What are you leaving behind?

what are you leaving behind? A lesson in Vanity.

What are you leaving behind when you die? This past Sunday I shared a glimpse into defining what Vanity meant. What is Vanity? Does the definition extend past one thinking too highly of oneself? Or is there more to the definition than we normally discuss? On Sunday I heard the readings and I listened intently to the homily. Father Elio struck a cord with something that has been on my mind for years.

In the Gospel, Luke 12:13-21, we read about a parable.

 Luke 12:13-21


We are reminded that our lives are not defined by our possessions. They are defined by memories of us. We cannot stop at the store to purchase memories. We can buy journals to write them down. We can take photos to look at later. We cannot buy memories. All of our possessions merely serve as means to an end. We acquire pieces and goods to move us through life. Some of these objects make us comfortable. Food, which we can grow or buy in a super market, nourishes our bodies. Memories are created by our actions; what we have done and what we will do. As beautiful as things tend to be, Father Elio reminded us to see that they are not ends within themselves. They are only a means to an end. Our end. Sure, we can accumulate wealth and leave a nice trust behind for our family. A few generations down the line though will they remember us?

Will we be the great grandmother/grandfather that was rich and left their wealth behind? Or will we be the person they remember because of the stories told of our deeds and our actions?

For years I have been so focused on what I have to show for myself. All these pretty things … that I should have used towards paying down debts. I would have more free time now to volunteer and do good deeds. Instead I bought …pretty things. I fight this battle of being seen as what our society shows as one being successful versus what I know in my heart success really is. Giving away the possessions I do not need feels like a step in the right direction. I am shedding my vanity and becoming someone that people will recall by name… not because of what I left behind but because of the deeds I did that changed lives, starting with my own.

we must become the change we wish to see

Lucky for us God does not ask of his children to be successful but to be faithful. We must have faith that what we seek in this life is to come. If we put our trust in God we can strive to be rich in what truly matters!

I leave you with today’s reading:

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

What definition of Vanity are you most familiar with?

Until then,


14 replies on “What are you leaving behind?”

i’m kind of in the middle. it probably doesn’t help that i donate and share my pretty things?

Hey there Brett! I think that counts and does help that you donate AND share your pretty things! I have to get better at taking inventory of what I already have. I end up with multiples of everything. :/ Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and keep donating!

Vanity is an everyday struggle…but when you can appreciate the little things and laugh at yourself I think you are doing ok. My two cents!

It’s nice to have new shiny things and I dont think there is anything wrong with that, as it is a natural human trait. The problems occur when we covet “things” over what’s truly important in life. Great reflections!

I agree Kyle! I have a bad habit of shopping. I would say I am a shopaholic. I don’t think I’d say that I covet these things over whats important in life. The parable in the readings reminded me that I have all this stuff that I don’t use, for whatever reason, and I know someone else could use it. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

This is a tough battle, in these times, where everything is so commercially driven! I know I am guilty of putting pretty things before better, more soul enriching things. I am going to make a conscious effort to change that! 🙂

I’m right there with you Jenny! I try and watch only my dvr so I can fast forward through commercials and I’ve been trying to delete all my sales emails before I open them. We can do it! Thanks for stopping by <3

This verse- this verse!!!! You hit the nail on the head with this post and about where we’re putting our riches. I struggle sometimes when it comes to having faith about my earthly provisions, I feel like I need to hoard and stock away “just in case” instead of thinking of the bigger picture and the purpose of my life. Thanks for this!

Oh Chelle! You should see my bedroom. I think I have some type of problem because I tend to buy things in large numbers …stocking away for just in case … I’m so serious about giving half of it away. Although I could open up a store on line that would help pay down my debt LOL

This verse was just the thing I needed this week as I face my future head on! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

I agree — “stuff” doesn’t make you happy. I read a proverb recently that said the key to happiness is to “chop wood and haul water.” Like you said, it’s the things you DO that make a good life.

It’s amazing how easy it is to get caught up in things that I know don’t matter in the long run. It’s always good to take a step back to figure out what’s actually important.

Yes! I am constantly struggling with this! I don’t know why I feel like I need this things when they are really wants. Thanks so much for stopping by Jess and sharing your thoughts with us!

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