Yes, you read that right. My title is Crying in the Chip Aisle. Who was crying? That would be me.
I was simply overwhelmed. I went to get groceries. In my house, when I leave to go to the store, my entire, lovely, and always cheerful (grin) clan wants to come with. At that point I have two options.
A) take all of them with me and add at least 90 minutes to my shopping time and come home with numerous items that I didn’t need and go over my budget and deal with many people asking me, “are they all yours?”or
B) go by myself (or with the one helper as I typically try to take one with me and of course I have cute Samuel) and stay within dollars of the budget goal while sipping a caramel latte and having extra minutes to leisurely browse the numerous clearance racks while menu planning in my head.
Now, with the aid of the post title, can you guess which option I chose today? Yes — that would be — Option A.
Not with everyone, mind you — and I honestly wanted them to come. I love my kids. I just reached overwhelm. In the chip aisle. My awesome four year old guy, Caleb, has more energy then he knows how to handle. I’d spent an hour carefully dodging his darting figure at Target, and then another hour re-directing him at CUB Foods. By the time I’d apologized six or seven times for his quick cut in front of another cart, and answered “no, not today,” to Grace for the 45th item she’d like to purchase I simply had enough.
So I began to cry — quietly — in the chip aisle. In front of the Salt and Vinegar and Dill Pickle Chips. Small tears of self-pity formed in my weary eyes. I just wanted to sit down and stop. Then as soon as I began I remembered an interaction I had about 35 minutes prior.
Move to the deli.
As I was ordering my half-price honey ham, and already exhausted, my sweet Gracie was interacting with Samuel. It was kind of bugging me — she was loud and jumping up and down — but Samuel was laughing. Then this kind old man who works at the grocery store comes up to me with a wide grin. He stops. And watches. And says,
What a blessing. It’s so beautiful to see siblings who love each other. You’re blessed.
That’s what I needed to remember. Blessings. So, I quickly grabbed a bag of the sale chips (two for one tortilla chips — in case you were curious), placed them in a precarious place in my bulging cart, and walked over and gave the wiggly Caleb of mine a hug.
Looks like God gave me a live example of switching things around. I lost sight of the beauty — only to hear it in the deli and find it again in the chip aisle.
Oh- I have been there!! What a blessing the man at the deli was. Isn’t it amazing how God sends just the right people to say just the right thing!?
Your Caleb and my Wesley could tear apart a grocery store in 10 minutes flat! 🙂 I only have two, but I have felt like crying in the check out aisle before. Blessings! They are such wonderfully challenging blessings! Thanks again for the reminder to be thankful.
This is such a great reminder. You know, I get SO stressed out in stores. It is hard with only my 3 and I have cried in target in the corner, near the twinkle light section!!!
Then end of this post is such a good reminder. Kids are a lot of work but they are the sweetest kind.
I would have chosen Option B, but then again I don’t have as many children as you so it should be no problem to choose Option A. I love God’s little nudges that refocus our attention on the things that matter!
How wonderful that you remembered that kind man’s words and it encouraged you. Strangers can spread happiness.
Yes, strangers in themselves can be a blessing!
Oh how I have been there! I remember once when my friend brought her friend over to my house (unexpectedly). Her friend was a “doctor’s wife” and super cute and trendy and I was at home with 3 wild little ones and praising God if I remembered to brush my teeth. My house was a big ole mess and the first thing I said was, “I am so sorry about my house, but what can I do with 3 little ones!” (Hear me trying to insert humor) Her response has changed my life forever . . . She simply said, “I would give anything for my house to look like this.” How was I supposed to know that she was struggling with infertility and truly would give anything to have 3 wild kiddos running around her perfect house destroying it in every way! I love how God tells us what we need to hear when we need to hear it! He’s so good like that!
Thank you for sharing this story. I’ve done my share of crying in the chip aisle too! And, I too have been touched by kind words from strangers when out with my children. I usually find they come from men or women older than myself. People who’ve walked this path already and who know the importance of encouragement.
Oh honey, I’ve cried in the grocery store, too — and I only have two. One time, as I cried in the check-out lane (of all places), with my infant howling and my toddler throwing packs of gum all over the floor, a woman on the way out the door stopped and said, “Let me bag your groceries” (’cause of course I was at a bag-your-own store…they are cheaper!). And I was so overwhelmed, I said okay. And I was so grateful for that act of kindness (though it made me cry a little bit harder). I will never forget it.
Such a sweet reminder. I only have 2 girls that were always “unhumanly” good when I went shopping. Only by God’s grace! However, at home there were so many times that I was in complete overwhelm. Isn’t it just like God to take a frustration and show you the beauty in it. Thanks for this post. Even though my girls are teens now, I enjoyed the reminder.
i love how real and honest this is. i also love how the Lord is quick to remind us just how blessed we our through old men at deli counters. you are such a beautiful mother. i haven’t yet taken both kids to the grocery store at the same time (i don’t know how i’d fit them both and all the groceries i the cart!) but i’m guessing my first trip with two will involve some tears.
I’ve had many a shopping trip with me very stressed out. I now usually go with option “B” or I send hubby to the store.
Something we are enjoying now is me taking just one older one shopping by ourselves. It is a blessing to be able to spend that time, unhurried and teaching them how to bargian-shop. It makes for great homeschooling! We usually end up buying a treat afterwards, perhaps a soda or a latte.
I love this new approach. Now the older kids like to shop and mama is a lot happier! LOL!
Oh Rachel my heart goes out to you. I have been there and down that and now I wish those hard days when my kids were little were back. You have so many blessings and are a great mother and inspiration.
Have a great day!
I love the way you told this story!
I’m a new follower. Nice to meet ya!
I can relate; grocery store adventures are interesting. Glad you were blessed with perspective. Perhaps we should all carry a bag of perspective with us everywhere we go!
isn’t it amazing how a perfect stranger can make the moment seem to real.. though i won’t lie.. i’m pretty sure God quite often has a hand in that!!!
thnx for visiting me at beauty be good.. i love it here.. hope you don’t mind me staying around and a new follower!!!
I follow your blog everyday. I truly enjoy your honesty and raw emotion and the faith you share so beautifully. Thanks for a beautiful post today.
It is so touching when a stranger’s words can restore perpsecitve and happiness. I recently bought a plaque for our living room which says: Too blessed to be stressed and I have been adopting that as my mantra.
I often shop Target and Cub back-to-back as well, sometimes with everyone, and sometimes all by myself. I can go so much faster by myself, I can think clearer, etc… but it feels different, sometimes I’m almost a little sad that I don’t have anyone saying “you’ve got your hands full” and I smile at other moms with 2 or 3 or 4 small children, some handling things better than others, I try to think of an encouraging word…
Anyway, I totally hear you with this post- it’s a story well told and well lived!
lol, your Caleb sounds exactly like my Caleb. Love how God speaks to us in the every day stuff of life. =0)
Life can definitely get overwhelming at times…hang in there!
Continuing to lift up prayers!
Psalms 119:49-50 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
My email address
This story is exactly why I love stopping by…..you always find the beauty and joy (no pun intended) in the ordinary craziness of life. Thanks for the reminder that it really is all about our perspective!
Hello ~ I am a new follower…and I have soooo been in your situation! Option B is always less stressful, but it’s not always possible! I like to say “I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it!” 🙂
you know what? i needed to read this today. we headed to the grocery store, you know the ones with the cute little shopping carts for the kids to push around. yeah well i don’t think they’re that cute having 3 boys sharing one all while running it around the store like it’s a racecar. anyways, they didn’t bug too many people (no one really) and it was fine, i just needed to keep my eye on the blessings they are.
I loved this blog post. 🙂 Even though it wasn’t because of kids, I’ve definitely lost it in the checkout line before.
The kind old man was right, too!
That is such a story that rings so true here too. There are days I just want to snap. Then I think….what would I do without them? I love my babies. They are such a blessing. Thanks for sharing it’s something that just every now and then you have to be reminded. 😉