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Stephanie Jones

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This past week I gave a presentation, and honestly, when I finished, I didn't know how I performed. But, I had a lot of doubt. 

Within moments of finishing, someone from the audience texted me, "That went really well! Nice job!"

What?

I was grateful for the immediate feedback. 

Later, when I chatted with my bff, she said, "You are always so much harder on yourself. You always doubt how well you do when you always do great!"

She was right. 

Why do we doubt?

Sometimes we lack confidence in the work we are doing, but other times I think it has to do with perfectionist tendencies. I know for me, when I'm walking into new territory, I think of all the things that someone may or may not like. So I focus on constructive criticism vs. all the positive feedback. 

Next time you make a big presentation, give a sales pitch, interview for a new job, or pursue a new goal, dig a hole and dump doubt in it. 

And a gift we can give others is to ensure we provide positive feedback and any constructive criticism. So let's always strive to lift people up instead of tearing them down.

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”

This morning as I brushed my teeth, the phrase, "When God moves, do you?" popped into my head.

Excellent question!

Last week an influencer contacted me about working on a collaborative project. Yikes! I've never done what they want me to do. Out of fear, the unknown, lack of ability, it would have been easy for me to say, "Thanks for thinking I could tackle this project, but no thanks."

But in our conversation, I felt God moving. So I tentatively committed but then spent the weekend in prayer, consulting with trusted advisors, and researching. 

As I read through a book on the topic, fear turned to excitement. And then the writer said, "It's a gift."

Tears welled up in my eyes; God gave me the answer I needed to move forward through that one-word gift. 

Gift is my word. I love it. It's a word I live by every day. I'm a daily gift giver!

Don't get me wrong; I still have doubts. And to date, this will be the biggest project I've embarked upon, but as my husband so eloquently stated, "Stephanie, this is one of those moments you don't want to look back on and wonder what would have happened if you would have taken on this project. Have no regrets."

I knew I married that guy for a reason! He's a man of few words, but when he speaks, I better listen, as it's going to be good. 

So today, friend, if you see God moving in your life, but what he has laid at your feet seems too big and too scary, go to Him in prayer and take the first step of faith. What I've discovered over and over again is that when God moves, and then I move, a whole new world I never could have dreamed for myself opens up. But He requires our obedience and trust. As the old hymnal by John H. Sammis goes, "Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

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 May! I typically don’t share many insights into my life as a police wife, but something happened this weekend and I shared what it’s like to live the police wife life. At the end of the day, I’m always so grateful for our first responders. May is the month we celebrate National Police Week and Peace Officer’s Memorial Day. Please time time this month to thank the police officers in your community.

Last night we went to a retirement party for a state trooper.

As his wife spoke, I couldn't imagine the emotions she felt.

He made it.

He survived.

We have four more years until my husband hits 25 years and can retire. I never want to waste time away, but I'm tired of this police life.

I'm tired of the media.

The Monday morning quarterbacks.

The liars and haters.

I'm scared everyday that my husband, who has had an impeccable career, might need to make a split second decision, do everything right, and still lose everything we've worked for and built.

This year I've asked him on more than one occasion to retire early.

To lose part of his pension and other benefits because the risk is too great.

And yet he is unwavering to the oath and commitment he made.

And last night was no different.

As we drove home from the party, at 9:00pm, after a full day of working in his woodshop, on this day "off", he answered his dang work phone.

I hear him utter the phrases I've heard tens of times over the years, "I need to drop off Stephanie, change, and then I'll be enroute."

And that's exactly what he did.

We don't own our schedule.

We don't have the luxury of coming home from a long day and chilling.

He always answers the call.

I use to wait up and worry. I stay up as long as I can, say a prayer, and give him to God.

He rolled into bed at 3:30am. I knew what he dealt with couldn't be good as he had a fitful night sleep. No one will ever know what our officers see when they close their eyes.

Horrific scenes beyond comprehension.

I don't share much about our police life because I choose to focus on giving, gratitude, goals, and my faith.

But every once in a while I think it's good for wives to share our life to counter all the lies and negativity from the media and those who know nothing about law enforcement and the lives we live.

Today, like every day, I'm grateful for the men and women of law enforcement.

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, 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”

Can you believe the first quarter of the year is over? Three months down and nine to go before we begin another new year.

Now is a fabulous time to reflect on the year and decide if we are moving in the right direction. It is never too late to course-correct.

Here are five questions of reflection:

  1. Is there one change I could make in the morning that would improve my day?
    Maybe it is getting up 15 minutes earlier to sit in the quiet. Or what about reaching for your Bible first versus the phone. For me, I started drinking a glass of water before my first cup of coffee. It feels like a small win as I tackle staying hydrated each day.
  1. How did I give to myself?
    Oh, this could be a tough one. Are you looking back and do not remember any time you spent on yourself? I know for me, I usually get a monthly massage, but they fell off my radar. Massage helps me in so many ways. Guess what I am doing today? Scheduling a massage! What do you need to book on your calendar for you?
  1. Did I stick to my budget?
    You might say, "Stephanie, I don't even have a budget!" No worries, review your expenses from January-March, look at your incoming income. Do they match? Can you save? Are there areas you need to cut back? I recommend the budget exercise monthly, but each quarter is good if you do not have time for monthly. Something is better than nothing.
  1. What goals did I set in January? Am I on track? If not, why? And what step do I need to take to get back on track? If yes, yippee! What do I need to do to keep the momentum?
    My physical goals are half and half. I have been physically working towards them, but I haven't signed up for any of the events. Registration is a priority for me in April!
  1. What am I grateful for over the past couple of months?
    Gratitude is always a great tool to reset our mindset and attitude. Let us begin a new month with an attitude of gratitude!

Let me know, did you like this exercise? Was it helpful? Would you like me to create a couple of pages you can download and fill out?

Here's to a fabulous second quarter!

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"

The more women I talk to about their goals, the more I realize we all struggle with the same challenges. 

Mindset. 

Change. 

Distractions.

Time.

Confidence.

And the list goes on.

I have created a no filter video series live from the trail, where I share tips, tricks, how-tos, and insight into how you can finally do what you have always wanted to do.

Friends, this is no makeup. No soft white lights. Just me, my iPhone, and sharing what God lays on my heart, as I am huffing and puffing on my trails. 

I believe God laid a calling on each of our hearts, but often we feel alone and do not think others are struggling like we are.

That's a lie.

I know it looks like I am accomplishing a lot of goals. I am, but every single one only happens because I keep fighting my way through the constant mental battle and obstacles that come my way. 

I keep moving and tackling my struggles because I know God has given me this grand life for a purpose. 

I also do this for YOU

I want nothing more than to help you get organized, lose weight so you can play with your children/grandchildren, pay off debt, write your story and share it through a blog or a book, start a nonprofit to impact your community, take a class, grow a garden, or learn to love yourself a little more. 

That's my WHY, friends.

That is why one day, I hit record and decided to start this series. I want to empower you to take a little time for yourself so that you have no regrets when you get to the end of your life. No saying, "I wish I would have done...(fill in the blank)."

So lace up your hiking boots, grab your walking stick, and hit the trails with me. Hiking isn't easy. There are thorns, holes, stumps, fallen trees, but there is so much beauty around every curve. So much joy. Come on this journey with me, and let us accomplish our goals together and get to giving your best life!

Check out the first four videos, with new videos dropping weekly!

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”

Do you remember the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg? It was a big hit several years ago. All the rave. I thought I would pull it off the shelf for International Women's Day. 

Here are five takeaways from the book:

  1. "Career progression often depends upon taking risks and advocating for oneself." 

My question to you, are you taking risks at work and advocating for yourself?

  1. "I believe that all of us - men and women - should acknowledge good fortune and thank the people who have helped us. No one accomplishes anything alone." 

Who has helped you in your career? Who can you thank?

  1. "An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100% of the criteria listed. Men apply if they think they meet 60% of the requirements." 

Women, next time you see a job opening that interests you, go for it! Even if you do not meet all the requirements. 🙂

  1. "One study showed that women who found mentors through formal programs were 50% more likely to be promoted than women who found mentors on their own." 

Do you have a mentor?

  1. "Done is better than perfect."  

I couldn't agree more! What are you holding back from releasing out into the world because it's not perfect? Wrap a bow around that project and send it out my friend!

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"

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”