5 Ways to Write the Life Story You Want to be Remembered For

More than 350 years ago Pascal wrote, “Our imagination so magnifies the present, because we are continually thinking about it, and so reduces eternity, because we do not think about it, that we turn eternity into nothing and nothing into eternity.”

I find my soul stretched and my heart enlarged as my mind has wandered to this topic weekly since following the story of an amazing woman truly living as though each day may be her last. Kara Tippetts passed into Glory yesterday after a long battle with breast cancer.  Reading her blog and her book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard has changed my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others.  Her testimony of big love and limitless faith, even through great suffering, inspired us to reflect upon how we are living our own lives.

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” (Ecc. 7:2) In other words, paying attention to the stories of the dying can move us toward a more whole-hearted living. – Christianity Today

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Have you ever thought about, really thought about how your own life and legacy will be described after you’re gone?  Once in awhile I’ll find myself contemplating the gravity of those weighty words people speak over those just passed.  I’ll ask myself what words might be spoken about me at my funeral and then consider whether I’m living a life worthy of my calling – worthy of the story I’d want shared about me.

Sacred ground, this is.  No one likes to dwell on their own mortality.  As humans, it’s so easy for us to default to an invincibility setting – never considering as we wake in the morning, that this very day may be our last.

“The trouble is, you think you have time.” – Buddha

5 Ways to Write the Life Story You Want to be Remembered For

I often think about and even write about living with intention and purpose.  So often I’m all, “Dance like no one’s watching, live each day like it is your last.”  Yet I have to wonder how much of that is actually just good intentions?  How much time do I actually waste without even thinking about it?  If my last day really was today, how much evidence would there be of a life well lived?

So why not begin with the end in mind, and explore what it looks like to actually live out our calling for this life. As long as you’re gifted time on this earth, it’s never too late to live the life story you were created for.

1) Dance like no one’s watching  –  Yep, I’m going there! But just using it as a little metaphor, I promise.  There is such freedom in letting go of our fears of what other people will think of us when we give ourselves permission to be who we really are.  That’s exactly when hearts connect and meaningful reltionships are formed. “Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself..” CS Lewis

2) Do things that scare you  –  No, not like trying to cross the highway just to see if you can get to the other side without being hit  😉  Just the simple things that call you out of your comfort zone and dare you to stretch your very definition of you – those leaps of faith that inspire you to remember we can do hard things.

3) Quit something  –  In the book Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, Bob Goff describes the freedom there to be found when we quit something once a week.  It’s all about giving up good for better, and better for best.  After attending a recent conference, I had to make the hard decision to give up good for better, and quit something I wouldn’t have to {or want to} quit in a perfect world.  It was a very hard decision, but the right one!  No regrets  🙂

4)  Love Big  – There’s a quote by Og Mandino I’ve always loved, “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”  What a gorgeous way to live!  Imagine for a moment if we all lived this way, how quickly big love would transform the world!

5) Give your Life Away – Paul knew that to be happy, he had to stay focused on his purpose and not his problems. He summed up his purpose in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NIV). Happiness does not come from self-gratification; it comes from self-sacrifice.  Happiness comes from service and giving your life away.  Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

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“Maybe I’m on a journey, and the journey is more beautiful than any of us can comprehend. And if we did understand, we would hold very loosely to one another because I’m going to be with Jesus. There is grace that will seep into all the cracks and pained places when we don’t understand. In the places we don’t understand we get to seek. And how lovely is one seeking truth. Stunning.” – Kara Tippetts

From ashes we come and to ashes we will one day return, the question is how will we live in between?  How do you hope to make the most of the moments you are given?  How can you live in such a way to point others back to the Giver of life?

Next Monday I’ll be sharing some thoughts on supporting people in crisis inspired by tips Kara shared in her podcast interviews.  Now on to the Make A Difference Mondays linkup!

Make A Difference Mondays is a weekly linkup designed to encourage and inspire us to live each day on purpose by making a meaningful difference in someone’s life in even the smallest of ways. Read on to learn more about our vision, mission, and how to link up!

Our mission is to provide a consistent gathering place for like-minded women to build online connections, share inspiration, and provide mutual encouragement and accountability as we seek to live intentionally and make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Every Monday we will invite bloggers to link up any blog post that encourages women to live life on purpose. This could include testimonies or goals from your own life, small acts of kindness or service, creative tips or ideas for showing consideration to others — the possibilities are endless. Our objective is to use our God-given time and resources to His glory!

Also, just a heads-up:  we have created two fun new ways to keep us all connected! Now we have our own Facebook community group to stay in touch beyond the blog posts AND we also have a new #MADMlinkup group Pinterest board and we will be pinning our favorite posts from the linkup that inspire and encourage us to make a difference. We are so grateful for you and would love for all of you to join us for fellowship in the above linked community group and you can follow the Pinterest board right here to watch for your posts:


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Sharing today at Tell His Story and Coffee for Your Heart

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  1. Mary wrote:

    Yes,yes,yes. We must live lives of intention. Very well said

    Posted 3.23.15 Reply
  2. Oh Sybil!! You are a girl after my own heart!! I’m SO glad I came by to read this powerful post, and learn about this amazing victor, of LIFE and her impassioned words that will linger for days… I must go find out more about her story and her purpose. Will check out her blog and her book, thanks to you. <3

    As to what you shared, I often think about and write about this very thing. Living with intention, purpose and stretching more and more toward others with a heart like God's. I love love love your perspective, and I walk with you through it every day.

    It's such a blessing meeting you!! I need to join in this link up… 🙂

    Posted 3.24.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Oh Chris you have no idea how much you’ve encouraged me today 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and your caring heart!

      Posted 3.24.15 Reply
  3. Joy DeKok wrote:

    I love this post for many reasons. Number one is your courage as a woman. Thanks for blessing me today.

    Posted 3.24.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      Thank you Joy! So glad you were blessed!

      Posted 3.24.15 Reply
  4. Loved this, Sybil! Someone just today was telling me about Kara Tippett’s book. Loved Bob Goff’s book too! You list is great! So great! We need the positive voice beckoning out, drowning out the negative ones trying to sink us all into self-absorption and a pit of despair. Beautifully done!

    Posted 3.24.15 Reply
  5. I was first introduced to Kara (Mundane Faithfulness) through Ann Voscamp’s blog when she wrote the letter to Brittany Maynard. In one of Kara’s videos she says she knew that cancer was the walk God was calling her to walk. A bold statement. One you don’t want to hear but she she knew her calling. I belive God raised Kara up, keeping His arms wrapped tight around her so she could sow the seed of her life into dying with dignity, the same desire Brittany had. If ever there has been a woman born for such a time as this it is Kara who lived and died with incredible beauty. She offers the world a doorway into HOPE, to live fully through the ravages of disease and to have no fear of death because of the love of our Father. As our world changes and the dialogue of ‘dying with dignity’ continues in the medical arena, Kara and Brittany will be side by side. Kara’s death has a much higher purpose than anything we can imagine right now. Because she was willing to sow the seed of her life and model to the world how to die with grace, beauty, love and dignity, many lives will be spared as people realize there is Hope beyond the borders of what is known right now. I have wept over her story, prayed for her loved ones but my heart is pumping with the passion of knowing that God raised her up to sow her life into purposes far higher than what we know right now. I give thanks that Kara was willing to walk the walk God called her to and display such grace, beauty and love. Her death will not be in vain, her life and death will accomplish the purpose God intended.

    Posted 3.24.15 Reply
    • Sybil Brun wrote:

      This comment takes my breath away….. thank you so much for taking the time to share your beautiful thoughts. I couldn’t agree more!

      Posted 3.25.15 Reply
  6. Tara wrote:

    Very thought provoking post! We indeed are “dust and to dust you shall return!” I want to live my life worthy of the calling God calls me to; to love BIG, to reach out to all Gods people etc. Kara was such s beautiful example of that. I’m reminded of the quote on her blog “What are you going to do in the mundane days of faithfulness?”

    Posted 3.25.15 Reply