To everything there is a season…fall

Fall Food Styling on

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,  A time to kill and a time to heal, and a time o break down and a time to build up.  A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3

I finished … The hardest parts of my  treatment for breast cancer are behind me.  At least this is what they tell me, but somehow it is not sinking in.  In disbelief,  I ask myself, “Is this season of suffering really over?” “Am I really done?”  “Will I ever  have to go through chemotherapy or radiation again? ” It seems like there should be balloons, streamers, party hats, and champagne, but instead there is extreme fatigue, healing wounds, and a scarred fragile body.  One moment I feel overwhelmed with joy and  tears of gratitude uncontrollably run down my face.  Then the next moment,  I am numb and feel nothing at all.  I feel a stillness in my soul, an uneasy silence filled with trepidation.  I’m afraid to  move in any direction and so …  I sit quietly.  Celebrating out loud feels … I don’t know, like I might jinx myself.  I know it sounds crazy, but I feel hesitant to celebrate – afraid  the cancer may come back and take my life,  I’m afraid to live …

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great His lovingkindness towards us who fear Him.  Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  For he Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. ~ Psalm 103

In tears I’ve begged God to help me understand how I am supposed to move on into the next season of my life.  I want to rebuild, to laugh, and  to dance.  The answer my spirit has given me is this;  I will move on the same way I made it through.  I will move on in faith, putting my hope in God and God alone, trusting that just as summer slowly turns into fall, there is a season and a time for every matter and purpose.  I know life will trickle back in and there will be laughter and dancing, but for now it’s time for me to heal and that is okay.  I know that God knows my heart and that being fearful doesn’t mean I’m not faithful.   One step at a time, one day at a time  – enjoying every moment, and being present in the beauty of the season at hand.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds , yet so that men cannot find out the work that  God has done from the beginning even to the end.  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to good in one’s lifetime;

 And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3

I am happy to say I took my first step into fall.  I accepted my very first job of the year, a fall inspired party for one of my favorite clients.   I picked up my camera, pulled props, and completed my first  photo shoot.  I must admit, I cried tears of happiness and sorrow throughout the day, it felt so good to get lost in the art & creativity, to be able to do what makes my heart sing. I’m so incredibly grateful to be able to work with people who  I enjoy & respect and the freedom to only accept projects that I feel artistically drawn to. I’ve been spending a lot of time walking around the park talking to God, breathing in the glory of the season – so when this offer came along, I knew it was time.  The whole project made me feel  like a kid again. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, playing in a pile of dusty leaves that were gathered for a bonfire. While working on this shoot I was mesmerized by the rich colors of the season, damp woodsy smells and amber light.  It was healing to my body & soul and I realized that even though fear lingers, the only way to move forward in faith and embrace the season you are in…  is to move forward and enjoy the season you are in – every day is a gift from God.

Fall Food Styling on

Tips for fall food styling & entertaining

  • Be inspired by the season, go for a walk in your favorite park. The colors in this shoot were inspired by my morning walks in the park. The shades of gray are the cobblestone drinking fountains, the ash colored wood and cutting board were similar to the bark of the trees, and the dishes were reminiscent of the changing colors of the leaves and the bright orange beaks of the geese. I mixed these in with plain white pieces. Stark clean white against a fall palette of colors reminded me of the beautiful white feathers of the geese swimming in the lake at the park, they stood out with such elegance.
  • A few colorful  pieces are all you need to spice up your fall table.  Mix and match patterns and colors to create interest.  I don’t believe in matching, too boring.
  • Bring a bag and some scissors with you to the park to cut leaves and collect twigs.  Give them a wash at home and then you can scatter them around your food table to create a cozy fall harvest feel.  Caterers and stylist have been doing this since the beginning  of time, it’s an old trick that still works.

“To everything there is a season“, cheers to you my friends – I could not have made it through without all of your love & support.  Cheers  to fall, to building a new life,  to laughing, and to dancing…

12 comments… add one
  • valentina October 3, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Louise, I truly hope it sinks in soon, and that your joy and relief becomes constant. This is a beautiful post from the heart, with great tips, and as always, your photography makes beyond stunning. If this is what came out of your first day, I can only imagine what wonderful things the future holds for you.

  • Phyllis October 3, 2014, 2:36 pm

    You are such an inspiration. And as for your fear it is not real. It is your courage masking itself as fear. Because you have been faithful throughput this whole ordeal, you have the right and privilege to rejoice in this your new season. Step out and take your bow, receive your flowers while you yet live. It’s time.

  • Don Odiorne October 3, 2014, 2:48 pm

    So excited to see you post an opportunity to see those beautiful food and props for recipes. I know it has been a long time coming to take some steps forward including going back to something I know you love.

  • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious October 3, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Louise, so very happy to read this post. Your beautiful spirit is matched by your artistry.

  • Ericka @Nibblesnfeasts October 3, 2014, 5:22 pm

    Beautiful work as always and you have no idea how ecstatic I am to see your post and your beautiful work! You’re an inspiration, Louise!

  • Tori Avey October 4, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Louise, I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to know that you are back to doing what you love. I truly hope you will be a part of my creative journey this year, too. (translation… I have big plans for you!) God is good. 🙂

    • Chef Louise Mellor October 9, 2014, 9:43 am

      Thank you Tori, life is so sweet …

  • Adair @ Lentil Breakdown October 4, 2014, 8:12 pm

    She’s baaaaaack! Yesssss! We need your creativity and indefatigable spirit as much as you need fall leaves and goose beaks. 🙂

    • Chef Louise Mellor October 9, 2014, 9:42 am

      Thank you Adair, you are the best!

  • Patti @ Worth The Whisk October 6, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Ahhhh, good girl. Healing and working, feels good I hope. We love you.

  • Sippitysup October 10, 2014, 5:40 pm

    As you move forward you move my heart. XOGREG

  • lynne @ cookandbemerry October 18, 2014, 6:00 pm

    Dear Louise ~ I’m glad to read that the worst of your ordeal is over and you are feeling better. It is so good to see your beautiful photographs again. Love, Lynne xo

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