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Take the Good, Toss the Bad: A Legacy of Joy

Take the Good, Toss the Bad: A Legacy of Joy

Simple joys are often found in deep-rooted faith and the legacy families create.

I believe all of us have an inheritance that comes from our families, whether financial or emotional. Although you may not have a dime left to you by the ones you have long lost, I am sure experiences and moments from the life you’ve lived with them have shaped you. I am not so naive as to believe that all things are as wonderful as I described in the story I’ve just shared with you. You see, I have some things I would rather not repeat or emulate handed down to me from my family as well. There are certain struggles I have witnessed with addictions, habits, and hang-ups that I would rather avoid, breaking the cycle for the family I am raising right now.

You may have a generational inheritance of things you may be inclined to pass down or repeat in your home. But do you know that when you get a check written to you, it’s only valuable if you sign your name to the back, endorse it, and cash it in? You may want to cash in some of the experiences you’ve seen within your family, and you may not want to for others.

The moments that have both shaped and sharpened my faith were forged in memories made with those who lived out what they believed right before my eyes. I have a choice to either emulate all the behaviors I witnessed, good or bad, or simply take the best and leave the rest.

No matter what life throws my way, I can choose to embrace whatever joy is offered in the lessons learned from those who are closest to me. I also know I can let go of the behaviors that would ensnare me in worry, doubt, comparison, or settling for a lesser life. The beauty in all this is the power of choice.

You are never too old or too far gone to take one small moment to embrace the best in your family inheritance and toss aside the worst.

Your generational examples don’t have to dictate, determine, or destroy your joy.

If you’re ever going to live a life full of simple joys and deep wells of happiness, deposit the good and toss the bad. For me, I have deposited rich faith moments and memories that sustain me when I feel like giving up. Those are the deposits I draw on in my heart and mind when I think about living daily with joy. And, to be real, I have experiences and memories that I have never cashed in and never will. I’ve seen cycles of behavior and cynicism growing up that I refuse to repeat just because “I was raised that way.”

Simple joys are found in the histories and experiences that have both made you great and challenged you to rise above and become better. Your joy will become fuller the more you realize what to deposit and what to toss.

Make whatever you sign your name to worth every proverbial penny.

In the end, you’re depositing into an account that will either increase or deplete your simple joys.

Excerpted with permission from Simple Joys by Candace Payne, copyright Candace Payne.

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Your Turn

Do you have family traditions, family traits, habits, and memories that you want to hand down to your children? (And things you don’t?) What legacy do you want to leave? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily