Happy New Year, family and friends!
We enjoyed receiving your cards, letters and pictures over Christmas. Here’s our year in review from our family to yours!
Last Christmas Eve (2016), we found out we were expecting baby number two, so 2017 started out in anticipation of his arrival in August. In March, we received the exciting news that Daniel was accepted into the four-year master’s program at Bethlehem College & Seminary (our alma mater), which was a fulfilment of our hopes for him to be further equipped for Christian ministry.
We visited my sister and brother-in-law in California at the end of March for a week and rejuvenated with them through conversation, walks at the park, great food, and excursions to watch horse racing, drink Boba tea, and feel the ocean air on our jet-lagged but happy faces. Elizabeth (at 18 months) got her first pony ride at a farmer’s market. Her expression: “What are you looking at? This is no big deal; I and the beast are one.”
Summer began with a ministry trip to Cass Lake, MN, to help run Vacation Bible School for Native American children on a reservation there. Daniel wrapped up his two-year employment with MN Adult & Teen Challenge as an administrative assistant in June and began working a security job at General Mills World Headquarters in Golden Valley in July. This new job has been a blessing as it accommodates his seminary schedule (still being full-time) and allows him to do homework during lulls on his shifts.
I (Christina) ran my small private music studio during the spring semester and through the middle of summer. Daniel started seminary classes on August 21st, and our son, William Bradley, was born on August 25th, being a week and five days overdue. Elizabeth welcomed her brother with wonder and every mothering instinct. These days, she can get her four-month-old devotee to laugh with the simplest antic. My sister Nikkia stayed with us for several days shortly after Will was born, which was special and eased our transition.
This fall, Elizabeth turned two (and got to whack a butterfly piñata), Daniel started a diet called Auto Immune Protocol (AIP) to address a suspected autoimmune condition (he feels so much better now!), I began teaching music again, and William has increased in chub, personality, and energy…like energizer-bunny, don’t-stop-moving-your-limbs-ever energy.
In conclusion and reflection, we’re thankful for the adventures, challenges and growth this past year brought us, but even more so we’re thankful for the God whose comforting love and supporting grace was our hope and stay in every ordinary, epic, good, ugly, blissful, comedic, tender, sorrowful, and happy moment of 2017. We really recommend Jesus to each one of you. We recommend him like we recommend breathing, only more.
May your 2018 be filled with more of Him.
Love, the Soukups
Daniel, Christina, Elizabeth (2) & William (4 months)