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Giving

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Do you ever have one of those days where you run from appointment to appointment and the entire day you feel like you’re forgetting something but can't quite remember what?

That was me yesterday.

I rolled out of bed at 6:15 for a 7:00 appointment with my trainer. Hence the reason I'm looking mighty fine in the picture. Those training days come early and girl got no time to do hair and makeup. It's come as you are. Workout hard and move along.

From there, God bless my client Harold, he met me for breakfast after my workout. Isn't it great when people love you as you are?

Harold is my longest client. I originally showed up at his office eight years ago to help him get organized. Then he hired me as his coach. Every week we meet for 30 minutes to work on his goals. Did I mention Harold is 70 something?

Can I be like him when I'm older?

Still working full-time and always working to improve himself, setting and accomplishing goals.

For years he talked about starting a foundation in memory of his daughter. It was a big goal for him.

And guess what?

He did it! With help of friends and family, he started the Cheryl Lyn Welter Family Charitable Foundation. They raise funds to help local schools pay for much-needed items.

Yesterday we not only met for breakfast but he also bought a stack of copies of The Giving Challenge to give to donors of the foundation.

I'm ecstatic for the message of simple ways to give continues to spread and the book is being used in a variety of ways.

As I was checking out I noticed fun strawberry lemonade cupcakes decorated in pinks and yellows with lots of sprinkles. I picked up two. A gift for my neighbor girls.

I sped home, hopped in the shower and attended back to back calls until late afternoon.

Back in the car and a 30-minute drive I arrived at the chiropractor. While I was getting therapy I remembered I was within ten minutes of our favorite rib place. I finished therapy and drove over and picked up two slabs of ribs. A great surprise for the hubby.

On the way home I called to chat with my mom. I think we'd go the whole week without talking. When I arrived home I said my goodbyes and bounced down the stairs to cuddle with the hubby for a little while. I fell asleep.

When I awoke the ribs were cooking and we enjoyed a nice meal. At 8:00 I walked upstairs to snuggle under the covers and get a little reading in. By 9:00 it was lights out. I really didn't have a choice. I think I read the same page eight times.

I woke up this morning and you know my first thought? I forgot to post a Giving challenge yesterday! I'd given in various ways throughout the day but totally forgot to post.

So here I am on a Saturday reliving my Friday for you all to explain that sometimes I'm so involved in living and giving (and sleeping) that things on my list just don't get done. I could beat myself up over missing a day, and as a recovering perfectionist, I'm tempted to do so but I'm not going to.

So today I've decided I'm wrapping up The Giving Challenge. The last three days wrapped into one. Why? I don't want to spend Easter Sunday on social media.

So here is the final challenge. Love on people. Everyone you encounter today and tomorrow. Greet them with and show them, love. That includes yourself. Sounds simple but there are many people that cross our path that are hard to love. Love those people more!

It's my sincere hope the last 40-Days you've given a little more. That you found ways to make a difference that maybe you would have past up prior to the challenge. Did you become more aware of those surrounding you? Maybe you became a little less judgmental and more patient.

It's my desire that you continue on this Giving journey, looking for ways to give each and every day. If you haven't already, feel free to join my Giving Challenge group.

Thank you for your love, support and engagement over the past 40 days. It's been a joy.

Happy Easter. John 3:16

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Have you ever been in line at the grocery store with one item and the person in front of you has a full cart?

That happened to me at Walmart and this sweet lady turned around and said, "Go ahead of me, you look to be in a hurry."

What a simple gift she gave me but totally made my day. I love when I receive these types of gifts because I get to feel how good something so small, especially from a stranger, makes the receiver feel.

Even though I was in a hurry, I asked if I could snap a picture to share with all of you. She was so humble and I had to give her a little nudge as I love documenting these moments. It's a reminder there are good people in the world.

Next time you are in line, let someone go in front of you.

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

When I coached high school track I was amazed at how many children had no support from friends or family. No one came to their meets to cheer them on, bring them a snack and encourage them after their event.

If you are a parent who attends your children's events, kudos to you. Is there a child you can bring under you wing that isn't getting support?

If you are like me with no children in the home, support a neighborhood kid, niece or nephew in their hobby.

Tonight as you're watching tv or surfing the web, make a plan for who and how you are going to support a child's hobby. It can be showing up at a game, paying for supplies, helping them practice or sending them encouragement before a big event.

Make a difference in a child's life today!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Who are your grateful for in your life?

The gardener at the farmers market who provides your fresh produce.

The banker who approved a loan for your first home.

The local artist who decorates the walls of the coffee shop with beautiful paintings.

The construction worker who fills potholes.

You are surrounded by hundreds of people who make your life better. Take a couple minutes to let them know how grateful you are for what they've done in your life.

Who will you thank today?

P.S. Love the cards below? They are from a fabulous company called Say It With Gratitude. Their cards are designed by children and a portion of their proceeds are give to nonprofits. I love companies that give back!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

It's Monday and we all could use a little motivation and see positivity in our newsfeed.

Let's fill Facebook with motivational quotes and remind people it's a good day to be alive!

Post your favorite quote that picks you up when you are feeling down.

Don't have one? Share the one below!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Strolling the aisles of Menards this basketball hoop wastebasket caught my attention and I immediately thought of my nephew. I knew he'd love it.

I picked the cool hoops wastebasket up and bought it. I really wanted one for myself but my husband reminded me I didn't need it. Boo!

If you are out and about and an item catches your eye, that's in your budget, and you think, "X would love this," buy it and give a gift for no occasion.

Go Duke

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

This morning I finished reading a great book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.

I posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I was reminded of how simple actions, that take just a couple of minutes, make an author happy.

Think about the last book you read and choose one (or more) of the gifts below to help an author.

P.S. In the comments I posted a link to my Goodreads page. Check it out for all my book reviews and recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

As we go into the weekend if you are out and about, please park between the lines.

I know this seems like common sense but I was at the bank earlier this week and over 50% of cars were not parked between the lines, leaving a bunch of empty spaces that were unusable.

I get it. I can't park to save my life but I always hop back in and correct my mistake. It takes a couple of seconds to fix my mistake.

We are all in a hurry but a little common courtesy goes a long way.

If you are a perfect parker, leave a kind note for someone who isn't. Maybe say, "You are amazing! Have a great day."

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

How many times do you chat with a friend and say, "We should get together for dinner." And then you never do?

Several years ago my word for the year was intentional.

I committed to taking action and inviting friends to meet for coffee or dinner.

Since that year I created a habit and when I utter those words I either get out my calendar and say, "Let's schedule a date." Or I add it to my "to do" list and follow-up later.

Tonight, think about the last person you said, "We should get together."

Get out your phone and send them a text, or better yet, give them a call, and invite them to dinner. Bonus points if you cook the meal!

I've sent my text. Have you?

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Frankie, Frankie get in here...were the words that echoed down the hall every time I entered my great-grandmother's home. She was letting my uncle Frankie know he had visitors. Moments later he'd scamper down the hall and greet you as if he hadn't seen you in years.

A big smile on his face, arms open wide and a big bear hug would ensue. We'd chat for a little bit and often head back to his room to get a glimpse of his "homework."

My uncle Frankie lived with my great-grandmother until she passed and then he went to live with his siblings. You see, Frankie had Down Syndrome. Growing up, I don't remember anyone telling me Frankie had Down Syndrome or was different than me. In my family, I was taught everyone was the same and learned the Golden Rule early, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you."

My great-grandparents dissed the notion he was different also. When Frankie was born, April 27, 1951, doctors gave little hope to my great grandparents that Frankie would live beyond five years old. I guess back then, they didn't know much about Down Syndrome.

From what I've researched, many with Down Syndrome have congenital heart disease. Frankie did have a heart disease; he had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. Did I mention he loved hugs?

Frankie attended school and learned how to read and write. He spent much of his days writing. That is why we always had to go check out his homework, something he took great pride in and worked hard on daily.

What did we get Frankie for his birthday every year? Notebooks, pens, and stickers. Oh and a Cincinnati Reds t-shirt or hat. One of the only times he wouldn't come out for a visit was if the Reds were on TV. Not only did he have a love for the Reds and Indiana University basketball, he loved playing both sports. I remember some fierce whiffle ball games in my great grandmother's backyard.

I often say my eight year old nephew Carson is the best dancer in the family, but before Carson came along Frankie held the title. He loved music and dancing. He was incredibly gifted and could identify the artist singing a song as soon as he heard the first few notes. If there was music, Frankie was busting a move. We'd all sit back and laugh. Which made him continue his moves, as he loved being the center of attention and was the life of the party.

Frankie had a deep respect for the flag and military. He hung out at the American Legion and was a favorite to the patrons. At parades when members of the military would pass you could count on Frankie standing at attention with a salute. Annually he'd attend, with family, the local Memorial Day service and as soon as the National Anthem would play his hand would be over his heart.

Frankie had an incredible memory. My mom shared a story with me about a time she forgot his birthday. Yes, he took note of who remembered and who did not. Several weeks later they were attending a funeral and he walked up to her and busted out in song, "Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday, to me..." That was his subtle way of letting her know she had forgotten his birthday.

My cousin shared on Facebook a talent Frankie had that I'd forgotten. He would look at his wrist, as though looking at a watch, and tell you the time. There was no watch on his wrist, but he'd usually be right on the time. We sometimes joked he was Rain Man.

Frankie passed away at the age of 65. He was truly a gift from God to our family. The laughter he brought will never be replaced, but the many stories we have of him will be shared and remembered for years.

Not to get all political, but I can't imagine why some doctors recommend women who are carrying a Down Syndrome baby abort. I say this honestly, Frankie was much better than you or me.

*He never judged.
*You were his friend the moment he met you.
*He never met a stranger.
*He loved this country and members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
*He loved Twinkies without worrying about the calories.
*His heart was filled with joy.
*He had a passion for life and living.
*He loved his family.
*He laughed often and smiled just as much.

Maybe the world needs a lot less of what we see on the news and in our social media feeds each day and more people like my great uncle Frankie. The man who never knew a stranger.

I know this is true because after Frankie passed here are just a few things people had to share about him:

"Frankie was an awesome human being."

"He was a great guy!"

"Frankie was always a joy!"

"He was a real sweetie."

"A very loving man."

"He was a special guy."

"He was a special person, with a special soul."

"Frankie was a blessing to all who knew him."

"Always smiling with a heart the size of Texas."

How will you be remembered? If people can't say these types of things about you, TODAY is the day to make a change. Today is the day you...

Start smiling more
Give bear hugs
Have fun!
Dance to the music.
Bless others through your actions
Today is the day to be more like Frankie!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com