"No," I said again to my daughter for the hundredth time. "We don't have the money to buy a horse." As I heard myself saying the words, I felt like I was bursting her bubble, although I knew what I was saying was true. Any homeschooling family living on one income knows the careful planning and budgeting that has to be implemented just to pay for day-to-day living expenses.

A heart without dreams is like a house without windows, and I was beginning to realize the truth of that saying every time I told my daughter she couldn't have a horse. Then, an important question came to my mind. "Was I limiting and superseding what God may want?" Instead of automatically saying "no" to my daughter, I decided to go with her to God in prayer. We placed her dream of a horse into His hands and waited for God's answer.

Two months later, I received an unusual phone call from a lady in our town. She wanted to know if she could have permission to give her grown daughter's old 4-H horse to my daughter as a Christmas present. I couldn't believe what she was saying and was humbled by God and her offer. Needless to say, that Christmas was one my daughter never forgot. Not only did she receive a new horse, but this same lady also bought my daughter a new bridle, breast collar, halter, and matching saddle pad!

I don't know who learned the greater lesson that Christmas, my daughter or me. She had tenaciously hung onto her dream, and I had learned that God is much bigger than my faith or pocketbook. What about you? Are you automatically saying "no" to your children, or are you leading them to the Lord and saying, "Let's pray"? "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory" (Ephesians 3:20-21a).

Father, what a great and mighty God You are! Forgive me for failing to lead my children to You, the Creator and giver of every good and perfect gift. This Christmas, open our eyes to see Your love and give thanks again for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen.