Memoir: A Christmas Prayer Wendy L. Macdonald two drops of ink

Memoir: A Christmas Prayer

By Wendy Macdonald


One of my favorite Christmas memories was conceived through prayer. My husband and I were living in a one-room cabin on an acreage we bought in the country. It was a weekend in early December of 1994 and we were about to eat dinner. Our tiny Arborite and chrome table held plates of steaming spaghetti spiked with homegrown garlic. My husband’s favorite jar of hot sauce waited like a centerpiece for us to sprinkle some atop our pasta and sauce.

Since it was my turn to say grace, I added a request my husband and I would be granted an opportunity to watch “A Christmas Carol” during the holidays. We had no idea when it was scheduled to air on television, but my husband was hoping—pining—to see it.

After my prayer was finished, my husband said, “I’m not sure God wants us to pray for small stuff.”

I smiled. “Do you remember when a friend said something similar to me about praying for her to find a lovely place to rent? You remember what happened—eh?” (What happened was—God answered my prayer by providing my friend with a wonderful suite in a waterfront home.)

I gazed out our cabin window at another answer to one of my prayers: A lovely craftsman style home, that looked much like a picture I’d clipped out of a magazine, sat nestled between evergreens at the back of our property. All we needed to do was finish fixing it up and then we could move in. It wasn’t an easy mandate; though it was a labor of love because we adored character houses. My husband was handsomely handy and was able to rewire and re-plumb the entire building.

For the next two weeks, my husband searched through television schedules and asked others when “A Christmas Carol” was due to come on. Eventually, he gave up hope.

For years I believed it didn’t hurt to ask God for small, medium, large, or miraculous things because He can do anything; however, I didn’t always apply this faith to everything my heart desired. Sometimes I was afraid to ask. For while I strived to repaint the walls, trim, and windows of the country house, I wrestled with God in prayer about my desire for children of our own. It was a challenging prayer for me because I knew it was risky to get my hopes up only to have them dashed like they’d already been for a decade of infertility. But I finally realized—even with emotionally charged desires—it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Christmas Day arrived and we opened gifts in the project house. The forest surrounding our renovation project was frosty and quiet as if it also waited for something. When my husband opened his last gift, I chuckled as he pulled the video of “A Christmas Carol” out of a cereal box I’d disguised it with.

His face lit up with a smile. “You sneak.”

That evening we sat in our unfinished living room and watched my husband’s favorite Christmas movie while the first snowfall of the season painted our property white. Little did we know, it was our last Christmas as a childless couple, for nine months later, I gave birth to our first son.




Wendy L. Macdonald is a Canadian, inspirational writer/blogger/podcaster who also loves to photograph nature. When she’s not writing, drawing, gardening, or sewing, she enjoys hiking, with her husband, in the beautiful parks of the Comox Valley. She homeschooled her children and believes all those years of reading wonderful classics aloud helped develop her love of storytelling and writing. Wendy invites you to visit her blog: , where you will find nature photography and links to her “Daily Bread” style Facebook page and other social media sites. Her passion is inspiring others to walk with faith, hope, and love. You can hear her podcasts at: .

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  1. Don’t you just love it when God answers prayers? Particularly when he surprises you with how he answers them. Thank you for sharing this magical xmas memory. I enjoyed reading this.

    • Thank you, dear Terry. “Unexpected” seems to be God’s favorite flavor of blessings to answer our prayers with. He sure keeps life interesting. And I like it (most of the time). But I’d be a fool not to love God no matter what flavor I’m served. 🙂
      Blessings & hugs for 2018 ~ Wendy

  2. Wendy! My precious wife and I just had a conversation earlier today about praying for small stuff! She made it clear to me, if it’s truly in your heart, it’s just as important to Him. I believe my little prayer warrior.

    I read your story aloud to her. She smiled and said, “See!” Thanks for sharing your story. I loved it.

    • John, thanks for sharing your wife’s prayer story too. It sounds like Maryann and I are soul sisters. 🙂 I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask God. Often its answers to little prayers that encourage us most.
      Blessings to you both for 2018 ~ Wendy

  3. What a sweet story! I agree that God is concerned with all the details…even the little ones. I used to pray he would help me find the match to shoes when I had 4 kids under age 6. He always led me right to them…sometimes in the oddest places. Still…it was a good reminder that he knew what my life was like and was in the midst of it always. 🙂

  4. Wendy, what a lovely story. So glad you were blessed. I’ve heard many sermons over the years, but the one that still sticks with me is, if you never ask, the answer will always be no.

  5. Thank you for posting this, Scott. I treasure this memory of God knitting a long-longed-for-gift inside me as we celebrated His gift to the world.
    Merry Christmas and blessings for 2018 ~ Wendy

  6. What an exceptionally wonderful Christmas you had. Thank you for sharing this memory with us, Wendy.

    • Thank you, dear Marilyn. It’s one of our most memorable ones in so many ways. And–of course–we continue to watch “A Christmas Carol” every December. 🙂
      Blessings for 2018 ~ Wendy

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