Baked Encouragement

“We baked cookies for co-workers. Everyone enjoyed the cookies and thought it was a great way to honor Stephanie’s memory. I’m so glad we participated and we hope to do it again next year!”

“I think one of the best ways that Stephanie touched my life is that she showed me by example how to ‘love my neighbor’ in a practical way.”

Last year, many people participated in something I called Operation Baked Blessings. As I stated then, it was inspired by the way in which Stephanie showed love to seemingly everyone she encountered. Her favorite place to be in the house was the kitchen, and it was because that was where she was able to create love for people in the form of food.

She would scoff at the thought of selling her treats and goodies. It was a painful thought for her to not simply give it away. And I know that she was as blessed — if not more so blessed — than those people she shared with.

As someone said: “Can we make this an annual thing? It is a good way to remember Stephanie and to bless others at the same time.” The answer? Yes. Yes, we can.

The goal is simple: bake or buy some sort of edible treat and share it with another person. You can share it with co-workers, friends, students, classmates, neighbors or someone you have never met before. Share it with someone simply to make them smile and give them a bright spot in their day. And the dates are relevant: October 1 is the day Stephanie was born; October 13 is the day she died. Also, if you’re so inclined, come to the Facebook event page and tell everyone how it went! It was so great to hear all the stories from last year.

“I baked shortbread cookies and cut them into leaf shapes and decorated them with fall colored sprinkles last night. I thought of Stephanie the whole time because she loved making (and eating) those cookies, especially in the fall.”

“We decided to bake for a woman who we always see walking around our block. I never knew her name, but I know she’s an avid weight watcher member. We made a WW banana pumpkin bread, drew some pictures, and waited anxiously by the front door at her usual walk by time. We gave her our treats, invited her in for a moment from the cold, and told her all about Stephanie. She had tears in her eyes. She said she had lost someone very close to her in the fall time many years ago, and it still hurts. She kept hugging my boys and saying how thankful she was that we took time out and were thoughtful to make her something on her diet plan. The best part of this whole thing is we learned her name: Grace. Grace was something very dear to Stephanie, and when she introduced herself, I got goosebumps all over!”

“I wanted to share this here because I thought it was neat: last week I baked pecan tassies for my students, and this week one my students brought it pumpkin cookies for all of us because he liked that I baked something for everyone. I hope all of our baking and giving last week inspires more people to encourage others with their baking!”

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