Archives For Uncategorized

New Life

Melanie —  November 5, 2015

IMG_0281

 

With our hearts full of much joy and gratitude, we would like to announce the safe arrival of our little girl, Jessah Abigail Mead.  She was born at 2:45am on Sunday and weighed 8 lbs 11 oz.  Our whole family is beyond thrilled and Jessah has been enjoying cuddles with all her siblings.  (Mom and Dad have to wait in line for our turn too!)

IMG_7877

We have already let many people know the news through Facebook and text of course, but Peter wanted me to share the birth story here.  Every birth is so unique . . . we prayed that God would allow us to have this baby at home and for Him to orchestrate all the details as He would like them.  And He so did that!  We are so thankful that we were able to have Jessah at home and the whole birth was quick and uncomplicated. I have to say that Sunday was one of the best days of my life!

Our baby was due (according to the medical professionals!) on the 25th of October.  When that day came and went last week, I was praying so much for God to help me be patient!  At times I was feeling pretty emotionally fragile, so I was asking God to help me hand all my fears over to Him.

I had several days last week when I had contractions about ten minutes apart but disappointingly, they stopped when I went to bed.  So when I had contractions ten minutes apart most of the day on Saturday, I wasn’t convinced that this was the real thing – even though they felt stronger to me than the other days. The children and Peter went off to the Light Party at church at 4pm.  By the time they got back I was starting to think something might be happening but didn’t tell the kids as I didn’t want to get their hopes up!  After they went to bed, Peter and I prayed together and timed a few contractions (they were still about ten minutes apart) and decided, per the advice of our wonderful midwife friend staying with us, to go to bed and rest and see what happened.  Peter went to sleep but I didn’t.  The contractions were definitely getting stronger but they were now 10-20 minutes apart.  I was really confused!  I woke Peter up eventually and judging by the way I was sounding, he said he thought we should get up and call the midwife.  I wasn’t sure.  I didn’t want to bother them when the contractions were so far apart.  We went downstairs to the lounge and I had a few more strong contractions and then called the midwife. It was about 12:30 am.  She said they would start getting their things together to come to our house but to call back in the meantime if we needed them sooner.  Well, after that, things really moved!  I went from the contractions being 10 to 20 minutes apart to them being about 3 minutes apart.  I was really having to breathe through them.  I alternated standing up leaning on Peter and sitting on the birth ball.  Peter decided to call the midwife again about 1:00am and she was there about 1:45am.  A second one showed up shortly after.  Both of them were lovely and really made me feel at peace.  It wasn’t too much longer until I felt needed to push!  In the last week or two we had thought the baby had his or her back to my back (not the normal position for delivery) and it turned out she stayed like that – sunny-side up!  I know compared to how long some women push, it wasn’t too long, but it did feel like she was taking a long time to come!  Peter and the midwives (including our wonderful friend Paula) were so encouraging, telling me to keep going and not to give up and that we’d meet the baby soon.  Aliyah and Hannah were close by as well, watching the whole thing.  Finally, at 2:45, Jessah emerged – in two unusual ways – face up and inside her bag of waters!  Apparently, to be born “en caul” is good luck and sailors believe a child born this way will never drown.  Hmmm. We of course, believe our Father holds all things in His hands – so we think Jessah is not extra lucky but extra unique and special!  After all, a fifth daughter has to make her mark in some way, right?  As far as the face up part, we suppose she was just so eager to see all her family so she decided that was the best way to make her grand entrance!  Not the easiest way for mum to give birth, but we thank God that she arrived safely.  Oh the pure joy of embracing a new life.  God’s gifts are beautiful and perfect.

Lots of people thought we should be having a boy to even out the numbers in our family.  While we would have loved a boy, we are 100% delighted with our little girl.  Even Joel said, “I don’t know why people keep saying ‘Poor Joel.’  I like having sisters.”  And he wants to hold Jessah just as much as the girls do!

IMG_7844In a world where many unborn (and born) baby girls are killed simply because they are girls, we celebrate the precious gift of girls!  Made in God’s image and beautiful to Him!  Jessah’s middle name is Abigail which means, “father’s joy.”  We know she will bring great joy to Peter and the rest of us.  And we know her heavenly Father takes great joy and delight in her!

IMG_0289

Most of you know that we lost a baby early in pregnancy back in early 2014.  The heartache of losing that little one was great and we grieved for a long time.  However, our amazing and loving Father proved to be so faithful and gracious to us during those difficult months of grieving.  The journey of the last two years has not been easy.  And I am conscious that many people don’t have the “happy ending” that we have and still long to hold a child in their arms.  God’s ways are so far above ours. When we finally conceived again this year, there were many fears to battle.  Even in the final days before Jessah’s birth, I was afraid we’d lose her before she was born and I kept having to hand my fears over to the Lord.  So the joy of her birth is extra sweet.  We have learned a lot about trust and patience and we believe that He is good – not because He has given us Jessah – but because He truly is loving and compassionate in times of joy and in sorrow too.

Peter picked Jessah’s name.  We love the way it sounds and also what it means – “God sees.”  He is not a God who is far removed from us . . . He sees our hearts, our feelings, our desires and loves us so much.  He saw our desire for another little one and has graciously given us Jessah.

Now we are settling in to interrupted nights and (happy) exhaustion.  Thank you for your prayers as we adjust to having a newborn again.  We are thankful to have some precious days as a family to enjoy each other and celebrate Jessah.

James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights

A few more photos:

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from our midwife friend, Paula over the past few weeks. She was there at the birth and we thank God for her being with us

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from our midwife friend, Paula, over the past few weeks. She was there at the birth and we thank God for her being with us and all the help and support she gave us. (This was the second Meadling Paula helped to deliver – also Aliyah back in 2003!)

 

Can you tell this little girl is adored by her sisters and brother?

Can you tell this little girl is adored by her sisters and brother?

 

You can also check Peter’s Facebook page or his instagram for more photos – he’s taken some really good ones!

A Month of Memories in Oregon

Melanie —  August 21, 2015
My parents and their clan of descendants! :-)

The Papworth/Hickman/Mead clan

We flew into Chicago on Monday night from Oregon in the middle of a big storm.  We circled the airport for a long time while it was closed due to the bad weather.  Despite the delays and the bumpy ride, everyone stayed really cheerful.  After some very bumpy moments, Kaylah asked me to hold her tight and asked if the plane was going to crash. I said no, the pilot knows what he’s doing and besides we have God with us and He’s taking care of us.  She snuggled into me and said, “Yes, we’re His lambs.”  Precious moment.  My heart did get going a bit with the turbulence and the the baby jumped inside me when we bumped onto the ground hard!  The plane full of people all clapped as we finally landed!  Anyway, we are here in Chicago now, enjoying time with my aunt.  Peter spoke at her church Wednesday night and it was a really special time with a loving group of people.  We have three more church visits scheduled in the next week and a BBQ on Saturday with some of our prayer partners.

Our time in Oregon was so special.  We packed a LOT into the four weeks we had there!  I did have moments of feeling pretty exhausted but the gracious people we stayed with were so thoughtful and kind to us and that helped so much.  We will truly miss them!  Peter spoke on 4 occasions and we saw many friends and prayer partners.  It’s been fantastic to connect with the people who partner with us to make our ministry possible.  We also had many special times with my family.  There were lots of tears on Monday when we said goodbye. It was especially sad seeing the kids say goodbye to their cousins who they had such a wonderful time with.  I will share some photos with you from the past month . . . most of them are from our times with family as these were the moments we tended to capture with photos!

After being awake and travelling for more than 20 hrs., Kaylah finally fell asleep on the plane as we approached Oregon!

 

As always, the views from the air of the mountains and the carpets of evergreen trees were spectacular.

As always, the views from the air of the mountains and the carpets of evergreen trees were spectacular.

 

What a joy for the cousins to finally be together.

What a joy for the cousins to finally be together.

 Most of us had never met Benji, who is just a little younger than Kaylah.

Most of us had never met Benji, who is just a little younger than Kaylah.

And we all got lots of cuddles with Elly who is nearly one.

And we all got lots of cuddles with Elly who is nearly one.

We had a fantastic time in central Oregon.  It was HOT and everyone had so much fun in the river.

We had a fantastic time in central Oregon. It was HOT and everyone had so much fun in the river.

Joel and Matthew (6 mos apart in age) had hours of fun together . . . with all the girl cousins, how special for the two of them to have each other.

Joel and Matthew (6 mos apart in age) had hours of fun together . . . considering all the girl cousins in the family, how special for the two of them to have each other. (Notice Hannah in the background, standing up in the kayak!!!)

Claire and Kaylah

Claire and Kaylah

Bike riding was another fun experience

Bike riding was another fun experience . . . these lucky ones got to ride!

Our friends Terry and Nancy were so gracious to allow us to hang out at their house and use the dock on the river behind their house.  It was such a joy to spend time with them.

Our friends Terry and Nancy were so gracious to entertain us and allow us to use the dock on the river behind their house. It was such a joy to spend time with them.  The kids didn’t spend much time dry!

Back in Portland, the kids had more water fun in their cousins' neighbourhood pool.

Back in Portland, the kids had more water fun in their cousins’ neighbourhood pool.

Bombs away!

Bombs away!

The time we had with the friends we stayed with in Portland was a major highlight for us.  What wonderful and gracious friends to host our big family for a whole month.  We will miss them!

The time we had with the friends we stayed with in Portland was a major highlight for us. What wonderful and gracious friends to host our big family for a whole month in their home. We will miss them!

A special treat - seeing hummingbirds come to their deck.

A special treat – seeing hummingbirds come to their deck.

We visited with many friends . . . here are the kids having fun with some of them.

We visited with many, many friends . . . here are the kids having fun with some of them.

And here's our family with some more dear friends.

And here’s our family with some more dear friends.

We even got to visit Uncle Ron!

We even got to visit Uncle Ron!

Our schedule was pretty crazy at times.  The late nights and lack of naps took their toll on us, especially Kaylah . . .

Our schedule was pretty crazy at times. The late nights and lack of naps took their toll on us, especially Kaylah . . .

But we all survived!

But we all survived! God graciously gave us the strength we needed.

We got to celebrate two family birthdays . . .

We were able to celebrate two family birthdays while we were in OR . . .

For my sister's birthday, we all went to the beach.

For my sister’s birthday, we all went to the beach.

This was a fun find (not appreciated by all members of the family!)

This was a fun find (not appreciated by all members of the family!)

For my sister's birthday, we all went to the beach.

Kaylah’s got her hand ready to hold the next little Mead . . . he or she is growing bigger all the time! Nine weeks to go . . . 

Grandpa took us all to a local baseball game.  Here are the kids meeting one of the players afterwards.

Grandpa took us all to a local baseball game. Here are the kids meeting one of the players afterwards.

It was definitely an all-American experience for us!  The girls got given some bats that the players were done with and had them signed.

It was definitely an all-American experience for us! The girls were given some bats that the players were done with and had them signed.

We will savour the memories . . .

We will savour the memories . . .

 

 . . . memories of our wonderful family and friends.

. . . memories of our wonderful family and friends.

 

Thank you for praying for us during this trip.  We are enjoying every day but also looking forward to being home very soon!  It will be really wonderful to be back with our friends and church family and get back into a more “normal” routine.  We fly out next Thursday night and land in London Friday morning.  We are excited to see what God has for us in the months ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

A couple weeks back, us Mead girls got together with some friends, and had a tea party. We had a lot of fun, dressing up, doing our hair and nails, eating yummy food, and watching a movie. Here are some pictures!

From left to right: Hannah, Mariah, Jayelle, me (Aliyah), and Alex. Hollie and Erin are not in this picture, but they did most of the planning for it!

From left to right: Hannah, Mariah, Jayelle, me (Aliyah), and Alex. (Hollie and Erin are not pictured)

First we all had our nails painted. We were trying not to get anything on the carpet so we all put our hands and feet up in the air!

First we all had our nails done. We were trying not to get anything on the carpet so we put our hands and feet up in the air!

Next we did each other's hair! Here Alex (my friend) is curling my hair.

Next we did each other’s hair! Here Alex (my friend) is curling my hair.

Mariah had her hair curled too!

Mariah had her hair curled too!

Then we went outside on the trampoline while Erin and Hollie put the food on the table.

Then we went outside on the trampoline while Erin and Hollie put the food on the table.

I think we managed to squeeze everyone into this picture!

I think we managed to squeeze everyone into this picture!

Erin made these beautiful cup cakes!

Erin made these pretty cup cakes!

There was so much yummy food!

There was so much yummy food!

Here are Mariah and Jayelle.....

Here is Mariah with Jayelle…..

Alex.....

…Alex…

...and Hannah and I.

…Hannah and I.

Hollie brought these beautiful flowers!

These beautiful flowers were lovely decorations!

Thank you to Hollie, Erin and Hannah who did the planning and decorating. We had a really fun time together, full of laughter, good food and friendship!