1.23.2015

Life on the Front Lines VOL. 2


looking back on my prayer life i can easily identify my 'top prayer' that i speak so often to the Lord. its:

"Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours & show me what you are seeing"

my heart aches, like physically aches for the Lord to align my heart with His. when i look at a situation i am desperate to see the situation the way the Lord sees it.

being in ministry, this prayer has only increased and i speak it over and over in a day.

God, what are you seeing when you look at the students in the our youth group? how do i love them better? how can i serve them better? God, give me discernment on what to say to "x" student, give me the words.

i adore the ignite cafe that Emmanuel runs on tues and thurs at lunch. we now have our regulars who come out and i look forward to just hanging out with them praying that i will be Jesus to them.

our prayer (mark and i) is for the students who walk into the cafe to notice something is different - to know that we are treating, talking, and showing Jesus' love. oh, would i get better at doing that!

a video went viral from a social experiment this past week. it came up on my fb news feed and after watching it, i watched it again and then i thought about it for the rest of the day and watched it once more & now i am blogging about it because i can't stop thinking about it and what i would have done.

they showed a business man on crutches falling and people helping him. then they showed a man dressed more poorly on crutches falling and no one helping him.

obviously this is a social experiment but the truth it provides is sobering. "Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours" - i know this is something that grieves the Lord. His children, his ambassadors on earth, his representation of Him- are His followers stopping and being His hands and feet. Are we practically living out what we believe. i know that Jesus wouldn't have walked by, but would i?

would you?

Lord, would we not be so busy (insert what you struggle with) to walk past the hurting, the lonely, the broken and this lost world. 

Lord, would your people who call themselves Christ followers live out what breaks your heart.

i know that this prayer will continue to challenge me and i will continue to pray it.

oh would the ministry the Lord has entrusted me with in this season of my life be glorifying and honouring to Him.

here is the video i am referring too- if you haven't watched it i encourage you too.




1.19.2015

Your Legacy - MLK Jr




today is MLK Jr day.

we can all agree that he was an amazing man. he fought for justice. he loved so deeply. he never gave up. and today we specifically celebrate his life. we celebrate his love for God. we celebrate his perseverance for blacks to be equal. we celebrate his non violent approach in the civil rights movement.

like most people, i consider Martin Luther King Jr as one of my hero's.

today, well scrolling through my instagram feed and seeing everyone posting quotes, pics and other things to remember his life i thought to myself - "what a legacy" 

he left a legacy that clearly no one will forget… there is a federal holiday named after him.

it got me thinking how everyone has a chance to do something that matters in this world. to fight for something. to leave a legacy.


it got me thinking about my legacy. if i died today, what would people think of my life? would they even know that i was a follower of Jesus? would they say i acted like Christ?

tough questions.

then my brain got thinking about how to make my legacy better. what things do i need to improve on in my life to leave a better legacy? what faith steps do i need to take?

life is so short. we have one life to live and i so desire my life to honour and glorify God no matter what the cost. but typing it on a blog in my furnished home, with heat on and a full fridge isn't saying a lot.

what stands out about MLK Jr is that his actions spoke so much louder than his words. he walked out his faith and love for God till he got assassinated; he left a legacy that pointed people to Christ.

i want my life, my legacy to point people to Christ too. 

what's your legacy?


thank you Martin Luther King Jr for your example and for doing something that mattered with your life. 
you inspire me.


1.16.2015

Life on the Front Lines


so i'm really stoked to start a new series. it's called: life on the front lines.

my purpose is to capture my "ministry moments" and write them in this space. i promise to be super honest, yet respectful and try my hardest to give an accurate picture - for example: just not write all the exciting parts of working in ministry. my goal is to look back at these post 10 years later and be able to reflect on my first try at ministry as a job. some weeks will be lists, other weeks may be a story i wanna share etc - the possibilities are endless…hurray!

** just to clarify these posts are not supported by the church or have any direct affiliation with the church. these are just my personal thoughts about my job on my personal blog.



ready!? lets get started.

here are ten things that happened recently that i don't wanna forget.

1. staying up way too late prepping for bible study

2. having a mom call my cell for advice about her teenage daughter when i am only 22 years old and feel completely useless trying to give anything helpful

3. filing papers, making church schedules and spending an entire afternoon re making labels

4. cleaning and re cleaning the youth house - we clean it tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday and prep it for sunday morning

5. talking to myself at the cafe trying to muster up the courage to talk to a certain group of girls - but terrified still of their thoughts of me

6. texting a sixteen year old student about the importance of living and not giving up on God or her life

7. feeling like a proud parent watching this young woman find confidence in herself and take leaps towards living out her God given purpose- its actually the most encouraging thing ever!

8. witnessing answered prayer when two teens who i met through the cafe came to youth group on fri night - praise you Jesus - you do miracles even today!

9. having a husband who "gets this job" and understands the emotional baggage i carry when i hear their stories and how tiring that can be

10. being so encouraged when we were making our 2015 goals for student ministries and a student says "ignite is so great- lets just keep going!"

can't wait to be more intentional about capturing and reflecting the highs and lows of this season of my life. thanks for reading. have an incredible weekend.

1.12.2015

my fear in blogging + evolution of foreverhis

photo by abeauitfulmess 
i wrote my first blog post dec 23 2010 - you can read my first post here - i had absolutely no idea what i was getting myself into or what this blog could become.

the blogging industry is now an industry and many of the blogs i read, the writers are millionaires and their full time job is to blog and create content for a blog. back in 2010 i was faithfully reading 5 or 6 blogs and loved them so i decided to start my own.

i process through writing and love journalling so i just viewed this blog as an online journal. i didn't expect anyone to read it or my content to be worthy of people's readership but i wanted to remember my "twenties" and having my own space on the web felt like the best way.

in feb of 2011 i decided i was going to live in pietermaritzburg south africa for a year. looking back now i think i was insane. i also think my parents were insane. who lets an 18 year old live by herself in a foreign country for a year? this blog became a lifeline for me as i processed the good and bad and watched as God changed me completely. 


my readership went up when i was in south africa. most of the young adults that were serving in a country for the year with MCC (mennonite central committee) had a blog and we would read each others accounts of what was happening and what we were learning. it was so much fun having a blog and being able to connect with others around the world but more importantly connect with my friends and family at home. i no longer had to write separate emails to my friends telling them what was going on, they could just read my blog.

this blog was so helpful for people to get a glimpse into my south african life. i am beyond thankful that i have so many rich deep memories from my year all organized here - you can check out this entry here from south africa reflecting on eight months that had over five hundred views.

when i got home from south africa i felt a lot of pressure to keep writing content to my loyal readers however i wasn't being a mom to 18 kids anymore- i was attending university like everyone else. this was my final blog post on this space - here …so i thought

mark and i had started dating again and he reminded me why i started this blog and the purpose of it…before south africa. after "giving up blogging"  mark and i really felt God lay on our hearts to share our story with the world.


we both prayed super hard about this, but knew this is what God had wanted.. and we wanted to be faithful to Him. so we wrote our love story. dating (4 times) and trying to figure it out. we were very raw, honest and vulnerable. you can read that series hereherehere & marks side here.

this series got a lot of feedback- good & bad. some people wrote us hate emails. i remember mark getting an fb message telling him that he was being an awful Christian to share our relationship online and that he shouldn't be dating me.

regardless of the responses the blog series got over six thousand views. by the end of me writing out our proposal story we were reaching eight thousand.

we were shocked. obviously we didn't know who was reading it… i don't even know a thousand people  let alone eight, but we were blown away at the power blogs can have and what our impact could be online.

i decided to keep blogging here and there but i was planning a wedding, graduating from school and working full time so left kept me more than busy and not a lot of time to blog.

but now. 2015. working in full time ministry i have a lot i want to type and share. God is doing incredible things in my our lives and i want to write them down and capture them forever on my wonderful space in the web world.

but i'm scared. 

so scared.

because i have readers now. and people who count on me to produce content. 

i wrote about our first year of marriage - you can read it here and by the next day over nine hundred people had read it.

nine hundred. gasp. who are you? i know the blogs i read get hundred and thousands of hits per week but little me in small town gets excited when thirty people read my blog.

i want to continue blogging, i have a lot to say but i am fearful because i want to write something good. i have been so hesitant to blog a lot because i am afraid to disappoint you or more importantly disappoint God. i want so badly in each post for God to be glorified and i am scared that i won't do that.

i am dramatic and prefer one on one conversations, but this blog can't do that. i have no idea who those nine hundred people were that read my blog and that drives me crazy.

so here i am. 

being totally vulnerable with you once more and just letting you know where i am at. 

if you've been reading my blog for the past four years thank you so much. i really mean that. thank you for walking through my grammatically blog posts. i really love that you would take time out of your day to read what i have to say.

if you're new to this blog, i promise to try and write more and get a steady stream of content coming just be patient with me as i am tad bit scared. ( my goal is post every monday!)

thanks for getting to the end of this massive blog post.

thanks for your readership and thanks for letting me be so open with you.

xoxo
mads.

1.07.2015

happy 2015!

jan 2015 already. crazy.

i read a lot of blogs throughout the week and really have read everyones goals for 2015.

i must admit i am a big fan of goals and absolutely believe in to-do lists, setting and monitoring goals, and reflecting on what works/didn't to constantly improve.

the hashtag #makeitpublicmakeithappen has encouraged me a lot and after much hesitation i thought i would post my 2015 goals.

also i forget/loose my lists so much if they are forever on this blog (get it? ahha) i'll be able to reflect better once 2015 is over. i'll leave the list the way i wrote it in my journal.. the more honest the better right?
pic from eliseblaha


1. Only snooze the alarm once! yes once.
2. Be more intentional about reading God's word - aka everyday!
3. Learn/memorize 24 scriptures in the year through Beth Moores' memory plan (if you want more info about this click here)
4. File bills (other documents) RIGHT AWAY - no clutter
5. Clean closet out frequently
6. Be more intentional about mentoring
     - pray more about this
     - girls mentoring/ online / through the blog -gah so many ideas!
7. Have a blog schedule (bible study, thankful day, get more consistent, start a series?)
8. Leave more room for the Spirit to move - be more flexible to serve and do more
9. Have more people over
     - practice hospitality
10. Give more money away intentionally
     - how to give more of God's money away and also save for a house
     - always give annoymously
11. Invest in a non-christian group thing - find something that i can be out in the world, not church related
12. Actually make disciples
     - i want to look back at the end of 2015 and actually say the Spirit made disciples of Jesus through me
13. Practically get better at serving people
     - go deeper into learning what it means to be Jesus hands and feet
     - have strangers, homeless people sleep over / eat dinner at our home


i so hope your 2015 is starting off well whether you make goals or not!

xo
maddie



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