Today is Memorial Day, the day we commemorate veterans and all those serving in the US military.
Thank you to my husband Ray Jones who served 14 years in the U.S. Navy, his father Charles Jones, his stepdad Leonard Smyth, and all those who have made sacrifices for our nation.
You are truly our nation’s heroes.
Today has me thinking: what is your (and my) Memorial Day going to look like?
- What legacy will you leave when you die?
- What sacrifices have you made for God and others?
- What will others remember about you?
- What impact are you leaving?
- What are you bringing to the world–your gifts, talents, skills, difference in others’ lives, and contribution to leave this world a better place?
This past week there was a terrible tragedy in our small community. Twelve year old Kalee Chandler was tragically and suddenly killed at the end of a barrel racing run, when her horse Sarrley had a heart attack, slammed into the fence, rolled on top of Kalee, pinning her underneath him.
“If we were dilly-dallying, she’d sure tell you, ‘Focus and get back on task.’”–Morgan Bradley, friend of Kalee Chandler
When I went to church on Sunday, Pastor Jeff’s sermon, drawn in part by Kalee’s death, was simply entitled, “Why?” Why do bad things like this happen?
His answer: he doesn’t know. No one does. What we do know is that we can make a difference in others’ lives and that Kalee’s life and death definitely left an impact on this rural community.
At the candlelight vigil for her at the Butler, MO fair grounds, there were hundreds–with estimates to over 1,000-people who came, according to the Kansas City Star.
Three quotes about Kalee in the paper stood out to me:
“She was given that gift from God to ride, And she’d go so fast and furious. She wasn’t there to take second.”–Tracy Murray, who took on Kalee as a barrel racing student when she was 7.
“She was small but mighty. Always a smile on her face and not afraid of anything.”–Tracey Rapp, who went through school in Butler with Kalee’s parents and had known her since she was a baby.
“…she was a true cowgirl. I mean, she didn’t sit around the house and play video games. … She was a goer.”– auctioneer Jim Hertzog
I believe we’re all given gifts by God—spiritual gifts and natural talents, like Kalee’s on a horse.
I believe that as believers, we’re to have a smile on our faces–showing the world that even in the face of trials and hard times, the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) He wants us to love Him, love others, and love our lives and what we do every day.
I also believe that we’re to be “goers,” making disciples of all nations as Jesus commanded us (Matthew 28:19)–fulfilling our purpose from God, doing what He’s called us to do.
To live fully, no holding back, no excuses, no fears.
To leave a godly legacy for God and others, to make an impact on others in the limited time we have here.
What will others say about you on your own Memorial Day–your funeral?
Rest in peace, veterans and Kalee.