hello friends + family!

I think the first year we got married was the only year I wrote a Christmas letter and one of the last years I even sent out cards! Since I know that I still have Uriah's thank you cards from his birthday in my desk drawer, the idea of getting Christmas cards/letters out seemed pretty unrealistic.  So, I decided I could write a little blog post updating people on our lives:

I started off not knowing how to summarize 2016, so this was the best that I could do... ( and somehow it's LONG)


If you've ever been on a missions trip when you finish, you have a time of debriefing, then you get home. Home is when you have to assimilate back into a way of life while managing all the change you personally experienced and keeping hold of all you've gained in understanding of the world and of God.  I feel like this year has been a bit of the "debrief and assimilation." Almost two years ago, we transitioned out of all our ministry 'work' and felt the Lord leading us to a new assignment, away from the church we grew up and met in.  

However, we had no idea where the Lord was leading us!  In order to stay connected and not isolate we met with friends weekly to worship and share a meal. This was an amazingly sweet time of building relationships. Some were new, some were people we've known for many many years. In that time, our family felt genuine community in such a strong way. Like in Acts where the disciples shared meals and had joy in their hearts - it was like that! I've seen the community and love for one another come through these people in incredible ways continue, {even after we've stopped meeting}. Our friendships with these families have continued and their hearts to serve one another, encourage, and strengthen one another remains. I feel like that time was kind of like "the debrief" for us personally to prepare for whats ahead and allow God  time to remind us of what He had done in our hearts in the years passed.

 the day we went to santa cruz for less than two hours - but had a great time! 

the day we went to santa cruz for less than two hours - but had a great time! 

Next came assimilation, figuring out what a new 'normal' was. Stevie continued to work at the construction company he has worked at for many years.  Just recently he started working with a new company and is doing incredibly well there too. Even with the demands of Devout, he's still giving his day job his best. There are really really rough weeks, but he amazes me with his diligence, work ethic and the fact that he rarely complains. I probably don't do a good job of telling him in person but his heart to serve and genuine care for others- even strangers. is incredible. With his work schedule (construction + Devout) I was solo on Sundays for months; a day where, in the past, we would have gone to church together. In fact, I've gone to church with him for more than half my life!

I visited a lot of places with the kids, learned different worship styles, teaching styles, operating styles, sometimes I left in tears, but every time God was faithful. I was a bit of a vagabond so we made the decision to have me go to a friend's church when Stevie wasn't with me. I was convicted this year for my misunderstanding of different parts of the body of Christ. Nearly everything about this place was different then what I was used to, but the Lord met me there in incredible ways. I say they are the church that took me in when I was homeless. I had to work really hard to just go to church and avoid people like I wanted to. I am forever thankful for the friends that reached out and pastors that cared for me and the kids as I was 'on my own' those Sundays. I'd come home and tell Stevie of God's kindness and gentleness working on my heart. All the years of the 'missions trip' had caught up to me. I just wanted to know I wouldn't lose sight of all I had gained during those years as I went into the next season ahead. God really gave me confidence to trust Him during those services.

 content magazine shoot 

content magazine shoot 

Slowly, Stevie's been having more Sundays off! We have a team of 10 people at Devout now who help keep it running in one way or another (not including our two families, so it's kind of crazy when you think that this whole thing started on a BBQ converted into a coffee roaster in Jon's garage!). I'm so thankful for the people God brings to work at Devout. They come and go but, for the season they are with us, I hope we loved well and they look back on their time at Devout as a good experience. Many are friendships I hope remain for years to come whether Devout or not! Same with some customers– I had a few helping me as I buckled the kids into the car in front of the shop yesterday and it wasn't strange at all!

 devout's 3rd year anniversary party

devout's 3rd year anniversary party

Some of the friendships we've made through Devout have led us to start attending a Calvary Chapel Church plant in Livermore. (all 4 of us! yay!) We look to 2017 with this next 'missions trip' ahead at what our role and commitment should be with their house.


Kelilah continues gymnastics, did a little basketball class, and recently has been obsessed with all things ballet this year. I've been doing preschool with her at home and we've been having a great time! Pretty amazing teaching someone something, and they learn to grasp it on their own.  This year Kelilah attended a Vacation Bible School and it was really impactful on her 3-year-old self. In October she turned four and her desire to know Jesus and understand more about God has been really inspiring. There is a lifelong journey of getting to discover this Man Jesus and I'm thankful she gets an early start.  She sometimes thinks she's a teenager and has an attitude to match but we are dealing. Haha.


Uriah is amazing. He's a really great baby- well not baby anymore. This year he turned one and is still so chill. He's really into the details of things and even though he doesn't talk yet, you can tell there's a lot going on behind those eyes. He's got quite a temper if he doesn't get his way but most of the time is super sweet. This is my first full year having two kids and it is incredible to watch a brother and sister interact and laugh together, learn to share, and care for each other. I joke that Uriah and Kelilah have a twins bond because when Kelilah gets hurt in the other room, he starts crying and runs towards her. Compassionate little guy.  But, we all love him so much and he knows it. 


As for me, I've scaled back on pursuing  freelance work and given more time to working a very very  part time job for a company called Slimfold Wallet. It's interesting to see small businesses in another field and even though I rarely use anything in my skill set ( I'm learning how to use a tape gun and dare I say it... spreadsheets!) it's actually really enjoyable work and I'm thankful for it. Stevie works incredibly hard to allow me to stay home with the kids and it's been my goal this past year to be better at that role along with the random things I help with at Devout. 


 see Elsa's castle in the background? no... kelilah didn't either. hahah 

see Elsa's castle in the background? no... kelilah didn't either. hahah 

Early on in 2016 we spent a day at the snow, which was quite unimpressive when your 3-year-old was imagining that 'the snow' was going to look like Elsa's castle!! It was icy, kind of miserable and super disappointing for kelilah. we decided we might give it a few years until we go back again. haha.

We were blessed with a trip to Oklahoma to see Caleb (Stevie's brother) graduate and get married. It was a nice time of hanging out with the Pape's. Just when we had lifted up a half-hearted prayer because we weren't sure if we could afford Stevie missing work for the trip, my landlords, unknowing of our prayer or our trip, decided to lower our rent for a year! They said to just keep the amount it would be all at once and we ended up only paying a few hundred dollars for rent that month. It was such a miracle... 

In summer, Stevie worked a LOT  of overtime. So pretty last minute, we planned a trip to the Yucantan Peninsula in the fall.  I never imagined we'd be able to do this this year and  I've been posting about it slowly here on this little blog, because there is so much to say about it. It was a dream. But the best part of course was having Stevie with us for a whole 7 days in a row... ✨

Kelilah did get to see a princess castle this year when a friend of mine treated her  to Disneyland for the day! Carly joined us too and it was fun girl time ( well + uriah!) . We basically got stuck in Fantasyland and never made it out the rest of the day!  [below is kelilah's face when she saw a the disneyland castle] 

We don't know what this next year holds as far as how Devout will be demanding of our time, so I'm thankful for all we got to experience together.  If things go forward with Devout in San Jose like they seem to be, we might be in for another few years of intense building. Hopefully a little easier since we've been through it once before... Please Jesus! Haha, oh well, we will see!

All in all, the days go by and another year passes. Some thing's seem like they stay drudgingly the same, while other things change so much. But I pray in all of it, you each reach for Jesus to guide and lead you. If we let Him, He is the one who will direct our path, through the valleys, on to the mountains. Through the debriefs, the assimilations, on to the next thing. It's easy to get distracted and caught up in everyday. but- there is more.  It's our prayer, that as a family, and that you our friends, wouldn't forget. 

A friend asked what our anthems were for the year according to our Spotify most- played list. I've never looked at that list like that before, but this was our #1 and it shows:

"though the earth may try, to satisfy my heart, though the earth may try, to tell me You're not faithful, though the earth may try, to blind me from Your goodness. You shine through. You're the only one who fills me up, the only one..."

He's the only one who will shine through and light up our path. We doubt, and try to fill the void with things that we think will bring happiness or contentment. but each year passes and I am more convincedd that Jesus is what satisfies the heart within us. We are learning to be content in every situation, and resting in the Lord establishing our steps.  It's not always easy, but it's always better.  I can write all this good stuff and still leave out some low-lows but even more so, the countless testimonies of his mercy + grace that is new each day. 

If you read this long, you must really love us. Thanks for being part of our lives!

happy new year! 

The Papes