Everyday life, Ministry

Ministry and Grocery Carts

I was so inspired at the grocery store today that I just had to share.

Avocados are on sale. That’s all. Go on back to whatever you were doing.

Okay, that’s not it. But it does make me happy when they’re on sale.

It has been a long day today and I was wiped out. I took the girls to a great play-place, then to McDonalds, then to the fabric store (Harper Stamps, I may have gotten a little something for you…I can’t resist sewing for babies who love a good monogram…:)), then for slushes at Sonic, followed by a trip to the grocery store. I must say, they were total troopers but I will never try and do this many things in one day. And no, 2 stops at fast food places is not normal for us. But it was good.

So, needless to say I was a little wiped out by the time we hit Publix, and it seemed like the girls were all over the place. I tried to shove all the essentials in the cart while they darted around but by the time we got to checkout I was not in a happy place. And the fact that the trashy magazines were featuring a woman wearing a bikini and holding her 5 week old son did nothing to help me.

TOTALLY brought me back to the time Todd and I did a bikini/speedo beach photo shoot 3 days after I had the twins. Because that’s normal. Bikinis and infants.

And if you believe that, I will sell you some avocados for $10 each.

So anyway, we’re checking out and I have lost all patience. I mean, you would never have known that, because I’m smiling like the happiest clam in the ocean and waving to all the cashiers I always see there so I don’t lose my sanity. Incidentally, Mr. Ike always helps me to my car and I have started parking a little farther away so I can chat with him more. He is the nicest guy, and I found out several months ago that he’s in law school and works at Publix to try and pay his way. He has broken English so I’m not sure how much effort people put into connecting with him, but man are they missing out. He is incredibly smart and just a genuinely good guy.

Despite the fact that we have been going there for umm, years, Kate finally noticed tonight that his skin was darker than hers. I told her he used to live in Africa and he had only been here a few years. He was still putting groceries in the car so I’m pretty sure he saw Kate pump her fist in the air and exclaim, “That is so awesome, because that’s where we live! LOVE Africa.”

I tried to explain that Todd used to live there. We got a good laugh out of it though, and I confessed to Mr. Ike that I would not be making trips to the States every week to come to Publix. But I might for Target.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Paying for groceries.

Well before Mr. Ike helped me out, Ellie pulled a book off the little Christian book thingy that sits by the checkout (Do you all have those? Pretty cool!). She brought it over to me and asked if she could please buy it. It was called “100 Daily Prayers for Women.”  She can read, so she knew what the topic was. I knew we had about a bazillion books that were very similar at home so I shook my head and told her no. I asked her to go put it back and then finished up at the register.

A few seconds later, I felt a hand tap me on the shoulder and I turned around expecting to see someone I knew saying hello. I didn’t recognize the man but he was in the checkout lane next to me and had seen the interaction I had with Ellie. Very gently, he smiled and said, “Excuse me, ma’am? Would it be okay with you if I bought that book as a gift for your little girl? It would be my honor.”


I chatted with him for a few minutes, explaining that we were Christians and that we had a kind of extensive library of devotional-type books and he nodded happily.

“It was just really a special moment to see a little girl asking for a book like that. I just thought that, you know, if you couldn’t…well, I just thought I would offer…”

I haven’t stopped thinking about it because it was such a small gesture, but based on the fact that this was a person who didn’t want to miss a ministry opportunity. He didn’t force it, he just sensed that it might be a door cracked open a smidge.

I love it.

I want to see those moments more clearly and have a sense of what the Lord is calling me to do.

What if it had been another harried, exhausted woman who didn’t know where she was going to turn that night when she got home? It could have been anyone.

I am sure it was me because I needed a reminder.

The Lord works everywhere.

Even in frozen food and chaos.

I’m praying for you as you read this, asking the Lord to grant you wisdom in discerning where He is calling you to go out on a limb and tell His story, even if it feels insignificant.

I think I need to make a trip back to the store and have a little talk with Mr. Ike about his thoughts on the Lord. Pretty soon he’s going to start wondering why a big pregnant lady is parking in the back of the lot.

I’ll just tell him that’s the easy part.

After all, we flew here from Africa just to talk to him. What’s a couple more steps?

Hmm, a couple more steps. Here to there. One register to the next.

How about you? I would love to hear how someone has blessed you in an everyday way…

I’m so blessed to be walking with you.

One little step at a time.


P.S. I may need to expand my ministry to a few more girl scouts. What if they need to know about Jesus? I’ll stick to that theory.

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