Smelling the sweet aroma of compassion
I met Melissa through a Rising Tide Group that I am a part of here in Indiana. Melissa makes AMAZING desserts and treats and runs a successful business hosting workshops and spreading her joy everywhere she goes. When she asked if I could take some photos of her with her mother and grandmother for her mother's birthday I was quite thrilled. For you see, Melissa is one of the most compassionate, servant-hearted and talented woman I have ever met. And truthfully, she follows directly in suite with her beautiful mother. Their hearts beat for those around them and they serve however and whenever they can. They are simply full of generosity and compassion, so it came at no surprise to me when Melissa mentioned that she has never heard an unkind word come out of her grandmother's mouth. And upon meeting Sue as well, I believe it to be true. Melissa, Sherry, Sue. A beautiful tribe just as full of life as ever. Three generations strong with affirmation and growth.
Baking with Joy
Something incredible about all three of these women? They all love to bake together and are incredible gifted in it. Many of Melissa's recipes come from her grandmother here, and her mother continues to help as well. Three beautiful women, with beautiful hearts, with a giftedness in baking and serving. Let me just say these are my women. These are ladies that I adore being around. But SO much more than the wonderful joys through taste they are able to give, there is such much richer they provide through relationship.
One thing I firmly believe in, is spending time around the table in relationship with others. There is something about this gift of quality time, intentional relationship and commonality on some level that stirs up relational growth and stability. These women get that. They understand the value within each other because they have taken time to cultivate a relationship that sees each other for who they truly are, the beautiful gift they are to the world. And I just so wish, myself included that more of us could do this. That more of us could take time intentionally around the table to talk with and invest in the ones we love. To fully soak in the presence and gift of life in the room with us, and never let the moments slip by. Each moment bears weight. May we make as many of them as we can count. And may we also realize that on the times we aren't able to, there is always another opportunity. For may we not be covered in guilt, but propelled through hope.
Letter to Melissa, Sherry and Sue
You three. Three generations of compassion and love. I don't know that I have met three woman as strong, loving and caring as the three of you together. There is a bond that richly connects you through food, and yet also through the joy of life. You each love and serve each other so well. You are bold and determined, yet attentive to others and open to listening to new ideas that may come. I know these memories together, all three together are fading, but may you rejoice in the wonderful way in which it has been spent. May you continue to radiate through each other for your remaining years and shed light and hope to others around you through your story. You have an amazing gift of togetherness and I know you completely understand, see and treasure this value. May you each take hold of all that you are, embrace it dearly and run fiercely ahead, for others need to see all that you have within you.
Melissa- goodness my friend, you truly are a rich soul. You make amazing desserts and entertain to a T, but you have much deeper value still. You are an encourager, a quiet leader, a gentle beacon of light. You are loyal and trustworthy. You follow through on your words and check in on people simply because you honestly care. You go the extra mile with every opportunity to serve and love on others. You are a true gift and I am so blessed to know you!
Sherry- I see every piece of where Melissa gets all of her amazing traits from you. You are strong and yet so compassionate in your leading. You radiate hope everywhere you go. Sherry you are the true definition of home. Welcoming anyone with open arms, having them as long as they would like and serving them with every ounce of yourself. You are a safe place, a trustworthy friend. You are the best encourager of Melissa and I know she adores you with every ounce of her being. You are one blessed mama, and people around you are so incredibly blessed by you.
Sue- Although this was our first time meeting, I can see every bit of the joy Melissa so perfectly described radiating from within you. You have a heart of gold and a mouth of love. You so desperately long for and desire to build everyone up and rejoice in the process. If a person ever were to extend full grace I think you would not be far behind. You are leaving an amazing legacy behind you, with two generations following your lead. You are wise. You are strong. You are beloved.
In closing, may we remember the importance of affirmation. May we remember that these moments together are truly a gift, something to be treasured and leaned into instead of brushed aside. May we feel the weight of the tender moments before us and rejoice in the opportunity at hand. An opportunity for rich fullness of love and true relations. It is never too late to start. Each and every morning is a new opportunity for life, and for life to its fullest. Let's jump in shall we?
I would love to document your own story of the heart! Let's create something wildly beautiful together!