Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Christmas Report

This Christmas was probably the most stressful and fun Christmas ever! Let me start with the stressful part, it was stressful for me probably because this is the first Christmas that I have been off for in a long long time. Not just Christmas day, but all the days leading up to that faithful day. Our Christmas began on Sunday with a trip to Lauren's parents.

Lauren's aunt and family came up from Socorro (a town 90 miles south of Abq) and we had an early Christmas dinner and present opening. The best part though aside from the "Guitar Hero" was seeing the 2 cousins pictured above playing together and enjoying the festivities for their first time, a year ago they both were too little to really be pumped about Christmas. There was also the fine art of sharing that is to be learned by each cousin, more of which will be learned in the years to come.

Christmas Eve was anything but quiet, as our day was low key but our afternoon and evening were not. We had 2 services at Desert Springs, both of which Lauren was singing in the choir. The first service was packed there were probably close to 900-1000 people in attendance. That is always cool, not because we had that many people at our church, but because that many people heard the gospel!! Lauren singing in the choir meant that we would be late to my grandmother's, going to my grandma Ruth's house is a family tradition going on for as long as I can remember. There were lots of my cousins and of course great, yummy grandma food, such as posole, menudo, homemade cookies and fudge, yep pretty stinking tasty! We got there late and in my own selfishness I was not happy about that, I do now look back and see that the time we did have there was special and fun. My in-laws did come over to my grandma's house too, that is always fun because our families are so different. I imagine it can be overwhelming for them, but hopefully they feel welcome and part of the Griego clan!

Christmas Eve came and went and then was the big day, Christmas! Yesterday was fun, we started the day off with some time with my folks eating some good breakfast food and opening presents. It had been a interesting year for my family, in May my mother's cancer had returned and had spread. In Feb my boss was fired although I got along well with the new guy, Steve Alford, I took a job at Desert Springs as the Young Adult Minister and have seen "The Well" grow from 7 kids to 60 over the semester, all to God's glory. Through it all the highlight of the year was not the cancer, but my parents response to the cancer. My mother and father were not crushed by it, but leaned on Christ as their hope and treasure, not to say there were no tears in this, but their hope and anchor was in someone else, Jesus Christ! That was the highlight for 2007 for me, that God had worked in their hearts in such a way that they had a peace and joy that cancer could not touch. My mother's cancer is 94% gone and Lord willing 2008 will bring in 100% clean tests, but either way, I hope that my family leans not on tests or health, but on Christ!

After leaving my parents house we all headed over to Montebello retirement community to visit my Nana who lives there. It was the first time I saw her new home and was very happy she was in such a nice and comfortable place. My cousin Ryan and his new family were all there and it was great to be there with them, even if it was a short visit. I hope to visit and talk to my Nana much more than I did this past year, I hope to learn to focus on my family and those around me more so, this has been a huge failure of mine that I hope to improve on this coming year.

We then headed off to my Auntie's house to see some cousins I usually only get to see at Christmas. That was fun and refreshing, being around family usually is.

After that Lauren and I went on an afternoon date to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks", it was a cute an fun movie, I recommend it!

The day concluded at my in-laws as we has stew and hung out with Lauren's brothers and sister-in-law. We also played a fun game called "Curses".

All in all it was a busy holiday, a stressful at times lesson about 2 becoming 1, and a great time to reflect on the true meaning and hope of Christmas, Jesus Christ.

Our hope was not in Santa, or posole, but in the cross, the reason for that baby in the manger. We celebrate Christmas because of the cross and resurrection, we celebrate our liberty from death and victory over sin that baby's death! What a day, what a Savior!!!

And to all a good night!!!

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