Upon reaching for the top shelf to grab two small cans of green chiles, I heard footsteps and voices just behind me. Based on their conversation I was quick to determine one voice was that of an employee and the other a customer. The customer, a young, attractive lady (most likely only a few years older than my 20 year-old daughter) with a small shopping cart containing chicken, a can of white beans and a few other items was searching for green chiles. As I began to step back with two cans in hand, the young lady gestured toward me and said, “I’ll get the kind that she’s getting. She looks like she knows best.” I smiled and told her that I almost always purchase Old El Paso because they’re my favorite and a staple in my pantry. When I asked her what she was making she said, “White Bean Chicken Chili. It’s my first time and I’ve never even heard of green chiles until now. I called my Mom and she tried to help me but I still couldn’t find them.” I smiled and told her that I was certain it was going to be fabulous and to enjoy it.
The employee gone by now, the young lady and I began to walk away. Then she turned and said, “thank you again so much. You are so cute and I love your hat.” Typical of many of us Southern ladies and without thinking much, I replied with my best, “Oh, this old thing?” and let her know that I had ‘thrown’ together myself with leggings, an oversized T-shirt and ponytail stuck through the ball cap so I could “get this grocery shopping over with.” She laughed, smiled big and said, “Well girl, I couldn’t tell. You are adorable.”
Earlier that morning I had been on the floor on my face in prayer. Praying for God’s will, discernment, direction, guidance, wisdom – and the RIGHT attitude about going to the dang grocery store! Yes, that’s right – full transparency here – I was dreading it so much that it didn’t make sense. Quite frankly, I felt silly and borderline ridiculous. As the Lord worked on me in that moment, He reminded me to be thankful. Thankful for provision. His provision. Thankful for health and the ability to get in the car and drive and get out of the car and walk and check-out and have the money to pay. So I got myself up, drove to Kroger and was determined to find joy in the everyday tasks of life.
Wow, what might have transpired had I not entered the store with a fresh perspective and adjusted attitude? Would the Lord have allowed the young lady’s path to cross mine? How might I have responded to her differently? Would I have missed out on the blessing of her kind words? The words I desperately needed to hear. Would she have missed a blessing from me?
The next day I went to the grand opening of Trader Joe’s. Long line in the rain to get in, shoulder-to-shoulder people (like sardines packed up in there, y’all). I didn’t even make it to every aisle because I eventually found myself stuck. Unintentionally stuck in a long check-out line. So I waited. And joyfully allowed the young mom with a baby on her hip to slip in line ahead of me. Responded “yes” to countless folks who requested to pass between my buggy and the young mom so they could get to the other aisles. Visited with the older lady behind me who lost her husband a year ago. He loved to visit Trader Joe’s when they traveled.
So many lessons.
My grocery shopping will never be the same.
Kroger, Trader Joe’s or elsewhere.