Listen to Your Heritage (It Has the Power to Transform You)

Listen to Longfellow


Whenever I hear the word ‘Listen’ I immediately think of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem about Paul Revere:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere… (

Of course, I especially love the poem because of the family connection. Paul Revere happens to be my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. I have loved history ever since my grandma told me of my connection to Paul Revere.

As an awkward, introverted kid, I always felt rather proud and full of worth when I could share with my classmates that Paul and I had a family connection. Sometimes kids would scoff, but I had a Daughters of the American Revolution pedigree paper that my grandma had given to me prove my claim.

As a child, my pedigree defined me and gave me self-worth.

A Different Kind of Family

When I turned fourteen, I found a different basis for self-esteem. I spent the summer working in the kitchen at a summer camp, and I discovered that I had a different pedigree and an even more impressive lineage than a chance connection to a historical figure.

John 1:12 laid it all out for me, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” I realized for the first time that I have a place in God’s family.

Since God is the king, that makes me a princess, right? And what little girl (or gawky teenager, or hurting young adult, or worn out homemaker, or middle-aged granny) doesn’t want to be a princess?

So listen to me, friend. You can join the family. God wants you to step up and accept your lineage. We don’t have to put on our princess costume, and clean ourselves up before we join the family. We only have to accept the invitation and then let God do the cleaning up and transforming.

As an adult, my heavenly heritage defines me. Listen to your Father.  He wants to reveal your heritage to you and dress you like a princess.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • JeanneTakenaka

    Wow! You’re related to Paul Revere!! That’s a great claim! 🙂 But, I’m with you. Even more than having famous ancestors, we have an amazing God and Father who gives us an indescribable heritage. Thanks for this reminder, my friend!

    • ;). I even got to visit his house about ten years ago!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    If He wants to dress ME like a princess, He’d better bring along a lot of mighty men to hold me down.

    I’m actually a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, a fact which causes no one I know any surprise. They’re just glad I don’t have a Horde to lead.

    But I do have dogs…a LOT of dogs…

    #1 at FMF this week.

    • Ok, ok, Andrew, you can have the knight’s costume ;).

  • Melissa Haag

    Very cool that Paul Revere is your ancestor! I had ancestors who fought in the revolutionary war, but no one notable.

  • Tara Ulrich


  • Julie Lefebure

    Wow, Anita, how awesome is that?! Having Paul Revere as your ancestor! I was reading out of John chapter 1 just this morning, and was reminded what an incredible heritage I have! Glad we share this heritage, and thankful we can journey together through this life! Much love to you, friend!

  • great post anita:) i enjoyed it great parallels:) ps. i’m at slot 76.

  • Shauna Blaak

    Wow, Anita! I LOVE the historical relevance here. And even more so because we ARE royalty now, grafted into the royal vine. Too often, we forget who we are, don’t we?
    THIS: “As an adult, my heavenly heritage defines me.” Exactly!
    Have a great week!
    Shauna (FMF#19 this week)