I texted and called the Husband multiple times. The stuff on their lists was more of the same "stuff" already filling the basement, or it was junky or inappropriate or cost more than I could afford. ($400 Lego set, not happening.) Two hours later I had purchased nothing.
I was conflicted. You see, I could buy them some of the items on their lists and they would be happy they got them for a little while. On the other hand, I could buy them items not on their lists but that in my gut I know they would get more enjoyment or use from. It was an internal argument and I was so afraid that they would be disappointed. (And who wants to see a disappointed (and obviously ungrateful) child on Christmas morning?) But, being their mom, I know what will have lasting value and what will be a flash in the pan or the piece of junk.
I wanted to fulfill their lists as best I could because I love them, BUT (why yes, I did mean to put that in capital letters) sometimes what they will benefit from most and even enjoy most is not something they knew they wanted in the first place. It's easy to get sucked in by great marketing ploys and what the world around them tells them they need and want.
This morning I thought about how I pray very specific prayers sometimes and God does not answer...not the way I want him to, not with the answer I specifically requested. Hello?! The Bible tells us He will. Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (NIV). That's all fine and dandy but sometimes God has a different plan and the desires of my heart are not His desires, at least not right now, and sooooo the prayers seem to go unanswered.
But they are not unanswered. He says, "Not now," or "No," or "Not that way," He's not ignoring me or you or any of us.
Last week I had some moments of feeling as though He had forgotten me. I prayed with tears streaming down my cheeks, pleading and overwhelmed. "Please, " I begged. Now, usually when I pray I am not specific. I am a "Your will be done" kind of pray-er, but I've been asking for something fairly specific for a long time and it's just not happening.
Funny thing though, my "Please!" prayer got answered, quite beautifully. That's the way God works. He can fulfill His plan and we are taken care of, but we cannot always dictate the way it's going to happen (because I'm still waiting on that specific prayer. He's teaching me some patience, let me tell you!)
These are opportunities to relax into my faith, to trust and to fully experience what it is to be taken care of, even when things are not going according to my plans.
So, this morning I was reflecting on the Christmas lists and letters to Santa and how some of the boys' hearts desires will not be fulfilled. I thought about the fact that just like the Husband and I have a plan for our children which they might not fully understand, God has one for me (and you) that we might not be fully on board for.
May we all be aware of the ways in which prayers get answered in unexpected ways. Sometimes we have to open our eyes to see the blessings and answers right in front of us. I know I do.