It has always been there--the Bible promise box--on my parents' dressing table.

My mother thinks they bought it at a church camp-meeting back in the late 1940s. When we were children, we would use the tiny tongs attached at the side with a silken cord and pull out a promise, which we would then read to the rest of the family. The little round box was covered in a pale pink satin-like fabric and I remember thinking it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I grew up, married and moved out of the family home; and over the years my parents also had a few shifts--but wherever they lived, there on their dressing table, in exactly the same spot, would be the promise box. With the passing of time, the tiny tongs were lost and the pink on the box faded but God's promises remain the same: "I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi 3:6).

My father has now passed away and my mother is in Bethesda--the Seventh-day Adventist rest home in Auckland--with her precious promise box still on the dressing table.

At the end of 2005, after a lot of prayer and discussion, my husband and I put our own house on the market to move to the country. We had keen buyers in a short time, who were prepared to pay an excellent price for our house--but then we were asked if the finance settlement date could be extended for another week. We naturally said yes but when that week was up and the settlement was due at our solicitors, we were asked for yet another week. This happened a further two times and I was beginning to think our house sale would fall through. It just wasn't going to happen!

Tuesdays and Thursdays were the weekdays for visiting my mother and the following Thursday, I drove to Bethesda directly from work. After greeting Mum, who was having her evening meal, I went down the passageway to get her a cardigan.

In Mum's bedroom, I hesitated, looking at the Bible promise box. Leonie Donald now lives in Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.