Archives For Melanie

For the Children’s Sake

Melanie —  January 24, 2020

2020 is off to a good start in the Mead household!  My health hasn’t been the greatest this month but as always, I’m thankful for the good days.  Our gracious and compassionate Father is always there for me when I cry out to him.

We had such a wonderful Christmas holiday time – we made some really special family memories.

It was so great to have our whole family together again.

 

We’re so thankful for this girl!

Hannah is back at university in Oregon now and apart from a having a nasty cold virus, she’s doing really well and enjoying her new classes.  Last weekend she flew to St. Louis to meet up with some dear friends from Ireland who are now involved with youth there.  She was able to help lead a youth retreat and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Here she is with other members of the Ireland team that she and Aliyah worked with last summer.

Here in Chippenham, we are into our 16th week of homeschooling – crazy how time flies! I’m loving all the time I get to spend with the kids, especially reading aloud to them.  In a few weeks I’ll embark on teaching Jessah how to read (I always say this is one of the most challenging but also the more rewarding parts of homeschooling).  She’s so excited about it – our baby is growing up!

Speaking of growing up, Aliyah is about to turn 17 and has her first driving lesson scheduled on her birthday! She’s got exams coming up in the next months (SAT, CLEP and piano) and is looking forward to a trip to America in March to check out two universities.  She’s also planning on being a part of two mission trips this summer – stay tuned for more info!

I’ve recently been re-reading a book that marked me deeply when I was a new mother – For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay. (She is the late Francis Schaeffer’s daughter).  I’m so grateful for the wisdom and beautiful ideas found in this book.  It’s been reminding me of the preciousness of our children and what a privilege it is to be a part of raising and educating them.  It’s an older books (published in 1984) but full of timeless wisdom, much of it counter-cultural.

“If Christianity is true, then every last little child matters . . . One day we will stand before the Creator.  Were we willing to give, serve and sacrifice “for the childrens’ sake?” (p. 11)

“Dear Lord, the little children are being smothered! The experience of beauty in God’s great outdoors is often exchanged for seeing flickering images on a screen.”

Macaulay talks about how young children are often as “pressurised as executives.” They are fitted in a frantic schedule to suit their parents’ needs.  She advocates more time for free and creative play, more time outdoors and lots of reading aloud of rich and “living” books.  She urges adults to value children as “persons” and actually do it for “it’s own sake.”  There is so much we can learn from children if we will just slow down and listen and wonder and grow together.  How often I fail in this area but I’m inspired to keep trying, a decision at a time!

Unfortunately, children are more under attack than ever in our culture today.  Satan, being the violent and evil enemy that he is, loves to prey on “the least of these” – the very ones that Jesus asked us to especially value and protect!  I feel more motivated than ever to advocate for them and protect them from the evil around them.  I received a link to this article this week: 10 Ways Porn Culture Will Target Your Kids in 2020 –  it’s an eye opener – there were quite a few things that both Peter and I had no idea about.  I would encourage you to read the whole article and follow the links in it too – whether you are a parent or not.  Our children are worth it!

At long last, I’ve updated my Currently Reading Page on this website.  You can click on the link to see it.

We are thankful for a really positive and seemingly fruitful Cor Deo preaching training course last week here in Chippenham.  Peter has been in Germany at the OM New Recruits conference the past few days. I’m sure he’ll report on how it went sometime soon.

Lastly, we’re in the middle of a challenging sermon series at church – Incline Your Heart.  If you’d like to listen, you can do so here.  As always, please let us know how we can pray for you.  Thank you so much for your partnership with us!

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.