Grocery Shopping with Seven Children {or "Who put this in the cart?}

I like shopping alone.

Of course when I get back my husband says "what took so long," and I say "it always seems longer for the one who stays home with the kids."

Trust me. - - I also think "what took so long" when he does the shopping...

Anyway, shopping alone doesn't happen very often.

We were out of town Labor Day weekend and I had a busy week following that, so I had to get creative with my menus as the cupboard shelves started looking bare. Finally, on Saturday we headed for the store after an outing to a Lighthouse. Of course that meant that all of the children were with us plus a daycare child who is often here on weekends.

When we arrived, I paused at the door to wipe down the family-sized cart with the added bench seat on it with disinfecting wipes before securing the boys in it, and my husband started shopping with another cart.

The unfortunate truth is, when two adults with two different carts are shopping you already have the perfect recipe for duplicates and surprises.

Add seven children and you can only imagine how that recipe multiplies!

At one point my oldest showed me a box of pop tarts that had been placed in the cart. "Ask Dad." I said. "He has been picking up snacks to take to work." They weren't Dad's so Dad set them back out of the cart.
When we got to the check out, Hubby told me that he was going to take the kids to the car and feed them candy while I checked out. In my haste, I was not paying close attention to what was being placed on the conveyor belt.

As I put away the groceries at home, I was amused to find several random things:

*ONE single serving of yogurt. (Apparently placed in the cart by my youngest daughter who loves yogurt. Try dividing THAT six way - 'cause we all know that everything has to be FAIR!)

*1 package of shrimp flavored Ramen noodles. (Also placed in the cart by my youngest daughter who loves PINK!)

*One squeeze bottle of name brand mustard - because it came with a sample packet of Dijon mustard attached to it. (Courtesy of my son.)

*One box of chocolate covered pretzels in "one-hundred calorie" packets. No one will claim responsibility for that one.

I chuckled as I put these things away and thought about how we don't always get what we plan for in life. Those surprises may not be good or bad. They may even start out looking bad and turn out to be good - like having a child with disabilities, or moving to a new town for a job then getting laid off as soon as you get there.
It all comes down to this: God's ways are higher than our ways.

While I was thinking about this, I heard a lady on the radio talking about some of the random things that made people late for work on 9/11 --and which ultimately resulted in saving their lives. Little things like:

Dropping their child off to the first day of kindergarten.
Stopping at the bakery because it was their day to bring donuts.
The alarm clock did not go off.
Stuck in traffic because of an accident.
Missed the bus and had to wait for the next one.
Spilled food on their clothes and had to change.
Car wouldn't start.
Went back to answer the telephone.
Was wearing a new pair of shoes and developed a blister so they stopped at a pharmacy to buy a bandaid.
A child that dawdled and didn't get ready on time.

I knew that those people may have felt extremely frustrated in the situation while it was happening. They may have fussed and fumed, hastened and hurried, tapped their foot or bit their nails as they waited, or scolded the dawdling child.

They would not have known in those moments that these inconveniences were God's Appointments for them, (just as I mentioned in Organizing your day the Mary and Martha way.)

A couple of times in my life, I have felt that the delays I was experiencing were so out of the ordinary that I was sure that they were orchestrated by God on my behalf and I remained calm. But most often, I fuss and fume, hasten and hurry, jitter and scold  - - forgetting that ordinary delays can be God's appointments, too. - - Just like unplanned things in the shopping cart.

After hearing this on the radio, I have felt much calmer about the little annoying delays this week. I'm sure that the people saved by delays on 9/11 think of that from time to time, too.

....And I am willing to wager that that dawdling child got an apology and an extra tight hug later that day...


My Instagram