This was supposed to be a post about my growing passion for vegetables (yes, the pumpkin pie belongs to the vegetable family as well), but it devolved into a slightly more crass topic; grocery shopping. My least favorite adult chore. The little “G” shaped character that lives on my shoulder, constantly tapping on it to remind me that we’re out of bread again. Who else feels like they live at the grocery store?
It doesn’t matter how well I plan and stock up on my “real” trips. The truth is, no matter how much I stockpile, we run out of an essential–milk, Cheerios, bread, coffee, coffee creamer, Lysol wipes, or cheese–at least once every other day. So, at least once every other day I’m at the store to buy that one-or-two-things, except that one-or-two-things is never just one or two and I can’t remember the last time I left the store for under $50. Then I start to think about it. $50 multiplied by every other day plus the “real” weekly trip plus all of the hours of my life that go down the drain in the process, the entire thing is pretty ugly.
Which gets me thinking about my childhood. Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid and went grocery shopping with your mom? For my brother and I, it was always a six hour undertaking. We’d drive all around town to go to at least three different stores for all the best deals and these trips were epic in length. I can literally remember standing in the canned vegetable aisle watching my mom compare prices on peas for 10+ minutes. At least that’s what it felt like as a kid (it was probably 30 seconds). But honestly, the most incredible thing about is how did she have the patience to take my brother and I to so many grocery stores all in one day? She must have been exceptionally patient.
It’s possible that the three-store grocery phenomenon is inevitable at some stage in family life, because I also now have to go to three different stores in order to get everything we need. There’s just no now way around it. The commissary is like half a mile from our house and has the best pasta sauce and Lactaid milk for Silas, Walmart is the only place that still has Smuckers natural peanut butter and plain frozen hash browns without all the hydrogenated vegetable oil, and Costco–we are now proud Costco members!–is where we now have the pleasure of purchasing eight loaves of bread all at once for like a grand total of $20. There’s no way we can go back to buying normal priced bread because the bread-eating situation is out of control in our house. Next we’ll be buying the second refrigerator + deep freezer combo for the garage that every other middle class family with children I’ve ever known has done.
I’m six weeks shy of 34 and these are the things on my mind, haha!
But all joking aside, I’m grateful for this family life. The days are often long, tiring, and relentless in the needs and the noise and the flurry that they bring. And yes, every time I turn around we’re out of milk. I’m grateful though. For all of the mouths we have to feed…that we have the money to be able to go to the store as much as we need…that we have a vehicle + gas to get to the store. Each one of these busy days brings with it a constant opportunity to choose gratitude. Or at least to try to choose gratitude! I don’t always do it well. But I’m especially humbled when I stop and take a look around the world and see the vast myriad of struggles others are dealing with. I’ve found that it’s a good habit to keep the lost and hurting in my prayers constantly, because it reminds me that my small hardships are quite small indeed. And also–even though it’s incredibly hard at times–I trust God! He will work through my weaknesses, limitations, and every monotonous toil that comes my way.
“…seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3
It is true! There is never a time when I can’t just stop, breath, and just remember that I have all that I need just by the great joy of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. That the rest will be just fine, and that every other little bit of goodness beyond Him are cherries on top!
Speaking of cherries, I guess I’ll talk about vegetables (and the fact that the light pouring through the kitchen window made for some beautiful, shadowy photos) another time. Until then, praise God for His blessings, provisions, promises, and the many, many grocery stores!