Only a few days more and we’re saying goodbye to 2018.
I am joyful and thankful to the Lord for the blessings and surprises He gives regardless of the time of the year.
Together again after almost a decade
Today is a special day for me and my family since we will be meeting my brother whom I haven’t seen in eight years.
(My sister-in-law — my brother’s wife — said it’s only been eight years. But the last time I remember seeing my brother was twelve years ago. I’m blaming selective amnesia. 😁 I was going through a difficult phase in my life eight years ago.)
It’s also the first time that my husband is going to meet my brother since he and his family are based abroad.
My family and I waited for my brother and his family to arrive at my favorite coffee shop, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or CBTL.
My parents arrived first. They asked my older kids to go with them to buy some gifts for my brother’s children.
When my brother and his family arrived, there were hugs everywhere!
It sure was nice to be with family since all my siblings are scattered in the different parts of the world.
I’m happy that my brother’s wife and I instantly connected — it was as if we have been friends for a long time.
We — my family, his family, our parents — ate and bonded at this seafood restaurant.
There was a feast!
Good food. Great company. What else could we ask for?
My children “clicked” with his children.
The adults were catching up while the kids did their own thing playing together and sharing their Christmas gifts with one another.
Love and Stamps
Even if we were all so full (define “full”), we went back to my favorite coffee shop for some more family bonding.
Since my brother was the one buying us coffee, I handed over my Swirl Card (CBTL’s loyalty card) and stamp card.
When I have filled my card with 12 stamps, then I can claim the “free” 2019 planner.
A quick backstory…
Unlike in the previous years when I looked forward to claiming my planner, this year is different.
I didn’t plan on getting the 2019 planner.
Why did I get the stamp card?
I got a stamp card because we made a purchase within the required period.
In my mind, it wouldn’t make any difference whether I get all 12 stamps or not.
Back to my brother…
My brother looked at me as I handed over my loyalty card and my stamp card.
I told him that getting all 12 stamps would entitle me a 2019 planner.
He started counting how many stamps I needed to get the planner. (Clue: I only had one stamp on my card.)
Here’s the interesting part…
Today is Double Stamp Day, meaning I get to have two stamps for a purchase of any regular drink. 👍👍
(As expected, there are other beverages we NEED to purchase to complete the stamp card. I believe it is the company’s way of promoting all their beverages so we need to purchase at least one of the following: Holiday Beverage, Tea Latte, Coffee-Based Drink and so on.)
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t expecting to get anything.
But the LORD has other plans for me.
By the time my brother had finished buying the drinks, he called me and asked which planner design I wanted. 😁
Seeing my brother, meeting his family, a feast for dinner, an unexpected wedding gift, great coffee, and now a planner to get me set up for 2019!?
The Lord is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Love Over Stinginess
After all the fun and the catching up are over, we had to go our separate ways.
My mom proposed to take us home since we had some kids tagging along and we don’t live in the metro.
My dad offered to take us to the terminal.
Since my parents were undecided about how to move forward, my husband and I decided to take a Grab going to the terminal.
We didn’t want to inconvenience my parents, especially that they weren’t on the same page about how they want to help us.
Goodbyes were said, and photos and videos were taken.
When we arrived at the terminal, a long line of waiting and tired passengers welcomed us.
There were no vehicles for our destination.
If I estimated right, we’d be on the fifth batch before we could make it home. With the pace we were going (or stuck with), we would be home by 3AM. (Poor kids! 😟)
It was really late.
My husband and I were tired.
The children were tired.
And guess what?
We were last in line!
I grabbed my phone and checked how much it would cost us to take a Grab going home.
I showed the Grab booking amount to my husband and told him my thoughts — that the kids were tired and that we’d be home by 3AM if we waited in line.
I thank the Lord for my husband who listens and values my opinion.
I didn’t impose what I wanted but shared what I thought was best.
I thank God that my husband chose to show love to us — his family — by deciding to take the Grab even if it would cost us much more than our allotted budget for the commute.
Writing about this right now reminds me that it is not our paycheck who provides but Jesus. And He knows our needs even before we asked for it.
So, taking the Grab may have cost us much but I know that the Lord will provide for whatever it is the said budget was allotted for.
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what You have done. – Psalm 92:4
How about you?
How did you feel loved by the people close to you as they valued your opinion or selflessly got you something you really wanted? Please do bless us with your stories in the comment section below. 👇
❤️ Mama Sel
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