Today I’d like to introduce you to fellow writer, Melanie M. Jeschke.
Melanie Morey Jeschke (pronounced jes-key), a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa with an Honors degree in English Literature and a minor in European and English History. She also holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from George Mason University and took courses on Jane Austen and Shakespeare at Oxford University. Melanie currently teaches at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
Melanie lived a semester in Paris and has traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East. She has made numerous trips to Great Britain and organized a group tour to Scotland and England that included a stay at J.R.R. Tolkien’s Merton College in Oxford. She has attended five conferences on C. S. Lewis at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and served as the Oxford information hostess and walking- tour guide for the C. S. Lewis Foundation.
Melanie’s various trips to the UK inspired her novels The Oxford Chronicles: Inklings containing the sequel Intentions, July 2004;Expectations, March 2005; and Evasions, a “prequel” set in WWII, August 2006. An earlier edition of Inklings (without Intentions) was published by Xulon Press in 2002.
A free-lance travel writer, Melanie contributed the Oxford chapter to the Rick Steves’ England guidebook. She is a member of the Capital Christian Writers and Christian Fiction Writers as well as three book clubs, and taught high-school English before home-schooling most of her nine children. Melanie lectures on Lewis and Tolkien, Oxford, and writing, and gives inspirational talks to all manner of groups, including university classes, women’s clubs, young professionals, teens, and school children.
Melanie committed her life to Jesus Christ as a teenager and has been married for thirty-six years to Bill Jeschke, the founding pastor of The King’s Chapel in Fairfax, Virginia. Together they are the proud parents of nine wonderful children (three daughters and six sons) and twelve adorable grandchildren.
A Blog by Melanie M. Jeschke
This summer at Vacation Bible School, we taught the children to look for “God-sightings,” evidence that God is at work in our circumstances or through other people. Recognizing God’s love and leading in our lives encourages and enriches us. Recently, I experienced the special blessing of one of these “God-sightings.”
My husband is a pastor and we rarely have an opportunity to visit other churches; however, this past weekend one of our youth ministers stepped in to preach. My sister had also come up from Florida to visit and be on hand to stay with my elderly parents, and so my husband and I decided to “play hooky.”
Consequently, I was looking forward to the opportunity for a little “getaway” at a B &B in the country. My husband declared he had prayed about my plan, but thought we should stay locally and attend one of the churches not far from our new home, so that we could “get to know our community better.” (My parents moved in with us the end of May, following a laborious move of our own last year from our home of 23 years in Vienna (Fairfax County), Virginia, further west to the town of Manassas). A tad disappointed but happy to have any time “away,” I promptly booked a room in a lovely Civil War-era B & B in “Old Town” Manassas.
The next morning, we visited a large, well-known church in the area. After the inspiring worship service, we explored the church building and listened in on a business meeting, so that by the time we emerged to the lobby, most of the congregation had cleared out. However, I noticed a woman, with curly strawberry-blond hair, talking in a small group of people. Her hair looked like that of an old friend we hadn’t seen in many years. This friend, also a “Melanie,” and her family had been founding members of our church, The King’s Chapel. Later, they had moved to Manassas and attended the church we were now visiting. A number of years ago, they had moved again to Lynchburg, VA, and although we keep in touch through email and Facebook, we had not seen them in person since then. Spotting this distinctive curly hair, I moved around for a closer look, and sure enough, there stood our friend Melanie with her family and some other mutual friends, whom we also hadn’t seen in many years! This “coincidence” of running into old friends at a church we had never been to before, amazing in itself, proved to be only part of the blessing.
Joyfully, Melanie explained that they had almost visited our church The King’s Chapel that morning because they so wanted to see us while they were in the area for Melanie’s birthday. They had prayed and felt the Holy Spirit’s leading to attend this church instead, and although torn, they obeyed. And voilà! There we were! If they had gone to The King’s Chapel, they wouldn’t have seen us; and likewise, if we had not stayed in Manassas, we wouldn’t have seen them. Experiencing the clear leading of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives multiplied the blessing of our unexpected reunion.
What a fun and serendipitous “God-sighting!”