We’ve all been there. I’m there pretty often actually.
I’m checking out at the grocery store with my four little ones around me. My 6 year old daughter is in the cart crying because her favorite flip-flops broke and well, because she really doesn’t want to be sitting in the cart. My 9 year old son is at war with my 3 year old son on aisle 9 of the grocery store. Weapons of choice? Bouncy balls. Really large, annoyingly obnoxious, bouncy balls. My 2 month old sweetheart is whimpering, grunting and snorting with no understanding of why on earth I would be asking her to be patient when all she wants is some good milk! Okay, got the picture?
Now picture this. I finally get all the groceries out of the cart from around my heartbroken, shoe-less child and down the line to the clerk, swipe my card and…. nothing.
Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.
“Haha…that’s weird…I don’t know what happened…I must have hit the wrong button… let me try that again…”
Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.
Times. One. Million.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with it…I know there’s money in my account…I don’t have any cash on me…what should I do?!”
The cashier asked me to step aside while I figured it out (and got ahold of myself), and I quickly complied. Oh man. I could feel my heart beating faster, sweat was accumulating on my forehead and lip, I immediately wanted to put my newly done hair up in a pony tail, and the kids were suddenly on my very last nerve.
I grabbed my phone to call my husband hoping he would wave his magic wand and fix my dramatic nightmare in the grocery store. The internet was open on my phone and before clicking off of it I glanced at a quote from Billy Graham.
“Your own family circle knows whether Christ lives in you and through you. If you are a true Christian, you will not give way at home to a bad temper, impatience, fault-finding, sarcasm, unkindness, suspicion, selfishness, or laziness…”
Conviction. Preemptive conviction.
Before I could give way to frustration, to my temper, to unkindness, God quickly and gently reminded me of who I am in Him. I did not need to, or have to, give in to my circumstances.
I could choose joy. I could choose self-control. I could choose patience. I could choose peace.
And I did.
I didn’t get ahold of my husband. Darn that hard-working lovable man. But I did get ahold of God. Or better yet, He got ahold of me. In the middle of the grocery store.
I took a deep breath, put my hair back down, told the kids to follow me, and I got back in line. My poor kiddos were staring at me with huge eyes asking if everything was okay. I told them yes, but I’m not sure they believed me. The cashier probably thought I was nuts, heck, by that point I thought I was nuts. But I had a stirring from the Lord that this was not about money but about something much more eternal.
I needed to swipe that card again.
Just. Like. That.
With a smile on my face, me and my shoe-less, whimpering, obnoxious ball throwing kiddos left the store with a cart full of groceries and a heart full of gratitude.
God chose to use a small, unimportant, mundane activity to teach this mom a lesson, one that I am ever learning. No matter my circumstance, I am a child of God and He has enabled me to walk out that circumstance in Him. By His divine power He has given me everything I need to live a godly life.
It is now my choice to use what He has given me. To be patient in a grocery store. To love my kids even when they’re being kids. (You know what I mean.) To smile at a stressful situation that really isn’t that big of a deal. To think good thoughts about my husband when he has no idea that I’m even thinking about him. To trust God and walk in His way no matter what.
I am humbled to say that today… I did. This sinful-saved-by-grace mom has her hair down and her hands raised up.
”Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and has made the LORD his hope and confidence.” – Jeremiah 17:7