by Evelyn Horan
“All right, Emma,” Dad said, standing at the counter scraping carrots for a vegetable soup. “Hope you can find something. It’s really not good to wait until the last minute,” he reminded.
“I know, Dad,” I agreed. “I hope I can find something, too!”
I had to shop in a short time. I needed a special Mother’s Day gift for my mom and a nice card. But, I didn’t have much savings. Would I have enough money?
When I arrived at our neighborhood shopping mall a few blocks away, I remembered that department stores are more expensive, so I decided to look in a “penny-saver” store first. I walked up and down the long rows of aisles, but nothing was right for my mom. I couldn’t find anything like a Mother’s Day gift there.
“Now what am I going to do?” I wondered, as I walked outside and leaned against the storefront window. I tried to think.
I remembered a Christian bookstore a few blocks from the shopping mall. “But probably everything is expensive, and I’ll have taken a long walk for nothing.” I felt really nervous. When I calmed down a bit, I could still feel an inner urge, almost like a kind of quiet voice, telling me to shop at the Christian bookstore for my mom. So I took a deep breath and began walking.
When I entered the store, I went up to the smiling saleslady at the counter. Then I noticed a gold cross on a chain in the glass counter case.
“I guess they’re pretty expensive,” I said, hesitantly.
“They’re l4 karat gold,” she said, “but we’re overstocked, and we’ve just marked them down to $l5.99.”
“Really?” I exclaimed, happily. “Could you please wrap that one as a Mother’s Day gift for me?” I pointed to the gold cross.
“Why, of course, young lady, I’ll be glad to,” the saleslady said smiling.
“Thank You, God for helping me find Mom a nice Mother’s Day present,” I whispered.
While waiting for my package, I browsed along the shelves of books in the young people’s section. I found an interesting and informative book about the lives of Old Testament heroes that included Moses, Noah, and Sampson and others. It had many beautiful, colored pictures. I wanted to buy it for myself.
“Later,” I told myself, “I’ll buy the book after I’ve earned some more allowance.”
Then, across the aisle I saw the greeting cards. Wonderful! I didn’t know the Christian bookstore sold greeting cards.
Looking closer, I found a perfect Mother’s Day card for my mom. Inside it told my mom how much I loved her, and it asked God’s blessing on her life for years to come.
“Thank You, God,” I murmured, happily. “Two special favors in a half hour!”
As I left the store with my mom’s Mother’s Day gift wrapped in a big gold colored bow, along with my special greeting card in a bag, I had to hold myself back from skipping and racing joyfully all the way home! I even had some allowance money left over.
While Dad and I enjoyed a bowl of his tasty vegetable soup for lunch, I told him about my shopping experience and about the gentle voice that encouraged me to go to the Christian bookstore to shop.
“Emma, do you have any idea Who might have helped you today?” Dad asked with a little smile.
“That’s easy, Dad,” I said quickly. “It had to be the Holy Spirit. I’m sure of it. Things worked out too perfectly. Isn’t it neat, Dad, how God can be real in your life?!”
“Yes, Emma, He’s always there when we need Him”
“And I want to go back and buy a beautiful picture book for myself, telling all about the lives of many Old Testament heroes. I’m hoping to buy it when I earn more allowance money .”
“Hmm,” Dad said thoughtfully. “ Because you are being careful with your allowance and trying to budget wisely, how would you like it if I bought the book for you as a special gift from Mom and me for being such a thoughtful young woman? And you can continue to save your allowance money for other special things you’d like.”
“Oh that would be wonderful,” I cried happily. ” And now, I even have enough money left over from shopping today to put in the offering basket at Church on Sunday as my way of thanking God for His help today.”
“Wonderful,” Dad said. “You are being one of God’s good stewards. Let’s go back to the store for the book after lunch. We don’t want the book to be sold too quickly. So, I’ll drive you in the car.”
I gave my dad a big hug. “Thanks, Dad,” I said. “I’ll clean up the soup dishes right away. And, Dad, I’ll do the dinner dishes tonight too, I promise.”
“All right, Emma,” Dad said, smiling. “Sounds good to me.”