All The Family Secrets

Christmas 2008 has now officially come and gone! The day of and after Christmas always seem to be a bit depressing...always kind of a let down. All the preparation, planning, partying and other p-words make for the biggest celebration of the year. And it is quite a worthy celebration. But at the end of it all, it is hard to see it go.

This year was especially unique for us as we were in Alabama on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Karen worked both of those nights. However, we went home the weekend before Christmas, so we celebrated early. So Christmas Eve and day felt like other days for the most part. Karen worked while I slept, and I watched 4 movies and played video games while she slept.

We did have a great time at home this year, and I am very thankful for our families who rearranged their schedules so that we could all be together! This year more than ever I was reminded of what a great family I have. Each year I think I grow to respect and love my parents more and more. We have always had a great time together and still do. They are way too generous with us on Christmas. I love the fact that they go all out for this time of year. Every corner of the house is decorated, Mom's cooking is still out-of-this-world good, and you should just be a fly on the wall to see the stuff Dad puts in our "stockings" (which have now become these medium sized gift bags filled with individually wrapped goodies and necessities...though I gotta say, it's not too good when you put whoppers and Dove soap in the same bag....let's just put it this way, one of those items taste like the other...and I've not eaten soap in a while!). It's always good to be in the house with the folks, my sis and her hubby, and of course my wife.

I was also reminded this year of how thankful I am for my in-laws! It is unlike any other experience I've ever had, getting to know and love people who you aren't related to by blood, but who are just as much family now as your own family. My in-laws are really amazing people whom I love dearly. They shower us with gifts...again...too much. And the spread of goodies there this year probably tipped me over the 200 lb. range! The more I'm with her folks, I see where Karen gets a lot of her personality and ways of doing things. It's neat to pick out those traits...because much of what I love about her she gets from her mom or dad. They treat me like one of their own as well. I'm not sure I can put it into words, but I am very thankful that God, in his providence, saw fit to put Karen and I together, and that he allowed me to be a part of the Cleaveland family.

So that's the big secret! I have the greatest family in the world. Come to think of it, as much as I'd like to deny it sometimes (I don't know why) I have the greatest life in the world. I have a great job, an amazing wife, a wonderful family, and really nice house, everything I need and most anything I want, I have hope in Jesus Christ and have the most awesome privilege to serve him in his church, we have a crazy-yet-entertaining cat, Karen has a super nice job with people who have really invested in her and her future...I mean...seriously, the next time I complain someone should slap me..scratch that...punch me in the face..really hard!

I'll just close by saying that as 2008 comes to a close, I'm thankful. God has been abundantly good. He could snatch it all away and would still be more than worthy of praise. Come to think of it, he could have not done one other thing besides send Jesus and he would still be worthy of the highest praise. May his name be made great, may it be made known in all the world, and may it be lifted high in my life!


I saw your skinny sister at Kohl's today!

December 26, 2008 at 6:17 PM  

i understand completely about the in-laws thing. i am blessed with in-laws that are wonderful, and love me like i was always one of theirs.

December 26, 2008 at 7:35 PM  

I can truly say Amen to every word. I have everything I need and want and God gets all of the credit.

And if I found myself in Job's predicament tomorrow, God would still be deserving of neverending praise and adoration for He is great and worthy to be praised.

December 27, 2008 at 8:23 AM  

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