Archive for December, 2007

Final Boarding Call (2 of 5)

“Big Ben”

While touring in London we visited Big Ben–the famous clock connected to the houses of Parliament (Parliament: is legislative assembly of GREAT BRITAIN.)  Here, we learned three important principles concerning time. 

Time is impartial–It knows no man.  Each person is given 24 hours in a day, it’s up to me to make the most of those hours.

Time is relentless–Like a raging river.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot stop time.  It will keep going whether I’m ready for it or not.  It’s best to be ready. 

Time is precious–A treasure to care for.  I will not get back yesterday.  Each day is a gift.  I only have a few short years to make my life count. 

As a leader, time management is crucial.  Time management is life management. 

 Which of these three do you struggle with the most? 

bigben1.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004

Final Boarding Call (1 of 5)

As a freshman in highschool I had the opportunity to join a four-year program called Student Leadership University (SLU).  This leadership program offered me incredible opportunities to travel and see the world!  This week I will share some of the highlights of where I’ve been during those four years and what I learned…

Hope you enjoy the journey with me, so please direct your attention to the flight attendant up front.  To fasten your seat belt simply insert the silver buckle into the…

“The Eiffel Tower”

The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 honoring the centenary of the French Revolution.  When the Tower was built, many protested its construction.  It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna–used for telegraphy at the time.  However difficult its birth, it is now completely accepted and is listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself, receiving more than 200 million visitors since its construction. 

The story of the Tower parallels with a powerful leadership principle.  When you rise in leadership you will undoubtedly have people who will want to pull you down.  You will have your own set of protesting, your own opposition, whether it’s a friend who can’t see past his own insecurities, a well-meaning parent that doesn’t understand your call, or your own self-critical thoughts that tell you you’re not cut out for something like this, no matter our opposition we must remember this important truth.  “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Have you experienced opposition in some areas in your life?  How did you combat it?

eifel4.JPGPhotograph taken by Anna Meadows Copyright 2004


I was sitting at lunch with a friend of mine the other day… our conversation about my lack of dating went something like this…

Me: “The only place I really get a chance to “get out” is at church!”  

Friend: “…there’s cute guys at church.”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s hard to date guys at church because if it didn’t work out I’d still have to see them every week.”

Friend: “That’s true.”

Me: “So where do I go to meet guys?”

Friend: “Barnes and Noble?”

We laughed… HARD!

Can anyone help me with my dilemma? 

Little things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (5 of 5)


In my family of nine people everyone is a stand up comedian. I laugh more with my family than just about any group out there.

Laughing is one of the most important lessons to learn. If you can’t laugh you won’t enjoy life.

When was the last time your sides hurt, or your eyes watered because you laughed so hard?

Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (4 of 5)


Within my family God has given me many opportunities to learn how to listen.  But there is a difference in listening to what people say and hearing what people say… 

It reminds me of a quote from the movie “Fight Club.”  The narrator pulls us in when he says, “When people think you’re dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just… ” Marla finishes his thought giving us all something to think about.  “…instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?”

What would it look like if we took the time to really hear what people are saying instead of just waiting for our turn to speak?

Little things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (3 of 5)


When nine people live in a four bedroom, three bathroom house you learn a thing or two about getting along.  But there’s a difference between getting along and loving. 

Getting along is tolerating each others differences…

Loving is embracing each others differences and seeing what you can learn from them.

Getting along keeps the peace…

Loving makes the peace, even if you have to walk through rough times to get there. 

Getting along can plant pockets of bitterness…

Loving opens up our hearts even when it hurts. 

Getting along looks good…

Loving is good.

Have you noticed a difference for you in your family? 

Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (2 of 5)


Not only am I the fourth of seven siblings… we were also all homeschooled.  Now, before you write me off as some Amish freak of nature that doesn’t believe in electricity or birth-control… hear me out.  I’m a “normal” homeschooler… really, I am.  But there are a few things I’ve gained from being homeschooled that I wouldn’t trade for the world… 

Self-discipline–I learned that the only person I was hurting by not doing my work… was me. 

Motivation–The quickest way of getting something done is to do it!

Perseverance–I didn’t only get a grade… I actually learned what the books were trying to teach… even if that meant going back several times and trying again. 

But the greatest lesson I learned from being homeschool was how to learn.  I wasn’t just a student, I was a learner.  Which has served me well long after the graduation hat flew into the air.  Because I learned how to learn, I feel confident tackling any obstacle thrown my way.

What obstacles could you be tackling with a learner’s mindset? 

Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (1 of 5)

I’m the fourth of seven siblings. My immediate family consists of 9 (count ’em) nine people! I realize this is not the norm for today’s culture. I also realize that because of my unusual family and even stranger up-bringing I’m a bit different than the average person. So this week I’ll share a few things I’ve learned from living in a big family.


When you have nine people in your family the term “necessities” takes on a whole new meaning. Most people would consider a cell phone a necessity, a car, a computer, a weekly visit to the massage or nail lady…(okay, kidding about that one… Or am I?)

Growing up in a big family has taught me that it is possible to live below my means.

I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 16 years-old and had a job where I could pay for it. I didn’t buy my own car until I had cash enough to pay for it all at once. My family never went out to eat only because a meal that would feed all of us cost around $70! And that’s the all-you-can-eat buffet at CiCi’s! My mom cut our hair and I wore hand-me-downs for most of my Jr. High years… Mostly because we had to.

Now, I’m on my own and I make a pretty good living for just one person. And even though I do enjoy some of life’s little pleasures I’ve learned not to take it too far. It would be easy to start adding things in my life that aren’t considered “necessities” but the lesson of living below my means, taught to me by my family, has carried over.

It’s the secret to financial freedom.

Are there some “necessities” you could give up in order to live below your means?

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