There were two answers to prayer at this Christmastime a few years back so I’ve decided to break it up into two posts.  Here’s the first answered prayer: 

Gabrielle was 7 and had only one item on her Christmas list.  She desperately wanted a stuffed Penelope dragon from the “Barbie as Rapunzel” movie.  Brie had gotten her original Penelope two years earlier for Christmas and loved to press its tummy and watch the wings move back and forth while it said things like “I AM a mighty dragon!”.  She brought Penelope everywhere with her and played with her every day.  

She even slept with her at night.   If only I hadn’t let her….

You know, it’s really not a good idea to sleep with stuffed animals that have somewhat fragile moving parts that could potentially break if you roll over in bed.   Broken wings don’t flap; they flop and then the sounds that come out are more reminiscent of horror movie psychos than innocent cartoon characters.  It isn’t pretty.  At all.

And so, this is how the word inconsolable took on new meaning for me.  Gabrielle was absolutely inconsolable without her Penelope.  Problem was, Penelope wasn’t being sold in stores anymore.  She wasn’t being sold on Ebay either.  Or Craigslist.  I couldn’t even find her on Freecycle.  Nobody had Penelope.

As Christmas got closer and closer, I was desperately seeking Penelope without any luck.  I pictured Christmas morning being up to my eyeballs in boxes and wrapping paper hearing the sobs of my broken-hearted child from somewhere amidst the fray. 

I have to tell you, it’s not that I have this compulsion that some parents have to give their children everything they want.  My children know well the meaning of the word “no”.   I’ve said it for many a thing that I thought was not good for them or simply a waste of money.  However, I do love to give my children gifts that I know will touch their hearts.   (Kinda like Someone else I know….. )  Penelope was one such gift that I really wanted to give because I knew what it would mean to one little girl’s heart.

By the time I walked into the children’s consignment store, I had already given up hope of finding Penelope and was searching for a last-minute gift or two that would even up the gift-giving all around.  “God, help me find something good for the money I’ve got” I prayed, more out of habit than conscious prayer. 

When I walked to the back of the store and started perusing the shelves, I nearly missed her up there with all of the other stuffed animals.  I was back there for a good 10 minutes before I spotted her.  I did a double take.  Way up there on the top shelf was a beautiful, working Penelope!  The best part was that she was well within my price range, only $5!!

That Christmas turned out to be really wonderful.  When Brie opened up the box containing Penelope, she looked at me and said “you found her!” with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. 

Yup, I did find her, thanks to a heavenly Father who loves giving good gifts even more than I do!