It’s the Little Things #791
Yesterday, I debated long and hard about running to the grocery to pick up chihuahua cheese (yes, jokes are welcome in the comment section). I headed out around noon. The parking lot was relatively empty, and I was encouraged that it would be a quick trip: in and out.
Once inside, there were not any carts at the front door. I only needed a couple of things which meant I only needed a small cart. As luck would have it, there was an empty small cart just sitting there by the vitamin section. I scouted around to see if it belonged to anyone. No one was in sight, so I did something I have never done before, I took the cart. I kept looking back to see if I had actually taken someone’s cart, but apparently I had not.
I headed down the left side of the store trying to recall what I needed on that side, but I couldn’t remember, so I headed to the grocery side. Just like the parking lot, the store was relatively empty, especially for the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. My trip was going to be quick and easy.
Once I got to the grocery side, I started noticing how empty the shelves were. Staff was frantically trying to stock, and what few people were there, were maneuvering around aisles of stacked boxes. The chihuahua cheese is usually in the cheese case at the front of the store, but today that was not the case. My only absolute recipe for Thanksgiving Day depended on that cheese. I was starting to get discouraged. The other chain of stores did not carry this particular brand of cheese, and I was quickly running out of options.
My cart was filling up with other last minute items, and I rounded the corner of the last aisle of the grocery store. There at the far end was the treasure I sought for this trip – chihuahua cheese, and as an added bonus, it was already shredded.
My cart full and my heart happy, I headed toward the check-out lines. I didn’t notice until I reached the front of the store, but the reason the store was not swamped with people is because they were all standing in lines, lines that snaked through racks of clothing and down every aisle to the middle of the store.
I headed down to the far end of the store as it looked a little less populated with people and carts. Check-out lane 23 opened just as I got in line. People rushed to be first in the new line. After the ‘dust’ settled, I was now third in line behind a woman who you could see was debating whether to get in the new line or stay where she was. And so we waited, and waited. No one got in line behind me; the other lines were moving, slowly, but they were moving. My line; we just waited.
I believe we were waiting because the beautiful woman in front of me had some good news she just needed to share with anyone, with me, and eventually she did. How the conversation started, I don’t remember.
She was rather bold and to the point: “My husband just got out of the hospital Sunday. They did surgery for stage 4 cancer. I have so much to be thankful for. He is home and walking around the store. I’m sure he will sit down if he gets tired while I am in line. He can’t drive yet, but we have so much to be thankful for this year.”
I responded and smiled and we chatted some more; her good news shared with me three more times. My chihuahua cheese didn’t seem so important anymore. We had so much in common – it was just the two of them for Thanksgiving this year, he worked in a neighboring school corporation, and the list went on and on.
We are all in various stages of gratitude and thankfulness, but here is the thing, it all matters. The question is, are we so full of gratitude and thankfulness that we have to share it with someone else. Are we willing to share with a perfect stranger what we are grateful for? Our health, family, faith, a struggle or trial that we have maneuvered through with the help of God?
My challenge to you today is to start a family gratitude journal. Include the difficult stuff as well as the easy stuff. Here is the catch, don’t wait until next year to see the blessings God has poured out on you and your family, instead, review the journal monthly.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.