wow. has it really been one year since i said "i do" to mark! crazy! i am no expert but here are five personal thoughts about my first year of marriage that i didn't expect:)

1) Needing God NOT Mark

i will be totally honest with you, i had this weird idea that once mark and i got married and started living together he would supply my needs. hahah. this was one of my first major lessons God taught me.
how dare i get my worth and needs met from mark! how dare i put that on another human being when only a perfect, spotless God can do that.
i love when mark compliments me or tells me i look beautiful, but if i am needing my worth and acceptance from my husband something is so wrong. that is exhausting to put such unrealistic expectations on my poor husband.
we get our worth and acceptance from God…not our spouses.

i am still learning this one but i love my marriage because mark and i are getting our worth from God and not each other…there is something so freeing and liberating about this.

2) Submission is the BEST

"for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.." - ephesians 5

i once heard a sermon where he talks about so many wives coming to him and telling him submitting to their husbands is so hard… he replied with "you think submitting to your husband is hard… i have to be freaking JESUS to my wife- who has it harder?"

that quote has stuck with me and convicted me hard. look at what the scripture says.

it's so true. mark is called to be Jesus to me, just as Christ loves His church. It's that perfect picture of marriage that the bible talks about. marrriage is an example of how Christ came and sacrificed himself for the church. mark is called to love me and give himself up for me… yikes. he has it harder.

i was so scared about submission in high school and after attending so many women's studies classes in university my mind had automatically correlated submission with something awful. but actually its the best ever.. and it's so much fun!!! Submitting to mark is fun - why? because He is striving to serve and love me like Jesus loves the church… and that is the most amazing, incredible, beautiful thing.
still i am so passionate about women's rights and being equal but submission to your husband has absolutely nothing to do with that.

God created male and female equal. God loves both male and females equal. God just has different roles for males and females to live out in marriage and the church. God creates the most beautiful perfect things and that includes marriage. it really is an honour and blessing to try to live that out as a woman. its not a negative thing at all. ( i could blog about this forever..maybe another time!)

3) Don't fix your eyes on your marriage, fix your eyes on Christ

"but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all those things will be added to you. so do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself, each day has enough trouble of its own" matthew 6

so many people told us to focus on our marriage and take time off from doing ministry. i get their logic and sure it can make sense but both Mark and I thought it was kinda stupid… so instead we focused and fixed our eyes on Christ. We didn't spend a lot of time working on our marriage and worked on our relationship with Jesus and a year into later we are so thankful for that.

we changed career paths and decided to go into full time ministry just a few months after getting married…sure people thought we were crazy but it's been such a blessing to our marriage. fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, everything else (including your marriage) will be added to you. it will fall into line when our eyes are fixed on Jesus.

4) SERVE together

when is mark the most attractive? easy answer. when we are serving together. when we are in the trenches, the front lines going out and making disciples for God's glory. we get to share such rich deep God moments together that we could never get if we weren't serving together. it is my most favourite thing because we are living out our God given purpose..to go and make disciples.

honestly, working for a church scares me. we were hired to build a youth group, live on a minimal income and start from scratch..scary. but mark and i have grown so close, holding hands praying together, dreaming God dreams for our ministry and building relationships with our students. its been the scariest and best few months of my life because we are serving all day together.

you want your relationship to thrive ? my best advice (from only one year of marriage)… serve together… get on the front lines for Jesus. you won't regret it.

5) Who has time to FIGHT?

i think in our first year of marriage mark and i fought once..maybe twice.. i'm not typing this to say that we are great or anything like that.. we just don't have time for it. we have kingdom work to do. and when both our eyes are fixed on God there isn't much to fight about. whenever i want to complain, the Spirit reminds me that i am being prideful and it usually shuts me up pretty quick.

i also love this quote about fighting… i feel like it puts my thoughts in words so much nicer
"eternal-mindedness keeps us from silly arguments. there's no time to fight. we have better things to pursue than our interests. too much is at stake! God created us for a purpose. we can't afford to waste our lives. we can't afford to waste our marriage by merely pursuing our own happiness" - Francis Chan

there is so many more things i've learnt from being married but thats a good start.
thanks for reading my thoughts:)


ps. these pics were taken by Hannah Durston for our one year and we are thrilled with them. Thanks Hannah!!


"you can't take someone where you haven't been before"

you can't take someone where you haven't been before

this quote has been of my go to life quotes, repeat it weekly, write it on my chalkboard/whiteboards just so i can constantly be reminded because i couldn't agree with it more

i've had the privilege and honour to mentor a lot of young woman (usually with tea!) since seriously getting my life on track with God at the end of high school. God has been ever so gracious with me as i hang out with these ladies and let the Holy Spirit use me in some way to encourage them in their walks with Jesus.

mentoring is one of my most favourite things and now that i am doing full time ministry, its unreal to think its part of my job description. 

through my quiet times this past week God has been challenging me once again with this quote… urging me to not stay the same.

if i want to mentor and love on young woman i must be learning something new and discovering something for myself… basically God and i were talking about how i can't use the same material. i need to be learning more and not be satisfied with what i learnt about God last week.

i love the song oceans by Hillsong and love the metaphor about going out deeper into the water for Jesus.

when it comes to mentoring, i can't expect someone i'm pouring into to be knee high in the water when i'm refusing to go with them and just getting my ankles wet. i need to be knee high or further.

i really believe that when it comes to our spiritual walk we should have people pouring into us (mentoring us), we should have people on the same page as us (both knee high in the water), and then we should be pouring into others that are starting spiritual walks or younger than us.

are you allowing yourself to be mentored and are you mentoring someone?

are you able to continue challenging yourself and seeking more from God as you lead others?

remember: you can't take someone where you haven't been before.

these are the thoughts/questions the Holy Spirit has been challenging me with.

praying you'll have a great week!

ps. hopefully trying to blog on a more regular basis…if you'd like to get updates when i post please subscribe on the right side of the blog ---> - that would be awesome!



Obese Christians

my man and i have been reading this marriage book called you and me forever by Francis and Lisa Chan on our date nights. (click here for more info)

it is a marriage book that explains marriage isn't forever that we need to focus on eternal things & that marriage is a direct representation of the picture God paints with us and His church. i strongly encourage you to just read the book whether you are single or married - Francis and Lisa write more eloquently than i ever could.

a part in the book that has stuck with me for weeks is when Francis talks about obese christians. here is what he writes:

"I recently read an article about the fattest people on earth, people weighing well over a thousand pounds, people who are eating themselves to death. At a certain point, they lost the ability to walk. Eventually, they were bedridden and depended on others feeding them because they could no longer even feed themselves. 
It reminded me of a lot of people I find in the church. They are fed more and more knowledge every week. They attend church services, join small group Bible studies, read Christian books, listen to podcasts- and are convinced they still need more knowledge. Truth is, their biggest need is to do something. They don't need another feast on doctrine. They need to exercise. They need to work off what they've already consumed. Some have become so used to consuming the Word without applying it that you wonder if they even can. These are spiritually bedridden, resigned to spending the rest of their lives studying the Word without ever making disciples or tangibly caring for others. They are the ones about whom James asks:
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?"(James 2:14)"

this hits hard and deep because that can so be me.

am i an obese Christian? Are you?

being in ministry i think i can easily slip into "talking about Christ" and eating so so much knowledge.

heres why:

i attend three bible studies a week, go to Church, go to sunday school, read my bible (almost every day), listen to many podcasts of other churches Sunday morning services, chat with my husband and friends about God, and attend staff meetings every week where we read the Word of God

i am eating a lot. like a lot. 

how much am i exercising? how often am i doing something and practising what i've been learning and reading?

this has challenged both mark and i in such a real way. the Spirit has convicted me deeply and each day i now look for ways that i am exercising and practically living out my faith.

it's been tough some days but its felt so good "working off that food" by telling random people about Christ and His love for them. yes, it can be scary, but lets not be afraid of getting our feelings hurt or being called a bible thumper. we are called to not be ashamed of the gospel. are you?

i've been making a practical list of ways i am exercising and tangibly living out my faith. it's been a great check on how i'm doing in this area.

i am sharing this on the blog because i agree with Francis when he writes "it reminded me a lot of the people i find in the church." i don't want that to be me and i don't want that to be you!

lets do more for Jesus this week. let's put into practice all the doctrine we've learnt and trust the Spirit to move- I know He will.

With love,


my not so perfect "instagramed" life

i love social media but i get so frustrated with the picture and life that it can portray.

pictures lie. we tend to take photos when we look our best, are doing cool things, are hanging out with the right people etc.

my biggest pet peeve is fake people. it bothers me so much and it isn't necessary. it stems from a past of trying wearing a mask to fit in and be someone i'm not to try to make others like me.

i long for people take off their masks and be real. be raw and vulnerable and honest about who you are and what you are going through: good or bad. it is one of my most favourite things.

isn't it so refreshing when you have a real conversation with someone about something that actually matters? it encourages me beyond words.

i am striving to be real. to be raw. to tell my story in a way that doesn't make me look good but gives glory to Jesus. yet, it is so hard on social media… especially since i have been on social media a lot with my new job and launching a cafe - my life could look picture perfect and you could get annoyed with the life social media has portrayed that i live…

so in honour of keeping my life real and raw i snapped some pics to show you my not so perfect instagramed life.

lets take off the masks we so easily put on and strive to be real with each other in this fake world.

enjoy these no filter, unedited pics of what life really looks like on a daily basis.

my office… very clean and organized:)

this is my piles that need to be sorted through… its on my massive to do list

we have minimal… counter space, why yes you're looking at all of it! it makes cooking one meal make our kitchen look like a disaster- it looks like this 75% of the time!

we bought some furniture after our move….this is our hallway!

waiting for dressers to be built so we can finally put stuff away

some days we don't make our bed… gasp!!!

i thought acne left me after i hit twenty.. guess not.. no make up and being okay with those red dots on my face



my personal "before story" with the ignite cafe

 i didn't sleep. i was filled with excitement like you get on Christmas eve yet was so worried that it would fail. then what. what would people think. what would i think. would God be disappointed. what would be his plan then.. just a few thoughts where my worried mind led in the early hours of the morning.

my husband and i along with a few amazing youth leaders were launching a cafe. a cafe for the high school students to hang out at lunch. we have huge vision of what this space could become and we are tying to take faithful steps seeking God of what He wants this space to look like. for now, step one is to open it tuesday and thursdays over the students lunch hour. see who takes interest, who shows up, and evaluate if this is a need for the students.

mark and i have such a strong passion for high school students. my heart literally hurts for the students who are having an awful high school experience. i know i have this compassion for teenagers and a heart to be used in this age group because of my personal experience. EDSS was a beautiful but toxic, rough but refining couple of years. i regret so much of my high school choices wishing i would have grasped an eternal perspective earlier. i wished i would have told all my friends about Jesus knowing now that He is the only thing that will last. yet with these regrets i can confidently say that God has used my broken, vulnerable story for good in allowing me to have such a heart for these students. i thank God for using it for good.

yet i still worried.

i hardly ever wear makeup and i found myself early tuesday morning deciding which eye shadow to apply (i only have three choices). i stood in front of my closet wondering what outfit would look the cutest, what would make me feel beautiful and confident in front of these teens. i laugh typing that last sentence onto this page… seriously maddie… your twenty-two years old. you don't need to worry about impressing grade 9 through 12's. plus who cares. who cares if they think i'm pretty or not. thats not my purpose to look cool.

yet i stood in the mirror staring at my outfit choice searching for a compliment while asking my husband if i looked good.

it's pathetic. i know it is. but gosh, being in and around high school brought back so many memories. it terrified me knowing if i would "fit in" and be "cool enough" to face the students God would bring us at this cafe.

i asked God out loud while standing in front of the mirror if i could really do youth ministry. i got a simple answer very clear in my spirit. "no you can't. you can't do anything without me. but i will equip you. i will always go before you."

thank you God for being real. for talking to me. for equipping me.

my high school insecurities and lack of sleep will forever leave me paralyzed and ineffective for the kingdom if i dare try to do once ounce of this by myself.

yet God goes before me. He has called me to do this job in this season. to do this specific ministry work. i do nothing but allow Him to work through my life.

and He did.

God showed up huge.

on tuesday we planned for eighty students and easily accomplished that within the first fifteen minutes. we had well over a hundred students pass through the ignite cafe.

on thursday we fed 140 teenage students.

wow God. i can't put into the contrast of tuesday morning and my reflections now.

mark and i could have never pulled this off. we don't even know how to cook for that many people.

yet God went before us.

typing this now, a week later, i didn't even consider wearing eye shadow this morning #winning.

i am slowly (and sometimes embarrassedly) learning to live out what God going before me means. less worry, more trust. 

we have God dreams for this cafe. for the space. we already have it in phases ready to go.

thanks for reading all this. if you are someone who believes in prayer, please pray for us. we know that this is all God working and not us. pray that He brings more people to the cafe and the moment they walk through the doors they know something is different.


Come set our hearts ablaze

one of my best friends showed me this song last weekend. i am always looking for new worship songs. i have been listening to Bellarive all evening and wanted to share the love on the blog.

if you haven't heard of them/listened to this song i highly recommend it.

i love the line "i've failed you a thousand times, still you're faithful"

i love that even in my failure God pours His grace out on me and doesn't give up on me as we work towards having more of Him and less of me.


I'm born with a restless heart,
In the darkness
I'm born with desperate need,
For you

I failed you a thousand times,
Still you're faithful
Teach me to fix my eyes,
On you

Burn away my rebellious,
Ever wandering heart
Lift me out from the ashes
Keep me where you are

We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire, God
Come set our hearts ablaze

Your glory is ever bright,
Consuming the darkest night,
In me

Burn away my rebellious,
Ever wandering heart
Lift me out from the ashes

Keep me where you are
Keep me where you are

We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire, God
Come set our hearts ablaze

Father, king of the heavens
Show us your face
We delight is your glory
Show us


We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire
We're calling on fire, God
Come set our hearts ablaze


With your love
With your love
Come set our hearts ablaze


finally. propel women

this is what i've been reading and re reading today.

propel women.

i've waited for something like this to come along for such a long time and i am soaking in every thought and word from this new magazine.

the launch begins in 2015 however they released their first online magazine. you really should download it now. right here.

this has been such a huge intense inner (and lets be real - outer) battle with the words women and leadership fitting together. from taking feminist classes in a secular university to sitting with my bible asking Jesus how it all works. from taking the bible literally but making sure we keep God's word in context. from living in South Africa unable to walk by myself without being harassed because of my gender to understanding how to submit to my husbands leadership knowing that it is a freeing incredible way God has designed marriage.

i've wrestled with myself, people and God trying to figure out what it means to be a Godly women who leads. because in some shape or form we are called to lead. we are called to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ. to me in a very simple form- making disciples = leading. women are called to lead her children in the way of Christ. women are called to mentor other women and the list goes on and on.

women are called to lead.


we are not called to lead like men

God has made us different for a reason. He calls us to lead differently. 

for so many years i've thought that being a women who leads meant trying to lead how God calls men to lead. this magazine is so refreshing because it hits that assumption that i've held onto for years and completely destroys it.

i am so excited for how this magazine will challenge me and continue to shape me into a women after God's will.

so check it out!!



Prayer Support

oh hey… you haven't heard from me in this space for a while and i apologize…my hope is to be blogging on a regular basis because i love it and its a great outlet however my life has been rather busy. when i do have a moment to spare i usually want to pick up my bible instead or get some extra time to sleep but once life gets into a routine (i realized it will never slow down!) i will hopefully use this space more!

mark and i feel very blessed working as youth pastors at Emmanuel. even though we are only six weeks in we both feel this is exactly where God wants us for this season.

our Pastor preached a few weeks ago on prayer and the importance of prayer. i was literally sitting in my seat feeling the Spirit convict me the entire twenty minutes about how my prayer life needs to increase. 

i am deep enough in my faith to know that God gets all the glory. i don't want any credit for anything good that happens in my life or in our ministry role. each evening after bible study or youth group when something sweet happens i know its all God.

we are opening a youth cafe for the high school students next week and mark and i have put countless hours into redoing the youth house, decorating it, flyers, banners, social media etc. but we know that with all the prep we do it is God's doing that will bring teenagers to the cafe or not. we also know that without a strong prayer team behind our ministry not a lot will get done.

we want to give God all the glory and we want the Spirit to do massive things through ignite youth. when we tell stories of what God is doing we want people to know that it is God and nothing a few people could do or pull off. but we know that doesn't happen without prayer.

so here's where we would love for you to be involved. i will be sending out a bi-weekly/monthly prayer update and would love for you to be added onto the list. it would be so much to partner with us in prayer and know that we have your support!

leave a comment on the blog/facebook or email me at madeline_hockley@hotmail.com

thanks so much.


Tour of our first home


life is pretty hectic for us Hockley's as we finish camp, head to Florida, start a new job and move - lets just say September will be busy.

i would have never imagined we would be moving after eight months but i am excited to see what this next season will hold for us as a family. before everything goes into boxes i snapped some pictures of our first home so i would always remember. basically i'm making this post so i can show our kids one day the first apartment mom & dad lived in, but don't worry- those kids shouldn't be coming anytime soon:)

just a disclaimer: we moved in in january and started thinking about the potential of working for a church in the winter still so i stopped decorating just in case we were to move - aka i'm ashamed of the bare walls, so just look past that ahah.. okay okay lets get started!

Thanks so much for checking out our first home. we have just loved living here! i will be sure to show you our new home once we move.

hope your weekend is going amazing (for real i hope it is!)


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