Be Nourished

Gather the people you love around your table
and feed them with love and honesty and creativity.
Feed them with your hands and the flavors and smells that remind you
of home and beauty and the best stories you’ve ever heard, the best stories you’ve ever lived.
~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p256~

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The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed,
and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children.
We allow someone else to meet our need.
In a world that prides people on not having needs,
on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through,
the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity,
where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel.
If the home is a body, the table is the heart,
the beating center, the sustainer of life and health.

~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p258~

This is where I live

I feel like this picture captures so much of my life at the moment.
Of course this is actually my yard/view so this is truly where I spend my life.
And much of it is spent in my husband’s arms.
Some of it is spent smiling, some of it is spent trying to smile.
And while so much of it is spent in the storms right now, there are rainbows, and I seek to bask in that reflected glory.

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He’s the Daddy of Twelve

One thing I adore about my husband is how much he loves his children. All twelve of them. I love how being father of 12 is one of the top things he would describe about himself (for instance, in his Twitter intro), in true Psalm 127:5 form. And it was basically seven years ago that he became a father for the first time… although it would be a couple more weeks until we knew about it.

Today, you can read at Mommies With Hope, about the heart of my husband as I see it, and as I see him, in his fatherhood and his imitation of his Father in Heaven.

This Father’s Day, I want to honor my husband for the father that he is—the father of twelve. I want to praise the Lord for His compassion toward us, for His provision, for remembering our frame. I want to bless my husband and bless our Father in Heaven for their love and their servanthood. I want to tell the world about the heart of a daddy—one that rejoices fully, grieves deeply, loves steadfastly, shows compassion, gives abundantly—the heart of God Himself, also reflected in the human form of my husband, thanks to God’s grace and God’s gifts. The Lord is King and rules over all things from His throne in Heaven, and whether your arms are full or empty (or both…) this Father’s Day, it is my prayer that the fatherly heart of God would extent His compassion and love toward you—that you too would know His Kingship both in the valleys and on the mountaintops.

Darling Steven, I love you, and am so thankful that God chose you  to be the father of my dozen little darling olive branches. I love seeing God in you. I love seeing you in my babies. I love that you walk with me just as tenderly in grief as you do in joy. This Father’s Day will not be all about “happy” ~ but it will definitely be all about thankfulness and honor for the journey God has given you in your fatherhood. It’s been glorious: in the valleys and on the mountaintops, each in their own ways. Cheers to you, my Steven, and may God grant you more arrows in your quiver and more Father’s Days for God’s glory.

Eulogy for Fidelis Se’arah, by Daddy

Guest-posting on my blog today is my sweet husband, the faithful daddy of my twelve children. Here he shares his heart, his faith, his God, and his youngest child with you.



Dear friends and family,

Once again, we must bring hard news. Once more, we mourn in the dust, and our sorrow is great. Grieve with us for our child who now joins 8 siblings in the heavenlies. Though we here on earth mourn, the church triumphant welcomes a new member. God is true, and He is good. Gabriel’s prayers have been reminding us of God’s sovereignty and goodness in taking this baby to His bosom into life forevermore.

We have named this little saint Fidelis Se’arah. Fidelis means faithful. Se’arah means whirlwind or tempest. As God has brought us along this path, these two themes have been coming closer and closer together in our experience and understanding.

God is faithful – completely, absolutely, to the uttermost – even through life’s strongest storms. He will never leave us or forsake us. Likewise, we are called to faithfulness in the face of the whirlwind. Like Job, who was a faithful son of God in the midst of trials and tribulations, we are to face such times with sorrow, heartache, trust, and worship.

And finally, in many senses, God is a faithful whirlwind. At the end of Job, God speaks to Job from out of the tempest. Literally, the form God took to speak to Job was a whirlwind. He is the One who authors hardships and spins sorrow, all to shape vessels of clay into sons for glory, lumps of iron into crowns of gold. Though the fire burns, it is meant to burn off the dross that we might shine as gold. God is faithful and true even as the whirlwind.

And so now, we rejoice through bitter tears of lamentation. We worship through broken dreams. We know that our child now partakes in fullness to overflowing of the bounty of the richness of God’s grace. And we here look ahead in hope to the resurrection, to the death of death, and to life after the storm.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)

May our God continue to pour out His comfort, love, and peace. And may we be faithful to stare into the storm unflinching, ready to be changed by it.

To God be the glory.
Steven, Melissa, Gabriel, Asher, Evangeline ~ and our nine saints triumphant

Big News in the Workplace

Big news for my beloved hubby this week, as you can see in this official press release here. The Lord is good, and we continue to seek His face as my husband pursues His Kingdom, His glory, and the continued spread of His Word through his leadership at Olive Tree Bible Software. It is a blessing to have this pivotal step go public today, as it’s been in the works for a number of months, and we are excited to see what God continues to do through this wonderful product. And I’m excited to continue supporting and praying for my husband as he takes dominion and does good works in leading the team here locally as Vice President of Operations. I’m honored to be his wife, to make his home a haven, to nurture his children, to pray for his success in dominion-taking where the Lord plants him.

Five Years as Mr. & Mrs.

Last week, we celebrated five years as Mr. & Mrs. ~ and what mercies the Lord has shown to us!

Steven and I were able to return to the chapel where we were married, as well as the hotel where we celebrated our reception. We had delicious food and drinks, fun walks around downtown and a beautiful park full of cultivated gardens, and time to simply relax & enjoy one another while reminiscing about God’s hand in our married life thus far & looking forward in hope to what He is yet to do.

I love my husband more than I can tell you. The respect and honor in my heart for him is immeasurable. Living with him, being his helpmeet, supporting him, sharing myself and my everything-else with him… it is all such a gift! It sounds cliche, but I couldn’t ask for anything more. And that’s simply the truth.

May the Lord continue to provide for us as we continue to live out our life together before Him, and as we uphold our covenantal vows by His grace. And may these first five years be simply a foretaste of the sweet delights the next fifty have yet to hold for our family.

Loving My Boys

Have I mentioned lately how much I cherish, love, and adore this man? He blesses me so much and in so many ways that I can not begin to describe it to you. But my husband has my heart, completely, and I am beyond thankful for the gift that he is to me, our children, and everyone else that we know.

And this big boy? I love him, too, more than I can tell you. His life, his vibrancy, his cleverness, his curiosity, his passion, his tenderness ~ they constantly surprise, encourage, humble, bless, and amaze this mommy.

And how about this tiny boy? I have never so much as even seen his profile, but he already has me wrapped completely around his little fingers (which I do see every week on the ultrasound machine). His life stuns my socks off every morning. Our little Baby Nine is quite the charmer (he has charmed his big brother completely!) and I think God has great plans for him to impact the Kingdom and the world! I can just tell.