How Old Are You?

     It's a question I was asked again and again last weekend at a Christian women's blogging conference, Declare.

     "How old are you?"

     Once I answered, they said they thought I might be 22 or even 25 and just look like I was fifteen, but "No," I assured them, "I am fifteen."

     After that I knew they would either ignore me or be fascinated by me. They tended to be fascinated. Why? Because I was the only teenager at the conference. In fact, I had asked them prior to signing up if it was okay for me to come, since the lowest age on the sign-up form was 18.

     They were amazed when I said I'd been blogging for two years and handed them an adorable business card.

      And the general consensus from everyone was "Aw, you're so cute!"

      Thank you. But although I am cute, I am serious about this whole blogging thing.

     The conference wasn't just blogging tips and tricks though. It was full of life-giving Scripture, wise speakers, and real, nitty-gritty life and grace. All of which I am passionate about.

     And on the last night of the conference, they announce who won the drawing for a ticket to Declare 2015.

     "Madeline Os-" and my stomach drops.

     My hand flies to my mouth. In that moment, my joy and gratitude overcome the butchering of my last name. (It's ok, Heather, it wasn't the first time that's happened. I guarantee you!)

     "Thank you, Lord," is all I can say or think. Then Eryn launches into a beautiful speech, which I cannot even try to put into this keyboard, about how she never dreamed the next generation would be influenced as a result of the conference. But I was a perfect example of how it WAS. Despite my age.

     "God did that for you," my mom says over the phone minutes later. "He loves you so much."

     "I know," I whisper with tears in my eyes, "I know."

     I have so many tales of how God has provided for me and my family. But this ticket is really ringing true every day as I consider how out of over one hundred women, God wanted me to go to Declare next year for free.

     Walking away from Declare 2014 where the theme is Wild Obedience, I know my wild obedience looks like writing for God, not my audience, or even myself.

      And as I type with white-spray-painted fingers, I know that I can even glorify God with writing about home décor. Oh, yeah, I can!



  1. I wish I would've had the opportunity to meet you! I was just telling a student today about you - I think it's equally awesome and brave that you started blogging so young. I'll be at Declare next year so I'll make sure to introduce myself!

  2. I am enjoying watching God's plans for your life unfold. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer." May you remain humble and follow His lead. You are a blessing to your mama!

  3. So many of us would have given you our tickets had we won. You are a brave woman. Thank you for walking our your calling. My girls need a fabulous role model to follow and I hope you continue to write so I can point them to you.
    Are you following http://kaitlynbouchillon.com/? She might be someone for you to connect with. She is a college age girl doing some great stuff with DaySpring and she is coming to Declare next year.

    1. I have heard of her and will definitely check her out! Thanks!

  4. Madeline, you are such an inspiration to us all in your wild obedience at such a young age. I look forward to following you and seeing where God takes you on this journey!!!!

  5. Wow! That's so cool! Good job Madeline! :)

  6. So excited that you won Madeline! Glad to have you with us all on this crazy blogging adventure!

  7. I loved meeting you and your story is one of my favorites from the conference. My daughter is 15 (almost) and so I know you can be cute and used by God in great big ways!

    Go on girl - be wildly obedient!


  8. What a shower of encouragement from the Lord!
    You are a blessing to many... continue to spread that blessing through your blog.

    Much <3

  9. Sweet girl - I have a daughter who will be 3 this year, and all I can think as I read your beautiful words and hear your heart on this page is that I'm so grateful. One day she might be the 15 year old in the room with a bunch of mama bloggers and you'll have set the stage for that to happen. Truly hoping I get to see you again next year :)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, everyone!


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