Last week I had to visit the grocery store....
I completely forgot coffee on my first trip of the week,
so I had to return the following day.
Not a huge deal it just meant I would have 3 instead of 2.
Since Farmboy had a dentist appointment I knew I would beat the "after work rush."
I made my list to ensure I wouldn't have to return for at least 10 days.
After our appointment we headed to the store in the rain no less (YAY!).
Side note: Yes I am really excited about the rain as we are in a significant drought year so every millimeter counts.
Anyhoo I unloaded our oldest,
he held our 2 year old's hand while I got the baby out,
uneventfully we get up to the carts and everyone gets in.
My 7 year old still loves to ride in the cart with his brother
but only if it's a fire truck or police car.
Of course as soon as everyone is settled the potty training kid says he needs to go.
We head back to the restroom grabbing potatoes, bananas, bread & muffins on our way.
Unload again, toddler goes potty, load back up again.
This is pretty much how any trip to the store works in our life right now.
Most days are uneventful and mundane,
yesterday was one of those days.
The baby wasn't crying,
the boys were getting along well (as well as can be expected)
and they weren't overly loud.
Could the 2 year old practiced a better "inside" voice...
could he have not asked what's that of every person we passed
(FYI I did explain people aren't what, they are who...not that it helped)
could our 7 year old not have encouraged him to be tiger in a cage...
of course all of those things would have made for a more peaceful shopping trip....
But they are kids,
boys at that,
who weren't being loud,
just not whispering.
They weren't misbehaving,
just being silly,
expressing their imagination.
I wasn't neglecting them by not constantly correcting them,
I was letting them learn the boundaries that I find acceptable and unacceptable.
Apparently however an older gentleman was of the mind set
"Children should be seen and not heard."
I'm not sure what my boys did to make him think they were "bad" kids.
I could feel him eyeing them from across the frozen food case,
as my toddler giggled at the oldest for "capturing the tiger."
I heard him grumble something unkind as we passed,
I dismissed it.
We continued to shop,
we encountered him again at the meat case.
This time the toddler was inquiring about what I
(and everyone else) was looking for and why.
The older gentleman then grumbled again, in a mean and resentful tone...
this time I heard him but the only phrase that stuck with me was
"they might to turn out to be OK kids...you never know."
I was wounded, shocked and baffled.
Was he talking about my kids?
The 3 who were being pretty darn good in comparison to some outings...
The 3 who were all contained inside of a cart, not in his way or running around...
The 3 who not one was crying,
or grabbing things off the shelf..
I stared blankly at him...not sure if I should speak up or stay quiet.
I chose the latter as I wasn't sure what words would come out my mouth.
God calls us to show grace to others and in that moment,
the Holy Spirit led me to show grace by keeping my mouth shut.
As we continued I had to pray silently to calm my nerves,
and my boiling blood.
Hebrews 12:14-15 states "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled." (ESV)
I have been working on this...
pursuing peace and "practical righteousness." John MacArthur explains practical righteousness as moment-by-moment obedience to God. In this moment my sinful nature didn't want to be obedient to God... I wanted to lash out at this man who was belittling my children and my parenting. The Holy Spirit held my tongue. Satan was attempting to pervert my emotions and show my impressionable children how to stray from God's word.
None of the above was obvious in the moment...
I had to wait to see clearly,
how God was using a moment in my life to...
teach me, lead me but most of all change me.
You see if you knew me in real life (especially during my teen's and 20's)
you would know I have a "mouth on me."
I was never known for holding back my opinions.
The Holy Spirit has been working on me (FOR YEARS)
and in that moment I listened.
I am sure he probably did a small victory dance before slapping his forehead a
and realizing that I might not have said it but I thought it.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my post the other day
What a great example of God's concern with ALL parts of our life.
May God bless you real good,