Prayer and Pixie Dust

This might sound crazy, but I prayed for Disney World.

By the tail end of our month in the States, our Christmas trip was beginning to resemble a parade of unavoidable expenses—tolls, Urgent Care x 2, gasoline x a million, and ever-mounting bureaucratic fees for the paperwork we had traveled to get—and despite the gorgeous generosity of friends and family who welcomed us in, we just couldn’t swing a day with Mickey Mouse.

That realization hurt like a choke chain yanking us straight back to our credit card bill. There we were in Orlando for the last time in our foreseeable future with a few days to spare and two little girls who spent a solid 45 minutes in the Disney Store pretending to be princesses.  The girls weren’t expecting anything more, and maybe that was part of why I ached so much to take them… especially Natalie who softly read every Disney World billboard we passed on the way to get her broken arm set. So I prayed.

You should know I’m no good at praying. The church traditions of my past have left a script in my mind from which I rarely find words to deviate. I don’t know how to be honest with my head bowed and eyes closed. Instead, I’ve learned how to feel, careful not to muddy my heart’s surface with thoughts, and I imagine that I’m directing that feeling toward someone who cares. This time, logic scolded me for asking God for something so frivolous when people all over the world struggle with very real needs. My brain followed this up with a cynical laugh because really, I expected someone to just up and offer $400 worth of tickets to a strange little family from Italy? My heart wouldn’t stop hoping though, so I blocked out cynicism and logic and felt as earnestly as I could, following up with “please.”

And wouldn’t you know, someone just up and offered $400 worth of tickets to our strange little family two days before we returned to Italy.

Words can’t express.

The girls leading the way - 2

We’re back in Italy now, adjusting to the time difference and unpacking far more than we remember packing, and if jet lag weren’t already doing the job, my gratefulness at being home would keep me in a waking stupor. A string of miracles is the only thing that got us there and back again, which anyone who’s ever approached Italian government offices with a deadline can confirm. We’re starting 2012 with little certainty but with enough hope and possibility to make up for it fifty times over, and each time the choke chain has started to tighten this week, I’ve relaxed back into the glow of this—answered prayer, extra pixie dust included.

Disney World collage

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  1. Tears. I’m glad you let yourself direct your heart’s longings toward such a good Shepherd. Some pretty crazy things can happen – and if God can hear a prayer for Disney World, then he can take care of y’all in Italia. So much love to your family. I really did wish that Orlando and Mississippi weren’t so far apart while you were stuck in the US!

  2. how I love this post and the people in it. 🙂 Natalie and Sophie are just adorable. and the chance to take those cute little girls to disney world – that is grace of the very best kind. 🙂

  3. O! hurrah for those who clap their hands and BELIEVE!

  4. I am absolutely THRILLED to pieces for you!!! What a wonderful gift! What a kind soul to give you such happiness. 🙂 I love it. 🙂

  5. i can’t read this or hear your stories without tears, beautiful friend. SOOOOOO thrilled with you. <3<3<3 and welcome home. <3

  6. This season of miracles for you has been a blessing to watch from afar. I can’t think of a more worthy family to reap them…xoxo And, thanks for sharing them with me.

  7. Sam – I thought of you when we were driving through Mississippi in the wee-est hours of the night! What I wouldn’t give for our own little version of church at the nearest coffee shop…

    Stephanie – “grace of the very best kind…” I love you.

    Liz – Your comment make me grin every time I think of it. Walt Disney would have been proud, no? 🙂

    Krista – And sharing the thrill makes it so much better. <3

    Rain – Somehow you, my dear, manage to touch me as deeply with your one-sentence comments as you do with your beautiful blog entries. Love to you too.

    Megsie – Thanks for helping me keep this in perspective as a "season of miracles" (perfectly put)! xoxo back at ya.

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