January 2017


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!


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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. 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!

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!



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 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