Friends, it has been one heck of a week. In three days, I went to four schools and gave 12 talks. If you would have told me I would walk out into the center of a gymnasium, with the stands full of hundreds of high schools, to share my message of giving, gratitude, and goals, I'd say you were crazy. I never thought I would be sharing my message with kindergartens to high schoolers. What's the saying, "We make plans, and God laughs"?

I did a lot of praying before I walked out and shared some of my stories. And I had a lot of people praying for me. I doubted that this 44-year-old woman could connect with teens. But I was wrong. 

I had to lower my expectations. I knew there was no way to impact every student, but I could go back to the original goal I set back on January 1, 2021. Look for a way to make a difference to another person each day. 

And guess what happened? After my first high school convocation, I got messages from several students thanking me for coming to their school and sharing how my message impacted them. Oh, I was so grateful for them taking the time to share with me their feedback. 

I should have learned my lesson by now and stopped doubting myself. I'm not sure where that lack of confidence in these situations comes from, but it's an area I'm going to spend time working on over the next couple of months. 

The next time you are asked to do something outside of your comfort zone, here are my suggestions/lessons:

  1. Say yes! I'm so grateful I didn't say no just because I hadn't spoken to high schoolers before. 
  2. Stay in your lane. It would have been easy for me to try to put in my message what I thought the students needed to hear, but I couldn’t relate to some topics that came to my mind. I stayed focused on what I knew. The students would have sniffed out authenticity in a heartbeat!
  3. Show gratitude. I've already sent emails and started sending out gifts of appreciation to those who helped or were involved with me getting to the school. Never forget to thank the people that gave you the opportunity. 
  4. Flip your mindset. Instead of telling myself I was nervous, I told myself I was excited. Our body has the same reaction to nervousness as it does to excitement. I chose the positive mindset, and it made a big difference. Whatever you are thinking about negatively, flip it to the positive. 
  5. Keep going. For my last session, the microphone battery died. I didn't panic. I looked for the guy that could help; he walked over, I handed him the microphone, and while he changed the batteries, I continued to speak. I had the student's attention, and I didn't want to lose my momentum. If something that you don't expect happens, keep moving forward!

Will I speak at schools again? I don't know. I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying. Let’s chat if you are at a school (elementary, high school, or college) and would like to bring me in as a speaker! I need to keep doing things I never thought I would do and challenge you to do the same.



Several years ago Joellyn bravely stood up in one of my dream board workshops and shared a dream she'd never shared with anyone.

She wanted to write a book. She had zero experience but it was dream God laid on her heart.

After the workshop, Joellyn signed up for my coaching. As they say, the rest is history.

We've been working together ever since!

After we met, life threw her a curveball when her son was diagnosed with dyslexia. Joellyn didn't just become an advocate for dyslexic children but went on to become a dyslexia specialist.

Months later I was thrown the same curveball, just much later in life. I'd always knew something was different with me, but most times I just thought I was stupid. Why could I not get things others kids got?

At age 39, I discovered I’m dyslexic. The roles reversed and Joellyn was now helping me! Our paths were definitely meant to cross.

We both have dreams of standing on a stage, sharing our incredible journey together. And guess what? We know it will happen!

This morning I sent Joellyn a text, “Good luck today! You’ll do fabulous!”

Several hours after that text, I sat at my desk, tears streaming down my face, watching my client, and friend, Joellyn, testify in front of the Indiana House Education Committee on her experience with dyslexia. What a moment!

I’ve spent years being one of her biggest cheerleaders! Who will you cheer on this week?



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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

I’m having surgery tomorrow, it’s scary, but I’m not in control. The scheduler calls to review the operation time, procedure and goes through a series of questions based on information from a prior surgery. The scheduler asked, “Do you have GERD?”

I answer, “No.”

She asks if I’m on any medication for GERD. I say, no.

She then questions, “How did you get rid of GERD?”

I said, “I stopped eating gluten?”

We have a long discussion about it, I tell her I fall off the bandwagon at times, but always revert to restricting gluten.

She says, “I could probably solve a lot of my problems if I could get off caffeine.”

“You CAN get off caffeine,” I said.

No, no I can’t.

Sure you can. Why not?

The questioning goes on for a couple of minutes, and after encouraging her a bit, she gets it and says, “I guess if I were positive I’d have better success.”

It’s a start!

All of that to say, our thoughts dictate many of our actions. They dictate if we not only dream but pursue our dreams and then believe enough in ourselves to accomplish those goals.

There is something you want to do right now, but you’re stuck. Stuck in bad habits. Stuck thinking negatively and you think your situation is never going to change.

I’m here to tell you that’s not true. That’s not true at all.

Change negative thoughts to positive and watch how your life changes.

Two years ago I talked to a group of moms about DREAMING BIG. During the workshop one mom stood up and shared, with a crowd of strangers, she’d always wanted to write a book. She was scared to utter those words. She knew nothing about writing. But guess what? A year after standing up and sharing her dream she submitted her book to a publisher!

She shared her dream, hired me as her coach, we worked on a game plan, she took baby steps and made progress every week, focusing on her goal. She invested time and money into herself, and her life is on an amazing new path. We both have no doubt she’ll be a published author, and we are excited where else God is going to take her.

Today is the day you…

  • go after what you want.
  • turn your can’t to can.
  • stop thinking you’re not worth it. You are!

You were created to do AMAZING things.

Write your dream down. Share it with someone. Write the next three steps you need to take that are going to get you closer to accomplishing your goal. Start taking action!

If I can help, let me know. I’d love to go on the journey with you.



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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 a writer, speaker, life coach, daily giver and the author of The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life. She challenges people to live their dreams, discover their gifts, and do amazing things.

You can contact Stephanie by email at


So excited for tomorrow! This will be my THIRD time speaking to the Mom2Mom Batesville group of fabulous women. I can’t wait to see friends and make new ones.

I’ll be walking the moms, step by step, through the process to organize their pantry and closets. These two areas are sometimes the quickest and easiest areas to organize in the home. Taking the time to organize your pantry and closets can lead to a decrease in stress and save you time and money.

Need a speaker for your next event? I’d love to chat with you. Send me an email at stephanie at GivingGal (dot) com . I look forward to hearing from you!

Stephanie enjoys speaking to the media and conducting interviews. If you want a fun, inspirational and engaging guest, look no further! Contact Stephanie today at

Media Links:

*Did you know each Tuesday morning I'm on WKVI FM 99.3 with Charlie Adams chatting about all things giving? I typically go live between 7:10-7:15 CST. If you around local, you can live stream the broadcast at

*Thanks to Financial Partners of Knox, IN. Serving the community since 1975!

*Milk and Honey Magazine Article: Here's the interview.

*The Daring Woman Podcast- Episode 80 interview with Tracey Osborne, CEO of Daring Women Inc

*Unapologetically Me with Boomer Perrault (podcast)

*Kevin Gets a Talk Show (podcast)

*The Times of Northwest Indiana-Annual Women’s Tea Encourages Philanthropy for Women (October 4, 2017)

*WGBR Gospel Network- On the Rise (September 15, 2017, interview starts at 9 minutes)

*Hollywood Jesus: 11 of the Best Books You’ve Probably Never Read: The Giving Challenge #1 (August 21, 2017)

*Spirituality for Normal People: Giving Gifts with the Giving Gal (June 27, 2017)

*Giving Back Podcast: 500 Days of Giving- Stephanie Jones with The Giving Challenge (June 5, 2017)

*The Herald Tribune: The Result of Giving? So Much Joy! (April 23, 2017)

*Discover Freedom Project: (Guest Post): How Giving Set Me Free (March 13, 2017)

*Happyness in Action- Take the Giving Challenge - with Stephanie L. Jones (February 24, 2017)

*The Herald-Tribune: Event Celebrates the Joy of Giving (February 10, 2017)

*Anonymous Acts of Kindness + Other World-Changing Ideas (February 12, 2017)

*Hollywood Jesus: Book Review and Author Interview: The Giving Challenge (February 11, 2017)

*RCCF To Host 14th Annual Women In Philanthropy Luncheon Apr. 18 (February 8, 2017)

*Jane Tuttle’s Blog- Mike Rowe, Assisted Living, and Gratitude

*PR Underground: Stephanie L. Jones-The Giving Challenge Encourages People to Focus on Others (January 23, 2017)

*The Giving Challenge Press Release (January 23, 2017)

*The Pursuit: How to Get Your Giving Groove Back (December 13, 2016)

*Chicago Tribune: Gift Giving Disasters: A Survival Guide

*Everyday Family: Hear Us ROAR: Women (Re) Define Success

*How Refinancing will Save Homeowners $21 Billion this Year

*The Secret to Successful Budgeting? Splurge a Little

*How I’ll Spend My Tax Refund

*Giving Gal, LLC and Stephanie L. Jones have been quoted in the Chicago Tribune, Shape Magazine, Daily Worth, Main ST and Yahoo Homes. Media inquiries should contact Stephanie at

Past Speaking Engagements:

*Versailles Baptist Church: Mother's Day Banquet

*Tyson Methodist Church: Mother's Day Banquet

*Benham and Cross Plains Methodist Church: Mother's Day Banquet

*Muldoon Community Assembly (Anchorage, AK): Women's Conference

*ISTE: The Giving Challenge for the Classroom

*Association of Fundraising Professionals: National Day of Philanthropy Breakfast

*Centier Bank: Corporate Event

*Cisco Systems

*Duneland-Porter Rotary: The Giving Challenge

*Heavilin Elementary School: The Giving Challenge for Parents

*Crossroads Church: Bonded by Blue-Police Wives Event

*Ripley County Community Foundation: Women in Philanthropy Luncheon (Giving Circle Fundraiser)

*Porter County Community Foundation: Women's Tea (Giving Circle Fundraiser), Special Donor Event, Girls Giving Fund

*Margaret Mary Health Foundation: Think Pink (Fundraiser)

*Oklahoma Trooper's Spouses: Dream Board Workshop

*Mom2Mom Batesville: Organizing 101, Dream Board Workshop, The Giving Challenge for Parents

*Rotary Club of Valparaiso: How Giving Stretched Me in Gratitude

The Giving Challenge


The Ohio Christian Writer's Conference, The Giving Challenge won 1st place in the Maxwell Awards nonfiction category.