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living head over heels


Daring to live like Jesus... and inviting others in on the process. 

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living head over heels


Daring to live like Jesus... and inviting others in on the process. 

WHAT is lhoh ALL ABOUT?

In the months leading up to 2017 God began to stir in my heart a new direction for this ministry. Something that I had never expected, nor ever dreamed up before. It meant putting on pause what I had always known and letting go of what I had envisioned for God to expand my borders for an even greater calling.

All women.

For the last ten years I have devoted my heart and life to teen girl's ministry with some of the most beautiful women inside and out, but as I look to the future God is asking me to venture in to new waters. At the heart of it I truly believe that the idea of "Living Head Over Heels" is a mantra to live our lives by. It is deciding beforehand not to be swayed by anything but the Word of God and what He requires of us, despite the many voices that try to creep into our minds. And this is not just for teen girls (even though I still love them with my whole heart). This kind of living is for everybody and especially every female-body as I am a woman who believes in empowering other women.

So take the journey with me. I don't know what it will look like in the end but I can guarantee that it will be worth the leap of faith.

It's going to be new, and it's going to be beautiful. 

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About LHOH


About LHOH


HOW DID LHOH BEGIN?

As a newly graduated Master's Commission student, first time youth pastor, and newlywed all at the tender age of 20, I (Vanessa Shepherd) continued a long time tradition of my home church in hosting a girl's only weekend in 2009 during the month of February. After much deliberation as to what this weekend could be called (trying to stay away from the typical "True Love Waits" titles), I stumbled upon the idea of "living head over heels". At the weekend conclusion I had awakened a sleeping giant of purpose and prayed for God to clearly speak how ministering to teen girls could be a part of my life story.

A small group was formed, "girl's only" events were held, and a few years later the official blog was created. When deciding upon what to call the beginning of this dream, I remembered back to that first weekend with the girls and thus LHOH was birthed. In March of 2013 the dream took on a new platform as the first official girl's conference was held in Stockton, CA. In the years following the Lord has brought women in and out of my life and this dream to do the incredible work of empowering and equipping girls to live a life that glorified God.

These past ten years have been incredible, but I have no doubt that they will not compare to what God still has in store. I will keep dreaming and working to help resource and encourage women who lead, parents who raise, and teenagers who impact this generation for the truth only found in Christ until the Lord calls us all home. It is in my DNA. How that comes about however, is entirely up to Him!

For now, I will continue to write. As it is as refreshing to me as sleep itself. But tomorrow, well who knows what new thing tomorrow holds.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE HEAD OVER HEELS?

Do you love the feeling of slipping on a comfortable pair of heels as much as I do? Yes, you read that right. Comfortable and heels do not have to be an oxymoron. There is just something so feminine, so powerful, about adding a few extra inches (or five, who am I kidding) to your walk. There are few things quite like it. But while those pointy toed black stilettos have boosted my confidence and stature over the years, they have also stood for something far greater in our society. We live in a culture that doesn't just celebrate beauty but forces one to believe that it is all women were created for. To be looked at. Gawked at. Won as a trophy. And for awhile we believe this. We believe that all we are is what we look like and all of our drastic efforts to change our very DNA to be something different are never enough. They never will be enough. Because the problem is not our bodies, the problem is that we believed the lie that if we had beauty (whatever they decide that to be this year) we would have everything.

Romans 12:2 has a different message for us, it instructs us not to "copy the behavior and customs of this world" [you know the behaviors it's talking about; the ridiculous diets, scandalous photos, and temptation to rip each other to shreds] "but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." We are not beauty, dear friends. Don't get me wrong, we are beautiful- we have beauty- but it is not all we are. That is what the world would want you to believe; to chase that, put all of your efforts into that. Be easy on the eyes and silent to the ears. But you were created for more. You were created to be extraordinary, special, original. And you can't find those things in the pages of a magazine or in a new pair of shoes.

Heels can take you where you need to go but they can never tell you where that is. Only God can. And they can be stood on for awhile but their strength will never last. Only God's can. By allowing Him to renew our minds we, in return, get everything. Love, joy, peace- and the greatest part- purpose. "Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect" (Romans 12:2). It's our promise. Our guarantee. By giving God control over our thought life, we get to know the very reason we were put on this earth. And that sounds a lot easier than trying to fit into a size zero! 

So you want God to do amazing things in your life? Me too!!! The answer isn't too hard; just start Living Head Over Heels!