Archives For Melanie

Autumn Update

Melanie —  October 12, 2019

How did we get to the middle of October?! Here in the Mead house we just finished our first 6 weeks of our homeschooling year. One more week and then we are going to take a 2 week break which will be a real blessing for all of us.  Peter and I are going to celebrate our 20th anniversary (4 months late) during the first week off by spending a few days in Finland! We had free plane tickets to use somewhere in Europe and that’s where we found some flight availability.  Our lovely friend at church from Finland has arranged for us to use her friends’ rural cottage where we can be cosy as the weather will probably be quite chilly! We find these times away as a couple so precious and we’re looking forward to some uninterrupted time to rest and be together.  After 20 years, we are still best friends!

I thought I’d share some photos from the past weeks so you can see what our family has been busy doing. To begin with, here are a few photos from my trip to Oregon with Hannah.  I was quite apprehensive about the trip for several reasons (one big one was the worrying about how I would be health-wise) but God answered so many prayers.  I felt so loved and cared for by Him.  Hannah has settled in really well at Corban University.  She’s loving her classes (English and Bible this semester) and also really loving the opportunity to be social as well!  Please keep praying for her to stay very close to Jesus and keep growing, growing, growing! We miss her here at home, but we’re so happy she’s thriving there. AND we get to see her in just 64 days when she comes home for Christmas!

Here is Hannah with her roommate, Esther, just outside their dorm building. It’s an amazing God-story how they came to be roommates (Esther was the only person on campus that Hannah knew . . . we can’t believe how God worked this out!)

 

After Hannah started at university, I was able to spend a very special couple of days with my sister, Amy, celebrating her 40th birthday. We realised we’d never been away just the two of us before (at least not in the past 20 years!) and we want to make it happen again sometime!

 

We spend 2 days in the Columbia River Gorge, enjoying God’s beautiful creation together. (Multnomah Falls in this photo)

 

We were able to do a fun (albeit exhausting!) hike one day on the Washington side of the river and enjoyed some amazing views. This photo was actually taken the next day from a place called Crown Point on the Oregon side.

 

I really enjoyed spending time with my nieces and nephews too (Amy’s kids). They are so much fun!

 

When I got back home to England, it was back to homeschooling time. Only 5 kids in the photo this year!

 

It’s been such a joy to start teaching Jessah her letter sounds. She’s a very quick and cheerful learner!

 

Ever the avid reader, Kaylah enjoys sharing stories with Jessah too. She reminds us so much of Hannah, who always had her nose in a book at Kaylah’s age too! 

 

The younger kids and i have enjoyed some time this autumn at one of our favourite places – Bowood House. Such a beautiful and fun place.

 

Last week we were able to go and look at some art as part of a local art trail. The girls were very inspired to try some painting.

 

Joel’s building up his skills in the kitchen – cinnamon raisin muffins. . . mmmm!

 

We set the kids a challenge for practicing their musical instruments. Here we are at Krispy Kreme enjoying their reward.

 

We plan on sending out an email update very soon with some more ministry focused news.  Peter’s been to the Czech Republic and Ireland for conferences this past month and he’s keeping busy with preaching and ministry at Trinity Chippenham and Cor Deo too.  On the church front, we’d especially appreciate prayer for special upcoming events – Light Party (26 Oct) and Live Nativity (7 Dec) which will be updated and expanded this year. Personally I would appreciate prayer for God to provide help and healing through some health investigations that I will be having soon.  And strength and joy for each day despite the ongoing challenges.  We always greatly appreciate your prayers for us as we parent too – our kids are at so many different ages and stages and we need lots of wisdom and patience from our Father. As always, thank you for partnering with us through prayer – we are so grateful!

 

 

 

Well, it’s been an eventful few weeks! Hannah graduated from high school on the 6th of July.  We had a super special day celebrating with family and friends.  Peter and I can’t believe we are the parents of a high school graduate!  Where did all those years go? Our hearts are full of gratitude and praise to God for all he’s done in Hannah’s life.  She loves Him and wants to serve Him and we can’t wait to see what God is going to do in her life as she launches out into the world

High school graduations are not really a thing here in England.  But we wanted to take some time to celebrate God’s faithfulness and mark this milestone in her life – and ours too! With his grace and strength, we’ve managed to raise and educate a child – all glory goes to him! As I said in my speech at the graduation, there were so many days that I felt like a failure as a homeschooling mother and felt like I had no idea what I was doing! I hung onto Galatians 6:9 (I’ve always called it my “mummy verse”) -” Let us not grow weary in doing good, for a the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” We have an amazing God, that takes us as we are, with our weakness and failures and does beautiful things through us.

Here are some photos from the day.  We had a programme that included speeches from Peter and I and all Hannah’s siblings, a photo slideshow of Hannah’s life so far, and video messages from those who were far away and couldn’t come to the graduation.  At the end Hannah played her guitar and we all (30+ people packed into our living room!) sang Here is Love together.  Such a precious time.

 

The food table with photo bunting above (one photo for every school year)

 

Here’s Peter presenting her diploma.

 

A big hug from Dad . . .

 

And one from Mom . . .

 

Hannah playing Here is Love . . .

 

All the guests!

 

Hannah and her younger friends (and sisters!)

 

And the Meadling ladies

 

Hannah is a very loved big sister!

 

 

 

The teens stayed afterwards for curries and dessert.

 

I’m so thankful to God for loaning us this precious girl for the last 18 years. It’s a joy to be her mum/mom and most of all to know that she belongs to the King of Kings.

 

After the graduation, Hannah’s been keeping very busy with a mission trip to Ireland, working at her holiday club job and more recently, packing and organising to get ready to leave for university. We had a goodbye open house for her last Saturday which was a very full and happy house! I am so blessed to be travelling with Hannah to Oregon on Monday (yay for frequent flyer tickets!).  She starts at Corban University on the 25th where she’ll be studying English and Bible. Please pray for her to stay close to Jesus, make some good friends and grow SO much through her formal studies and the university of LIFE!  Personally I would also appreciate prayer for good health and strength during the travelling (it’s a 24+ hour journey door to door)) and during the time when I am in Oregon.  I do struggle with being anxious about these trips as I don’t know I will be health-wise.  I really want to be a blessing to Hannah while I’m there and the rest of my family too, who I don’t often get to see.  And as the Mead family, we’d appreciate prayer for this time of transition which includes lots of mixed emotions for everyone!

Peter and the kids arrive home tomorrow from a week of youth camp.  We’ve been praying for real life change in the kids who went from Trinity Chippenham.  We value your prayers so much for our family and ministry. We are in a battle for sure.  Hannah and I have been reading the Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis) over the past couple of weeks.  It’s been such an insightful read.  How much we need Jesus – without him we can do nothing.

PS If you would like the links to the photo slideshow we did for Hannah or the audio of the speeches, let us know and we’ll be happy to share them.

 

 

Mead Family Europe Trip

Melanie —  July 10, 2019

We had the opportunity to take a family road trip in Europe just after Easter.  We’d saved and planned for this trip for quite some time – it was such a special time!  We were able to be together as a family and see so many beautiful and historic places while enjoying a break from our normal busy lives.  It’s taken me awhile to get the photos together to post . . . but here they are!  We are so thankful to God for this trip. It was such a gift.

Our first stop was Wittenberg, Germany, Martin Luther’s hometown and the place of so much history from the Protestant Reformation. Here we are in front of the famous door of Castle Church where Luther nailed the 95 theses.

 

Climbing the tower of Castle Church. It was quite a climb but the view at the top was worth it!

 

The Luther Museum was fascinating. Here’s Kaylah in front of a printing press.

 

The Mead ladies posing with Luther’s wife, Katerina von Bora. May we all be used by God to change the world as she was!

 

We loved Wittenberg. It was quiet, non-touristy and the weather was perfect. This is the Castle Church tower.

 

Jessah was served the most enormous bowl of spaghetti at this open air cafe. The older couple sitting near us took great delight in watching her tackle it – as did we!

 

During our crazy 16 hr. drive from England to Wittenberg, we drove by Wartburg Castle – where Martin Luther famously translated the New Testament into German in just 11 weeks. We couldn’t go inside but it was amazing to see the castle even from a distance.

 

Mariah and Hannah

 

All in all, the first leg of our trip was a super fun success!

 

Our next stop was Prague. We spent only half a day there but it was wonderful and thankfully we avoided getting drenched by a thunderstorm which broke just as we returned to our van. This is part of Prague Castle (which you climb a very steep flight of steps to reach.)

 

The beautiful Vltava river.

 

And the famous Charles Bridge.

 

Hannah and Aliyah in front of the astronomical clock (which has some very strange symbolic features . . . google it if you are interested!)

 

We tried the Prague specialty cake – trdelnik – yum!

 

Our next destination was Austria. This is the beautiful town of Halstatt in the Austrian Lake District.

 

Such a gorgeous place!

 

And my gorgeous girls – at least in this mum’s humble opinion!

 

All the Meadlings in front of the lake (see) at Halstatt.

 

After a couple of rainy days, it actually snowed all day on the 1st of May! Let’s just say we were very unprepared for weather this cold! Thank goodness for warm blankets. We did really have fun outdoors in short stints but we also enjoyed staying warm inside in front of the fire, reading, playing games ,etc.

 

This was the view from the house where we were staying.

 

And this was the view just 2 days later!

 

We took advantage of the one sunny day to see Salzburg – probably my favourite place that we visited on this trip. Such a beautiful city.

 

Quite a bit of The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg. We had lots of fun finding some of the sites from the film. Here we are in front of the Abbey where the children went to find Maria after she had left them. It’s also the location where the real Maria and Captain Von Trapp were married.

 

Gorgeous view from near the Abbey!

 

The fortress on the hill is a famous Salzburg landmark.

 

Kaylah and Jessah on a stone lion (near where the von Trapp children sang Do Re Mi on the steps in Mirabelle Gardens.)

 

Mariah and Joel with a gnome that also appears in the film.

 

The day we left Austria, we drove up this mountain and rode a chair lift up and bobsleds down! It was one of the most fun things we did on the trip!

 

At the top!

 

Breath-taking views!

 

The next day we made a quick stop in San Marino, the world’s 5th smallest country. (Built on top of a hill!

 

View from the top!

 

Our final destination was beautiful Italy. We spent one day in Rome, which was fun (but had a sad ending as we discovered our van was burgled while we were sight-seeing. Among the things taken was Aliyah’s Bible, so we pray maybe God is using it to reach somebody for him!)

 

There is no city quite like Rome. Here are the Meadlings in front of the Trevi Fountain.

 

And on the Spanish Steps.

 

Yes, we’re still in love after 20 years! 🙂

 

Apart from Rome, we didn’t do much sight-seeing in Italy. We mainly just chilled (literally at times in the cold pool, before we got it warmed up!)

 

The kids and Peter had so much fun in the pool! (It was mostly too cold for me!)

 

And shivering on the beach!

 

The place where we stayed was quite remote and I really enjoyed walking the country roads.

 

We even got to try making focaccia in the pizza oven.

 

We made so many sweet memories which we will treasure as Hannah flies the nest soon and heads off to university in America.

 

Meadlings 1 and 2

 

Keep on smiling girls!

 

Not long after we got home from our trip Aunt Carol came to visit. Another special time with great memories.

 

Well done if you’ve made it through this long post! We are so grateful to God for this special trip and his faithfulness to us in the weeks since.  The almost 2 months since we’ve been home have been very full . . . Peter had his annual trip to Poland for the European Leadership Forum.  We’ve performed the Mark Drama at church and many other things have happened in family and ministry life. Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us.  Our hearts’ desire is that we would serve Jesus with love and grace, out of the overflow of the the love and grace we continually receive from Him. We sense our weakness daily and the fierceness of the supernatural battle around us.  We value your prayers for us so much as we look to him daily in faith and trust.  He is the best Father!