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May 2019

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer. Before we know it, August will be here, the children will be back to school and the warm, long days will start to dwindle.

How do we make the most of summer? We be intentional.  Sit down, either by yourself or family, and make a list of how you want to have fun this summer and then hang it in your home where you see and plan to take action.  

The dream list doesn't have to be expensive or extravagant.

Here's my list. What will you include on yours?

  1. Hiking at Starved Rock State Park
  2. See a movie at the drive-in
  3. Run a charity 5k
  4. Go on a picnic
  5. Rooftop family dinner at the Stray Dog
  6. Watch the sunset at Lake Michigan
  7. Take a four-wheeler drive with my dad
  8. Run trails with my mom
  9. Family and friends' weekends at the lake house
  10. Kayak the perimeter of the lake
  11. Enjoy a country concert
  12. See Mamma Mia at the Memorial Opera House
  13. Solo vacation

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

Recently, I keynoted a women's breakfast and had the opportunity to meet Fran.

At the end of every talk, I challenge the audience to take my 40-Day Giving Challenge.

Afterwards, Fran came up to me and exclaimed she'd started the challenge by giving away the beautiful hanging basket of petunias that she won.

Excitement filled my heart and I had to snap a picture with Fran.

This is my why.

I speak and write about giving to inspire others to give in ways they never thought about before.

My original goal, back on January 1, 2011, still rings true today.

Me, one person, looking for ways to make a difference in one other person's life, each and everyday.

And now Fran is on the same journey!

She shared with me how she's given a gift everyday since the talk.

A message from Fran.

Can you imagine how our world would change, if like Fran, when I put out the challenge to give daily, we all took it?!

Thanks Fran for inspiring me to keep spreading the message God's laid on my heart and thanks for taking the Giving Challenge!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

Did you grow up in an urban or a rural community?  I grew up in a small farming community in Southern Indiana and the longer I live, the more I realize growing up in a small town was a blessing.

I’ve had the same friends from kindergarten to now. I didn't realize this was a rarity until I went to college. Many communities today have multiple schools. Therefore, from kindergarten to first grade and then into junior high and high school, a child could constantly be split up from friends they made the prior year.  

Growing up in a small community I had many mothers. Moms of friends constantly looked after each other's children. I want to make clear; I had the best mom in the world. I wouldn't have asked for anyone different. My mom set an amazing example for me.

My mom taught me the importance of:

1. Working hard, as she was a working mother.

2. Lifelong learning,  as she is always taking classes and learning new skills.

3. Being a giver and helping those in need.

4. Taking care of our bodies by eating healthy and working out.

But besides my own mother, I was surrounded and loved by my friend's mothers. Their moms not only loved their own children but showed me lots of kindness.

I had mothers that:

1. Cared for me during the summer while my parents worked.

2. Toted me around to basketball games and track meets.

3. Made homemade pot pie, just for me.

4. Gave great hugs.

5. Listened when I talked about life's happenings as a teenage girl.

The list of all these gifts that mothers have shown me over the years is a mile long. Thank you to all the mothers who love not only their own children, but all children in their lives.

I encourage you to send a thank you note to a mom in your life that made a difference during your childhood. I know it will brighten their day!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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