What a day. What a month. What a year!

It’s only February of 2021 and it’s already been a doozy.

But, who can keep track at this point? In the latest crazy events, we got snow, sleet, ice and deep freeze temps across Texas that lasted for a few days. That, in and of itself was unusual as it occurred across ALL of TEXAS. It was very cold here on Monday, February 15 and while we were experiencing record breaking low temps across Texas approximately 60percent of us were without power. No electricity. No heat. A lot of our friends and family were without power the entire first day. We lost power in the evening around 5pm and were powerless for the following 39 hours. Around 7pm that first night, we also lost water. Not water pressure, but more like someone turned off the water for our entire block and much of the city at the same time. Yesterday morning, power was restored for 6 hours and then off again for 8.

So, here’s a few things we did and what we are continuing to do to try to weather this very strange time and storm. Please comment with somethings that you forgot or that you did that helped you weather this storm!

No water. No heat. No electricity. No problem.

  • Check and replace batteries. Charge everything while you can. Use your laptop or car to charge your cell phone. (Don’t run your vehicle inside your garage for risk of carbon monoxide poisoning)
  • Keep bottled water, beverages and snacks handy
  • Love coffee? Have coffee grounds set aside, if you don’t have a hand-grinder. Make French press coffee. It’s better anyway!
  • Have physical copies of your favorite inspirational books to read. My current faves: the Bible, Scripture and the Skeptic by Eric Huffman and Night Night, Little One by Stacey Donovan. When the internet is down, what will you consume?
  • Play family games that you create yourself!
    • We play a game where everyone thinks of 3-5 celebrities, historic figures or famous characters and writes them down on small pieces of paper
    • we split into two teams. Momma and Dad are team captains and we rotate Els on our teams
    • Each team gets one minute to try to get their teammates to guess as many celebrities as possible
    • Round 1: you can say anything (except for the name) and make any motions
    • Round 2: you can say one word and make any motions
    • Round 3: you can’t make any sounds. You can make any motions
    • Remember momma keeps score in her head and it’s always a tie
  • Finally, blankets and cuddles are required to keep warm and cozy

Hope you are all safe and able to get any damage repaired soon. We had one pipe burst in our garage and are working to have that repaired now, so we can take showers! Cleaning with baby wipes is just not acceptable for 3 days straight! Also, I won’t even begin to share about how bonded we are as a family, because of our new knowledge of everyone’s bathroom schedule and potty habits. The things you learn and go through when you don’t have running water!

Cuddles with baby Jimmie, 20 months old
Enjoying day one, before the electricity and water were no more

No AC…a Houston Summer gone wrong

Does my hydrangea look hot and droopy?
Well, that’s because she is hot and droopy.
I am also hot and droopy because at this point we have been without AC for one night, going on two. 
In Houston.
In the middle of July.
What in the world!
Count your blessings, Rebekah.
You can afford to have a hot and droopy hydrangea. (Although there is often a debate on whether or not you buy yourself too many flowers)
You have a house. (A hot house, but a house)
You have a house full of children. (hot children, but children that aren’t even cranky)
You have a room with a wall unit with floor space for 4-5 people. (that’s almost your whole family!)
Tonight, I will sleep on the floor and that is a blessing.
I have a floor in a cool room to sleep on and I will go to sleep praying that the AC repairman will return tomorrow (Saturday) able to fix my AC.
Until then, I will count my blessings and get out of this (blessed) house as early as possible tomorrow.

Back in the swing

We’re two weeks in and I’m tired. Any other mommas and dads with me?
Summers and vacations are times when I find my rhythm. Who doesn’t love relaxing and taking a break from the norm to refresh. But, even so, I love structure. I love knowing what’s next, scheduling myself silly until I just fall over at the end of each day. It’s part of the reason we plan weekly themes in the summers. It helps me to make a plan. A plan that still allows all of us to sleep in on summer days.

And, that is the reason I’m so tired. Every school day I wake up by 6am. I am NOT an early riser. I’m a sleeper and a dreamer. I’m also a Momma, so I convince myself if I just get up now, I can take a nap once all of the Els are at school/work. That’s just me lying to myself. I’ll never stop to take a nap. But, the thought is nice.

So, we’re off. In the rhythm of school and work and practices and lessons and choirs and teaching and rehearsals and total chaos. We’re in our rhythm. We’re happy and good, but tired. How are you doing with the kids back in school? 

About El Momma: Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam is a worship leader and songwriter from Houston, Texas. Her debut album, Radiant You received 4.5 stars from NewReleaseTuesday and was produced by Marshall Altman. A 6 song sampler is available for free on Noisetrade Free Noisetrade Download and the entire album is available for purchase on iTunes

Reflecting on the beautiful chaos of VBS, posted today from my RebekahMe.WordPress.com blog

Loved last week so very much…leading and teaching Children an expression of worship through music, movement and fist pumping was a true joy at my home church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. I remember learning these same lessons as a young girl in musicals at my church growing up, Champion Forest Baptist Church. My hope and prayer is that, like me, this is just the beginning for our VBS campers. Worshiping the One true God can become a lifestyle and change your everything always. This is my prayer for you, children of God. That you will take the music and the movements and the scriptures and the songs and all of the God messages and that they will find their way deep into your soul becoming a part of you. Becoming your everything.  ‪#‎thisismyprayer‬ ‪#‎worship‬

Reflecting on the beautiful chaos of VBS

Loved last week so very much…leading and teaching Children an expression of worship through music, movement and fist pumping was a true joy at my home church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. I remember learning these same lessons as a young girl in musicals at my church growing up, Champion Forest Baptist Church. My hope and prayer is that, like me, this is just the beginning for our VBS campers. Worshiping the One true God can become a lifestyle and change your everything always. This is my prayer for you, children of God. That you will take the music and the movements and the scriptures and the songs and all of the God messages and that they will find their way deep into your soul becoming a part of you. Becoming your everything.  ‪#‎thisismyprayer‬ ‪#‎worship‬

My newest blogpost on Kickstarter, a momma’s love

Update #3 from my kickstarter page: Thank you to each of you! Please share my page with your friends!

Posted about 1 hour ago


Dear Friends and Beloved Backers,
We are half way to our kickstarter goal with just 11 days left. We would not be this far without you, the album backers. So, THANK YOU! Thank you to my family, my friends (old and new), friends of friends and lovers of great music.  Your generosity and support early on, is what makes this process, a bit daunting at times, possible. My hope is in the Lord. He has opened the door and I’m faithful He will provide.

Please take a moment to share my page with your Facebook friends, put the link on your walls and email your friends. If each one of you had one additional friend pre-order my album at any of the levels, we would meet our goal. So, please share with others and ask them to pre-order the album. Oh- and comment on my main kickstarter page, please! You are amazing. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

All things are possible with God!

At the suggestion of someone who I love dearly, I am sharing a little bit about my family of origin and particularly my mother.
My love of music:
I grew up in a family surrounded by music. This was, for the most part because of my Momma. My mom started playing the piano when she was a young girl. She quickly learned how to play by ear. As an adult, she taught herself how to play the guitar. She wrote many songs in the sixties and seventies. Her songs are folk songs; beautifully written stories of family, struggles, life experiences and the hope we find in the Lord. My brother and sister’s lives were both very inspirational to my mother’s songwriting, as well as her family, heartache of a dear friend, her nephew going to war, and her relationship with her father. My sister has down syndrome. She was born eight years before me, when our brother was five years old. My Momma wrote a powerful song called “Please Bring Her to Me” expressing her desire to hold her new baby girl and just love her completely after the hospital hesitated to bring her to her. This song still touches on something so powerful that so many parents can connect with, that desire to have your children close, to protect them and make everything okay just by loving them unconditionally.

By the time I came along, there was less songwriting, but still plenty of music being made around the house. She was busy raising us, my dad was working two jobs and our family did a lot of activities and therapy to help my sister. Momma often sat on the fireplace as we gathered around and we would sing. I’m sure this is how harmonies became second nature to me. It was just what we did. We sang together, often the original songs my momma had written.

One day when I was in college I had a song stuck in my head. I called her to ask if it was hers because I was sure I had heard it on the radio. It was, in fact, one of her songs.

Growing up, when I asked to take violin lessons, she made it happen. She put me in piano lessons too. So many of the skills that I rely on now, I learned as a young girl.

I’m thankful to my Momma. I’m thankful that she had a gift that she shared with her family. That when money was sparse, music was everywhere. It lived through us, in us, carrying us through some of the most challenging times. 

Thanks for the music, Momma. It lives on and on. I love you. -Bekah