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Do you remember the sitcom Three's Company? Sunday evening, I got sucked into a celebrity spotlight show on John Ritter. I only knew John as an actor but hearing costars and friends talk about him made me think about the legacy we leave.  

His friends never mentioned him partying, his wealth, the materials possessions he owned such as a mansion or sports cars or the awards we won. Over and over they genuinely shared stories on his generosity on the set, his kindness to all he encountered and how he made people feel, the gratefulness he had for the opportunity to act and do what he loved, his passion as a father, and the joy he brought through his smile and making others laugh.

After all these years after his passing, he still made an incredible impact in the lives he touched, and many gave them credit for their career and how he still influences their craft today.

So, how will people remember you? Will it be for the gifts you gave that money can't buy? I sure hope so!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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


I went with a friend to the range in college and well, let's just say it didn't end so well. I whacked the guy next to me with my golf ball. And I'm pretty sure I whiffed the ball more than I hit it. Did I mention golfing hurt my back? Overall, the outing at the range wasn't fun and from that moment on, I haven't wasted my time learning to golf. Girls, got better things to do with her time… lol!

With that said, I couldn't help but notice all the buzz on Sunday with Tiger Wood's Masters win.  Pretty incredible if you ask me. Think about, 2005 was the last time he won the masters, 14 years ago when he was the best of the best. Top of his game. Through a series of poor choices, addiction and injuries, he went from number one to not even being able to compete. Yet through all the trials and tribulations, he never quit. Tiger was made to golf. It's his passion. And even when everyone counted him out, most likely even himself at times, he kept swinging.

You know what else was interesting about Sunday's Masters? There was a guy who placed an $85,000 bet, that Tiger would win. The odds of winning were 14-1.  Guess what, his bet paid off and he won close to $1.2M, history's largest golf-related payout. I'm not a fan of gambling, but this man's bet on Tiger reminded me that we only need one person to believe in us. One person that says, "I'm willing to take a chance on you and your talents."  

My questions for you are, one, is there a dream you put aside and through a series of tragic events appears to be at the bottom of the pond on hole #3? If so, take a dive and fish the dream out. And two, who can you get to take a chance on you? Who will give you a little confidence and hold you accountable to putting in the work and then acting on your dream.

I think my new saying will be, "Your dream isn't dead until you stop swinging!"

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

Several weeks ago, I recommended reading, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I'm still making my way through the book, as the content is heavier than most fiction books I read.

The story is from the perspective of two Afghan women. This morning the chapter I read, the Taliban have entered Kabul, where the women live.  The rule of law is changing. The women will no longer be able to leave their home without a male relative. They are forbidden to wear makeup, jewelry, charming clothes, and nail polish. They are not allowed to speak unless spoken to, make eye contact with men, laugh in public, and attend school or work.  If the women break any of these laws, they will be beaten.

As I read the list, tears streamed down my face as I looked down at my polished nails and sparkling wedding ring. The thought, not once, ever crossed my mind that if I were in public, my colored nails and my rings could lead to a beating.  I'm sure the same thought never crossed your mind. Can you imagine?

I whipped out my gratitude journal and wrote down a list of all the "insignificant" things I'm grateful for that I take for granted living in the USA. Will you do the same?

Taking notice of the small things in life can help change our perspective. If we write down what we appreciate in life, when we are having a bad day, the list can be a tool we use to remind us that, even in the misted of trials, there is still a lot of good in life.

What are you grateful for today?

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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

"Whatever you resist, persists. The more you fight a feeling, the more it controls you."

In reading The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, this quote smacked me in the face.  I would replace "feeling" with "task," but it's true.

My last newsletter I shared the resistance I'd faced with some of the creative projects I'd been putting off.  And as I processed Rick's words, I thought, "The more I kick the can down the road of not acting on my projects, the longer it takes me to get a project done. The longer my anxiety and stress persist surrounding these projects. Why do I want to keep doing this to myself? I'm in control of my actions or inaction."

Over the past couple of weeks, I've acted. And what I discovered is that what I resisted, wasn't as bad as I'd built up in my head.

Last time I shared about working on my book edits, which I've avoided for weeks, I was stuck. But guess what, once I opened the document I was able to spend hours going through all the edits.  I'm not done, but I've made incredible progress.

And my tax paperwork I've been putting off? After several frustrating moments trying to download my W-2 and wanting to quit, I kept plugging away. And now my taxes are filed, checks are mailed, and I don't have to worry about the good old IRS for another year. Yay!

And finally, working out and decreasing my sugar intake. Well, I'm not going to lie, I'd give myself a C.  Some days I did well, and other days was a complete disaster. But I'll keep plugging away at this goal because a healthy life is important to me.

What are you resisting in life that keeps persisting?  Is it work, a goal, a relationship, your health? Whatever it is, we are in this together. Work this week to take a step, in one area, in the right direction.  Don't let that feeling or task control you any longer!

Blessings,

Stephanie  

I have a confession, last week I shared that I was taking a break from speaking to work on editing my second book, taxes and getting back on track with eating and working out.

I didn't work on any of those things. I've been productive but done everything I could to avoid tackling what I need to accomplish.

Can you relate?

I call this resistance.  It's an internal battle between what I know I should do and what's easy.  Over the years, I've experience resistance. I know I'm on the right path when it rears its ugly head, especially with creative projects like writing.

If I keep delaying edits for my second book, it doesn't get released. And if it doesn't get released, people can't reject it.  

If there are dreams and goals we want to pursue in our life, we first must recognize the resistance. Not ignore it. Then we can dig into the root cause of the resistance.  Once we know the root cause, then we can face the challenge head-on. If we ignore the cause, then we'll just make excuses. And excuses are why dreams die. Or at least in part.

So today, to my faithful followers, I'm committing three things. 1. I'll work five hours on book edits; 2.  I'll complete my tax paperwork; and 3. I'll work out three times this week and keep my sugar intake at 25 grams or below.

What commitment are you making this week?

How can we work together, to stay on track, and make the best of the life we've been given?

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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


Happy March! I can't believe we are starting our third new month of the year. Can you feel my excitement?!

I love new beginnings.  

February is behind us. Whatever happened is in the rearview mirror. What's in your windshield? What's coming up? What do you need to plan for, so you aren't rushing around last minute? What goals do you have and what do you want to accomplish?

Or maybe the last two months has been rush, rush, rush or filled with unexpected challenges and you need to take this month to reset, recuperate and recharge. There is nothing wrong saying no, staying home, and taking time for yourself and lightening the load, so that as you go into Spring and Summer you can enjoy the long hours of daylight and warmth.

For me, I'm taking a break from speaking this month. It's been a whirlwind January and February, and my mind needs a break. I'll be editing my second book, The Gratitude Challenge, preparing my taxes and getting back on track with my diet and exercise regimen, as both fell by the wayside the last couple of weeks.

Comment below with what you have cooking for March. How can I support you? Pray for you? I'm here to listen and cheer you on. Let's do life together, making the most of each day!

Blessings,

Stephanie

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

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


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.