Tag Archives: inspiration

93 (and counting) Years of Blesssings

At 93 years my Granny is my oldest, sassiest, longest and closest friend. Some of my earliest memories are of days spent at her condo and car rides to my dance classes. She gave me my love for tulips and never fails to tell me like it is. She even made a guest appearance at my sweet 16 and held her own out on the dance floor.  

For a recent assignment I was asked to interview someone in my life that I considered to be wise. So, naturally I gave Granny a call. I already knew the answer to many of the question I asked but, I wanted her to tell me again, this time i was recording it.

As she looked back and reflected on her life thus far I listened intently, took lots of notes and as I looked back at my webcam footage of the recorded phone call i realized that for most of it i was smiling. Her words made me grateful and proud of the family I was born into. A family that prioritized the Lord and encouraged me throughout my life.

She said, “I rely on God for a lot of things and do a lot of praying. I think he has been very good to me because I have lived to be 93 years old. I feel like I have had a very, very good life.”

This gave me the chills because she said this without hesitation. She was able to see her blessings and appreciate her life. Isn’t this the goal; to look back on your life and be able to say that I have had a great life rooted in the Lord?

As a Recreation and Tourism Major one of my core beliefs is to live a full and abundant life, just as the Lord has commanded in John 10:10. Hearing my Granny speak about her abundant life I was so encouraged and inspired in my own life.

Who inspires you in your life?

My Granny and my Aunt sending me off to my Sr. Prom 

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Leadership Lessons from Frederick Olmsted, the designer of Central Park

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Frederick Olmsted, father of landscape architecture and designer of Central Park, said, “I have all my life been considering distant effects and always sacrificing immediate success and applause to that of the future.” Olmsted knew that he would not live to see the finish product of central park because it would take decades to for the plant life to reach maturity and for the city in which it was built to develop.

For those like me that consider themselves more of a leader than a follower; strive to be a transformational leader. This meaning that you are a leader with a passion to achieve great things, encourage individuals to grow and succeed and prove yourself as a person with integrity. In short, a transformational leader is just as it appears, one that is dedicated to watching individuals transform. However, like Olmstead, we may not be able to see immediate success in our relationships with others nor can we change the world in one day. But, we can be satisfied in knowing that we have planted a seed and laid a foundation for others.

My two summers as a camp counselor comes to mind when I think about this. I spent 7 weeks living with middle school girls and I soon realized that in that time it would be impossible to teach them to love the outdoors as much as I did. So, I came to the realization that the best I can do is to share with them my passions, set a good example and hope that one day they find themselves on a vacation and book the zip line excursion and remember my face as I sent them off their first zip line.

Whether you realize it or not you are a leader in some way. You may be the president of the United States, the president of your club, a leader in your community or a spiritual leader but, whatever it may be I encourage you all (and ask that you encourage me) to pursue your leadership and transform the ones around you.

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