Looking forward.

on January 3, 2013 in Dreams Coming True, Dude Stuff with 22 comments by

Sometimes God gives you this glimpse into who you want to be.

Do you know what I mean?

Maybe you’ve been pregnant and watched kids on a playground and it took your breath away because you knew that was your future 0r maybe you’ve wanted to be an actress and watching someone accept an Oscar make something inside of you catch fire.

It’s like you see someone and you think, “I see what she/he is doing and I know deep in my knower that is who I want to be.”

I was supposed to be at Passion 2013 this week with my small group girls. Because of some new developments with work [eep! more info soon!], I had to back out and instead, I’ve been watching online.

Yesterday afternoon, I watched Louie Giglio’s opening session. As it came to an end, he brought his lifelong best friend up on stage, Andy Stanley.

Then they begin to discuss an influential youth leader in their lives- the impact that leader had, how that leader had given them opportunities and put up with them when they were crazy teen dudes. You could hear the love in Louie’s voice and he even said that he and Andy loved this leader so much that they may cry.

I waited to see the guy they were talking about, wondering who he was, would I recognize him from Atlanta, so on and so forth.

And then? It was a woman.

Louie and Andy

And I immediately thought of this picture from last summer.


I have this dream in my life that I don’t ever really talk about very much, but I’ve always wanted sons. I really want sons. Like really really. I have always dreamed about being part of raising boys into Godly men. I mean, it’s one of those deep-in-my-heart dreams. Until I get married and have kids, this is the next best thing- investing in the young men that God places in the ministries where I volunteer. Even once I do have kids, this right here? These boys will always have a place in my heart.

So I cried [shocking no one] when I watched the Passion livestream because I saw my future. If I do my job now, THAT is my future.

You know this if you volunteer with kids, youth, or college- but you are just constantly planting seeds. Planting planting planting. And seed bears fruit, even if we never see it. But yesterday, I watched Louie and Andy and the woman that loved them when they were teenagers, and there she stood, 83 years old, seeing the fruit.

I’m not pushing any vocation on my boys- I don’t know where they will be in fifty years – when I’m 83 – but I know this. I will stand between them in 2063, proud of how they have lived, how they have loved, and who they have become.

I’m so grateful for that glimpse yesterday of the kind of woman I want to be and what it will look like for my dream to come true.

. . . . .

Where are you planting seeds?


  1. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 6:15 AM  |  reply

    And you’ve made me cry bright and early this morning. It is a good cry, though.

  2. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 8:26 AM  |  reply

    Oh, I love this Annie! Thank you for sharing. Working with college students for the last 7 years is so life-giving and rewarding to see where our touchpoints impact them years later.

  3. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 8:38 AM  |  reply

    So I was already kinda emotional at work this morning and this just busted the floodgates. What a beautiful post – what a beautiful future. And I so get what you’re feeling – I lead a small group on Wednesday nights, all first graders. Something about that age just makes me what to invest in them. For the past 2 years, I’ve had 2 separate little boys that have truly tugged my heartstrings hard. Both required extra attention and might normally be the kids that would get one your nerves – but for me, they’ve been an absolute joy. Thanks for offering a bit of confirmation to me this morning 🙂

  4. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 9:32 AM  |  reply

    I love this! I was so thrilled when it turned out to be a woman too! I work with college students like you do, Annie, and I love this reminder of what we need to be doing NOW so that we’ll reap a harvest LATER to God’s glory! Thanks for that.

  5. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 9:47 AM  |  reply

    I work full time in Student Ministry and really, really needed this reminder this morning.

    Thank you, sweet Annie!

  6. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    I’ve volunteered for a quite a few years with high school and college “kids” at my church but at the moment I am sowing into my own daughter. She is 23 and I am extremely blessed that God moved her home after living away for five years. Wouldn’t trade this time for anything!!!!!!!!

    Your post was very special! I wept as well.

  7. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 10:03 AM  |  reply

    oh man, this post gave me chills. Thanks for always sharing your heart with us so perfectly. I want boys too! So yet again, I’m with ya. So, thanks friend!

  8. Chris Wheeler
    posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 11:19 AM  |  reply

    This is so good and right Annie – well done! So proud of you – you’re right that is your future!

  9. Hillary
    posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 12:52 PM  |  reply

    I had a similar experience with this type of thing yesterday. One of the students at the youth group in which I’m a leader, wrote a blog about some struggles she had recently overcome. She included me in a list consisting of her mom and grandma as a strong support during that time. Sometimes I wonder if what i do there does anything, but then I remember that even in the smallest ways, kindness and love grows into something huge and wonderful. In a way that only God can provide.

  10. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 1:34 PM  |  reply

    I feel like God is still working on my seeds to plant. He’s planting them in my heart right now. I get these whispers that I know but they are still forming.
    I hope you do have sons one day 🙂 I want to have children (I have names & meaning behind them,too) too but being as single, single, single I am it seems like a stretch.

  11. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 1:45 PM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie.
    I love this.
    So, so much.

    Isn’t God fun!?!

    p.s. I totally feel like I know you now because I listened to your Allume talk (dear friends gifted me with the download of all the sessions this year, even though I couldn’t make the conference) and felt every. single. word. 🙂

  12. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 2:00 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I love your heart and I love those moments when we can see our future selves! 😀

  13. Merideth
    posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 2:51 PM  |  reply

    Love this post Annie. I want to be a mom of boys one day too. Especially since my family is full of girls right now. We need to even things out a bit. Everytime I read your posts about investing in the lives of young people I get reminded of how much I want to do the same. I dohn’t have an opportunity to do so, yet, or even know how much I have to offer the younger generation. But, I pray for the Lord to provide me with the chance. Maybe a small group to lead or something. Thanks for sharing friend!

  14. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 8:59 PM  |  reply

    What a lovely picture for your future! It’s those deepest dreams that can be the hardest to talk about, but yours is beautiful. I feel pretty sure it’ll come true in ways you’ve never dreamed. 🙂

  15. posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 9:34 PM  |  reply

    I love the way you dream and live into that dream. You teach me lots. I am planting seeds in a book club, with family, and starting to let my heart dream again. This was a good for my soul today. (thanks.)

  16. Delonna @ Chick Flick Diva
    posted on Jan 03, 2013 at 10:17 PM  |  reply

    Awwwwww touching post! I want 4 boys myself 🙂

  17. posted on Jan 04, 2013 at 1:05 AM  |  reply

    Beautiful post! I’d love to have boys some day 🙂

  18. bethany
    posted on Jan 04, 2013 at 6:49 AM  |  reply

    This is just beautiful!! I loved it for a number of reasons. Gorgeous.

  19. posted on Jan 04, 2013 at 1:35 PM  |  reply

    So who exactly was the woman? A favorite school teacher of those two boys-turned-men?

  20. posted on Jan 05, 2013 at 11:23 PM  |  reply

    just what I needed today…thank you.

  21. Athena
    posted on Jan 09, 2013 at 9:13 PM  |  reply

    You aren’t the only one — I really, really want sons as well 🙂 My heart is for encouragement, and I don’t do youth ministry, I do prayer ministry… and I love how God works, watering seeds where we plant them together!

  22. posted on Jan 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM  |  reply

    As a teacher, this post brought tears to my eyes. God has been speaking to me lately about how I will bear fruit for His glory! Thank you for reminding me that I am planting and watering seeds everyday even if I don’t see the fruit.
    God bless your ministry and your students!!
    jee young

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