This past week was pretty busy for me and my wife. It was because my niece from New Jersey, my younger brother’s family and third older sister’s family from Atlanta visited us for about a week. I invited Grace, my niece, who is a senior in high school, to come down so she can go to our youth group’s winter retreat since she has never been to any youth retreats in the past. The two families from Atlanta came to see how I was doing because they were concerned about my eyes.
It wasn’t easy hosting nine extra people all at my house for several days. Although we didn’t eat every meal at home, it still was a big production to prepare each meal for 14 people. My children needed to give up all of their bedrooms to their relatives and slept in the study. We all shared our bathrooms with each other. During their stay, one toilet got clogged up and overflowed! Amazingly, no one complained and we somehow made it through.
Grace went to the retreat with Josiah and Caleb on Thursday. My third sister’s couple loves to fish. So, I took them and my brother’s family fishing at Seawolf Park on Friday morning. Fishing was terrible but it was good to be out there with them fishing for the first time. Enoch stayed behind to spend time with Elliot and Erica, his cousins, who didn’t want to go fishing.
Saturday evening before going to the Rockets game, we took them out to Rudy’s to have them experience Texas BBQ. They loved it! The Rockets Game was exciting and so much fun to watch all the way until the end. After the game, we got to meet Jeremy because Josh was able to get passes for us. Thanks to my wife who remembered the offer that Jeremy made to her that he will give her passes when needed! My nephews and nieces got Jeremy’s autograph. They were thrilled. Somehow my sister got her iPhone cover autographed by him also and she was extremely happy. That was her first time going to see an NBA game. I was happy to see everyone being so happy.
Sunday, they all came to worship at New Life. They were very blessed and touched by the worship experience especially by our praise team and refreshment prep and clean up ministry. They couldn’t believe that every member without any exception is taking turns to prepare Sunday refreshment and clean up afterwards! J
For Sunday dinner, we took them to a very notable fusion sushi restaurant nearby Galleria area! Again, they couldn’t believe all the dishes that came out one at a time. They had a very difficult time containing their surprise and joy. After the dinner, I suggested that we go to Starbucks and get some coffee. But almost everyone especially my sister didn’t want anything to go into her mouth because she wanted to savor the food that she just had. I have never seen a group of people who were so content and satisfied after having a meal. We truly had a great time eating, fishing, sharing, watching a basketball game and worshiping together for a few days. What a great family reunion!
My brother’s and sister’s families left on Monday morning after taking many pictures. Grace left on New Year’s Day. It’s now quiet at home.
Just like many other families, my family has had and still has its own issues. Some of us were hurt by how we were treated by our parents when we were growing up. There had been some marital problems in my siblings’ marriages which ended up in one divorce. Regrettable words had been exchanged between the brothers and sisters. And money caused some misunderstanding and tension in the family.
However, we realize that nothing can replace family ties because family is God’s idea and a gift from God. And because we are all in Christ, we sense that we are changing, growing and getting closer to each other as time goes by. Christ really is the anchor that is holding all of us together. This makes me wonder how other families who don’t have Jesus in their lives are doing without and apart from Christ. I can only imagine how tough and painful it must be.
Thank you for warmly receiving my family members when they were here for a brief moment.
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