Whenever I receive something that I don’t think I deserve, that is grace from God.
Whenever I experience something that is so wonderful and cannot explain, that is grace from God.
For the past few days, my little family have been blessed, to go to a foreign country during its winter season (no snow though). We have maintained frugality during our trip, looking for bargains, cheaper options, and searching for travel hacks. Of course, as much as possible, we would enjoy.
So, we are super blessed to have and be in this trip, but the biggest blessing we have during our trip is our daughter. And how she is becoming is truly and only by God’s grace.
By the way, during our 8-day trip, there were a lot of places, distances that we had to walk. A lot of stairs and train riding. And, we left our stroller at home. 😭😭😭 So, there were so many times that my husband and I had to take turns in carrying our daughter when we walk. She’s already around 15 kilos, and is quite lively. Add to that the weight of the layers of clothes.
The first 2 to 3 days, we felt a little sore. It was also difficult to go around because it was raining, so we also had to carry an umbrella and a backpack. And of course, coming from a tropical country, water coming from the shower and bidet felt biting.
The next few days were a bit more forgiving. During one of our shopping trips, we chanced upon a Disney store, and our daughter went to the Frozen section. She saw the Elsa merchandise and she looked like she was in heaven. She looked so happy…
And it broke my heart… 💔💔💔
I think it was on the second day, during my father-in-law’s birthday that we went to such store. And because we were on a tight budget and wanting to maximize the money we brought and the experience, we had to tell her that we cannot purchase anything…
I somehow saw the glow in her eyes vanish, and it was replaced by this heartbreaking sadness, writing about it now brings tears to my eyes. You know that feeling when you want to provide your child everything that she needs within your means, and when she asked for just that one thing she wants in her life, and you cannot give it?
It was like failing as a loving parent…
Something that we’re striving very hard to achieve. And depriving her tore me up.
My husband and I conferred a bit later, and decided that we should make it up to her, the rest of the trip. If we still have some money left, we will buy something for her.
As we went on with our trip, there were many instances that she wanted to buy something that attracted her. We would then ask her if it’s what she really wants, she would say that she wants Elsa.
On our 6th day, we went to a theme park where she saw some of her other favorite characters, like Hello Kitty, the Minions, and Elmo. There were a few times when she would see a stuffed toy, or any other cute merchandise. We would ask her if she wants it, she would always say, “I want Elsa.”
During this time, we saw that she was becoming a little mature for her age… I remember back in Halloween, when she didn’t ask for more candy and knew that she had enough, we can already end our trick-or-treat. During our trip, she already knew what she wanted, and she won’t be settling for anything else.
Somehow, we thought that this was God’s grace unfolding before our eyes. It was grace that God helped us make her understand our circumstances. It was grace that God taught her not to settle and go for what she wants. And I believe, it will all truly be grace that God would develop these things in her heart, and would be very useful for her later in life.
We always pray that she grows up kind, considerate, understanding, smart, and patient. And we saw her exhibit that during our trip (not all the time, of course, but we saw the foundation there. 😊) We don’t want to spoil her, but be able to teach her to live within our means, but not forgetting to give back to God.
Ultimately, by God’s grace, and His other manifestations of love, we were able to buy her the Elsa toy she wanted.. 😊
When we went back to the store, she was so elated I felt giddy myself. I honestly had to cry tears of joy that she finally can get what she wanted. There were a few options: we wanted to be practical in the sense that we cannot just splurge, but we want her to enjoy the toy. She looked very happy when she settled with one toy (she was so thankful that I even wanted to buy her another one, the Anna set too! But then, it would be too much). We asked her a couple of times if she wanted to change it with another toy, but she really settled on that one type.
Before buying the toy, we often asked our daughter if she was enjoying. I’m not sure if she knows how to lie, but she always says that she was enjoying. I guess the fact that it was 8 full days of just being with her amd not busy with anything else, made it enjoyable for her.
Never mind that we didn’t buy a lot of souvenirs. Never mind that we got tired carrying her and walking around.
It was truly grace that our little one would hopefully remember the joy she felt when she finally got what she longed for and sacrificed other opportunities for during the trip.
By the way, we didn’t just buy her the toy because she deserves it. We bought it because we love her, and we love seeing her genuinely happy. 😊