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Birthday Present

The next Monday, just before school started, Lisa saw Annabelle.

Lisa said, “Hi, Annabel. How was your weekend?”

Annabelle always spoke with a soft voice, but today seemed to be a little bit different to Lisa.

Annabelle said, very softly, “It was OK. … Oh, how was your field trip to the farm last Friday?”

Lisa responded, “We had a really good time. The guide was really funny. And after lunch, a few of the kids decided they wanted to ride on the horses. I decided I would just kinda sit around and watch and see what was going on.”

Annabelle said, “I wish I could’ve gone to the farm, I mean, last year. The second grade always goes to the farm. On that day, I wasn’t feeling very well, so I had to stay home. It was a great disappointment to me. I’m not sure why I still remember that, but I do.”

Lisa said, “Oh, I wish you will have another opportunity to go. Maybe to another farm somewhere.“

Annabelle said, “Uhhh. I don’t know. I guess it’s not really that important.”

Lisa said, “Thanks for inviting me to your birthday party. I know that’s gonna be real exciting.”

Annabelle said, still softly, “Yeah. I guess so. I invited several of the girls from my class, and a few that are in your class. … I don’t know. … It just seems like people don’t like me very much. I’m not quite sure why.“

Lisa said, “I will ask God if He can show me some things that will encourage you.“

Annabelle said, “Thanks, Lisa. You’re really a wonderful friend. Thanks for saying you’ll come to my birthday party. Well, it’s time for school. I’ll talk to you later.”

Lisa said, “OK. Talk to you later.”


When Lisa got home from school that day, she was still trying to figure out what a really good gift would be for Annabelle‘s birthday. Lisa wanted it to be super special for her.

Lisa went into her room and looked at the sketches that she had made when she was on the farm. Most of them looked kind of rough, and not really finished. She didn’t have very much time, because they kept moving around.

Lisa looked at the sketch she made of the horse that was just standing around with nobody to ride it. She was a little bit sad for the horse, but she was kind of glad that she had more time to be able to sketch it. She looked at what she had drawn, and then she felt like God told her what to do for the birthday present.

Lisa asked her mom to take her to the store, so that she could get a frame for the drawing that she made of the horse at the farm. She told her mom that it was going to be a birthday present for Annabelle. Lisa’s mom said she thought that was a fantastic idea.


When Lisa arrived at Annabelle‘s birthday party, she was very surprised. There were only two other girls that showed up for the birthday party. Lisa was thinking this was really going to be discouraging for Annabelle.

Annabelle greeted Lisa, “Hi, Lisa! Thanks for coming.”

Lisa said, “I wouldn’t want to miss it, Annabelle. You are a wonderful friend.“

Annabelle said, “Thanks, Lisa.“

For the party, Annabelle’s mom had prepared a few fun games for the girls. They were games where they asked each other questions and gave silly answers.

When it came time to open up the presents, Annabelle was very happy and appreciative of all of the gifts that she received. Lisa was kind of wondering if the picture that she drew of the horse was going to help Annabelle, so that she wouldn’t feel so left out that she couldn’t go to the farm.

After the party was officially over, the other two girls left, but Lisa stayed a little bit longer.

Annabelle said, “Lisa, I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate the gift you gave me. It was very thoughtful.”

Lisa was expecting Annabelle to say something else, so she was very quiet. Lisa looked over at Annabelle and noticed that she was starting to cry.

Lisa said, “I wish I knew how you feel. When I first came here, I was thinking that I was going to feel like this - like you, feeling left out. But for some reason that didn’t happen. I don’t know why.”

Annabelle said, “If you want me to tell you, I know why. I know you felt left out at first, but you didn’t allow that to keep you from reaching out to other kids. The other kids recognize this. Lisa, you are the most caring girl I’ve ever met in my life. Frieda is an example of a girl who was very lonely and sad when she first came here, but you reached out to her. You invited her to lots of stuff, and introduced her to a lot of people. Because you show love to so many other people, they want to be around you. But sadly, I’m not like that.”

Lisa said, “You can change. But you’re gonna have to let God help you. You have a very good example of someone close to you that God was able to change in this way. Your cousin, Herc, is now a totally different person than he was a few months ago. Yes, we reached out to Herc, but Herc realized he needed God to help him to learn how to respond to that love.”

Annabelle said, “Thank you so much for reminding me of that. I say reminding, because it’s not like I don’t know it.”

Lisa could tell that Annabelle wasn’t finished with what she wanted to say, so Lisa waited.

Annabelle continued, “You may not realize this, Lisa, but the drawing that you made of that horse actually did something special for me. The only reason why I wanted to go to the farm last year was so that I could ride a horse. In a Bible story once, when all the people who are coming back with Jesus, when He’s victorious, will be riding on a horse. I thought if I was going to ride on a horse with Jesus, I needed to get a little bit of practice. That may sound silly to you, but that’s what I was thinking. When you gave me the picture that you drew of the horse, I think God said something to me, like, ‘I have a horse for you to ride that looks like this one. You don’t have to actually ride it right now. Just use your imagination.‘ “

Lisa said, “Wow! That certainly is amazing. I felt something very similar when I was in Scotland. When I saw the horses, I thought God said the same thing to me. It’s good to use our imagination. God has given it to us for a purpose. I’m not saying I got it all figured out. But I’m so glad that God directed me to give you the drawing of the horse.”

Annabelle said, “I really enjoy talking about this with you, Lisa. I am feeling that good things are going to be coming soon for me. I’m glad you’re with me.“

Lisa had the same feeling of pleasure from the Lord that she had a few times before. Lisa told Annabelle that she agreed that good things were coming for Annabelle. And Lisa thanked the Lord for that.

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