I went grocery shopping this morning and I took Emmy & Micah along. Not because I wanted to, but because since I am their mother I sort of have a responsibility to care for them 24/7. So off we went, in the rain, to make 3 different stops to complete our shopping for a 2 week time period.
In Aldz Emmy decided that this was a wonderful morning to have a bad attitude. So in this isle along with the cereal, pasta, and juices of various kinds I sweetly reminded her that she needed to let her light shine for Jesus and that this morning she was to do that by obeying while we were out shopping. For a moment I thought we were going to all be blessed with a loud rendition of “This Little Light Of Mine”, but she stayed quiet and quietly fell into place along side me…till we rounded the next isle, that is. In this isle she thought she would be helpful by adding many un-needed & unwanted items to the cart such as air fresheners, wooden spoons, jello cups, and other interesting items.
When we finally arrived at the check-out the cashier grabbed the cart ahead of me because I wasn’t unloaded yet which meant that I had to swap Micah to the other card along with our “stuff” which seemed to be plentiful on a cold, rainy, Binghamton morning. I kept my happy smile pasted on while listening to the prattle of an older couple who kept a running commentary of the going ons around us…which I didn’t agree with what they were saying…all the while swapping carts & trying my best to keep a busy almost 3 year old under control. We made it to the counter to bag and I rescued the yogurts from near bursting open under the help of my “little helper” which every older person on this planet deems Emmy to be. I would love to turn to these people and ever so sweetly say…”NO! She is not my little helper…but if you had any sense at all you would be kind enough to help me!”
I packed my bags while keeping up a running diologe with Emmy about why the signs say you can’t sit on the counter and then we bundled up to go back out into the pouring ran. I kicked myself into over drive & raced through my “rain routine” to get the kids & groceries into the van & out of the rain. One stop complete…2 more to go.
We arrive at Wal-mart and I no longer get in the door & start down my list when I am forced to deal with a crying toddler in the pharmacy section over riding in the cart. I decided it’s not a battle to be fought here and let her ride in the cart until it’s too full to fit her. As I go from isle to isle my frustration begins to simmer…then starts coming to a boil as I notice that almost all the prices have risen in just 2 weeks since I’ve last been to the store. 20 cents here, 3 dollars there…all the while adding up to be around $20! My mind stews on the frustation of not being able to win the “grocery store game” anymore…where I would have fun shopping trying to get out of the store under budget. Now it’s a game to just keep to the budget with maybe a $5 extra.
Again I battle the rain with 2 little ones and a host of bags. Stop 2 complete…1 more to go. Oops! I forgot to buckle Emmy…she’s great about letting me know…and had to stop the car and climb out to end her panic. Finally in Sams parking lot I glance around trying to pick a stratiegic parking place. I make my choice, pull in, park the van, pull the keys and put them in my pocket. I pull our my membership card and put it in my coat pocket for easy access at the door. I get out & begin my “rain routine” for getting out of the car. As we head to the door, my purse & a heavy-weight little one in my arms & Emmy in tow by my other arm…we come to a huge puddle…no…mini pond in the parking lot. It’s pouring…I just want to get to the door & get the few items I need. If I hadn’t needed diapers I would have turned around then. But due to the gas prices I make each trip count & I can’t afford to come another day. So we wade through the “Sam’s Pond” and soak my nice leather shoes. I reach the door & try to find a dry cart…none were to be found so I decided to use the carts that you can strap to kids into a front attachement…which you almost need a special license to use…but I have to show my card to the guy first. Card? ….Where is my card?! Nope, it’s not in the pocket I put it in. The other by chance… No. Good grief! I’m juggling my purse, little porker (as we call Micah) and spinning circles to keep Emmy away from the candy, from walking in the way of people trying to get in the door and trying desperately to find that card! I finally looked at the guy & told him that I had lost it in the parking lot…what could I do? He told me to go to customer service. 15 minutes later I have a new card and a dry cart. I muster all the muscles I have to drive this tractor-trailer version of a shopping cart around the store without taking anyone out. I get what I need, pay, and head back out into the rain. Still pouring. I get to the van & the door that I need is blocked by a lady loading her car next to mine…her cart is still full! I switch to plan B while trying to keep Emmy & my own feet out of “Sam’s Pond” for an extended swim.
I finally got myself, the little ones, & the groceries all loaded in and started home. I was feeling quite exhausted from a simple task. As I drove home my mind began to unwind and my feet began to dry. How was it that I let a few little things work me into such a tizzy? I began mentally walking back over my morning and countering each frustration with a “thankful thought”. I was glad that even though I had wet feet I could go home to a dry house & put on dry socks. I was thankful that all the happenings which made me late to get home…allowing Justin & Abby to beat us home…worked out that Justin was home to help me unload. I was thankful that my Sam’s card wasn’t a credit card, just a membership card and that I didn’t have to be worred about someone racking up charges. I was thankful that even though I spent all my grocery money, I hadn’t gone over my budget. And most of all I was thankful that God kept us safe of the roads in some bad weather conditions.
So why is it that sometimes it’s the little things that bug us more than the big things? I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit pricked my heart quickly & the my whole day wasn’t spent feeling grumpy. So I’m going to start walking around with a fly swatter to help remind me to squash those pesky little things before I let them turn into a giant bad attitude.
Thank You, Lord…for the little things You use to teach us big lessons.