Our year was full of JOY as we anticipated the arrival of our daughter, Mary-Linda Elizabeth (expected in January 2018)
and as we were able to celebrate our favorite team, the Houston Astros, winning their first World Series.
Moustapha even became the Most Famous Fan in the process. (87 MILLION views on his GIF & an awesome acting performance on the MLB Network!)
However, in mid-August, at 4.5 months gestation, our Mary-Linda went to be with Jesus.
We are deeply saddened that she is no longer here with us on earth. We have great hope that we will be reunited with her one day.
And, we thank God for the joy her life brought to our family. Thank you to each of you who have expressed your sympathies. We do not walk this road alone. May the joy and peace of Christ Jesus be with you and yours this Christmas and always. Wishing you hope and peace in 2018.
Wow! 2015 flew by! It was fun. Some sad times. Some amazing times. We are very very grateful for another year! All in all -we have so much to be thankful for and much to look forward to- most of all : our families, another year of birthdays, good health, friends who are like family, our church home, jobs, vacation(s), surviving the “stranded somewhere in Alabama” adventure and so much more.
We have had a pretty wonderful year. Blessed beyond our expectations. God has been extremely good to us as we continue to learn to walk within His will.
To follow Him.
To listen when His answer is and isn’t what we want to hear.
I won’t give you a synopsis of our whole year, but I’ll give you a few highlights.
I have to brag on my dear husband, because he doesn’t publicize this type of thing. But, if you saw him, you would know. So, I can share here. He lost 60 pounds this year. Changed his eating habits and began exercising regularly. His healthy change has made a positive impact on him and all of us. Way to go, Moustapha! We are proud of you and so thankful for you.
He’s continued to do well at work and his attention to detail serves him so well as an attorney. He’s awesome.
Summer was incredible. We travelled a lot. We were invited to Escape to the Lake in Wisconsin, meeting and connecting with a lot of special people and artists through Under the Radar. I also helped cowrite and produce St. Andrew’s vacation bible school with my dear friend, Kelly. That was amazing!
We took a family trip to Destin, Florida at the end of the Summer. It was definitely a highlight of the year. We traveled with my parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law and 3 of our nephews and 1 niece. The Els were in heaven with some of their favorite playmates on vacation with us!
4th grade has been Bakri’s best year yet. And, all of the Els love their classes and teachers. We feel very blessed.
I have definitely felt God’s hand on my life unlike any other time I have experienced before. This fall, God led us to a new church home, Church of the Apostles Houston. It was bittersweet to leave our St. Andrews family and follow God to this new church. I have truly felt surrounded by His love as I have begun to lead a new church community as the Worship Pastor. Late in November CCM Magazine asked me if I would contribute a song to their Christmas album. I was honored to be asked, but of my two original Christmas songs, neither was recorded. I won’t go in to this whole story. But, I will share that Nashville studio musicians ended up recording the instrumentation of the song and I recorded the vocals here in Houston. Jonathan Camey mixed the vocals in Houston and now my song Noel, I know Jesus is on the 2014 Christmas album alongside artist like Francesca Battistelli, Sandi Patty, MercyMe, and Kari Jobe to name drop a few! 😃 I can’t say “blessed” and “humbled” enough. I do not feel worthy of these many blessings, but I do not take them for granted.
Thank you for being part of our lives. We appreciate our friends and family near and far.