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April 2021

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Friends, what a wild ride I have been on since being bit by a brown recluse. For those of you who do not know, they are venomous spider, with no anti-venom available for treatment. I got an infection, and since then have been struggling with side effect after side effect from the various antibiotics I have had to take.

This past weekend I was scheduled to deliver three keynotes at a women's retreat. I am grateful to share that by the grace of God, I walked onto the stage and shared what God laid on my heart. 

Getting to the stage was not easy. The event team totally understood if I wanted to back out. But I remained focused on the goal. 

So how did I get across the finish line of accomplishing my goal to speak at the retreat when most of the time I felt miserable?

  1. I focused on the opportunity and the impact. It's been a year since I've been live on a stage. I had prepared quite a bit prior to the spider bite, and I didn't want to forgo such a great opportunity. 
  2. When I felt well, I didn't waste that time. In the pockets of time that I felt good, I used the time to continue to prep, work on my notes, and slides. 
  3. I gave myself grace. I knew that how I prepared for this event wasn't as extensive as I had prepared for other live speaking engagements. I did the best I could, with the energy I had, and showed myself grace in the moments I got disappointed with the lack of preparation. 
  4. Think short term. I focused on one talk at a time, instead of thinking of three talks together. Breaking our goals down in bite size goals, gives us quick wins, to then move onto the next goal. 
  5. Fake it. I truly felt incredible on Friday night for my first keynote. By Saturday, I wasn't feeling so hot. I'm not a fan of faking it but sometimes we have to put on a smile, muster up some energy, and go out and shine. I paid for it later, and slept until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, but the goal had been accomplished!

There are various reasons we may struggle with our goals but as long as we keep battling for them, we are never out of the fight.

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

Friends, if you don't follow me on social media, you missed that I spent the better part of last week in the hospital. I share all the details on my latest podcast episode, check it out.

But while in the hospital, as I tried not to focus on all that was going on with my body, I focused on ways I could give to those that were serving me. 

Next time you are going through a tough time, here are four ways you can give:

1) Show grace towards those who serve you. I had an EMT that blew not one, but two veins while he tried to get the IV in my arm. He brought in a nurse, and she blew a third vein. Both were extremely frustrated with themselves. I decided instead of adding insult to injury, literally, I would show them grace. 

2) Share gratitude with everyone. From the lady that mopped my floor and cleaned the toilet, to the nurse, the guy who delivered my meals, to the doctor, I asked everyone their name, asked them about their day, and showed my gratitude. If they came in my room ten times, I thanked them each time for the job they were doing. 

3) Pray for those around you. The lady in the room next to me often cried out in pain and for help. When she yelled, I said a prayer for her. I prayed for the doctors and nurses responding to her that they could help ease her pain.

4) Make an unlikely friend by striking up a conversation. I cannot tell you how easy it is to make a connection with someone by just asking them their name. This simple question, led to more in-depth conversations, and for those who were around daily, we developed an unlikely friendship during my stay. 

I am still dealing with health issues. If you are the praying type, I would appreciate your prayers. 

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life” and "The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life"

Happy Spring! Oh, what a wonderful time of the year. The dead, bare branches, are popping with sprouts of color. In a few short weeks, we will not recognize our surroundings. 

At the beginning of each season, I like to look ahead over the next three months and ask what can I only do during this season of the year? Or what fun activities do I want to do over the next three months? We always need to make sure we balance the busyness of everyday life with activities that fill up our cup and give us energy. 

These questions ensure we are not just going through the motions. They can help us take advantage of our time, stay focused, and maybe embark on a few new adventures. 

I challenge you to look at the next three months and ask yourself:

  1. What do I want to do?
  2. What do I want to see and experience?
  3. Where do I want to go?
  4. Who do I want to spend time with and soak in the beauty spring has to offer?

For me, I want to go hiking at four state parks, have a mini-book club with a friend, watch some of my favorite athletes play baseball, start bike riding on trails, run a few of 5ks, attend a fundraiser for a police memorial, and celebrate a couple of birthdays.

What is on your list?

Blessings,
Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”