Because I’m going to UVU and very busy writing assignments all the time, I thought I’d start sharing some of them on my blog. It only makes sense, because I blog to share with my family, and I go to school to continue growing, for my family.
When I was first married and we lost our business, I never imagined that I’d be considered a leader in the community. I felt lost and alone. Each day consisted of trying to imagine what I’d feed my children. Usually our options were potatoes with ranch dressing or ketchup, or any simple recipe that could be made with deer meat. Our close friends brought us deer meat because our lives fell apart during that season’s deer hunt.
I had a stepdaughter as soon as I was married; I gave birth to two daughters really quickly; and a week after the second was born, I promised the state of Utah that I’d take my niece into kinship care. The timing of it all just happened to be when Jon had a prescription that had been misfiled, which basically brought our lives crashing down around us.
I realize now that during this time, I was leading. I wasn’t speaking in front of large crowds or representing our companies on community boards, but I was leading my children. Putting on a smile each day as I was walking through pain — this was being a leader. Of course, my skills and depth in leadership have grown over the years, but this is where I feel like my leadership really started.
The challenge with being a leader in the community and having a large family is that I consistently find myself second-guessing my responsibilities and decisions. I often miss an important community event or business engagement that I should attend because I’m spending time with my family. I also sometimes miss family activities as I’m fulfilling my responsibilities in the community or attending to a business engagement. For years I’ve debated whether the good I’m doing in the community or in our business outweighs experiences I could be having at home with my kids.
I have to believe that my kids are watching me and learning from my sacrifices. I believe they are learning to sacrifice some things, such as not having me there sometimes, for the betterment of their community. My decision to return to school has already had an extreme effect on my children. They have watched me struggle and cry when assignments are hard for me. They’ve seen me get up before the sun to have phone meetings or finish my homework. I can tell that they are taking their schooling more seriously because of these things. They have also had the chance to help me, which builds confidence in their abilities.
I can’t imagine a better class to take at this time than Leadership! On the family front alone, I love taking what I learn and sharing it with them. It builds our family unit and gives us confidence to push forward together. Having six daughters and one son, I’m very passionate about encouraging, supporting and helping them to see their potential, and through my experiences, I believe I’ll be able to better do that for them. Thank you.