Spreading joy

One of the greatest things I learned from Stephanie (and continue to learn) is how to love people well. She made an art form out of actively finding ways to make other people feel cared about. And, along with that, joy simply followed her around exploding out into any room she entered.

I am reminded continually of how precious and important other people are and how much better this world is when we love on others, instead of simply looking out for ourselves.

One of Stephanie’s favorite things to do and favorite ways to show love was giving gifts, especially if that gift was something she baked in the kitchen. Many times it was suggested to her that she go into business for herself owning a bakery, but she just couldn’t stomach the thought. She enjoyed giving away what she made far too much to charge for it. The satisfaction of simply making another person smile was enough for her. (Many of my coworkers benefited from how often I came in with goodies. And I was always so excited to be able to email back home with all the “thank yous” and “yums.”)

And this is all something I don’t want to die along with Stephanie. It’s a legacy that I want to continue on. And so, I’m asking anyone who reads this to please buy or bake some dessert that can be given away to someone, especially if they are someone in need of encouragement. It can be someone you know. It can be a complete stranger. But when you give it to them, tell them why. And, if you would, please share your story and/or post a picture on the Facebook Operation Baked Blessings event page. I set up the event to run from October 3 to October 13, because those were the dates Stephanie was in the hospital before dying on the 13th.

I hope that many people are blessed by this and feel loved and cared for and that it brightens their day. It’s exactly what Stephanie would want.

4 thoughts on “Spreading joy”

  1. My 9 year old daughter and I love to bake. We will definitely bake something in Stephanie’s honor in October. I have the perfect family in mind to be recipients. Won’t post details here but will message you privately about them one of these days. :) I still think of Stephanie often and am still inspired by her and especially her creative talents. Love to you and the children. Although I never met Stephanie in person, she was a special friend and inspried me as well as many others. Blessings to you and the kids.


  2. Hi Brad and Family! I don’t know your family but heard about your baked goods mission at Momtourage at church. I am moved to tears and my heart aches for the loss your young family has experienced. Please know that I have baked and delivered, so far, several dozen chocolate chip cookies to a family of 5 who’s mother has recently walked out on them and for another large family who are all sick with colds. I promise to continue to look for cookie gifting opportunities. I am praying for God’s grace and mercy upon your family.

  3. Brad,
    I am so moved by this story. I read it all the way through yesterday. I had no idea you had gone through any of this, but I am so touched that you shared such a journey with so many. I even shared a very brief rendition with some friends at work today because while it is sad it is also an amazing testimony. Even they were almost moved to tears. Brad I will remember you and your sweet children in my prayers often. I hope to see you soon if bell choir regroups in the next couple of weeks. God bless you!

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