today was supposed to witness the baptism service of our daughter, our sweetheart, and this was the photo i put together for her to use as an invitation card (or facebook event) featuring her bible, white dress and shoes, and one of her stuffed animals. we've been trying for a while to get hold of a wonderful pastor who is an icon in the Evangelical community in this country. when he confirmed that he'll initiate the baptism we started running around and going through our checklists of big and small details.
my husband paused for a minute and said: "are we showing off?" he was cautious that by asking this specific pastor to baptize our daughter we'll be showing off, maybe conveying an embedded message of "look how prestigious our selection is" or "look what kind of connections we have to bring Reverend Doctor M. for our two-year-old daughter's baptism". it got me thinking, is this true? did we go for this plan because we wanted the best of the best? or because we wanted to show off? i started examining my motives, and after a few moments of honesty i found the answer, very clearly, deep in my souls saying "no we're not". on my side: my parents knew this pastor and his wife for over 25 years (even though the two families lived in two different countries), my late maternal grandfather was a pastor and i have no doubt that my mom gave copies of all 6 books he wrote to this pastor's wife. on my husband's side: my father-in-law was a pastor before he departed to heaven back in 1994, had he been with us he would've been exactly the age of Rev.M around 83 years old (they are a few months apart) so i felt that this is my grandfather who is coming, it's my daughter's grandfather who is coming... there was this emotional subjective intimate dimension to our decision.
Rev.M cancelled due to health reasons and we had to change 80% of the plan including the date and time, making an endless number of phone calls to re-arrange accordingly. i can't deny feeling a great disappointment. we're that kind of a family that keeps a low profile in everything, starting with a honeymoon we never went on and summer vacations we plan and never actualize, we keep a low profile in our possessions too, the tight budget is a major determining factor but our attitude is what drives most of our expenditure decisions. earlier in our marriage it used to bug me when people brag about their clothes brands, their owned apartment, their extravagant anniversary celebrations, their fancy gifts exchange as a couple, their kid's exceptional birthday parties... you name it. but over the years i could see God at work in me, i no longer got upset upon hearing similar news, then i started to feel really happy for people who shared their excitement over what they have or what they did even if it's a showy style i still felt happy for them. God continued teaching me the joy of giving and sharing whatever little we have, and i realized what a privilege it was for me to be God's arms stretched out to meet other people's needs, both financial and emotional... once you've had a taste of what it's like to draw a smile on someone else's face it will soon turn into some kind of addiction, you'll get addicted to giving and sharing, at times i feel that i'm taking this verse to the extreme: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20 : 35
so after thinking a lot about this change of plans (more like a change of dreams), at a time when i personally, along with a few more people in my close circle, needed a push forward, we needed a "HAPPY" event at the end of a very difficult summer, i discovered that this might be yet another lesson God wants me to learn. even when my motives pass the test, and i'm entitled to a dose of joy, even if i've earned it or i feel worthy and i insist that i deserve it, still i might not be able to wrap my arms around it and claim it as mine.
i've decided not to think of the new plan as a "compromise" or "settling for less", examining my motives again and putting my attitude to the test too, i am determined to view the event just as special and equally worthy of my excitement, my full effort, and my wholehearted preparation. here's one chocolate tray decorated and ready for the BIG DAY :) a pintrest-like photo, all you need to buy is: wire shapes (or make your own, letters and crosses), ribbons, a good scissors, and a glue gun. don't forget to borrow a fancy tray too...