A merry Christmas from our little corner of Olympia, Washington! Jebi and yours truly, Abi, hope this finds each of you well and, most of all, secure in Christ. We once again find ourselves at the end of another year, something we should never take for granted. Through the trials and challenges, each day is full of God’s abundant and undeserved kindnesses to us. A vivid example for our family occurred in mid-January: Jebi, Annah, myself (19 weeks pregnant), and two siblings were involved in a hit-and-run accident, sending us into a spin, and totaling our vehicle. We had some cuts, bruises, a trip to the hospital, and a couple months of chiropractic care ahead of us, but God preserved our lives from so much worse injury! We thank the Lord for a very smooth pregnancy, all 42 weeks of it! With no signs of Baby coming, and my blood pressure starting to climb, we had to forgo our plans for a home birth, and Jebi and I ended up in the hospital for me to be induced. But the Lord mercifully made my labor and delivery both “easy” and very fast, and our precious son, David Elliot, was born at 6:35am on June 8th: a handsome, chubby little man with a touch of light brown hair, weighing 9lb, 15oz… as my daddy put it, “A ten pounder who skipped breakfast!”
David is now 6 months old and is a cuddly, strong fellow with a patient, hopeful spirit and a heart-melting smile. We love seeing his personality come through, as he studies his surroundings, grabs/chews on everything he can, and laughs aloud at his big sister’s antics. Lately he’s been learning to sit up unassisted, and he’s thrilled with the change in altitude. We’re thankful for the opportunities we had this year to take David and Annah to their “maternal homeland” of St. Louis, Missouri, to spend time with my family. I love for people to experience David’s big kissable cheeks.
Annah Melody is a little less than two, is a loving big sister to David, and talks all day long. She’s my sweet little buddy, helping with simple tidying and a ready go-getter when my hands are full. Jebi does mini reading lessons with Annah most days, and she now enjoys pointing out random letters she recognizes in books or on signs: “E! E for ayaya!” (which being interpreted is, elephant). She delights our hearts with her frequent, unsolicited hugs, kisses, and cheery greetings of “Hi, ‘weet Mommy!” “I yuv you, Papa!” “Dabey, my boy!,” as well as her spontaneous prayers of thanksgiving for whomever/whatever comes to mind. She loves her grandparents, her many uncles and aunties, vegetables (seriously, her favorite food is broccoli), music, books, playing in water, and seeing animals. The Lord provided full time work for Jebi through this year, and this Fall he accepted a job offer at Costco, which has been a great fit for his skills. He continues to teach from God’s Word in our local fellowship, and, when possible, he enjoys recording music for the purpose of edifying God’s people. He is a wonderful Papa to the children, leading us in family Bible time, singing, and prayer each day. And he’s a master at planning spontaneous morning family outings to explore God’s beautiful creation.
My days are happily full with homemaking tasks as wife to my beloved husband, and Mommy to our two precious children (so far!). Motherhood is such a weighty privilege, and God is using it to teach me so much, especially my need for His strength and wisdom each moment of the day (and night!). Every so often when I have the time, I enjoy various artistic endeavors, and this autumn I had the opportunity to illustrate a children’s book for a friend.
We sadly bid earthly farewell to a number of our grandparents this year: my Grandma Chris, my Grandpa Edd, and Jebi’s Grandpa Ernie. We’re so thankful for the memories we made with each of them, especially the many trips we made over the last few years, going to Grandpa Ernie’s house in the Olympic Peninsula. We and most of his family were able to be with him at his house when he passed away. Through the sorrow, there was a peace and joy that could only come from faith in the promise of God’s Word. Grandpa loved Jesus with all his heart, and faithfully witnessed for Him everywhere he went. His godly influence in Jebi’s life can’t be measured. Jesus said in John 14:19, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” We know that Grandpa is with his Savior, and all we who are in Christ will see him again one day.
Surely in 2020 it’s been clear to all of us, like never before, that our life is not our own. Nothing in this life is more important than being prepared to meet God, our Maker. In His great mercy, God has made that possible through His Son, Jesus. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. …God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6, 8).” We pray that whatever this new year brings, you will be trusting in Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
With love, Jebi, Abi, Annah, and David Koilpillai