Live Generously

Two days ago I pulled into the parking lot where I was running errands and pulled up a video on my phone that Dave Ramsey had just mentioned on his radio show. And there I sat in my parked car……tears streaming… awe at the goodness and mercy that is in the world:

Click the image to view:


My friend Jen passed away early yesterday morning from her fight with ovarian cancer. It is heartbreaking and shocking. We were the same age. We have similar cancer stories. Why her and not me? Like I did with my dad…..I poured over past conversations we’d had. I loved her spunk:


We will meet Jen….just not yet.

What is seen is temporary (on Living Generously) via


I took all the sadness and shock I was feeling yesterday and threw it into my work….never once coming up for air. Because that’s what I do. I won’t waste one. single. day. I will live fully….and I will live generously. While I may not always be able to give financially, I know that I can give in other ways: I can give my time. I can give my friendship. I can teach others. I can give away my secrets. I can give encouragement. I can say something kind.  I can smile at a stranger. I can speak up.  I can forgive.  I can pray for others. I can embrace humility.  I can love unconditionally. I can see the good. I can choose joy. 

Go on you peeps of awesomeness…

continue being remarkable.

be lionhearted.

be present… here… now.

be kind.

be you.

Jen Thompson


Exactly one year ago today I wrote this post: Are you there God? I struggled on whether or not to share such personal information….but my gut told me to just spill it all. And with that post……the Cancer Chronicles began. Today’s Jesus Calling: Be still and know that I am God. How fitting.


A few days ago I discovered I Like Giving. For three days an email comes with a new giving challenge like the one below:


I like Giving (Live Generously) via

So go on you peeps of awesomeness… fully. Live generously.


The Cancer Chronicles via



From The Prayer that Changes Everything:

Thank You, Lord, that You heal us when we are brokenhearted and bandage our wounds. You build us up when we are weak in our soul (Psalm 147:1-4).
Lord, thank You that I don’t have to live with sadness, hurt, or depression, I know that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 39:5).
Thank You that “You have put gladness in my heart” (Psalm 4:7).
This day I put on the garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:1-3), and I glorify You as Lord of all.


  1. Madi W. says

    Wow. I’m so sorry that Jen has had to leave this Earth but I am so happy that she gets to be with our Father in Heaven. I will be keeping her boys in my prayers! I love the way you turned this, something so very sad, to something worth Choosing Joy for. If only everyone could Choose Joy more often!


  2. says

    Lord, I pray that you will comfort everyone that knew Jen – be with them in this time of grief. Amen

    About the I Like Giving – I’ve given my girls challenges like that all week – teaching them about love this month – telling them to tell someone at school something nice, doing someone a favor… I’ve written about it on my blog!

    i love these posts from you – challenging us to be better…

  3. says

    Oh Ashley, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Jen. I pray for comfort for her family and friends and the peace that passes all understanding, in knowing you will meet again! God Bless.

  4. Sandy says

    I once read a subtitle to a book that said, “Pain is inevitable – Suffering is optional”. That is true. The choice is ours. We always have a choice. Choose JOY.

  5. Valerie in Colorado says

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful video! Prayers and love to Jen, Jens’ family and friends! Peace to all.

  6. Rose D., Frenchtown, NJ says

    What an absolutely beautiful post. Don’t waste a single moment because it could be over in an instant. Thank you and God Bless…

  7. lbreid25 says

    An absolutely beautiful post! I am very sorry for the loss of of your friend, Jen. I spent a good bit of last night reading her blog. Such a spunky young lady! Praying for all that loved her and all that were touched by her life. I am reminded almost daily to choose joy, even in the smallest of things. Thank you for that! That video was absolutely wonderful. My husband came in the room and wanted to know why I was crying. The world does have so many wonderful people! Thank you again Ashley for being one of those people!

  8. Amanda says

    My heart sank when I read that Jen passed away. I am so sorry about your loss and I do believe you will meet some day.

  9. Michele M says

    Beautiful post. I am so sorry for the loss of York sweet friend. I have followed her blog for some time and my heart goes out to all her friends and family. Thank you for inspiring so many to choose joy in good days or bad. You are loved by many and hugs are being sent your way. Love the video. Michele M

  10. Jen Barrow says

    What a lovely post. My little sister pointed out that today’s Jesus Calling was so fittingly “Be still.” I’ve been meditating on it all day.

    PS: You know I’ll be stalking your page even more now that Jen’s gone because I’m absolutely convinced you were somehow separated at birth. Every time I see you, I do a double-take and think it’s Jen…. That’s a gift.

  11. Monica says

    So sorry to hear about your friend. Excellent reminder of how to approach life. Thank you for that.

    On another note, what a small world! I consistently follow your blog and it threw me off to see the video that you posted because I know the lady featured in the film. I used to work with her at the bakery.

  12. says

    So very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Sending gobs of love, prayers and healing out to her family and every life she touched.

  13. Sydney says

    I’m so very sorry to hear about Jen. My heart goes out to all that she touched in her life. That video is so wonderful, thanks for sharing it with us. (((Hugs)))

  14. Melanie says

    Such beautiful words – they went right in to my gratitude journal. … because can’t we all … smile at a stranger, give encouragement, say something kind … see the good … and choose joy!

  15. Alice H says

    Wow! Just wow! I cried like a baby. What a blessing. Thanks for posting about this I Like Giving thing. I am now signed up to try it.

  16. says

    I bought Jesus Calling after seeing it on LBB. (also bought it for my mom/sister/grandmother!). Sometimes I think about you when I read it – grateful that you were willing to share it. Sad for Jen’s babies. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people – Joel Osteen says when stuff like this happens, we can file it under, “I don’t understand and it’s ok”. God has a reason (even if we can’t understand it) and we have to accept it and move on. It’s hard not to question – why?

  17. says

    OMG. Just watched the video and cried in my office. Have you ever seen Oprah’s Christmas Kindness episode? When she gives Christmas to the AIDS orphans in South Africa. Crushes me. Thank you for sharing!

  18. says

    I’m so Sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

    Stormie Omartian is an amazing Author! I have The power of the praying wife and The power of the praying parent. Both are fantastic books! Intercessory prayer is such a wonderful blessing to others and an anonymous gift. :)

  19. kristin says

    Bless you…. you are such an inspiration (please don’t be humble about this). Thank you for your gifts…

  20. kristin says

    One more thing… I’m not one for quoting verses (I can never find the right one at the right time!), but I ran across this tonight and thought of you and the gift of your blog: “God has given each of us special abilities: be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.” 1 Peter 4:10.

  21. Angie says

    I saw that video recently and it’s just beautiful! Praying for Jen’s family and especially for her boys. From the same Psalm 39:

    “And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
    My hope is in You.