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.

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