Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Insightful Book Encourages Reader to Leave Deliberate Legacy

  • Cindy O'Halloran AgapePress
  • 2005 18 Nov
Insightful Book Encourages Reader to Leave Deliberate Legacy

Title:  "Your Unforgettable Life"
Author:  Jennifer Schuchmann and Craig Chapin
Publisher:  Beacon Hill Press

A legacy? Who thinks much of it when you're alive? Authors Jennifer Schuchmann and Craig Chapin have, and they prick our minds with insight through their book "Your Unforgettable Life:  Only You Can Choose the Legacy You Leave." This thought-provoking book reveals how each day we live determines the legacy we will leave.

"Everyone leaves a legacy.  The question I wanted to explore in the book is, are you leaving a deliberate legacy?" says Chapin.

Chapin was raised by parents who've left a legacy of sincere love for Christ and modeled what Christian parents should be. Chapin has been married for 14 years and has three wonderful kids – Hunt, Grace, and Lydia. Hunt and Grace are eight-year-old twins, and Lydia is two-and-a-half. "The kids keep us busy. I am coaching my son's baseball team and am working with the twins on their golf game," says Chapin. Chapin is determined to leave a legacy with his children and desires to share the importance of that with others.

Schuchmann had a wonderful respect for God growing up, but it wasn't until much later that she made him Lord. "I didn't really understand what a personal relationship was until I was in high school and a group of Christian friends introduced me to Jesus. These friends and their parents left an eternal legacy with me as they helped me to understand who Jesus was, how the Holy Spirit works in my life, and why He should be Lord of my life. My personal journey since then has been to grow in each of those three areas," she says.

Schuchmann's mother is a writer, so from a very young age her mother encouraged her and took her to writer's conferences. "I attended some pretty prestigious conferences before I was even in middle school," says Schuchmann.

But even with her mother's encouragement, Schuchmann was never passionate about writing. "To me, writers were people who had lots of ideas they were passionate about, things they wanted to tell others." In college, she either volunteered or got selected to write and enjoyed it, but still didn't see it as a calling. "I started having people come to me and tell me I should be a writer," she recalls.

Schuchmann has been married for 15 years and has a son named Jordan. She enjoys coaching Jordan's competitive academic problem-solving team and directing his school's annual musical that she also writes. After becoming a wife and then a mother, she started writing for trade magazines as a way to keep her resume updated. Soon she was getting assignments and branching out into new magazines. "I received so many positive comments from my work that I began to think maybe God was telling me something," says Schuchmann. "Three years later, I bowed my head at my computer and told God I would do whatever He wanted me to do. I would be a better wife, I would tackle the pile of ironing in the bedroom, and yes, if He wanted me to write, I would write."

At that moment, her computer signaled an e-mail had arrived. She glanced up to see that it was from an editor with an assignment. "At that moment, I surrendered to God's call to be a writer," says Schuchmann.

She also committed to being the best writer she could be. She attended a local writer's conference; it was there that God spoke to her. "He told me I didn't have to have ideas, that He needed writers who took assignments. That became my writing motto – I am a writer who takes assignments," says Schuchmann.

Chapin, an active member at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church where Schuchmann also attends, was a writer who gave her an assignment. "My background has been primarily in business writing. But I came to Jennifer with the idea that we work on a project together." So birthed the book "Your Unforgettable Life."

Schuchmann and Chapin lay out a logical perspective about how a legacy is lived out. We all have 1,140 minutes every day and how we choose to spend those minutes determines what legacy we will leave. Guarding your legacy by making wise choices, prioritizing, guarding against temptation, disciplining to do the right thing, and developing healthy habits are just a few points discussed.

"Your Unforgettable Life" causes one to sit up and take notice to assure that the legacy we are walking out today will be there when we are no longer on this earth. Jennifer Schuchmann and Craig Chapin's book "Your Unforgettable Life" has all the tools to get you thinking.

© 2005 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.