What a Pair of UGG Boots Taught Me About Prayer

What UGG Boots Taught Me About Prayer

by Susan Stillwell

My daughter Sarah has an affinity for boots. When she went away to college, I noticed a lot of her cute coed friends wearing UGG boots, so I decided to surprise her with a pair for Christmas. I found a beautiful pair in a style I hadn’t seen before—camel colored, tall profile “Bailey” boots that had roll-down tops and cute buttons on the side. I paid more than I’d planned, but I knew she’d love them.

That is, until a few weeks later when she emailed me a link to the boots she wanted: chocolate brown, short, and plain. Not even close to the ones I’d already wrapped with shiny Christmas foil. I consulted with her dad and brother who, like typical men, told me to give her the ones I bought and not worry about it.

Yeah, but what parent wants to give their kid the wrong gift?

The internal debate continued as Christmas drew nearer. To return them, I’d have to make a day trip out of town. Before the holidays. In iffy December weather. So I took the guys’ advice, kept the Baileys and hoped for the best.

What a Pair of UGG Boots Taught Me About PrayerChristmas morning arrived and Sarah ripped into her big shiny box. Digging through the tissue paper, she froze when she saw them.
“BAILEY BOOTS?” She squealed, “How did you know I wanted BAILEY BOOTS?”

“But you asked for something else!” I fussed, “Why didn’t you tell me you wanted the Baileys?”

“Because Baileys are expensive and I thought they cost too much. But they were the ones I really wanted.”

I wonder if we don’t sometimes pray that way. Too many times, really. We aim low, afraid to tell God the true desires of our hearts because we think we might be asking too much.

But is there such a thing as “too much” for the all-powerful, all-sufficient Creator and Sustainer of the universe? The reality is that even when we aim as high as we can imagine, it doesn’t even come close to what He can do. What He might want to do.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… – Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)

As Paul penned those words, I wonder if the Holy Spirit brought to mind the words of Jesus. If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him (Matthew 7:11)!

What if we expanded our prayers to sound like,
“Lord, You know I have this specific need/concern. I’m dreaming of [insert your big dream here]. But I trust You to provide for this in the very best way, and in a way that’s unmistakably YOU.”

Open-ended, audacious, and expectant. We might end up with some really cool boots of our own.

Susan StillwellSusan Stilwell makes her home in the Virginia mountains and is a member of Word Weavers Online. This Hokie majored in Computer Science and spends too much time on her devices. Family and friends make her life full, and that spills out into her community.
Besides wandering in the mountains, she teaches, speaks, writes, and dreams about her next trip to Israel.
Connect with Susan on Twitter, Facebook, or SusanStilwell.com

Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell consults, writes and speaks on a variety of topics. Her clients appreciate her technical expertise and attention to detail on their websites, projects, and social media strategies. Technical "how-tos" are Susan's favorite articles to write. You can find her working as a blog designer and contributing writer at Fistbump Media. Susan also serves as a hospital chaplain associate and is a voracious scripture memorizer. She's a conference speaker and passionate expositor of God’s Word, and active on Twitter, Facebook, and SusanStilwell.com

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Google Plus - YouTube


  1. I know it must have been hard, but thanks for listening to Steve and Scott!

    Jeff 🙂

  2. It’s always good to read your words again! And what a great post. I love posts on praying because this is something I really need to make more of an active part of my life. I have many of conversations with Him but I need to spend more time in prayer. Thanks for sharing, Susan.

  3. Sometimes when we ask God, He gives us more than what we bargain for! Great post!

  4. What a wonderful post! I admit that I never thought about it like that because dreaming big has always made me feel selfish and unappreciative. I always want to be happy with what I have and not “bother” Him, but this puts a new perspective on things.

  5. Susan- this is a truly wonderful story- thanks so much for sharing.
    I often worry I’ve got it wrong too-
    Gota listen to God and not to the accuser, for sure !
    Well done:)

    Praying you can walk comfortably in some nice UGG boots or even something dressy- soon- if not yet.
    May God who has begin the good work in healing your foot, be faithful to complete it.


  6. God is far more gracious and generous than we can ever imagine. I loved reading this reminder of His wonder!

  7. Great analogy!
    I, too, am guilty of ” not wanting to bother God with my requests”, but find myself trying to make do with what I’ve got on hand.

  8. Your analogy was spot on, Susan. I was wondering where you were going with the boots and as soon as I saw the word “prayer” I couldn’t help but smile. I cringe to think of how many times I’ve prayed for a pond when God wanted to give me the ocean.

    I won’t soon forget this post, my friend, especially when I see a pair of UGG boots.

  9. This is why I know we are sisters. I bought Brittany the same boots in Chocolate two years ago. It was a total surprise to her because she never asked for them because zhe didnt think her mother would buy those pricy boots. Surprise!!!! Wait until I tell her this story. Wow!!

  10. You friends are too kind! I’m glad this post made you think, and even gladder it impressed you to pray BIG. He will do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything we can ask!

  11. Susan well done my sister in Christ. For some reason I have always found it difficult to ask God to do or be for me. I always felt that I should always lift others and by doing so God would directly or indirectly bless me. Stepping out of the boat into the uncomfortable world were Jesus is sometimes very difficult because we often do not pray or seek His will in our lives. It makes little difference how much we suffer in our lives because He, the only God, suffered the most so we truly can be free.

  12. Well, It’s really good to read your post and I loved it again as always also the example you have given here is so impressive and touchy.

Comments are closed.