Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Holy is His Name" - Note (and News) from Clive, IA

The following was originally written as a faith reflection and update for my Norfolk Catholic high school classmates. I edited it to post here as a spiritual reflection; I share this with all of you as friends and family invited to witness Francois and my marriage. Happy holidays!
Hey Friends!

I am holed up here in Clive, Iowa, where my car broke down yesterday, and I wake to read emails, eat my oatmeal, and try to enjoy the delay (and expense) in returning home to Minnesota....*chuckles* sigh*smile*

Part of my morning routine is perusing scripture and wondering about how God is talking to me each day.....Today's Gospel* features "the Magnificat," or "Song of Mary"-- a text that inspires a canticle I adore: "Holy is His Name."

Mary is speaking and rocking my world with her words about God, about child, about being blessed, about the power of Love. Spending time with the text this morning, I keep hearing Ann Shallbetter and Julie Strahan singing this at my wedding. I am standing, holed up in the Children's room at St. Philips, leaning into the speakers to hear my friends sing this song as prelude to walking down the aisle. Or: I am standing alongside my dad last Sunday, at St. Margaret Mary's in Omaha, where my brother in law, Chris Johnson sings this song with his church choir. And my heart is happy. It's such a beautiful tune, inspired by such a powerful text....

I wonder what words each of us might be inspired to utter in the face of faith, this season's experiences? I wonder what I might be inspired to say, given the miracles and blessings of God's love?

For all of you who may not know yet, I share this piece of news that has me feeling blessed this Christmas season:

Francois Kiemde and I are expecting a baby! It's so exciting, it's so fast, it feels like such an overwhelming miracle and mystery...ALL OF IT! Meeting him, connecting in our faith, and finding the blessed capacity to commit to communicating and loving each other the rest of our days, and then conceiving this baby....It's all so much larger than me. I feel a bit like Mary,

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; the Almighty has done great things for me, He has filled the hungry (me!) with good things --(a baker and baby!)

I invite each of you to celebrate with us at this good news, and to keep us and this growing child in your prayers. (We will be having an ultrasound in two short weeks, and simply ask for a healthy child to be born....Can you imagine Mary asking for a healthy ultrasound? It makes me laugh as I write this... ) By the way , we are due in late May.

I also invite each of you to celebrate in the spaces where you are "holed up" this season, and to see how any miracles are manifesting your midst.....God is good. I am grateful for all of you in my life.

Peace, Advent blessings,

Melissa, on behalf of Francois and child



Lk 1:46-5

Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."

Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months

and then returned to her home.


Amy and Adam Cederlind said...

Congratulations to you both. How incredibly wonderful! :D

Bettine said...

Oh - so good to hear the news! What an amazing blessing!
What a year! So happy for you, Melissa!


Sr. Rafael said...

Dear Melissa,
Holy (indeed) is His name! We sang that very song yesterday -- John Michael Talbot/David Haas. [y]Essie 'n' Deedie!!
And (also) well, did you expect anything less, you wild enthusiastic person(s)???
Am I supposed to say, with Mary, "How can this be???"
Peace be with you (ALL!)
Don't scare that baby with an ultra sound. Trust in God.
Peace and All Good
Sr. Rafael

Elizabeth "Betty Lou" said...


Thank you for sharing this beautiful news!

God is good. Bless your baby. Advent has new meaning.

Visitation Sisters. Elizabeth. Francois.

Be well. Take care.

Love you.
Betty Lou

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness, CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for both of you.

Sr. Katherine said...

BLESSED BE GOD, OH, BLESSED BE GOD! BLESSED BE GOD, OH BLESSED BE GOD! After reading your email, Melissa,. this song is rolling around my head....I can't say it better.

Love, Katherine

Sister Katherine Mullin vhm
Visitation Monastery
1527 Fremont Av-N
Mpls. Mn 55411
We are looking for seven (more) visionary women to be a prayerful presence in North Minneapolis.

Jane said...

Dear Melissa and Francois, Blessings, Joy to you and this precious little person who is living in you. I'm so happy for you -both-all.
Love, Jane

Sr. Suzanne said...

dear queen....
congrats....i keep you and the little princess (or prince) and daddy in my prayers.
sr. suzanne

Suzann said...

Whoa! What a Christmas gift J ! Words can’t express how incredibly happy I am for the two (wait, three!!!) of you! Prayers for mom, dad and babe!

Much love!

Angela said...

Dear Melissa and Fracois, Congratulations, Felicitations
It could'nt be more happier that to celebrate your Union with this Baby. May our Lord Jesus bless you and protect the Baby , the Mom and the Dad . He has the way, the plan and the time for each one of us. Yours has come, Celebrate in Joy and Love.
With peace and God's Blessing,
H. Angela Bissoy

Carolyn said...

Congratulations!! If new married life is a big change, a new baby changes life forever. I, too, am praying that canticle today but not for the same reason, obviously. I am not Elizabeth! But "God has done great things for me and 'Holy' is his name!"

I guess I'm not surprised because twice you remarked in the same way about your family suddenly getting bigger; I can't quite remember the exact wording, but I suspected that it was an announcement. Blessings on all three of you! Well, actually four; your baby will have a big sister.


M said...

I was baking and thinking of you--in Clive, Iowa. The road to the manger was a little bumpy too, as I recall.


A said...

Holy Buckets! I told you that you had to work fast...but I didn't know it would be THIS fast! This IS a good thing. Okay...now another party! And, no alcohol.
Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love to babysit...and I live in St. Paul. Does that help?

Your big sister,

Aunt Peg said...

Thanks for the words Melissa. I have been wondering about your car and you. I am happy to hear of your baby. This song is so uplifting, and yes your friends sang it with such proclaiming. Music should always be done the way your choir does it.

Hope you get home soon. And, have a Merry Christmas!


Daniel said...

Congratulations Melissa and Francois! Wonderful News! Have a Merry Christmas!

DeAnna said...

Congratulations Melissa!!

I am so sorry I did not make it to your wedding. You sound happy and healthy J I will keep you and your growing family in my prayers.

All love,

Julie said...

Having my five month old grandson here at the moment makes this news especially lovely.

Tiffany said...


I'm so thrilled for you - what an incredible year and lots more love to come soon. Good luck with your ultrasound! Blessings,

Gina said...

Huge happiness!


Judi said...

Oh! What a blessing! I'm moved to tears of joy for you all! (sitting at my desk getting all organized while of office is quiet, open an email and a great "Woot!" goes up!) Adding my love to the collective embrace. Prayers of health and joy for your lovely family.

What wonderful news! love to you all, Judi

Carolyn said...

well why do the folks in Clive, Iowa get to be the lucky ones? you couldn't have broken down in our part of the state?! when will your car be done? on to the wonderful news...this is absolutely fantastic, Melissa! oh my goodness, blessings have come your way!!!! yeah!!!!! I'm imagining hearing the singing too. : )

George said...

Hi Melissa,

Congratulations! That is great news. Please be careful when driving home, or driving to Nebraska. I spent plenty a night in Clive in my working days. A lot of worse places to break down. However, hope you are on the road again. Please take care of yourself, and again congratulations to you and Francois. Remember your traveling with 3 now. Feeling like Mary sounds good. Will really be impressed if you run into an eighty year old pregnant woman named Elizabeth.

Have a blessed and holy Christmas. You all will be in my prayers. I know you don't know that my Carmelite names is John the Baptist of Elijah. If you do run into a pregnant Elizabeth tell me hello.

God Bless,

Marie and Brendan said...

Dear Melissa and Francois,

We share in your joy--wonderful news. We had or first child, Luke, on May 10th, and our third child, whom you know quite well, Brendan also in May on the 12th--coincidentally each of those two days happened to be Mother's Day!

May your "confinement" be uneventful and I hope you take the time to enjoy all the anticipation and preparation for the birth of your child. Life, one of God's best miracles. Rejoice!

Marie and Brendan

Jody said...

I can't imagine Mary having an ultrasound OR her mode of transportation breaking down.

Be well. love, hugs,


Michelle said...

Peace and Love LITTLE MAMA this is going to be a BEAUTIFUL BABY. If the car does not get fixed before weather hits STAY PUT.
Love you BOTH

AB said...

And the tears of happiness flow! The "miracle manifesting" in you is a blessed and loved being.

Sending much love to you in Clive. Wishes for a safe and happy return home, soon! Before tomorrow, yes?


Ann said...