Category

Police Wife

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Spend Quality Time with a Loved One

My husband worked close to 70 hours this week so yesterday and this morning we spent quality time together.

The number of hours invested in each other doesn't matter but how we are spending the time we do have does.

No cell phones.

But lots of dreaming, planning for the future and enjoying the now!

Who will you spend time with today?

Blessings,

Stephanie

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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 evening at 10:00 while you’re snuggled in your warm home, a group of police officers, friends and family of Trooper Scott Patrick will surround his grave, remembering his last 10-41 (on-duty).

December 21st, the day before Scott was killed in the line of duty always get ‘s to me. I guess there is a reason it’s the darkest day of the year. This time in 2003 Scott was still alive. He was still able to hug and kiss his pregnant wife. He didn’t know this would be his last shift. That he wouldn’t get to celebrate Christmas with his family. He’d leave for work on this evening, go 10-41 at 10:00 p.m. and never return home. Those thoughts haunt me. So much hope on 12-21-2003, and that hope to be shattered hours later in the early morning of 12-22-2003.

As I count down the hours to bundling up and heading to the cemetery, I’m reminded of a blog I wrote on my initial giving journey back in 2011. The words I wrote that day still hold true.

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Today is one of the saddest days of the year for me. I have cried on and off all day long. Call me an emotional girl or someone who has a heart and compassion for those that have lost a loved one in such a tragic way. Call it a wife of a law enforcement officer who worries every time her husband leaves the house. And today reminds me more than other days of that reality.

I just returned from a law enforcement memorial that is held at 10:00 p.m. at the graveside of Trooper Scott Patrick. 10:00p.m. December 21, 2003, was the last time Trooper Patrick went 10-41. He would be shot and killed in the early morning on December 22nd.

Tonight friends and family gather to remember him and to say, "You may be gone, but not forgotten." It’s a commitment we made and kept to his family. This year was extremely difficult because they had a bagpiper (gets me every time), the trumpeter (playing taps) and they did a special roll call for Scott over the radio.

Scott was a friend of mine from the police academy and was good friends with my husband. He was one of the best men I had ever met. He always had a smile on his face, was quiet and never a bad word to say about anyone. He was an incredible athlete and could run like the wind.

When he was killed in the line of duty his wife was two months pregnant. He would never get a chance to meet his son, Isaac "Scott" Patrick. After Scott was killed my husband and I made a commitment that #1 we would be there for his family over the years and #2 his son would know what a heroic and wonderful law enforcement officer and man his father was.

His son would be born the following June and at the time I bought tons of baby necessities and clothes. And then I took it one step further, staying to my commitment, every birthday and Christmas starting in 2004, I have sent a gift to Scott. He is now seven (now 13) and he knows who we are and that makes my heart smile.

Today was my annual Christmas gift to Scott. He loves Legos and I bought tons of Legos!

When I was in college, one of my friend’s mom passed away unexpectedly. I remember talking to his father months later and he said "people surround you when the tragedy happens and they are at the funeral and then they go on with their lives and you are there to live with the pain and hurt day in and day out. People forget, and I am still suffering."

Those words have always stuck with me and I have tried really hard to stay in touch with Scott's family so they know, I remember, I still hurt and he won't be forgotten.

As I have stated many times before, say thank you to a police officer for the job they do. 99% of officers are the "good guys" sacrificing their lives on a daily basis for our safety.

So tonight, as you prepare for bed, say a prayer for the men and women in law enforcement and say a prayer for the families and friends who find themselves surrounding a grave of a hero who never returned home.

Blessings,

Stephanie

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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

Is your home overloaded with candy? Are your kids on a sugar high? Is the excitement of picking a costume and trick-or-treating starting to fizzle? If you answered yes to these questions, you are not alone.

I can't help you on the fizzle, but I can help you with creative ways to get candy out of your home and teach your children about giving.

For children to give their candy away, you'll need to:

  1. Get Creative
  2. Give them options.
  3. Let them make the decision

Get Creative.

You may be reading this, and you know your kids will be 100% on board or your reading this and think...this is going to be so hard. My kid is going to throw a fit! Well, let them throw a fit. Giving at the beginning is hard, but it's a life lesson your kids need to learn. If you don't teach them, do you think they'll grow up to be a giver? Maybe so, but likely not. You know your child best so make this fun and allow them to be creative.

Give Children Options.

You can't just walk in and tell your children you are giving away their candy and expect them to be happy about it. Research ways to give that best fit your family. To help you out, here are a couple of options to give your children:

  1. Operation Gratitude's Halloween Candy Donations Program: This program donates treats to our troops and first responders. Candy donations need to be received no later than November 15th. Check out the map for a location near you. Click here for additional information. {Conversation starter} Chat with your kids about the important role the men and women in uniform play in our community. Why we should have respect for them and the sacrifices they make for our freedom and safety.
  2. Call your dentist to see if they have a buy-back program. Mine does! {Conversation starter} Do you know how cavities develop? CANDY!!!
  3. Ronald McDonald Houses: In my book, The Giving Challenge, I share a story about the Ronald McDonald Houses. If you are near a house, drop off your leftover candy. For an RMH near you, check here! {Conversation starter} Talk about gratitude. How we should be thankful for our health. Many children in our country are battling life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Places like the Ronald McDonald House provide comfort, care and allows families to be close to their loved ones in the hospital.
  4. Create Gifts: Purchase mugs or mason jars and fill them with leftover candy. Decorate the mug or jar, tie a ribbon around it, or paint it. Have your child make a card and write a sweet note. Maybe drop off the gifts to a local nursing home or assisted living facility. Ask the staff to provide the gift to someone that doesn't receive visitors or needs a pick me up! {Conversation starter} Gifts don't always have to cost a lot. Sometimes the gifts we create ourselves can be just as unique. Also, the gifts we give don't have to go to people we know. We can bless strangers in need.

Let your children decide.

The list above is only suggestions. Have your child read the list and see if there is a place they want to donate. Or better yet, see what ideas they have and where they would like to donate their candy. Let the decision be theirs to make.

How is Giving Gal getting involved?

I'm also getting my leftover candy out of the house. I don't need it! I'm sending a box of full-sized candy bars to work with my husband for his office and giving three more boxes to my mom for blessing bags that her church passes out to those in need. My gift for the day!

Where will you donate your candy?

Giving Challenge: Get creative, give your child options and and let them decide how to give away leftover candy.

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

If your house was on fire and you could grab one thing, what would you choose? Hands down, I’d snag a basket and pile in as many pictures as possible.

Pictures are the gateway to our past. They bubble up cherished memories we’ve long forgotten. Photographs of vacation adventures fill a wall in my master bedroom. If my husband and I are fighting, usually over something minuscule, the images remind me there are a million more good times than bad. The fight is a blip on our radar, in over a decade of happiness.

Devastating News

In December 2014, our beloved K-9 Boss received a cancer diagnosis, riddling our world with devastation.

January 2015 was a rough month for Boss. His prize possession, a tennis ball, laid in front of him, with no movement. He’d curl up on his pillow barely getting up to eat or go out to potty. The effects of cancer were heartbreaking. All his life he’d been a worker. He’d served the Indiana State Police as a K-9 officer and loved his job. To see him mope around with no energy was agonizing.

Days before we were to put him down, our friend Julianne, with Julianne Smith Photography, offered a living family photo session.

Joy in Sadness

The day before the photo session we considered canceling because Boss was so lethargic, but on January 19, 2015, it was as if God gave him a final gift, zestfulness. It was just a day, but the old Bossy was back. He was playful, energetic and ran around the house like a wild man.

Julianne came to our home, and instead of the standard posed pictures, she captured how we lived life with Boss. She snapped a multitude of heartfelt photos. Some pictures were humorous, like me sitting on the toilet (lid closed) because he’d often come in the bathroom if the door weren’t close. Why these types of photos? I wanted to remember the little things that use to drive me nuts, but in his last days, I cherished.

Boss passed away four days later on January 23, 2015. Days, weeks, months and now years after his death, the portraits of Boss remain one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve received. Julianne used her talents, to bring joy one last time to our dearest Boss, and gave us a lifetime of memories.

What’s Your Talent?

As you go through 2018, think about ways you can use your talent to make a difference in someone’s life. Something you take for granted may be what someone else needs to navigate through a difficult time.

Giving Challenge: Over the next week, use your talent to brighten someone’s day.

Here’s to Giving and Living Intentionally in 2018!

Stephanie

P.S. 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. She empowers people to change their life by giving and living intentionally daily!

Schedule Stephanie to speak at your next event by emailing her at Stephanie@GivingGal.com!

I’m a police wife. For sixteen years, my husband, an Indiana State Trooper, has selflessly served the citizens of Indiana. In the media, officers get a bad rap, but this is why I appreciate police officers and what I know to be true.

*My officer has missed countless family events and holidays to serve his community.

*My officer has been shot at and almost ran over on numerous occasions.

*My officer has found missing persons and brought them home to their loved ones.

*My officer and his partner Boss, (may he rest in peace), took thousands of pounds of drugs and almost a million dollars in drug money off the streets that were going to your community.

*My officer has missed many meals and left his wife home alone because after working a full shift he was called back out to search for escaped criminals or help with crashes during blizzards.

*My officer has fed the hungry and provided warmth for the homeless.

*My officer has fought for his life on the side of an interstate with a man high on drugs.

*My officer has carried the casket of a fellow officer who was gunned down and murdered by a coward.

*My officer has pulled dead children and burned bodies from cars.mikeandstephanie

*My officer has saved people from heroin overdoses.

*My officer has taken drunk drivers off the streets so they couldn’t kill themselves and others.

*My officer has captured, jailed and spent hundreds of hours building cases against child molesters and pornographers so they would never see the light of day to hurt your children. He has seen things you could never imagine and will never unsee them. They are burned in his memory forever.

*My officer leaves home every day with a bulletproof vest on because people want to kill him for the uniform he wears. But did you know, if duty called, my officer wouldn’t hesitate to lay down his life for that same individual?

Every day when my officer leaves I send him on his way with hugs, kisses and I love yous. Sometimes I stand in the window watching him pull out of the driveway searing the memory in my mind, just in case he doesn’t return. That’s the reality and biggest fear of every police wife. It’s a fear we bury but keep with us until we hear the garage door open and the sound of Velcro ripping off.mikeandstephanie

I’m not blind to the fact there are bad cops. But I also know the good ones overwhelming outweigh the bad ones.

So today, and every day, take a moment to remember all that officers do and what they deal with on a minute by minute basis. Pray for our officers and their families. And when given the opportunity, say THANK YOU!

Blessings,

Stephanie

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

About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is an author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), speaker, life success coach, and daily giver. She challenges people to live their dream, discover their gifts, and do amazing things!

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

I was a brat! Yes, there I admitted it. I have those days where I’m selfish and don’t want to give a gift!

Let me back up and give you the story. It was after dinner, and my husband was CRAVING ice cream. He asked me to run into town and get him some. I immediately said no. We bantered back and forth, in what seemed like forever. I finally said NO, NO, NO!!!

He was annoying the heck out of me. I reminded him that one of the reasons I married him was because he didn’t annoy me. I know it sounds crazy but before Mike most guys just annoyed the heck out of me after a couple of dates. I can spend hours upon hours with MikeMike0, and he rarely gets on my nerves. I guess that’s a good thing since it’s just the two of us, no kids or pets to occupy our time. I just love hanging out with him, which we often do. But on this day he was driving me bonkers!

Finally, he realizes he isn’t getting ice cream, heads upstairs to hop in the shower and yells, “Will you at least make me some brownies?”

I took a deep breath and said, “Sure.” It would be my gift for the day.

As I was making brownies, I thought, “Stephanie This isn’t a gift. Your heart isn’t in the right place.”

I finished the brownies, and he was grateful I took the time to make them, but I was feeling guilty I had been such a brat!

The next day, while at Target, I picked up some of his favorite ice cream. I may have been a day late, but this gift was bought and given with the right intention and a cheerful heart.

Many times in life we get an opportunity for a do-over. Take that opportunity. Don’t be stubborn to prove a point. Do the right thing, and in the end, everyone wins.

Blessings,

Stephanie

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About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is a writer, speaker, life coach, daily giver and the author of The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life. She challenges people to live their dreams, discover their gifts, and do amazing things.

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