prayer that she goes further and deeper than I ever will. I love you forever sweet girl.#motherhood #sweet16 #sckellypartyofsix
Her life wasn’t easy. It included both infertility and waiting quite a while to be a wife. I’m sure there were days where she didn’t want to get out of bed and other days where the commitments she’d made in ministry, in family, in the local church and elsewhere felt very heavy.
Where was she focusing?
In all her posts online, and on social media, Mandy honored her God, Jesus, her husband, family and her role as a mom – both as a step-parent, and adoptive mother.
Why am I highlighting Amanda Kelly and online legacy?
On Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, Mandy, her husband Scott and two of their four children died in a house fire.
Though she graciously accepted a guest post on procrastination from me last June, I never met Mandy. I only know her online personality through her blog and social sites.
I’m sure she was a normal human like you and me – she had her good days and not-so-great days. Those days are documented on her Instagram feed and in facebook posts, just like mine and yours. However, her online legacy for her remaining children has great value.
You can read more about their tragic story here.
Yes. This event is a tragedy. Those who know me realize I usually refer to bad life happenings as “not a tragedy“. This one is a devastating life happening for the children and extended family still on this earth. But Amanda Kelly leaves behind a beautiful online legacy for those children and family.
Her words and desires for her children’s future remain for all of us. It is a beautiful online legacy we can all appreciate.
Now, what about you? What about me? Consider all you’ve posted online in the last week…
3 Ways to Be Sure Your Online Legacy Will Be Appreciated
I’ve been pondering this online life we all are subject to – in greater or lesser ways. One of our church leaders recently wrote a note about our activity online as Christians and it has also impacted my thoughts. Only God knows how long our online world will exist and in what form. But for now… it does.
Here are the three points I’ve considered:
1 – We need to focus on what will please God – loving Him first.
To be sure our online legacy will be valued and appreciated, honor God. Give Him the glory. First. Please God, before we please humans. Matthew 22:37 Whatever is true, noble,right, pure, lovely, admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— we need to think about such things — and express those things. Philippians 4:8
Do your online posts reflect your desire to please God?
2 – Followers of Christ need to live and lead like Jesus.
We are striving to live and lead like Jesus, so we need to apply our energies – offline and online – to being Christ-like. What does this mean? When we’re online, we must realize we are one in Christ – Galations 3:28 – Enough of this divisiveness – it’s not from God! And communicating with our heavenly Father, the Creator, must happen regularily. Jesus is our model. John 17 Leading life like Jesus will make sure our online legacy will be appreciated and valued.
How do you demonstrate online that you live and lead like Jesus?
3 – Our view must be greater than ourselves.
How are you serving? How are you loving your fellow-human? Matthew 22:39 Self care is important, but so is loving others. It must go hand-in-hand. Your online legacy will be valued and appreciated if you love others as you love yourself.
Is your love for those around you evident in what you post online?
Of course, we’re all fallible humans, with uncountable flaws… we aren’t perfect. That’s a given.
BUT — we are forgiven. 🙂
What else would you add to these 3 things?
I’m sure there’s more to add.
How would you suggest our online presence leave a legacy which our children and grandchildren will value?
Mandy Kelly’s online legacy is beautiful. Her blog has touched many including myself. And I am certain that her “real” legacy is wonderful too! What she left behind is inspiration to be a better person through God’s love. I love the reminder that we need to be fruitful in our online sharing. Thanks so much, Lori!
Very thoughtful post, Lori. I heard of this tragedy in several online places, and you have a kind, tender take on it. Thank you for reminding me of this family and my need to pray for the two children who survived.