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Part 2- Savor the Season: Meditations from the Grocery Store

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The Boyer Blog: Part 2- Savor the Season: Meditations from the Grocery Store

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Part 2- Savor the Season: Meditations from the Grocery Store

Well, it was Monday again….grocery day….already. My children are 6, 4, and 3 months. My older two are generally pretty good at the grocery story, a little talkative, perhaps, but well-behaved. The newest addition to our family, however, does not like any form of shopping. Usually within five minutes of stepping into the grocery store, little James has had enough of his seat and the shuffle of holding a baby, pulling the cart, sorting coupons, and checking the grocery list begins. And all the while, Cass and Adam are chattering incessantly. I must admit, it’s not my favorite time of the week.

Around this time, a sweet older couple came toward us in the produce section. As older folk usually do, they smiled sweetly at my children and then at me, and watched us. “I remember those days” one of them said. “Enjoy those little ones- they grow up SO fast”. I could almost see the memories of their own children, now grown, flash through their minds as they looked on me and my little clan. I always appreciate these comments. I thought about it throughout the store.

Finally, I found myself ready to check-out. While waiting for the grand total, a girl (I’m guessing in her 20s?) and a young guy were bagging the groceries and carrying on their own conversation. They were discussing a pending job change. He asked her what she was planning on doing. Her answer: “I don’t know, but I’m not gonna just be a housewife!” He chuckled, “knowingly”, as if that really would be the worst option out there. She continued, repeating her statement a time or two. She went on to say that she had tried that housewife thing before and was just bored and got fat because she was bored.

Well, part of me almost felt somewhat offended, since I was standing right there, obviously a ‘housewife’ myself, with my three little ones in tow in the middle of the morning. But then, my mind was reminded of the comments from the older couple at the beginning of my shopping trip, and I was struck with an amazing contrast.

Here was a young married woman who thought that being a housewife- just a mom- was a boring life, something to be despised, something to ‘get away from’.

But just a few minutes before, I was so encouraged by that older man and woman who had lived through my stage of life, and learned some things, like, instead of wishing away frustrating shopping trips, grasp even those occasions, and find the special moment in them. Enjoy the times that you are given every day- they are moving fast! Just about every time I go to the store, older people will say similar things to me. It’s probably happened to many of you, too. The people with the wisdom gained from experience say enjoy it now, cherish them, don’t wish it away, these are precious memories. The young woman, focused more on what pleases her, and under the influence of a culture that belittles “just being a housewife” tries to run from it and do all she can to not be “tied down”. In an article I wrote about a year ago, I mentioned the amazing fact to me that almost all adults whose children are grown, will say that they miss it so much- the stage I am in right now. The stage that can feel so overwhelming sometimes is the very stage they wish for, when their children were young. If so many of them say the same thing, I think that is a good signal for us parents to stop and learn from them. (See the article Cherish the Moments)

On my way out the store, my heart ached for that young woman, because I feared she may look back one day in the years to come and wish for the chance to ‘just be a housewife’ again.

While tossing all this over in my mind, another thought came to me that seemed to stop me in my tracks. It was this: “Do I make “being a housewife” or a mom, attractive to the world? When people like that young woman see me in the grocery store, frazzled and hurried, do they see someone acting and reacting with God-given grace and love toward my children, someone who is a peace with this season of life God has placed me in? Or do they see me in those stressful moments acting and reacting with a short-temper, curt words, anger, and irritation, with a sour expression, and an attitude that clearly says “I AM NOT happy”. All too often, I fear I fall to the latter. If that’s what others see from us with children, Christians, no wonder they don’t desire to ‘be like us’, to ‘just be a housewife’. I was reminded that day that I am a witness to the gospel of Christ, not just by my words, but in deed. People really are watching. Titus 2 says that we are to be lovers of our husbands and children, discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, kind. And why? So that God’s Word would not be dishonored. When I fail to act according to God’s word, I bring dishonor to the gospel.

My prayer that day, as I drove out of the parking lot of the grocery store, was that when people observe me with my children, wherever I am, that I would make being a mom, a keeper at home, the GOSPEL attractive, and that, by my actions, I would not turn someone the other way.

~Kari Boyer



Blogger Sarah @ Fiddledeedee said...

I have often thought about this same thing.

One particular day where things with my little ones in the buggy were getting a little crazy, I was reminded that perhaps a woman contemplating abortion was walking through that very store and saw me - what would her perception of motherhood be? Needless to say, it was a good reminder of how much a mother loving her children (as well as children showing obedience to their mother) can show Christ's love to others. God can certainly use "just a housewife" at the grocery store for a mighty purpose.

Thank you so much for the encouragement!

August 4, 2010 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger April said...

Thank you, Kari! This morning I'm preparing a devotional for a homeschool mom's retreat in a few weeks. Our theme is on stewardship, focusing on grocery shopping, couponing, and sharing our bounty. I'm going to read your blog entry as part of my devotional. This is an awesome testimony. I'm certain it will be an encouragement to the other moms as it is to me! Sarah's perspective is quite an eye-opener too! Just when we think we are too busy to be active pro-lifers, we can realize that in the midst of our daily living God can use us right where we are!

August 5, 2010 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Carissa said...

I too am a young mother of 4 (ages 9,5,3,and 3 months). This is a good reminder to me to show Christ's love to my children so that others can perhaps feel His love for them. Too often I am guilty of looking like the harried mother instead of seeing the joy that is set before me. Also on a practical note for you: you might want to try a baby sling/carrier for your infant in the stores. My infant also despises shopping trips in her carseat, but is quite content to travel the grocery store in her baby bjorn.

August 5, 2010 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Michelle Hogan said...

I love this post! Thanks so much. I'm the mom of 7 and even though some of my kids are older and I have lots of help, I remind myself often that this is my chosen job - and I love it. I once read a book about a woman who went on a Buddhist retreat. She had to do the dishes everyday (this was unusual for her), and it was annoying her. The monk there told her to smile, even when she didn't feel like smiling. She did. She smiled, very fakely at first, through the dishes, until she actually started to relax and the smiling came naturally. I have employed this tip often! I will smile and talk sweetly even though my first instinct is to yell and be angry. I find that just the act of talking nice, turns my own mood around. It makes me sad to see the many kids getting dropped off at daycare every morning, because their moms find being home "boring." My life is anything but boring!

August 5, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Jaime said...

My children are about the same age as yours, 5, 3, and 4 months. As I read your post I was thinking how I could have written it! My older 2 are very good in the store and just like you said, just a little talkative or singing. The baby sometimes sleeps, but most of the time I am pushing the cart around and feeding him a bottle at the same time! It is not my favorite time of the week either, but it is one of the only times we get out and are able to influence others. Thank you for the reminder about people watching! Sometimes I fail to remember that just by being different as Christians, being happy, being content, people can see Christ. Loved your post!

August 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Julia's family said...

Amen! Thanks, Kari. =)

August 5, 2010 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Mama said...

This is great and encourages me to remind myself when I go out with my JClan, 7y,4y,2.5y,1.5y,& 11wks,to have the Glory of God with me and our actions/reactions. I am blessed that lately my children have actually been a great testimony to our life style of "housewife", "homeschoolers", "large family", getting many compliments on how well behaved they are. Praise the Lord He has heard and listened to our Prayers about this!
Thanks for the encouragment and reminder! I love my JOB! :)

June 5, 2011 at 11:29 AM  

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