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February 2019

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After midnight, I surfed the Internet and clicked to Oprah's site in hopes of an opportunity to sit in her audience.

Only one show was accepting applications, the After Oscar Show in Los Angeles.

I thought what the heck!

I applied and weeks later, I dang dear fell out of my chair when I received an email stating I'd secured two seats to the show.

Months later my sister and I, two girls from rural Indiana, were living it up in LA.

We were so excited we only ate one meal, as we had so much to see and we didn't want to waste precious time dining.

To keep our bellies full we munched on a fruit basked my hubby sent to our hotel room. I guess we were eating like the stars…fruit, water and a bit of wine.

One evening we found ourselves in the hotel that hosted ABC's pre-Oscar party. We sat on the lobby couch acting cool as the stars of the Desperate Housewives and other shows mingled.

The night of the Oscars we made friends with a police officer, shocking I know, and he secured a prime spot for us outside of the Vanity Fair After Oscar party.

We waived at the stars and giggled like school girls as the best of the best in the industry exited their vehicles, waived and entered the party. Some even coming over to shake hands.

If I wasn't such a rule follower, I'd have a picture of Oprah interviewing Sandra Bullock after she won the Oscar for The Blindside.

It was a dream come true adventure with my sister that I'll never forget. But the trip wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't taken action and the steps to make the trip possible.

If you have a dream, even a crazy dream to go to Hollywood for the big show, take a step towards making it happen.

What's your wild and crazy dream?!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”

My hands sweat and my heart races every time I watch the TEDxCalvin video spotlighting me as one of the speakers.

I keep telling myself, "God gave me this opportunity, He has gone before me and will be on the stage with me."

The only way I can get on this stage is by His strength. I can not do this alone. 

You may be thinking, "Stephanie, you get on a stage all the time and speak, why is TEDx any different?"

No notes, no slides. 

My entire talk is memorized, which in all the years I've been speaking, I've never done.  

I don't read from my notes but they are a guide to help me stay on topic, order and so everything flows.

With that said, I've put in the work. 

I've been working on my talk since November. I've rehearsed it no less than seven times each week. When I'm in the car, I turn down the radio and give my talk. When I'm soaking in the tub, I give me talk. And some mornings, I shout it out in the shower! 

I've recorded my talk and practiced it in front of a few friends. 

I'm prepared. 

A TEDx Talk has been on bucket list for years. And this is definitely one that I couldn't just show up and check off. 

The preparation for the talk also made me realized I don't have to be a procrastinator which I've proclaimed to be for…oh…my entire life. 

It's a label I've given myself and lived up to on many occasions. But I've learned through this process, we have the ability to change. 

The event is on March 2nd. If you are the praying type, please add me to your prayer list. I'd really appreciate it. 

Thanks for all your love and support!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”


This weekend I had the honor to keynote a women's breakfast at a local church. The next day I spoke at the same church and the pastor said, "I heard the event was transformational."

What an impact his statement had on me. God laid on my heart two years ago to get The Giving Challenge in churches. I could see the vision but many couldn't. I had a director of women's ministry tell me my talk didn't have enough scripture. Well friends, I'm more concerned about living out scripture than reading it from a stage.  

Two women saw my vision and worked tirelessly to make a dream become a reality. Several months ago, on a dark, cold night we gathered and believed a success would be if 30 women showed up.  A women's event was the first of it's kind for this small church. We were giddy exclaiming our stretch goal of 50 women. We had 35 RSVP and were ecstatic! But you know what happened the morning of the event? 70 women packed the room. We had to set up more tables and chairs. My assistant ran out to my car to get more books. And somehow there was enough food for everyone!

After the event, I saw hugs, tears and excitement of going out into the community to give in ways the women had never thought about giving. I heard stories that would break your heart and stories of new connections made between women that want to pursue a dream God laid on their heart.

I can't quite put into words everything that happened on Saturday, but God showed off. And I need to thank Him for giving this gal something bigger than she could ever dream.  

If you have a big dream, you gotta do more than pray. You have to share your dream with others. You have to work hard to make it happen. And when the opportunity is presented, show up like your life depends on it. Put in the work, knowing you deserve the opportunity that was given to you!

I love what Mark Batterson says in his book on prayer, "We are called to pray about everything, but there comes a time when praying can be a form of disobedience, laziness, or negligence. We can't just pray like it depends on God; we also must work like it depends on us."

I wonder how many prayers go unanswered because people don't act to follow a path God had laid before them.  

Pray for your dream but also take the steps to make it happen. If you're on the wrong path, God will let you know. But if doors keep opening, keep walking through them!

Now go make your dream happen!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

"The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"




Dear Friend,

Hello! I’m Stephanie, aka, the Giving Gal. On January 1, 2011 I started my giving journey. I gave a gift for 522 days and that journey changed my life.

The giving journey led to me writing The Giving Challenge and now creating

The “Lent” Giving Challenge, starting March 6th.

Instead of giving up chips, wine or sweets, what if you gave away something each and every day for 40-Days, changing the lives of those you encounter and in the end, changing your life?

It’s easy to participate! Sign-up here.  

Once you sign up, you'll receive lots of fun tools to help you on your journey.

Each morning I'll send out a Giving Challenge via email and in my Facebook Group. You can take the challenge or create your own. Let's flood the world with intentional acts of giving!

You'll also receive and be able to download a Lent Giving Challenge packet that includes:

  • Impact Pages: Write down how many people you impacted and a few notes to review later.
  • Journal Pages: Take a few minutes to write about your daily challenge.

What are you waiting for? Join now and invite friends to on the 40-Day adventure with you!

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you. A journey of 40-Days to a more generous life!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”

Learn more at GivingGal.com.

I'm preparing for my TEDx talk, and I give three steps to follow if you want to go on your own giving journey.

First, wake up in the morning and declare, "I'm going to give a gift today!"

Second, look for an opportunity to give.

And finally, and most importantly, act when you see the opportunity.

This morning my flight to Austin, TX was canceled. I called Southwest customer service, and the agent on the other end of the line was friendly and helpful.  When I told her the flight I wanted for tomorrow, she said, "There is one seat left."

"Praise the Lord!" I exclaimed.

She chuckled, and at that moment I received a nudge, "Ask her if you can pray for her."

I ignored the soft, gentle voice and continued to chat with the agent, asking her about her day. "Busy, but good," she commented.

This was my opportunity, but I was scared to act. I didn't follow through on giving this gift that the agent may have needed today.  So, if you are the praying type, will you pray for the nameless Southwest customer service agent? We don't know her name, but God does, and that's all that matters.

Again, the soft whisper, "Ask her if you can pray for her."

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.

Happy February! Last week I talked about the importance of planning, tracking, and accountability as it relates to your goals. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of our daily lives can be too much. Can weigh us down. We look at the week or month ahead and think, how can I do everything? And then sometimes we shut down. Instead of taking action and getting done what we need to, we do nothing.

And by nothing I mean, sitting in front of the television, or mindlessly scrolling through social media. I call this out because it's what I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

This past week, I'm blaming it on the sub-zero temperatures, as I could barely get myself to function in the evening. Usually, I'm fairly productive after work, but boy was I lazy this week. I did what I had to do to get by, including leading two national trainings and keynoting a private event. I felt like I was winging all three things, but due to the prior week's planning; I was prepared.

So how did I get out of this funk?

  1. I didn't beat myself up. I basked in the laziness, but I put a limit on to when I'd need to get back in the game.
  2. I knew my weekend was wide open, so I made a list of everything I needed to get done to get me back on track, and I committed to knocking everything out on Saturday and Sunday.
  3. I've talked about this in the past, but it's worth mentioning again. I looked back on what I'd accomplished this month and realized I was right on track for where I needed to be going into a new month.
  4. My evenings may have been a little unproductive, but every morning I kept up with my gratitude journal, daily devotions and reading creating small wins.

If you had a week like me, I'm sorry.  But hopefully, this week will be better. Hopefully, you'll be full of focus and get back to your fabulous self. If you had a fantastic week, yeah you!

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.

Was it all you dreamed it would be on January 1st when you were excited for all the new opportunities and restarts the beginning of a year brings?

I'm on track with some goals and others, like hopping on the elliptical for 30 minutes three times a week, not so much. But that's okay because it's not like I'm sitting around eating bon bons. Besides two twizzlers, a tootsie roll and a handful of chocolate chips, I've steered clear of sugar. A total win, as on most days I'd consider myself a sugar addict. Can you relate?

If January was fabulous for you. Congratulations! High fives all around! What's your plan for keeping the momentum in February? If January was a little depressing or didn't meet your expectations, that's okay, as in a few short days we'll ring in a new month. Slap the restart button and recommit to doing what you said you were going to do.

I attribute January's success due to planning, tracking and accountability. On Sunday night I write a plan for the week. I look at my annual goals and write the next one to three steps I need to take on each goal. I then print out the plan and throughout the week I x out and highlight what I've accomplished. The more marked up the sheet, the better. Finally, daily I check in and video chat with my entrepreneur bff and let her know what I need to get done for the day. And on Sundays I check in with my girls, giving a rundown of everything I finished, where I fell short and what I need to focus on for the upcoming week.

Everyone has their own system, but if you don't have one, try implementing the one above. A little direction, planning and accountability go a long way.

If you need help, just comment on this post!

Here's to a productive week!

Blessings,
Stephanie

Never miss a post

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.