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The Volks

To know them is to love them. The Volks are hands down one of the GREATEST families on earth. I am truly amazed by the amount of love and joy  that one home can hold. The Volk home is a place that you never want to leave…it is a home to anyone who steps through the door. A safe haven. A refuge. There are so many beautiful things I could tell you about the ministries they all are a part of and the gifts and creativity in each and every one of them…..but that is not what defines them. Love defines The Volks….

~ I may have the gift to speak what God has revealed, and I may understand all mysteries and have all knowledge. I may even have enough faith to move mountains. But if I don’t have LOVE, I am nothing~

**** There are, even now, the revolutionaries who know salvation is no cheap gift; they know what they were saved for. They choose to give glory with the breaths given. They choose to be married to amazement because only amazing grace divorces souls from the dark.****

Thank you VOLKS for choosing LOVE.

Lori and Lou VasquezNovember 6, 2013 - 3:30 am

We love the Volk family! What you see if what you get and they are the true genuine family!! Thank you for being the example of Jesus through and through!

Rebekah PetrinoNovember 6, 2013 - 3:36 am

Amazing!! Seriously I’m gonna need some of your creative photography in my life sometime. I love how you tell a story. ❤️

Shannon CroninNovember 6, 2013 - 10:18 pm

I absolutely adore the way you tell the story of this family- not just a pretty polished portrait… but who they are and how they are with each other in the most ordinary moments. beautifully done!

The Flanagans

People come into our lives for all different reasons. The Flanagans came into our lives to remind us that god is kind and that on my very best day, my accomplishments mean nothing next to the grace of god. I am so thankful for Molly……Molly came into my life as my friendship with my most treasured friend of almost a decade was ending. It was a season of pain, anguish and heart ache. I know that there are so many things that I will never understand this side of heaven, but I also know that god is kind enough to sustain me and even to bless me in the midst of pain, confusion and a broken heart.

Molly also happens to be my favorite storytelling photographer and taught me anything that I know, including how to right click on a Mac:)….. GO treat your self and enjoy her work at www.mollyflanagan.com You wont be sorry.

HIS LOVINGKINDNESS IS GREAT TOWARD US, AND THE TRUTH OF THE LORD IS EVERLASTING – Psalm 117:2

TessaOctober 30, 2013 - 11:41 pm

<3 Does a Ninny's heart good! Missing those babies!!! Good job!!!!!

suzanneOctober 31, 2013 - 1:00 am

love this family!! awesome peek into their life.

MollyOctober 31, 2013 - 1:05 am

Yay! Love these and I love you!!! xoxo

Jeanna LudwigOctober 31, 2013 - 1:24 am

Wonderful!!

KellyOctober 31, 2013 - 3:41 am

Molly – your family is adorable! Loved this peek into your life. Amazing Melinda!

Jackie TyghemOctober 31, 2013 - 3:59 am

um…WOW. Love this set, and love a look into Molly’s life 🙂 You have a great eye…

AshleyOctober 31, 2013 - 5:14 am

I enjoyed that SO much! And if it’s really that easy to put 3 kids to bed in the same room, then please send some advice my way! Seriously though, wonderful images.

Amelia ReneeOctober 31, 2013 - 5:29 am

these are sooooo wonderful! it’s so fun to actually SEE Molly! (now I know what she looks like…and she’s stunning, inside & out. goodness.) love love love these. Favs: 3’rd one down of Ruby, the boys on the kitchen floor, & Cogan kissing his daddy in the doorway. Precious.

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

 

On Wednesday October 16th, one of my most beloved and treasured friend’s daughter , Sparrow Song Mathis underwent her third and final open heart surgery. Sparrow is three years old, fiercely in love with all things kitty and has the sweet and spicy sass that we all wish we had. She is a winner and a fighter, A DAUGHTER, my friend’s daughter.  There are no words that can adequately describe the currents that my heart treaded  and got tossed  through as I watched people that I love WAIT….wait to hear the words that their beloved daughter was well. Alive. Perspective comes through our experiences more often than not, and that day I gained a new perspective. I  watched with my heart as family and friends made their way into the arms of Sparrow’s parents and lives. I watched as cups of coffee and a stroke on the back translated into living, tangible love. I watched as laughter invaded as an avenue of grace for a moments stroll. I watched as tears and gasps of relief radiated through time and space, with all of the power of hope and life that a moment could hold. Love moves, lives and breathes. Love will cry, laugh and wait with you. Sparrow Song forever reshaped my heart that day……she gave me the opportunity to behold something that is not commonplace. Tangible. Visible. Love.  This is perhaps one of the most humbling experience of my life… being invited into the unknown, welcomed with no certainty of the outcome…wanted in the vulnerability. It gave me hope that the heart core desire for relationship and intimacy is vital. It is essential. It is love. It is possible. I will never forget the vulnerability and transparency that I encountered that day..the leaning. I want to be someone that can be leaned on, I also want to learn to lean.

“LEANING” from the album  Country Dog.City Boy ~ by Tom Conlon

“I’ve been leaning on my friends like the arms of Jesus, how they hold me up

Well, I’ve been leaning on my friends like the arms of Jesus, how they hold me up

I forced my feet into water constellations burning out above me

I nearly drowned in a sea of trouble until I felt the hand of ones who really love me

Well, it’s been nearly a year that I’ve been leaning, leaning hard, I did not have to tell them that I was weak

Because I can barely understand my condition and so rarely I even try to speak

they gave me time, they gave me kindness, they gave me a room upstairs so that I could lay low

Funny, how I prayed in the darkness to Jesus and I saw Him everyday in these faces that I know” – Tom Conlon

* Sparrow is currently out of the ICU and in a recovery room. Today she is off of oxygen completely, however she is struggling when she exerts herself. The procedure that Sparrow underwent was The Fontan, as of today it is confirmed that there is a fold or slight obstruction in her Fontan. Sparrow is scheduled for a cath lab in four weeks to determine what the needed course of action will be. Please pray for Sparrow and her parents. Pray for no more surgery. Pray that the Fontan will correct itself and that she will have no further complications because of it. Pray for Grace. Peace. Strength

* To follow along side Sparrow’s recovery and progress go follow Jessie Mathis at Somestuffaboutstuff.com

               Thank you my dear friends for letting me taste love and life with you .. you are CHAMPIONS to my heart.


erinnOctober 25, 2013 - 11:04 pm

wow, so much emotion in each of these photos; they brought me to tears, and i dont even know this family. praying for healing for little Bird, and strength and hope for her entire family! <3

Courtney CrawfordOctober 25, 2013 - 11:08 pm

I’ve been following Sparrow’s journey. These pictures are completely stunning, and heart wrenching. What a testimony to family and Jesus. Thank you for sharing

LindsayOctober 26, 2013 - 1:33 am

These pictures are so hard to look at,for now. One day Sparrow will look at these and see what a fighter she is and what amazing family, friends and God she has. I love you and your amazing talent Melinda.

JoelOctober 26, 2013 - 2:07 am

Wow. Such a beautiful, heart wrenching set of photos. As a child, I spent much of my life in the hospital and it’s a miracle I’m alive today. So seeing Sparrow and what she’s going through definitely pulls at my heart strings. I don’t know you or the Mathis’ but I know about 50 or so people that do, and that’s how I found out about it. I will be continuing to pray for healing and encouragement daily as I have been. God bless.

JennyOctober 26, 2013 - 2:41 am

So beautiful, and emotional! These broke my heart and gave me hope. Praying so much for this precious family!

Kincaid Parade » warrior mamaOctober 26, 2013 - 9:02 am

[…] the full photo shoot here. Stay updated on Sparrow’s recovery […]

Sierra CruzOctober 26, 2013 - 7:20 pm

cryin’ some. prayin a lot.

ashleyOctober 27, 2013 - 2:49 am

it’s impossible to not put myself in those shoes and think of what it would feel like to have my own child in that hospital bed. and it’s impossible to not feel so much emotion welling inside at the thought! i hope for the best for this little girl and her family and that this will only make them stronger. the way you photograph perfectly captures the intensity of the situation.

suzanneOctober 30, 2013 - 1:32 am

I’m not very wordy but these are really great. So happy she is doing so well.

[…] amazing photos by my precious friend Melinda Brown from the day of […]

Heather FairchildNovember 11, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Absolutely and completely amazing.

[…] what was to be her third and final heart surgery – The Fontan. (Here is the whole story.  Here are some incredible photos from surgery day).  A few days following the procedure she had an […]

A Camping We Will Go

 

On October 13th, my darling Arrow Liv Brown turned six years old. We gave her a few birthday options, camping being one of them. She chose to go camping, so off we went…. for three nights and four days. Arrow is a lover of nature and adventure! Leaves are her most favorite. She is such a deep river of joy and peace to my soul. She has truly stolen and ravished my heart for all time. I am so honored to have her love, friendship and presence in my life. Being surrounded by boys and men all of the time has most definitely given Arrow and I an extra special sanctuary in one another.

Camping was so much fun… her mimi and her favorite cousin came along with us, as well as more friends and family that drove up to celebrate her on Saturday. We romped through the woods, water and dirt. We explored, sang, cooked, played games, fished, slept under the stars and did fireworks!!! I could not think of any more fitting celebration for my nature princess. If you don’t camp, you should. If you don’t have a daughter, you should. We are the WildScouts.

 

mollyOctober 22, 2013 - 8:12 pm

love those kids! the sparklers!!! wowzers!

RebekahOctober 22, 2013 - 8:49 pm

Simply gorgeous!!!!!

MaeveOctober 23, 2013 - 12:52 am

this is one of the best blog posts I have seen in a long time. teach me to raise my daughters this way. ❤️

suzanneOctober 23, 2013 - 2:06 am

dang!! to all of it!!

Annette BuchananOctober 23, 2013 - 1:03 pm

Hi Melinda.
You and Russell have the most beautiful children. They picked great parents, too. What an amazing scrapbook of memories for her birthday. I love all of you!
Annette

KaleyOctober 23, 2013 - 6:56 pm

These are spectacular. I love camping and these photographs are so real and they tell a story. Just my style. Beautiful! Your daughter is lovely.

ali deckOctober 23, 2013 - 9:35 pm

I.love.these!

Jeanna LudwigOctober 23, 2013 - 11:18 pm

Blown away! Coming from the camping type, these captured the perfect camping trip. All about adventure and enjoying God’s great creation as a family 🙂 I think this is my fav blog post…ever. I love when parents let their kids get dirty and live childhood to the fullest! Awesome Job!

ashleyOctober 27, 2013 - 2:55 am

just had another go at these and seriously, so much awesomeness! beautiful angles, light, framing- the whole lot of them tells a wonderful story and the last few with the sparklers in the dark behind the happy birthday sign are blowin’ my mind!!

OH BABY……….

Super excited for my sweet friends who are expecting their very first bambino. These guys are so fantastic…generous, kind, funny and maybe a little terrified. Cheers to their world being forever changed…in the best way possible.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is MY refuge and MY fortress, MY god in whom I trust.”

 

Molly FlanaganOctober 8, 2013 - 2:00 am

Beautiful! xoxo

VickieOctober 10, 2013 - 3:43 am

Beautiful just beautiful!! Loved every single moment!!

AshleyOctober 14, 2013 - 9:10 pm

Wow, each and every shot is so beautifully exposed, with perfect clarity and dof. Beautiful lighting, beautiful storytelling! Not gonna lie, I’m feeling subpar! I better get to practicing!