First, Michael got this old, yet pretty cool, electric keyboard - which he keeps referring as 'piano', from my mother-in-law. It used to be Amanda's - Hubby's little sister - when she was little, and my mom-in-law was planning to give it away to a friend with little child, yet when Michael came to visit her, he loved the 'piano' so much that she promised to clean it up and send it over later on. Well, last week, my father-in-law really came with his little truck and the organ in tow, and Michael couldn't be happier. He loves to "play" tunes with it, or play the cheerful demo song and dance to it. Thank you!!
Second is a gift for me. Sometime in the afternoon during the weekend, I stayed home and napped due to a slight headache while Hubby took Michael out for a short drive around the neighborhood. After an hour or so of napping, suddenly I was woken up by Michael, home already, with a present for Mommy that he had painstakingly carried while climbing the stairs to my room, very carefully, in his little hands. This cute red Strawberry Hello Kitty mug! Turned out that Hubby and Michael went to a nearby mall to buy dinner, and they made a quick stop at a stall that sells "kawaii" kitsch, and knowing how much Mommy loves Hello Kitty yet she is much too frugal and practical to buy such fancy stuff for herself, they decided to buy me one! I am a truly blessed wife and mother!
I often see some women in social media, proudly displaying their luxurious, expensive, branded bags and shoes from their spouses. Well, Hubby often say that he cannot afford to buy me anything expensive, since, well, since he gives me all his income and he only gets a small allowances every month. Of course he can no longer buy me expensive things like when we were still courting and he still kept all the money he made on his own! But I don't care whether it's something expensive or not that he gives me. The fact that he remembers me, and is thoughtful enough to take our little one for an outing so I can rest awhile, and that he brings something home to cheer me up, that's the most important and what I'm cherish most!
The mug has no handle, so I don't feel comfortable to use it for drinking. Instead, now the cutesy thing sits nicely on my work desk, carrying my pens, colored pens, and pencils. Everytime I look up from my laptop, I felt warmed inside from the love and thoughtfulness that my men has shown me. And that's so very precious!
Third is a souvenir from a sweet coworker who just had a business trip to The Land Down Under. Ms. Lucy is also a dear neighbor as well as godmother to our son Michael for his baptism. She brought me this lanolin cream that I love sooooo much! The tallow-like cream is so smooth and smelled exquisitely lovely, it makes my hands feel so smooth and velvety to touch, and I'm a sucker for moisturizing cream. A good friend is hard to find, and we are lucky to have her as our family friend!
Fourth is this cute, electric blue mini folding table with little Winnie The Pooh prints on it! It's not new, actually I have been having the table since high school, sooooo it's been like... well, twenty years? Anyhow, I have been carrying this mini folding table everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I brought it when I moved to the US for college, and it had been used a lot in my apartment as a bedside table to hold my landline phone and make up table. Then I carried it to another town for internship where it was used as a mini dining table in my bare, temporary apartment. After graduation I moved again, and this time I used it for some sort of dinner table where I ate while watching TV after work every evening. When it was time for me to return to Indonesia, I could not part with it so I carried it back to Indonesia, across half the globe, It's been moving around Jakarta with me eversince, continued to be useful, and now I'm passing it on to my son, who happily use it as his writing table! The size is just perfect for Michael, and we invent all sort of games using this old-but-still-useful piece of furniture: cashier, count the Pooh, etc. At the price of less than three bucks, it is a very very good investment!
Several things that made me happy....
First, going home to this cute face!!! When I reach home in the evening, and I hear this little voice calling out excitedly, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy's home!"; then all of sudden I felt like all grime and anxiety and tiredness from the day is just melt away.
Second: this boxes of super delicious melted chocolate brownies! A friend of Hubby makes and sells a special kind of brownies. I love chocolate, but I'm not particularly fond of brownies. Except for this one. The brownies is soft and chewy and melts in your mouth. I don't know how it was made, because I know that it was baked, and when you bake something, it's not supposed to be soft and chewy and melty, rite. Anyhow, for our wedding more than three years ago, they brought their special home-made, heart-shaped melted chocolate. I politely thanked them, and took a bite. And I was hooked for life. The funny thing is, I never managed to buy one from their bakery, because the bakery is located at another side of the town, which is a loooong drive, especially with all the traffic jam. So for three long years, I never had a bite of this delicious delicacy.
Just like week, suddenly I had this very strong urge for these brownies! What to do? There's no way Hubby would drive ninety minutes or more on weekend to get them for me. The man might do anything for his family, but catering to his wife's whimsical appetite is not one of them. So I use this new, popular apps called Go-Jek. It's like an apps for taxi cab, but the taxi is motorbike, not car, so the "drivers" could navigate though Jakarta's traffic much more quickly than a car could. They were having a promo of USD 1 for any location within 15 miles, so what I did was asking the driver if he would go some extra miles and I would pay him extra. I ordered five boxes of those delicious brownies: four for me (and Michael, he loves chocolate), and one to share with my coworkers.
Fanny, a coworker of mine, happened to be having a bad day on that particular day, so when the packages arrived, I called her phone extension and invited her over to my floor to taste a bite of this tasty delicacy, and how glad I was to see a smile began to form on her face. No bad mood that chocolate can not make a little bit better!
Third, family time, doing local culinary short trips around the neighborhood. We tried some new noodle shops that we like, and had a great time as a family. And it's a pretty cheap family date!
Again, Monday blues came around and I stumbled to another verse that got me up and dashing to the shower. I think the habit of reaching my iPhone first thing in the morning when my eyes opened and read the Bible apps is really a good way to start the day by listening to what Lord has to say to me that day. On one particular lazy morning, He said:
Jesus didn't say "doing haphazardly", he said "accomplishing". God is result oriented! He wants us to accomplish whatever task He has given us to finish! That means, if we are supposed to do the laundry, it means not getting the clean clothes out of the laundry machine and just let them piled up on the bed. It means we should sort, fold, and take each item back to its respective closet or drawer. Finish whatever it is you're doing, and do it well! Accomplish the task!
Second, since I had finished "The Wife Who Prays" by Stormie Omartian devotional book, now I begin this one:
Of course, I still pray for my husband everyday though I'm no longer praying from the book. If you want to pray for your husband, I would totally recommend the book to act sort of guideline. It will give a good idea what areas you should be praying for your husband: his character, his faith to the Lord, his strength, his fidelity, his leadership, his parenthood, even his sexuality! I will let you know how this one goes, but I've flipped through it before buying the book secondhand, and I think it's pretty good.
The vessel of His bounty
Lo and behold! First, a cleaning lady told me that she has a neighbor, an old widowed grandma, who takes care of two toddlers aged two and four. Their father is in prison, and the mother has left without words; so the poor old lady took both children into her home and gives them love and food and clothes and shelter as well as she knows how. She does ironing for her more affluent neighbors to earn a living, yet she is quite old and she has bad eyesight so she cannot work as much as a young, healthy woman can.
I gathered some toys from Michael's stash, a big box of his formula, and told him about the poor children. Michael agreed to give them some of his toys, as well as a box from his powdered milk inventory, though he asked anxiously, "Will there still be any left for me, Mommy?" I assured him that even if he runs out, Mommy will buy him new ones. Michael is not even three years old, so he has difficulty to understand what an orphan means. He asked a bunch of questions: "How come they don't have mommy and daddy? Where did the daddy go? What is a prison?" Ah, how to satisfy the curiousity of a toddler?
Michael has about a dozen of boxes of powdered milk formula, since I always buy them on sale. He drinks a lot of milk, a box for like five days or so, hence I always make sure I have enough back ups for at least two months to last him until the next sale.
I also gathered a couple bar soaps and a big bottle of shampoo from my household toiletries stash. I know that when a person is very poor, cleanliness is not top priority, that's why I included the cleaning products. I ended up giving the children two more boxes of milk, once they confirmed that they like the brand I gave them.
They don't know it yet, but I plan to make this a regular donation. I don't want to help them once just to make myself feel good, then forget about them. No. I really want to make a difference in their lives, ensure that at least they get some additional nutrients on a regular basis. For that matter, I also included some rice. Rice is a staple for Indonesian people, but poor people usually only eat very low grade, poor quality, rice. I want them to be able to enjoy good quality, delicious rice once in a while. Just to add more fun, I threw in some cookies in the donation pile, for the children.
Have you ever given a donation directly to the poor? GIve it a try! It feels so much real compared to giving a cheque to a charity organization. If you don't know where to start, pass around the information. Someone might knock on your door with an opportunity to become the vessel of the Lord's bounty!
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: