Where I Find Joy…

Last fall when Alyssa asked if she could take a cooking class at her school it sounded like a great idea. She loves cooking, being in the kitchen, and has thoughts of owning a restaurant one day. While I hadn’t met the chefs, Derrick and Chris Melton, I knew they owned Mimosa, a French restaurant in town.

After one of the classes, as I was picking up Alyssa, I mentioned her interest in possibly owning a restaurant. Immediately Derrick sat down and talked about how before she spent thousands of dollars on her schooling, she should come apprentice with them during the summers when she turned 14. By doing this, Alyssa could see if she still wanted to own a restaurant, or cater, or just enjoy cooking for herself and her family. It’s hard to describe the look on her face.

A couple of weeks before Spring Break Derrick asked if we could stay after class for a minute. His question: Would Alyssa like to come help in the restaurant for a few hours one day during the break? Last Thursday, from 10-2 pm, Alyssa went to Mimosa and among other things, helped Chris, the pastry chef, make an amazing layered cake with cream puffs on top. It took almost three hours to make this cake!

That evening, as a special treat, the four of us ate at Mimosa. Oh my goodness, Derrick is an amazing chef and the food was exquisite. After dinner Herman, our waiter, asked if we would like dessert. He then proceeded to describe that evenings’ choices, the first of which he called “Alyssa’s cake!” As we were getting ready to leave Chris came over to talk with us. She complimented Alyssa and mentioned again how much she enjoyed teaching the cooking class at Peabody.

I have been asking guest bloggers to answer the question, “Where do you find joy?” I find joy in the selfless acts of others. Derrick and Chris Melton don’t have to invest in my daughter, encouraging, teaching, and mentoring her… but they do. And for that I am incredibly grateful and full of joy.

        Derrick, Alyssa, Chris and Joel at Mimosa Restaurant


  1. Loved reading this story… It brought me tears of joy. It reminded me of Isao and how he is mentoring my two oldest. ( as well as many others) His love for God & his love for music & his love for disciplining kids allow for my kids to learn how to play in the youth worship bands at church. He has a full life & chooses to add this to his busy schedule. I was brought to tears of joy today as zach was playing in the band that was leading Hannah and all of the Jr. High & High Schoolers….praying as they sang that Gods truths would be burried deep into their hearts. Thanks Jill for asking the question…joy in the small things…

    • Oh Mo, thank you for sharing the story of Isao. Wow, we could have a blog completely devoted to people pouring into other peoples’ lives!

  2. This is so amazing! So glad that Alyssa has these people investing in her. She’s totally worth it!

    • I am thankful that when she was young and you lived in town, you invested in her, too! Love you guys!

  3. maria mcv says

    Love this! What an amazing opportunity. To get to explore, indulge and drink in our passions is one of the most beautiful parts of living.

  4. Great story and what an incredible experience for Alyssa! Kudos to the Meltons!

  5. I feel so bubbly inside reading this story! I am so glad Alyssa was able to experience a small portion of her dream in such a selfless gift from the Derrik & Chris Melton. Great example of Joy!

  6. Thank You Jill for sharing your blog with us! It has been our pleasure to have Alyssa with us both in the Peabody cooking class and as a “Guest Chef” at Mimosa. Alyssa is an AMAZING young woman! Alyssa’s St. Honore was enjoyed by many and the story of how it was created was shared with a handful of people as well and brought tears to their eyes. If Derrick and I can inspire even one person ,whether it is in the kitchen or not, we consider ourselves to have been successful!
    Thanks again for allowing Alyssa to join us and we look forward to having her come play with us again sometime soon.

    • St. Honore, that was the name I just couldn’t remember! 🙂 Again, thank you so much for all that you are doing for Alyssa and the other children in the cooking class. We SO appreciate you!

  7. Jill, I have to confess that I am not accustomed to “blogs”, but when Chris, who happens to be my daughter (!) shared the link to your blog with me earlier today, I read it during my lunch hour and after dinner, read it again….and ventured to some of the other links as well, bookmarking a few that are especially well-written by other Christian women. I happened to have come into town last Thursday after Alyssa had spent time with Chris & had seen some of the photos……and after dinner at Restaurant Mimosa, had the opportunity to sample the amazingly DECADENT St. Honore cake. Job well done, Alyssa! I regret not having taken the opportunity to meet and chat with you & your family. Your story is one that touches my heart, and the way you are expressing your pain in ways that serve and bless others really blesses me. I will keep reading….and praying. Keep looking UP!

    • Oh my goodness, Ginny, thank you so much for writing! You have raised such an amazing daughter. We are thankful she and Derrick are in our lives. I am also amazed how God puts people together, even through a blog. 🙂 I would love to meet you!