Author

Rebekah

Browsing

Two years ago, today I keynoted a women's giving circle event.

All the women in the room had one mission, to give back to nonprofits in their community.

I miss speaking.

As I type this, I should be keynoting a women's retreat, but it got canceled due to weather.

I could look at…

  • what I do not have right now.
  • the money I am losing in my business.
  • the opportunity to meet and connect with others in person. (FYI, Referrals are the number one way I book speaking gigs.)
  • the drop in books sales, as I sell lots of books at events.

Yet I am making the choice to look at the opportunities to work on because I have the "extra" time.

There are several fun projects in the works that only came about because I was not speaking.

If you are doubting where you are in life, or life does not look like what you've had planned, don't worry, God knows exactly what He is doing. His timing is always perfect.

I am reminded of His timing by reading Proverbs 3:5-6. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

With gratitude,

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”

What's the snow situation where you live? I know for me, an inch here, an inch there has accumulated to a foot with other areas nearly two feet.

This weekend I slid into my snowshoes and hit the trail. When I'm out on the trail, my mind declutters, and thoughts, ideas, and motivation flow freely.  

Sometimes I'll make a couple of quick notes and then be on my way. This weekend I felt led to record my thoughts. I ended up making four recordings. 

This week begins my trail series. Enjoy the stories, lessons, and scenery.

With gratitude,

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"

When I started my giving journey, I titled my first blog, 1 Making a Difference. Why? Because I knew that every one of us has the power to make a difference.

I have always had this big crazy dream that if we all joined forces together to live the giving challenge, we would change the world.

You may think, "Stephanie, that is impossible. Get your head out of the clouds. There are too many problems in the world."

You are correct, there are many problems in the world, and we cannot solve them all. But what happens if we collectively live the giving challenge? We each commit to consistently, make an intentional effort to give each day?

What if we sacrifice a little time and/or resources? What difference would we make then?

Back in 2019, I launched The "Lent" Giving Challenge. It was fun, and many participated. Due to my travel schedule, I skipped 2020, but I'm feeling called to bring it back this year. 

Will you join me?

Will you forward this to a friend?

Will you commit to giving away something for 40 days?

I'm making participating super easy. Sign-up here, download the resources and check your email each day for your challenge.  

The challenge is just a suggestion; you can do what was sent, save it for another day, or come up with your own challenge. 

Like I said in my TEDx talk, can you imagine if just 250 people took the challenge for 40 days? That would be 10,000 intentional acts of giving. WOW!!!  

How could that not make a dent in changing the world together?

I may be na ve, but I'll never stop working on challenging and encouraging others to stretch themselves in giving, gratitude, and goals. Will you join me?

With gratitude,

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”

Here in northern Indiana, inches, and inches of snow fell from the sky and blanketed the ground. My husband hopped on the 4-wheeler with a plow and began moving the snow around to clear off our driveway. 

I grabbed a shovel and worked on the sidewalks. My job took less time, but my hubby seemed to be having way more fun as he sped up and down the driveway with a big smile on his face. 

After I finished shoveling the sidewalks, I slipped my boots into my snowshoes, grabbed my hiking poles, and hit the trails. Some areas had been untouched by nature, and other spots looked like a racetrack where deer, squirrels, and rabbits sped along the cleared paths.

As I worked my way through the woods that lined our driveway, I noticed my husband standing in the middle with a garden shovel, not a snow shovel. What in the world was he doing?

I glided off the trail and clickity clacked up the driveway. The closer I got to my husband, a big heart revealed itself in the driveway. 

Oh, I loved it!

What a thoughtful gift. I wrapped my husband in a big bear hug, thanking him for such a sweet gesture. 

When we got into the house, I looked out the living room window and commented how I loved looking out the window seeing the heart.

He responded, "I made it so you could look out your office window and see it while you are working."

Wow! He had put some thought into the heart. My office is on the second story and overlooks a portion of the driveway.

As we head into the month of love, find simple ways to say I love you.  

Maybe it is a heart in the driveway, cooking someone's family meal, drawing hearts on your sidewalk, sending out Valentine's day cards, or better yet, carrying a few around to hand out to strangers. No matter what gifts you give this month, put a little heart and soul into them.

How will you show and share the love this month?

Love,

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"

This weekend I celebrated the 4th birthday of the launch of The Giving Challenge. Honestly, I still pinch myself that I have a book I wrote, people read, and like. Life is surreal some days.

As I thought back on the journey, there are five lessons, probably more, that bubbled to the surface that may help you as you are pursuing a goal or thinking about making a pivot in your life/career.

  1. Think long-term. The Giving Challenge took me about five years to write and launch. Success doesn't happen overnight. Don't get frustrated if you aren't moving as quickly as you would like. Keep plugging along, and over time you'll pick up wins and momentum.
  2. Only get advice from people who have been there, done that. This lesson seems like common sense advice, but we often let people who have never done what we are trying to influence our decisions. When it comes to my books, I have a small team of experts who provide advice and guidance in their expertise. Take, for instance, hiring a coach. I'll only coach people on activities I've done myself. You wouldn't hire me to teach you how to fly a plane, but I could help you write and launch a book.
  3. Put perfectionism in a drawer. Are you a perfectionist? If so, your perfectionist tendencies may prevent you from accomplishing a project or goal you are pursuing. I got stuck in the perfectionist wheel for quite some time. That is why my book took forever to complete. I kept swapping out stories and editing and reediting. At some point, what your working on has to be good enough, and you have to get the darn thing competed. I still cringe when I find a mistake in my book, but then I remember that even James Patterson made mistakes in his books. I know because I've caught them, and they make me feel just a little bit better. No one is perfect!
  4. Not everyone is going to support your big dream. It's hard when friends or family members don't show any interest in a project you are working on. It's easy to spiral into negative thoughts of why someone isn't supporting you. Focus on the people that do help you. Please give them your gratitude and appreciation. Turn the tables. I know there have been numerous projects, due to schedule, conflicts, etc., that I couldn't help someone on. It wasn't anything personal; I couldn't commit. Remember, usually, their lack of support has nothing to do with you or your project.
  5. It's okay to go back and make improvements. On the first version of The Giving Challenge, I must admit that I had no idea what I was doing. I had some connections in the industry, but they were few and far between. Also, I wasn't the best writer. But over the years, I attended writing conferences, developed relationships with experts, and even received an endorsement from Dave Ramsey. Instead of being satisfied with my first book in the original form, I went back and made improvements. The stories have more depth. The writing improved. Resources were created. And the cover got a facelift. Total redos aren't always necessary, but if you feel like you need to make improvements to get you to the next level, by all means, go for it!

I hope the lessons I learned, from writing and launching The Giving Challenge, help you as you set out to conquer a goal or two this year!

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”