Author

Stephanie Jones

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How many times do you chat with a friend and say, "We should get together for dinner." And then you never do?

Several years ago my word for the year was intentional.

I committed to taking action and inviting friends to meet for coffee or dinner.

Since that year I created a habit and when I utter those words I either get out my calendar and say, "Let's schedule a date." Or I add it to my "to do" list and follow-up later.

Tonight, think about the last person you said, "We should get together."

Get out your phone and send them a text, or better yet, give them a call, and invite them to dinner. Bonus points if you cook the meal!

I've sent my text. Have you?

Blessings,

Stephanie

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About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Frankie, Frankie get in here...were the words that echoed down the hall every time I entered my great-grandmother's home. She was letting my uncle Frankie know he had visitors. Moments later he'd scamper down the hall and greet you as if he hadn't seen you in years.

A big smile on his face, arms open wide and a big bear hug would ensue. We'd chat for a little bit and often head back to his room to get a glimpse of his "homework."

My uncle Frankie lived with my great-grandmother until she passed and then he went to live with his siblings. You see, Frankie had Down Syndrome. Growing up, I don't remember anyone telling me Frankie had Down Syndrome or was different than me. In my family, I was taught everyone was the same and learned the Golden Rule early, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you."

My great-grandparents dissed the notion he was different also. When Frankie was born, April 27, 1951, doctors gave little hope to my great grandparents that Frankie would live beyond five years old. I guess back then, they didn't know much about Down Syndrome.

From what I've researched, many with Down Syndrome have congenital heart disease. Frankie did have a heart disease; he had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. Did I mention he loved hugs?

Frankie attended school and learned how to read and write. He spent much of his days writing. That is why we always had to go check out his homework, something he took great pride in and worked hard on daily.

What did we get Frankie for his birthday every year? Notebooks, pens, and stickers. Oh and a Cincinnati Reds t-shirt or hat. One of the only times he wouldn't come out for a visit was if the Reds were on TV. Not only did he have a love for the Reds and Indiana University basketball, he loved playing both sports. I remember some fierce whiffle ball games in my great grandmother's backyard.

I often say my eight year old nephew Carson is the best dancer in the family, but before Carson came along Frankie held the title. He loved music and dancing. He was incredibly gifted and could identify the artist singing a song as soon as he heard the first few notes. If there was music, Frankie was busting a move. We'd all sit back and laugh. Which made him continue his moves, as he loved being the center of attention and was the life of the party.

Frankie had a deep respect for the flag and military. He hung out at the American Legion and was a favorite to the patrons. At parades when members of the military would pass you could count on Frankie standing at attention with a salute. Annually he'd attend, with family, the local Memorial Day service and as soon as the National Anthem would play his hand would be over his heart.

Frankie had an incredible memory. My mom shared a story with me about a time she forgot his birthday. Yes, he took note of who remembered and who did not. Several weeks later they were attending a funeral and he walked up to her and busted out in song, "Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday, to me..." That was his subtle way of letting her know she had forgotten his birthday.

My cousin shared on Facebook a talent Frankie had that I'd forgotten. He would look at his wrist, as though looking at a watch, and tell you the time. There was no watch on his wrist, but he'd usually be right on the time. We sometimes joked he was Rain Man.

Frankie passed away at the age of 65. He was truly a gift from God to our family. The laughter he brought will never be replaced, but the many stories we have of him will be shared and remembered for years.

Not to get all political, but I can't imagine why some doctors recommend women who are carrying a Down Syndrome baby abort. I say this honestly, Frankie was much better than you or me.

*He never judged.
*You were his friend the moment he met you.
*He never met a stranger.
*He loved this country and members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
*He loved Twinkies without worrying about the calories.
*His heart was filled with joy.
*He had a passion for life and living.
*He loved his family.
*He laughed often and smiled just as much.

Maybe the world needs a lot less of what we see on the news and in our social media feeds each day and more people like my great uncle Frankie. The man who never knew a stranger.

I know this is true because after Frankie passed here are just a few things people had to share about him:

"Frankie was an awesome human being."

"He was a great guy!"

"Frankie was always a joy!"

"He was a real sweetie."

"A very loving man."

"He was a special guy."

"He was a special person, with a special soul."

"Frankie was a blessing to all who knew him."

"Always smiling with a heart the size of Texas."

How will you be remembered? If people can't say these types of things about you, TODAY is the day to make a change. Today is the day you...

Start smiling more
Give bear hugs
Have fun!
Dance to the music.
Bless others through your actions
Today is the day to be more like Frankie!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

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About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Did you know that giving to others not only makes the receiver happy but the giver?

Today is International Day of Happiness.

Find a way to make someone happy and in return, it will make you happy. A win-win for everyone involved!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

I don't know about you but many days I bounce from meeting to meeting or I'm tied to a computer screen answering emails. I'm in a zone, checking off tasks on my to-do list.

I rely on coworkers to help with projects, solve problems and so much more.

I'm sure many of you are in the same boat I am.

When was the last time you gave a shoutout to someone in a meeting, recognizing them in front of their peers?

What about sending an email to a coworker's boss and/or team sharing the specific impact they've made in work.

Public recognition goes a long way to keep people motivated and engaged. Recognition cost you no money and little time.

Who will you recognize today?

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

This weekend the local high school national honors society members collected food for the food pantry.

I'm grateful that at a moments notice I was able to fill a couple of bags.

You can help out in four easy steps:

1. Locate your community food pantry.
2. Make a list of most needed items.
3. Either clean out your pantry or pick up items the next time you are at the store.
4. Drop off the items!

P.S.If you choose to donate foods from your pantry please don't donate expired food. I know this seems like common sense but every time I volunteer at a food drive or pantry I'm amazed at how many people donate expired food.

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Days before my wedding my husband's grandmother announced she was going to speak at the ceremony. She wasn't asking, just giving us a heads up.

As a control freak, terror-filled my mind of all the things she might say in front of hundreds of guests.

Grandma Jones was one of my favorite people but you never knew what she was going to say or how long she was going to talk.

As she shuffled up the aisle and up the stairs, I said a little prayer.

And then the most beautiful words in the entire ceremony were spoken. An Irish Blessing for our marriage. I wish I had a copy of the blessing, as her words were the perfect touch to our day.

Every St. Patty's day my mind twirls back to our wedding and the joy Grandma Jones words brought to our special day.

In memory of my Grandma Jones, send an Irish Blessing to a friend or post on social media.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Over the years, I've learned no matter where I am or who I'm with I can always find a way to compliment those I encounter.

Here are a few examples:

Those are snazzy shoes.

You have a great smile.

You look great in pink!

Your ring is gorgeous.

You have a beautiful family.

I don't know about you but when someone gives me a compliment it brightens my day and gives me a pep in my step!

Go out today and give compliments away like candy!

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

How do you decide which restaurant to dine at or which plumber to use?

If you are like me, you google the business to look for reviews or you use an app like Trip Advisor or Facebook.

Businesses can grow or maybe even die by reviews. Think about it. If you dine at a restaurant that is fabulous but you tell no one, people won't know it's fabulous.

We typically want someone to try out a business before we do so we don't waste our money and time.

I think about my coaching business. Almost all my clients either asked for references or were referred by a friend. Why? People want to hire a coach that helped others achieve their goals.

Your opinion matters.

Today, take three minutes to write a positive review for a business where you received excellent service.

Make your review specific and provide details. See my review below that I posted this morning for Nancys Cake Appeal. I didn't just say I liked the business but I described why.

What business will you review today?

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

This past year Pastor Matt Brough interviewed me for his podcast, Spirituality for Ordinary People (link in comments).

He is giving away 24 books in The Big God Book Giveaway. Amazing books from great authors like my friends Paul J. Sohn and Bethany Jett: Live Brilliant. And oh! The Giving Challenge by yours truly😂

Today, the gift is to you! An opportunity to win 24 books!

https://www.spiritualityforordinarypeople.com/.../biggodbook.../

What are you waiting for? Go enter today!

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com

 

Going out to dinner tonight or sometime this weekend?

Leave a generous tip and pay it forward in memory of Emily Huntington.

“Emily was 18 years old when she was killed in a single car accident. She was texting and driving. She was an amazing girl who had everything going for her. Unfortunately, her life was cut short by this seemingly simple act. You can visit her facebook page at Just Drive. Live, Laugh, Learn. to learn more about Em and let her family know how you paid it forward.”

Write on the bill, “Don’t Text and Drive, in memory of Emily.”

Give a gift and maybe just save a life!

Blessings,

Stephanie

 

P.S. Haven't read The Giving Challenge? Purchase Now!

Never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

About the Author:

Stephanie Jones and her husband, Mike, live in Northwest, IN and enjoy lake life and travel. Stephanie is the author of The Giving Challenge-40 Days to a More Generous Life (on sale NOW!), a speaker, life success coach, and a daily giver. Stephanie empowers people to change their life through giving.

You can contact Stephanie by email at Stephanie@GivingGal.com