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Reach Out to Someone Grieving

Over the past couple of months, I've had friends lose parents, grandparents, friends, and pets. I'm sure you have also.

The loss for the person never goes away so they will always appreciate your caring gesture.

Here are a few ways to reach out…

*Send a check-in text
*Schedule a dinner date
*Send a card
*Make a donation to a nonprofit in memory of a loved one
*Make a meal

How can you help someone who has lost a loved one?

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

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?

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

Do you have a talent but it's going to waste?

Life got busy and your talent got buried in the bottom of a plastic container stored under the basement stairs.

Or maybe your talent is something you love but you don't think you're "good enough" to share with the world. You may think, "What if I embarrass myself? I should be able to take a leap of faith, but my faith is fleeting."

I understand where you are coming from. I loved to bake, especially cupcakes, but my decorating skills were questionable at best.

But I baked anyway and gave away my ugly cupcakes.

Then one day I asked a friend, who decorated beautiful cupcakes, to teach me how to make presentable cupcakes.

She showed up at my house, shared her talent with me, and within a few hours I learned how to give away a cupcake I'd no longer be embarrassed to give.

What's your talent?

*Can you sew? Maybe a friend needs new dress hemmed.

*Are you crafty? Maybe an event planner could use your craftiness to make decorations.

*Are you good with money? Maybe you can help a newly married couple create a budget.

*Do your friends rave about your organized home? Call a friend who is always stressed about disorganization and schedule a date to help her out.

I'm a firm believer that are talents were meant to be shared.

Take a minute to jot down your talent and think about who you can help. Reach out to them and offer your assistance. If they accept, schedule time on the calendar to share your talent!

If you can't think of anyone that needs your talent, post on social media, "Any of my friend's need help with (fill in the blank)?"

What talent will you share?

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

📚Give to Yourself

Do you give, give, give but never take time to give to yourself?

I feel your pain. When I was on my Giving journey, giving a gift every day for 522, when I missed a day I was both devastated and relieved.

Why?

I was tired!

I took a break to rejuvenate. I learned and incorporated ways to give to myself regularly.

When I picked back up on my daily giving, I incorporated self-care.

When you take care of yourself, you can give more to others. An idea that many have a hard time believing and putting into action. I get it! I've been there.

I learned from my mistakes. On this 40-Day Giving Challenge, on Sunday's, I'm challenging you to find a way to give to yourself.

Here are some of my favorite ways…

1. Read a good book.
2. Go for a hike.
3. Soak in a bubble bath.
4. Go to the movies.
5. Journal.

What's your favorite way to give to yourself?

Share with a friend that is always giving and serving others!

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

🍲 Make Soup & Share it with a Neighbor 🍲

Cozy. Comfort. Caring.

These are the words I associate with a steaming bowl of soup.

Think about your neighbors. Is someone shut-in, down on their luck, or could use cheering up?

Make a pot of soup, write a note and deliver it to them today (or this weekend).

Warm up their weekend, and life, with love from your kitchen.

What's your favorite soup to give?

🍵 Share and challenge a friend!

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

THE GIVING CHALLENGE-Day 3

💌 Leave a kind note for someone in your household. 💌

When I was in high school my dad would leave me notes of encouragement in my car. I'd find them in the morning as I was getting ready to go to school.

My husband does the same thing.

The notes are never long but the words are thoughtful and help me start my day on a positive "note."

Grab a piece of paper, a notecard or a post-it and leave a note or two around the house for your loved ones to find.

"Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well." – Robin Sharma

Share and challenge a friend!

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

 

Smile at Strangers

Walk down any street in the US and pay attention to the number of people passing by with smiles on their face.

I've noticed, at times, it is hard to find one.

What I've also realized is if I smile, and make eye contact, chances are I get a smile back.

Brighten up the life of a stranger with a free gift, your smile!

And as Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

I have a feeling there are a lot of people in the world that could use some love today.

😃Share and challenge a friend!
😄Post the reaction you receive below!!!

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

Give away Valentines. 💘 There are so many ways to celebrate Valentines Day, big and small.

-Buy a box of Valentine’s, write a sweet note and give them to strangers (if you are feeling extra generous include candy)

-Put a love note in your spouse’s car or in your child's backpack

-Bring heart-shaped cookies or donuts for your coworkers

💘Share and challenge a friend!
💘Post your Valentines ideas below!!

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

ENGAGE and INVITE YOUR FRIENDS to go on 40-Day Giving Journey!

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!

1) Each morning I’ll post a giving challenge on this blog, my Facebook page, The Giving Challenge Group and Instagram.

2) Share the challenge and tag a friend. Let’s flood the world with intentional acts of giving!!!

3) Take the posted challenge or create your own!

4) Not necessary, but I’d love for you to share your stories and challenges. It’s how others get motivated to go out and make a difference. It also gives your community great ideas. Let’s show our friends and family that giving is easy!

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you. A journey of 40-Days to a more generous 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

 

Yesterday I gave a simple gift, and the one I received in return has consumed my thoughts.

Each year since the late 90’s my sister and I attend a Tim McGraw concert. I wish we would have chronicled our journey, but we think it started in college when Tim was at a festival with George Strait, then several state fairs and finally his headlining tours plus a couple of Soul 2 Souls tours with his wife, Faith Hill.

More than a concert

In our younger years, the night was about the concert and spending a little time together. Now it means so much more. We both live crazy busy lives and reside four hours apart. Now it has turned into quality time with a bonus of a Tim McGraw concert. For instance this weekend we got a hotel room, ordered room service, talked and laughed hours before and after the concert. No matter how busy life gets, we are intentional each year making this happen.

As we walked from our hotel to the concert, we passed a homeless man sitting on the ground holding a sign. I had no money, but I had something better. My smile. I made eye contact with him and smiled. And guess what? The sad look on his face soon changed to a smile.

I wondered how many, if any, smiles he received over the course of his day. He was sitting at an intersection, and as we were waiting to cross I hear a man behind me say, “Would you like some pizza? It’s really good.”

The homeless man responded so kindly. "Yes, sir. Thank you so much.”

“No problem man. Enjoy!” responded the stranger.

As I stood there on the corner, I thought how cool? Within moments this young man saw the best humankind has to offer. Maybe he was fed both mentally and physically.

Humble and Kind

As we continued onto the concert, I passed two more men with signs. I again smiled with no response. Selfishly I felt a bit rejected but then I thought back to my definition of a gift. Give something and expect nothing in return. In the past, this rejection would have stopped me from continuing to smile at strangers. As it's awkward when you smile at someone and they don't smile back. But what I learned is when your excuse you come up with not to give has to do with you and not the receiver, that's selfish. When you make it about them and not you, the response doesn't matter. You've done your part. You can't control another person.

During the concert, there was a moving moment when Tim sang his #1 song Humble and Kind. If you haven’t heard the song, check it out and pay close attention to the lyrics. Tears streamed down my face as Tim sang and I thought back to the homeless man I’d smiled at hours earlier. Humbling to acknowledge I'm no more important than a man begging on the street and kind that I’d recognize him instead of diverting attention which I’ve shamelessly done many times in the past.

I've had numerous debates with people on my giving journey about giving money to the homeless. They always ask the same question. What if they buy drugs or alcohol? What if they don't need the money and are scammers? I've thought about these questions a lot. I've concluded that if I put expectations on money I'm giving, then it’s not a gift. What if they aren't using the money for drugs or alcohol? What if they are homeless? What if your gift is the turning point in their life? If you aren't comfortable giving money, then give a smile. It costs you nothing.

The Giving Challenge

Today your Giving Challenge is moving forward you are humble and kind to all you meet. As the old saying goes…” Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” (attributed to Plato and Ian Maclaren)

Blessings,

Stephanie

P.S. 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. She challenges people to live their dream, discover their gifts, and do amazing things!

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