In 2009. I was a stay at home “homeschool” mom of four. The story of my life was changing diapers, taking kids to karate and swimming, cooking, cleaning and home schooling. All I had ever dreamed about or desired in life was to be a wife and momma. But I believe being a mom is one of the most under-appreciated, difficult jobs on the planet. The strain that comes with little sleep and being needed all day long, as well as dealing with a couple severe health issues with my kids over the years, led to a diagnosis of pretty severe PTSD in February of 2009.
I was in deep depression, but was able to hide it very well behind closed doors. I was able to put on a very good front, but I was suffering in silence. There were days I didn’t want to live. And then I would feel immense amount of guilt because I knew I had a good life and loved my husband and kids. It was a very dark time in my life.
During this time was when God put a camera in my hands. It was the first thing that I had done for “me” since 1991. This camera brought me healing and joy. It made the world come alive for me again. One thing led to another and in the April of 2010, my sweet Emily (she was 15 at the time!) and I did our first wedding together. I felt alive again.
In October of 2011, Emily and I attended a photography retreat called For the Love. This is where the Holy Spirit changed my heart. This is where Delight was born. This is where my heart became soft and pliable and surrendered to whatever Jesus desired of me for the rest of my life. It was truly the turning point where I went from “knowing who Jesus was” (I grew up in a very loving Christian home and called myself a Christian) to personally knowing Him as my Savior and my Father.
I had a vision that week, of 15 girls with their hands raised worshipping Jesus with cameras around their necks. It was so powerful that I can still see it. And it was so powerful that I couldn’t disregard that something bigger than me was putting it into my head. You see, I didn’t really like teen girls. At all. Emily didn’t have any real friends. I found girls selfish and self-absorbed and dramatic. I loved my son's friends, but please, no girls! So when this vision came, I was confused. And God specifically gave me the tiniest details - the location, the date and what it was supposed to be like.
In April of 2012, we had our first retreat in Leavenworth, WA, and had 17 girls fly in from across the country. It was a beautiful time where the Holy Spirit blessed us with such a precious time together. I thought it was a one-time deal - and I was fine with that!
But, God kept asking one thing after another. In January of 2013, we started a blog. We had another retreat in April of 2013. Our private Facebook group kept growing and other groups started. In 2014, we had two retreats, one on the east coast and one on the west coast.
But it all truly started the first week in 2014. I left the lawyers office and cried all the way home. I was a mess. I was angry. I was confused. I didn’t know what God wanted from me. You see, I had the word “ministry” associated with Delight for the first time. And I didn’t like it. I had been calling Delight an organization. But when the lawyer called it a ministry, I felt like I was going to throw up. You see, I have had some difficulties with ministries in the past. I just have seen so many people in leadership come crashing down, and have seen so many people hurt by those in leadership positions. And I would never want to be in a position where I could say something that would hinder someone’s relationship with Jesus. That felt like a lot of pressure. And I hated that God was asking me to do this. I wanted to go back to my little bubble of homeschooling and not dealing with so much heaviness, paperwork, feeling responsible for girls.
But, nonetheless, between October 2011 and January of 2014, my heart became passionate for teenaged girls. I believe that God gave me eyes to see inside a teen girls heart, and an understanding of how they feel. He gave me compassion and a deep ache to want to help share what it means to live a life in wholehearted abandon to their Heavenly Father. So as much as I hated the thought of being in “ministry,” my love for the girls far outweighed it.
Eventually, God had strategically placed me back at another FTL conference. During our small group one night, I shared what I was battling. The last night, an amazing woman wrote me a letter and gave me a rock. On one side of the rock, she wrote “ministry,” and on the other side of the rock, it says “Love Journey." This rock has not left my nightstand since I arrived home.
This has been a love journey. This has been an incredible journey that I feel so incredible blessed to be part of. If I need to call it a ministry (and I do!) that is fine, but the simplicity of Delight is all about Love. About a true God-given love. About showing/teaching/discipling the girls so that they can come to the realization that they are a daughter of the Father, that they are loved intimately and deeply - beyond their wildest dreams.
* In Jesus Christ, God’s only son. (John 14:6)
* That the Bible is God’s flawless and perfect Word and that it is exciting and life-giving (Proverbs 30:5; II Timothy 3:16)
* In being real, raw, relevant while applying the truths of God’s timeless Word.
* We are saved by GRACE and grace alone---there is nothing we can do on our own to earn salvation. (Ephesians 2:8&9)
* In living life intentionally, on purpose, to bring Him glory.
* Our manner and the way we live should be worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Phil 1:27)
* Our Heavenly Father is everlasting, never failing, our Delight and our Redeemer.
* God has amazing and incredible plans for each individual girl’s life. (Ephesians 3:20)
* Each girl has been given strengths and talents that God will use for His glory and will use these gifts to serve others. (2 Timothy 2:21; Romans 12:3-6)
* In pursuing joy in Christ, so intently that it can’t be shaken by any earthly pain or competed with by any earthly pleasure. (Psalm 16:11)
* In being women who are increasingly saturating minds, hearts and soul in the WORD OF GOD. (Romans 12:2)
* In praying earnestly in faith and continually for God’s purposes to unfold in and through our lives. (I Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16)
* In fighting all known sin in our lives. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
* In setting our hope in the triumph in the sovereignty of God’s goodness. (Romans 8:28
* In joining with community intentionally loving one another. (I John 4:7)
* In proactively sharing the Gospel with people that God places in your life. (I Peter 3:15)
* Life is hard. . .and without an eternal focus and seeing the big picture, it is impossible to have true hope and joy! (Colossians 3:2)
Apart from our main private Facebook group, we have four incredible online groups we call Intensives - each focused on a specific area of the creative arts. The purpose is to connect with like-minded artists, challenge and inspire each other, and learn together.
Delight & Be™ is a non-profit ministry and we exist because of the generosity of those that support our ministry financially. Our funding campaign Project 80/25 is based on the premise that if eighty people give $25 every month, the costs of the Delight House will be covered. We greatly appreciate the generosity of supporters from around the country. Please click below to see how you can be apart of Delight & Be's growth.