Let’s Talk About Women…

So here is the deal.

Women make up 50.8% of the United States population.

100% of those women have (or have had) periods. (gasp! WHAT? Yes, it’s true.)

Unfortunately, not all of these women have access to tampons. Or pads. Or any type of feminine hygiene product of any kind.

In fact, thousands of women in the United States live on the street. These women have to make choices about food, water, and shelter each day… and at times they don’t even get to make the choice between pad or tampon. These women go without feminine hygiene products; or worse. Sometimes these women only have the option to choose one item each month; which causes toxic shock syndrome or even death.

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This is a serious problem in our country and in our area. There are a number of organizations rising up to help with this issue (listed below). But there are ways that you can be involved too.

If you live in North Louisiana, you can donate to a ministry called The Hub. This outreach in Shreveport, Louisiana donates items, classes, and time to those on the street and one thing desperately needed is feminine hygiene donations.

If you are in this area, please take the time to consider giving physical boxes of feminine hygiene products or monetary donations that go directly to this cause. If you have some boxes you would like to donate but don’t know where to go or cannot make the drive, I will be donating all the boxes I can on March 4th. You may contact me if you wish to drop off your donations. Please join me in serving the women in our area. By donating these items, pads and tampons are no longer a luxury, but a right to hygienic living and dignity for these women.

Much love. Much grace.

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Organizations Specific to Feminine Hygiene:

Distributing Dignity

Camions of Care

Feel free to fill out the contact form if you have questions about dropping off donations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Year In Review: 2015-2016

I cannot believe it… Go Giver has been around for a full year! This past year has been full of so many exciting, scary, and fun things; and I am so thankful.

From March 2015 to March 2016, so many changes and opportunities have happened through or because of this blog and I am excited to share some of these things with you today. I just wanted to take the time to let you have an idea of how much has been accomplished and for future goals in the upcoming year.

I created this blog a year ago for the personal reason of expanding my writing practice and the public reason of sharing encouragement and love on social media. My goals were clear and simple: I would write once every two weeks, my posts must be truthful or encouraging, and I will try this for a full year before giving up. A year later, and I am proud to say not only these goals were completed but also exceeded my own expectations! The blog grew to a post every Saturday (some weeks even had two posts) and each post I wrote had purpose (even the silly/fun ones). I did not think I could make it a full year year of writing, but here I am with new ideas and even a domain name… All thanks to you guys!

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This past year:

This past year I saw several different things take shape:

Thank YOU! Without all of your views, shares, and likes this blog would be completely unseen. These numbers are incredible to me! Thank you so much for your dedication to encouragement and your willingness to share positive words with others in your life. THANK YOU.

Future plans:

I have similar goals as this previous year of being consistent and honest with writing, but I am also working on some projects for this year. I am hoping to be able to share more often, work on better photography for the blog, and sharpen my writing skills.

  • Write every week
  • Present a message of truth and encouragement to be a light to others
  • Connect with a community of bloggers to challenge and encourage each other’s writing.
  • Write consistent book reviews for an online book review company
  • Authenticity

I hope that this year will bring more love, light, and encouragement to social media and the internet in general. This being said, Go Giver is going to work more towards using Instagram and Twitter for more than just promoting blog posts. Along with promotion and notification it will also double up on encouraging quotes and spotlights on what people are doing to love others in the community (internet and local- so if you know of any people you would love to see be encouraged/noticed let me know!)

Much love. Much grace.

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What is the War You Want to Fight?

The recent events, in our country and around the globe, have caused me to want to know more about people’s lives.

It is always easy to make rash judgements about a person based on his or her religion, clothes, culture, or needs without actually seeing that person for who he or she actually is. While no one can truly know a person, we can come pretty close by reading about how that person feels, thinks, and makes decisions. Reading autobiographies can give us a glimpse into that person’s world and emotions.

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With the events of terror, death, and refugees needing homes; I find it has become a needed practice in my life to put faces and personal lives with the events and struggles. I refuse to take third person’s word about how another group of people is feeling without first seeking out the view of people from that people group.

If you seek to understand others in this way, have a desire for girls to be educated, or are curious about the Middle East as a region, I Am Malala is a great place to start.

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Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala, tells her story of strength and determination to not only be educated as a girl in Swat, but also speaking out against those taking away education from girls. She tells of her life as a Muslim and how radicalism changed her beloved homeland and her life.

Reading this perspective of the change in the Middle East and the dangers of her choices really spoke to me. I struggle often with allowing myself to be carried away with apathy rather than compassion. Her story not only reminded me of the plights of others but also that I need to take these stories and issues to heart. There is so much danger, hate, and fear throughout her story and it is so heartbreaking to know people are forced to live in this everyday. We, as American’s, complain about our individual freedoms being compromised, when in reality we have so much freedom and so many rights.

“I know the importance of education because my pens and books were taken from me by force, but the girls of Swat are not afraid of anyone.”

Malala’s story is not just important because of her plights, but because she chose to fight this war. Her family, peers, and community showed her that there are certain things that are worth the fight.

Reading this book is not just an eye opening experience about what goes on in other culture’s eyes, but also calls readers to answer many questions. The most urgent question being, What is something worth fighting for? What is something that no matter what people say or do, you refuse to back down?

“I would do everything in my power to help educate girls… This was the war I was going to fight.”

These are questions that may seem easy to answer at first, but after reading this book the answers now seem petty.  Looking at the media today with elections and American beliefs in question, what are the things that you feel are worth not just a Tweet or a Facebook rant, but your potential death and wrath of your own country?

How do you answer these questions?

I am still working out many of these for myself as I process this book. Honestly, this will take me time to work through, although I hope to write about this in the future. The one thing I know as of now is that my faith in God is what is unwavering, no matter the circumstances.

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The way Malala writes is very smooth and clear, making her writing very easy to understand. She also does a great job of explaining how her country changed over time into the society it is today. Malala talks about her family, how she was raised a bit differently, and loved her life in her beautiful home of Swat.

I Am Malala is such a wonderful story. It is so full of information, sadness, but also a great hope for the future; as well as important questions for people to answer.

What is the war you are going to fight?

Much love. Much grace.

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Are you interested in helping Malala?

The Malala Fund helps make education a reality for girls in the Middle East. Malala is fighting for education rights of women and supporting her fund is the easiest way to join the fight.

Schoola is supporting the Malala Foundation with certain pieces that are sold from their website.

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For The Girl Who Is Hurting

Such pain. Such agony.

The shame, the betrayal, the overwhelming sadness.

You feel like happiness is so far away. Too far. How could you be normal again… let alone happy?

I know you. You feel that your trust has been misplaced; your feel stupid and naive. You vow to never give such a gift like that again. Whether that gift was: trust, love, friendship, or loyalty, it doesn’t matter. You won’t repeat your disastrous mistake.

You think, “How could I be so foolish to think that I was worth anything better than what happened to me? What made me think that I, of all people, was worth any effort, love, or time?

You smile just to get by when you see people in the street or when you meet with others for coffee. They ask, “How are you doing?” and you reply with a simple “Just fine!”… Even though you know it’s a lie.

You can’t remember what feeling fine even means… You are hurt, broken, and emotionally devestated.

I know you. Because I was you.

The girl who is so broken she feels far beyond repair. The girl who is so full of sadness she feels a weight when she tries to breathe. The girl who is fearful of people, of opening up her heart and soul to another person… and vows to never let herself feel this pain again.

It took me a long time of suffering and hurt but eventually I found something that changed my life. Something that turned my fear and sadness into life.

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I found hope.

Not a boyfriend. Not a husband. Not a best friend. Not a degree. Not a life of success.

HOPE.

Hope that eventually I would love again. Hope in a bright future where I could help people. Hope in a day when I was finally healed. Hope that in one day soon… I would remember what “fine” actually is.

This hope does not come from my inner-light. It does not come from graduating from college or being successful. It does not come from meditating, or from  being a “good person”. This hope is different.

This hope comes from my faith in Jesus Christ. That He died for me, for all of my hurts, mistrusts, and wrongdoings. He died a death that He did not deserve, one that was intended for me. Jesus not only died for me… but He was resurrected and actually loves me. He loves me. He loves the hurt high school girl who endured an abusive relationship. He loves the broken girl who was once full of fire and passion that was then trampled by others. He loves the bitter, angry, sad girl who longed to be pulled from apathy and loneliness. Christ loves her. And He loves you too.

He loves you in a way that no one else will, not even yourself. He loves you more than the universe can show you in “light” or “beauty”. He loves you more than you can ever comprehend… no matter how often you meditate or work to help others. Nothing you can do could make Him love you, because He already does.

To the GirlHurting.

At times I still feel like that broken girl. At times I feel the pain, and can’t explain why. At times I am beaten down with feelings of worthlessness. But during those times, I know I have that hope in Christ, and that I am not worthless… but loved.

So to the girl who is hurting… you are not alone. You are loved. So deeply. You can know this love by accepting it. You can choose to accept this hope, just by believing in Jesus and all he has done. He desires to know you, and to be known by you.

Much love. Much grace.

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John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-5 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved …

Romans 5:8 – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.


 

4 Things Student Teaching Taught Me

In honor of graduating next Saturday (AH!) and having officially finished my Student Teaching portion of my Undergrad, I wanted to share some of the the many things I learned through this clinical experience.

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Here is what I learned while student teaching this year:

1.) Teaching is the MOST selfless thing on this planet.

Honestly. I had the opportunity to work with some stellar teachers, and they work so hard for their students. Not only are they taking care of the day-to-day lessons, but these teachers also go to pep rallies, sporting events, and choir events to support the students. Teaching takes so much planning and after “work hours”… way more than I ever imagined. There are teachers who work so hard, not just so the students know the material, but so that these students can be successful, contributing citizens in the future. Many people see teachers as just educating students in necessary material for college or career paths, but teachers are also filling roles of missing parents, mentors, or just someone to talk to. This is what makes a teacher so selfless; the compassion and unconditional love shown to the students… no matter what.

 

2.) When you have teachable moments, they are awesome.

Sometimes my lessons go exactly as I plan, but usually the lessons turn into a loose interpretation of how I intended them to be. This is mostly because the class I mostly taught was Psychology, so there is wiggle room for discussions and questions from the students. There are so many teachable moments the students brought up with questions about real-life situations that I never could have planned. These were my favorite moments in the classroom.

3.) You will love the kids, all of them.

Yes, even the ones who test you and test you. The ones who you have to repeatedly tell to get off Instagram or shush during a lecture. All of these students are something else, something special. After I finished my student teaching I seriously missed those kids (still do) I want to see each of them grow and succeed. I didn’t think it was possible to come into a class for just a few months and really feel such a compassion for these students, but I learned every student’s name and I genuinely cared about each one.

 

4.) The kids will change you more than you think.

For real. These kiddos changed me so much. This quarter of my undergrad was the most stressful yet, but the students were very understanding and so encouraging. I learned so much from them. I learned how to be compassionate and patient no matter what is happening in my life; because they need me. I learned that kids are always looking for mentors and need them dearly. They make me want to be a better person, and strive to always be compassionate to everyone I meet. They taught me so much… and they can teach us all some of these things.

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Obviously, these are only a few things I learned while Student Teaching… other things were far harder lessons than anticipated. There are some things I regret… like leaving in such a rush and not being able to have a proper good-bye with the kids, but the highlights definitely made this process worthwhile.

Also, shout-out to my mentor teacher; without him, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did!

 Much love. Much grace.

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If you are interested in giving to your local school system, here are some great organizations to help with various needs of the school-age students in your area.

Schoola

Teach for America

Stand for Children (Louisiana Based)