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.