Hispanic Heritage

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – Legacy Link-up

Meghan Villatoro
Meghan Villatoro www.restoreAmor.com

Please welcome, Meghan J. Villatoro as our guest writer this week as she shares about Hispanic Heritage Month! Meghan is a Marriage Blogger and Podcaster at RestoreAmor.com. She pairs her own experiences and her knowledge as a Marriage Coach to help Christian women who are struggling in their marriages. She has been married to her husband, Adán, for 15 years. And together they have four kids and another on the way. Originally from Long Island, she’s a New Yorker at heart but has lived in her husband’s native country, El Salvador, for over ten years. They are a multicultural family and speak fluent “Spanglish” in their home.

Then don’t forget to Join the Legacy Link-up below with your own heritage post.

curleque by Coffee at pixabay

Have you Heard of Hispanic Heritage Month?

It’s a month-long celebration in the United States that runs mid-September through mid-October. September 15 was chosen, because it marks the Independence Day of 5 Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

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adoption changed my legacy

Adoption Changed My Legacy & the Legacy LinkUp

Adoption Made Me A Momma

So MY legacy changed. And, of course, my kids’ legacy changed when we brought them into our family and received paperwork that said they officially belonged to us.

Likewise, God chose me.

Because He chose me, glorious grace is poured into my everyday life and inheritance is prepared for me. My life and legacy would be different if I didn’t recognize my identity in Christ and follow Him.

Ephesians 1:11 from The Message:

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”

Ephesians 1:11

Other translations of that verse say

  • we were chosen (NIV), we are
  • united with Christ (NLT),
  • we were made a heritage (ASV),
  • and we have obtained an inheritance (ESV).
God adopted me and changed my legacy! #adoption #familyofgod @kristinhtaylor Click To Tweet

God made our family possible.

Consequently, His legacy gets to continue through us to our children. I didn’t grow my three kids in my womb, but my husband Greg and I prepared for them and embraced them from the beginning. We named them and prayed for them before we held them in our arms.

Adoption Changed Their Legacy & Mine

HIll Family
Kristin’s family

Our legacy is shaped by them and their legacy is shaped by us. Cate, Ben, and Rachel to do anything to be our children. They’re named in our will and called daughters and son long before the court recognized that truth with new birth certificates. We chose them in the beginning and we have chosen them every day since – even when they’re loud and wild and grumpy and inconsiderate and obviously still learning like we all are. Adoption changed their legacy!

We chose them in the beginning and we have chosen them every day since. #adoption @kristinhtaylor Click To Tweet

God Chose us

Likewise, God chose me in the beginning and still chooses me today – even when I stumble. Jesus says people will know we are in His family by our love. Of course, sometimes I don’t do a good job of representing my eternal family name, but this truth is my foundation and I want it to be my family’s legacy.

God chose me in the beginning and still chooses me today – even when I stumble. #adoptioninChrist #adoption @kristinhtaylor Click To Tweet

Just like Greg and I gave Cate, Ben, and Rachel our last name, God calls us His own. Just like we welcomed our kids into the responsibilities and privileges of being in a family, God welcomes us into His home.

Yes, there are glimpses of His kingdom here on earth,

God Adopts Us into His Family
image created by Kristin Hill Taylor

but there’s also a promise of the eternal home Jesus is preparing for us. Because…

  • we are God’s.
  • our names have been changed and our covenants sealed.
  • we serve a God who believes in life.

We adopted our children because the God who gives us all life made that possible – and, thankfully, our legacy will never be the same.


Our Legacy will never be the same. #adoption #familyofGod @kristinhtaylor Click To Tweet

Thank you, Kristin, for sharing a piece of your adoption story.

Lastly, this month we are focusing on adoption. Adoption changes our Legacy. How has adoption changed your legacy? It’s time for the Legacy Link-Up. Come and tell your adoption legacy story.

New Legacy Through Adoption
Image credit: free on Canva.com Modified by Mandy
  • Have you received a new legacy through adoption?
  • Do you have the pleasure of being an adoptive parent?
  • Did you create a new legacy for your child through adoption?
  • Family of God?

We want to hear your legacy story. Please share it here on the link-up.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Multi blossom Tree

Grafted Into God’s Family and Producing Fruit

How Does Grafting Relate to the Family of God?

Most of my adult life, I have ministered to children. I love to creatively find ways to get the children to interact with older adults in our church. So when I saw a chance to have a local farmer from our congregation come share with the children, I jumped at it. He came and showed the children how to graft apple trees. Then he related that to being grafted into God’s family.

I don’t know if the children learned anything from it but it excited me to see just how it correlates to salvation.

Start with the roots

A sprout from the stump of Jesseom  Image Credit: Brita Seifert at Pixabay
Image Credit: Brita Seifert at Pixabay

A Branch from David’s Line
11 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.

Isaiah 11:1

God promised long ago that a shoot would grow up out of the stump of Jesse. Wow! a stump. When I think of a stump I think of a tree that has been cut down or has fallen down. The possibility of new growth seems unachievable. But hidden underground is an elaborate root system that is still alive and strong… The perfect place for a sprout.

The root system of the stump of Jesse has many branches. All the patriarchs of the Old Testament each grew a root deep. These roots would be the source of power and strength for all Christians coming afterward. Jesus was that shoot that grew into a New Branch from the old root. Then each of us, through salvation, are also grafted into the same root system.

We Can All Be Grafted In

17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. 

Romans 11:17
Stages of grafting
Photo credit: Fruit Mentor

What is Grafting? And Why Is It Done?

Grafted in to One Family

Definition – What does Grafting mean?
Grafting is the process of joining two plants together (an upper portion and a lower portion) to grow as one. The upper portion of the plant is known as the scion, which is attached to the lower portion known as the rootstock.


Two Become One

“Joining two plants together to grow as one” – We need the Family of God growing together in unity as one church in order to grow strong. We feed on one another and the older stronger roots nourish the younger, weaker sprouts. (See John 17:23)

Grafted in Produces His Image

Bolded words are my emphasis.

This is most often done for fruit trees, and virtually all trees in orchards are grafted. Grafting in the orchard is done because the seeds of a fruit tree cannot reproduce true to their genetics. Therefore, the branch of a desirable tree is grafted to a suitable rootstock.


We are all made in the image of God, but ever since the fall of man, we cannot produce our true genetics on our own (the fruits of the Spirit). Grafting into God’s Family provides nourishment from the body of Christ. Then the Holy Spirit transforms us into the image of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Take note here that a graft may be ugly at first but the results will be quite wonderful.

Grafted In Does Not Take Away Our Identity

Multiple varieties can be grafted to the same rootstock to produce a novelty tree that will produce several different fruits on the same tree. Most roses are also a product of grafting to a different rootstock.


Isn’t that marvelous? It still produces its own variety of fruit. We don’t lose our identity when we give our lives to God. We just get our source of strength from Him. Our strengths and abilities remain and we add to the beauty of the family tree and the root adds to our strength. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

Sam Van Aken's grafted fruit trees are still quite young, but this artist rendering shows what he expects the "Tree of 40 Fruit" to look like in springtime in a few years.
Courtesy of Sam Van Aken
Sam Van Aken’s grafted fruit trees are still quite young, but this artist rendering shows what he expects the “Tree of 40 Fruit” to look like in springtime in a few years.
Courtesy of Sam Van Aken

Grafting in Takes Time and Patience

When grafting a plant one must take care to do it properly.

  • Cutting the root
  • Carefully placing the scion (twig).
  • Binding the graft with rubber bands, graft clips, tie tape, and plastic.
  • Then we wait 30 days or more. Some grafts take a year or more before they begin to produce fruit.

I found it interesting that the graft must remain tightly bound for a while until the graft is successful. The graft must grow with the root to become one with it. (Ephesians 3:14-19) (This reminds me of raising our children. We must apply stiff rules until the child matures.

How often do we throw new Christians right into ministry before allowing them to grow in faith? Other times we just praise the Lord but never disciple them at all. Then we wonder why they fell away from their faith or why we don’t see transformed lives. We need to take care to place new Christians where they will receive the most needed nourishment. It takes time to realize new growth and productibility.

We must take care to nourish new Christians before expecting new fruit to begin to bud in their lives. Click To Tweet
graft by Abeidomi at Pixabay
Photo credit: Abeidomi at Pixabay

Grafting is Use to Repair Damaged Plants

Repair damaged plants. Large trees or specimen plants can be damaged easily at or slightly above the soil line. The damage may be caused by maintenance equipment (such as lawnmowers, trenchers, or construction equipment), or by disease, rodents, or winter storms. The damage can often be repaired by planting several seedlings of the same species around the injured tree and grafting them above the injury. This procedure is referred to as inarching, approach grafting, or bridge grafting.


Storms of life can damage Christians severely. At these times, a strong community of Christians should nurture them back to health; pulling them in close and away for the storms so they have time to heal. How often do we expect one (even ourselves) to keep keeping on when we should pull in and just let God and His family love us back to health.

We have the wrong idea if we believe Christians are like the Energizer bunny. Ca we keep going and going and going? No! We need refueling. We need time for repairs and definitely rest.

Grafting Causes Faster Growth

Increase the growth rate of seedlings. The seedling progeny of many fruit and nut breeding programs, if left to develop naturally, may require 8 to 12 years to become fruitful. However, if these progeny are grafted onto established plants, the time required for them to flower and fruit is reduced dramatically. Another way to increase the growth rate of seedlings is to graft more than one seedling onto a mature plant. Using this procedure as a breeding tool saves time, space, and money.

What? A fruit tree on it’s own may take up to 12 years to begin to produce. But if grafted into another older tree it will mature much faster.

Ok, then. Let’s talk fellowship with other believers. It’s true: We can grow on our own just reading the Bible and praying, but fellowship with other Christians helps us grow faster. It’s why James encourages us to “not stop meeting together.”

Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:25-27 Common English Bible (CEB)

Grafting in is Highly Important For Our Faith

In Conclusion, we all need to work together grafting new stems into the family of God: Bringing in new believers, watching for believers who have been hurt or been through a storm.

Let’s Review

  • Grafting makes us all one in Christ.
  • It transforms us into His Image.
  • We don’t lose our identity, but rather, grafting strengthens it.
  • Grafting heals our wounds and diseases.
  • Our wounds and diseases are healed.
  • We grow faster!
6 reasons we must be grafted into God's Family. #christians #familyofGod Click To Tweet
Legacy Linkup Blended Families and God Stories
Click Now – Legacy Link-up for Blended Families & God Stories

Are you “grafted in” to God’s family? If not, you can begin the process by knowing Christ.

Mandy Farmer
blended families linkup feature

Blended Family LinkUp: The 21st Century Family

Leaving a Legacy through Blended Families

This month, let’s celebrate the blended family and how stepfamilies are working together to leave positive legacies for their children. And how they exemplify the Family of God.

But First Our Featured Post from June

I'm a Soldier's Mom Feature post

It’s appropriate, being the 4th of July, to share Kim Turner McCauley’s post, I’m a Soldier’s Mom.

I love our military and appreciate all they and their families sacrifice to keep us safe. If you missed Kim’s post, please take a moment to go read it.

And Now … My Blended Family

Things have changed drastically since I was a child. I grew up in a traditional family with  5 siblings all from the same two parents. From the time my oldest brother started school to when my youngest brother attended high school, society changed from families having two parents and lots of kids to lots of parents having a few kids. While this adds an extra challenge to the picture, families can be successful in leaving a wonderful legacy for their children. 

Blended Families can be successful in leaving a wonderful legacy #blendedfamilies #christianhomes #stepparents #stepfamilies Click To Tweet

Grafted in the Family

While we did have a traditional family, our home had an open door policy. Visitors came from the city and from faraway nations to visit the farm. Some stayed a short time; others became a part of the family.

This opened all our hearts to love everyone no matter their race or socioeconomic status. Five of the six of us siblings, at one time or another, welcomed step or foster children or adopted children from nearly every race. You can read this story on my memoirs blog, Grafted Into the Family.

As for myself, when I married, I found myself grafted into a blended family that took me in as their own. My husband lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident and was left raising two young boys, 9 and 14. The oldest had been adopted out of the foster system and the youngest was their biological child. Later, two children (a son and a daughter) joined the family.

A True 21st Century Blended Family

The beautiful part is that our family meshed together as one. The words “step” nor “half” never came into a conversation. Well, occasionally it did; to explain how a 28-year old mom had a 14-year-old son. 🙂

When I joined the family, the first question asked was would I adopt them. (That’s a story for another time). They immediately began calling me “Mom” and never turned back.

A Mom For Life

Now as adults, I have been their mom longer than any other. The boys always speak of me as their mom and the siblings as brother or sister. Our daughter-in-law can verify that Daniel thinks of me as Mom. Early in their marriage, she often heard things like, “Mom doesn’t do it that way.” LOL!

flowers form Brian
Flowers from my son

Our second son, Brian remembers me not only on Mother’s Day but on the anniversary of that terrible accident when he lost his mother. He sends me flowers with a note, “Thanks for being my Mom!”. A few days later (anniversary of when his big sister died) his little sister receives a gift with a note, “Thanks for being my sister.”

Oh! We did use the word “step” when referring to stairs. Brian wrote this post for me a while back about meeting my family. Icy Front Steps

I know in some ways, I had it a bit easier because there were no passing kids back and forth, two homes, two sets of rules, etc. etc. However, there was this “ghost” in the room that at times seemed to be more and more of a saint mom. In reality, I believe these thoughts were created in my mind. Often when I talked with other mothers of teens, I found that the issues my boys and I had were typical teen-mom problems.

My One Tip for Blended Families

Looking back, I’d say the best tip I would give is for parents to have a united front. This tip goes for any kind of family. Dad and Mom must back each other up. Don’t let the kids play you against each other.

My husband sat down with the boys when he and I got engaged. He spoke plainly with them and said, “Mandy will be your mother longer than your biological mother. What she says goes and I will back her up. Even if I don’t agree with her you will never see me disagree in front of you.” And he kept that promise. We might talk later and I might change my mind. But it would be me that made the changes.

My Tip for Blended Families. Keep a United Front, #LegacyLinkup #blendedfamilies #stepfamilies Click To Tweet

Do you have a story to share or tips for blended families?

The following linkup is all about blended families. Please feel free to share your story or tips for blended families by linking your post below.

We would also love to see posts about the Family of God. We are all one family, joined together in love with the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. This link will be opened all month. Feel free to link up weekly, if you have more than one post on the topic. Of course, we hope that you will also read and share other posts. Thank you.

It's Legacy Linkup Time! Come share your blended family story or tip. #legacylinkup Click To Tweet

Did You Miss the Last Legacy Link-up?

You can still read them all by clicking through below.

inspiring men
inspiring women

Now, It’s Your Turn; Link-Up Time!

blended families link up

Add your post about the blended family and how stepfamilies are working together to leave positive legacies for their children. And how they exemplify the Family of God.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter