The Year of 24

I had so many goals for when I turned 23 last year.

It is a tradition for me to make fun little goals for myself each year on my birthday to try new things or do more of what I enjoy. This year, I accomplished some but not all my goals could be scratched off the list.

This year I want to set different types of goals.

I want to set more meaningful goals.

I am continually growing in my goal setting because not only would I like to actually accomplish goals, but I also want these goals to bring me closer to a larger goal. Whether the goal is to be healthier, gain traction in my career, or find a way for my dreams to take shape, all of these larger goals need smaller more reachable goals. So this year I am setting realistic “themed” goals for myself.

Professional

  • Become more creative in my teaching.
  • Be more knowledgable in my content area.

Personal

  • Let go of anger.
  • Try not to expect perfection.
  • Be the hands and feet of Christ.

Physical

  • Take my vitamins when I need to (like an ADULT)
  • Drink more water (like an ADULT)

 

I am excited for what this year will bring for me and for my family. We have some exciting adventures ahead and I can’t wait to see how they all turn out!

Bring it on 24!

Much love. Much grace.

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Even If…

Even if I have problems, You are still good.

Even if I am weary, You are good and you are strong.

Even if I feel like you have forgotten me, You know my thoughts and fears.

Even if (when) I have bad days, You forgive me and remind me there are good days too.

Even if I struggle to have peace, You love me and guide me to a place of tranquility.

Even if I feel useless, You have a purpose for your glory to be shown through my story.

Even if I feel unworthy, You remind me that my worth comes from You, and You alone.

Even if my expectations are not met, You are good.

Even if my life is not what I planned, You are good.

Even if I am scared or anxious, You are good.

Even if everything changes, You stay the same.

Even if anything, You are so so good.

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Much love. Much grace.

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Loving The Skin You’re In

Let me be completely honest, I did not know that photoshopping women’s bodies was even possible until I was 17.

I fully believed that those girls in the magazines were real; their bodies, faces, and clothes. I believed that these women were perfect models, I didn’t know where these magazines found them, but I knew they had to exist for magazines to put them on spreads and in articles.

Ladies:

THIS IS A LIE.

I know now, that magazines, celebrities, and even “normal” people photoshop or reshape their bodies and faces everyday. That these body sizes, lip shapes, and perfect women do not exist.

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”

I recently learned that other women have similar imperfections to myself. I learned that other women have stretch marks.

I had always thought that women get stretch marks from pregnancy until last year when I gained a bit of weight. I began getting stretch marks on my legs and hips; and I was completely mortified. I’m not talking about a little bit of embarrassment, but completely humiliated. I was so ashamed that I wouldn’t even wear shorts anymore. I felt that my struggle with my food choices was finally visible, and that I was the only one with these marks of shame.

Recently, I watched a video about women and their stretch marks. How each woman received them and how that made each woman feel. I loved seeing this because it brought me to a point of community and understanding about my body, and it’s imperfections.

Thank you for a whole year of Go Giving!

All the scars, stretch marks, and other markings you have are so important. They tell a story about the life you have lived, who you have become, and who you used to be. Your scars add depth to your first impression and should be celebrated, not create embarrassment. I know this is all easier said than done, but if us ladies can each work towards loving our scars and talking about them, maybe other women and girls wouldn’t feel the shame we have felt.

Maybe we can all start loving the skin we are in.

Much love. Much grace.

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Life As An American In Europe

Taylor has been a friend of mine for over eight years. He is such a sweet person and I am so excited to have him on Go Giver! He is currently going to school overseas reversing his role from a welcomer of international students to becoming one himself.

Introducing our first  of “Perspectives Men”,  Taylor Anderson! 


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Living in Germany has definitely been a huge change in my life. I had to learn the national language when I came here and there are some things that classes can’t teach me. I have to venture out of the classroom to experience the culture first-hand and how to use the language in everyday life. By learning the language, I have grown to love the people here. I find them to be wonderful caring people, and I value the friendships I have made here. I love being able to go see my friends close by, being able to go out into town, and meeting up with people to talk.

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All this to say… It isn’t an easy life.

I have had days when it is frustrating that I can’t talk with another person and they can’t understand me.

I have had days when I wish I had enough money to run home really quickly just to be with my family during a problem.

 I am trying to live a life with no regrets.

I only have one shot to do things and I have a big list of goals that I want to accomplish and I don’t want anything or anybody to get in the way of my goals.

Yes, it may seem a bit strange that I decided to study abroad for a full year of my life. It might be strange that I have decided to do something different than most people in the US would not choose to do. In the end I don’t regret making the decision to go study abroad in Germany.  I have been able to learn so much about myself.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Getting out of my comfort zone has really brought a new perspective about life and the love I feel towards international relations and the cultures around the world. Studying abroad is not for everybody, but I do value and respect people who take it upon themselves to travel. To see the world and to care for other people who might not be Americans. You never know when someday you might need a person that you can’t understand or is not like you. People need to care for people that are different and or who might think in a different way. 


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Taylor Anderson is third year junior from the University of Southern Indiana. He is studying International Studies, German, and Anthropology currently in Marburg, Germany at Philipps Universität Marburg as an international student. He is a proud United States citizen living in Germany and is truly enjoying learning a new language and culture.  By being an international student he has learned that one country does not have to define a person, but instead people can be defined by multiple cultures.