Practical Peace

 How peaceful does this woman looks as she calmly gazes over her coupons or whatever she hold in that thing?
How about this lady? Don’t we all wish we could be the lady at the super market with an adorable bun, fitted sweater, wearing HEELS as we pace about the aisles gazing at the goods around us!
That is sooo not how my Monday grocery shopping trips go down.
I planned last night (as I do most weeks) to rise early, shower, get myself ready, feed and dress all 3 the children (With my amazing hubby’s help), load my van by 8 (8:30 at the latest) to head out for a fun-filled morning of grocery shopping with my quant list.
7:30 my middle child is awake knocking on her door asking for daddy which wakes her younger brother
           I jump in the shower
           Matt takes the youngest 2 down stairs to feed them
8:15 I am blowing drying my hair only to be startled by my eldest staring at me in my bedroom
          We go maker her bed, potty, brush hair and teeth, pick out clothes for everyone (tossing them down stairs)
8:30 Everyone is helping someone get clothes and shoes on
          Matt and I load all 3 children into the van (children toting their diaper bags that had been tossed to them as jackets were being
          layered on)
8:45 I pull in the bank to get cash out for the week…ATM doesn’t work
8:50 TOTALLY stressed already I run by Sonic and get a Vanilla Dr Pepper {THANK YOU double Happy Hour!!!}
9:05 I pull back into the bank now that the drive through is open and get cash
9:25 I circle the Wal-Mart parking lot looking for a spot close enough to the door so maybe I can make it inside without any major
9:30 I load all 3 of my children into 1 regular cart (meaning no really cool blue, double seater thingy)
9:32 I realize I left my list in the van and take my entire load back out to get it (so glad our parking spot wasn’t too far from the
9:35 Group potty break: Preschooler uses potty, Toddler gets a diaper change, Baby is awakened by all the noiseless of the store
9:45 We start our shopping adventure 
I won’t play-by-play the rest of the trip but lets just say there were missing shoes, 2 laundry baskets taking up the entire cart, an exhausted walking preschooler, a toddler past her a.m. nap fussy because she had to sit on top of the bottled water, 1 bottle made and drank, trading of the rider/walker (who ended up being held >1/2 the time), lot of “are those all your kids?” and “we saw YOU here last time” comments, forgotten items, back tracking, bad selections made, and one sweaty mamma at the check out handing over bananas the moment they were weighed.
My poor babes are always done by the time we get to the register. Usually before then. That’s when it never fails something doesn’t ring up right, the checker doesn’t like my coupon, and I can’t juggle breaking up a fight in the crowed cart and paying for my items fast enough.
There have been lots of rough trips to the store. As I stand at that register I breath deeply, focus on hierarchy of needs, and smile with consistent apologies if necessary to those waiting eagerly behind us.
To my surprise most people when you thank them for their patience respond with patience!
I had several encouraging women ask me, “Are you always this calm?” to which I always seem to respond, “If you could only see my insides… {churning}”
Why? Why do I respond that way? Yes, I want to be honest with people but I also want to be a witness in all I do. I am challenged to make this reoccurring situation one to seize!
My prayer is that I will be able to communicate this {Not in these exact words} next time: I am in charge of my actions
The Weymouth New Testament says in Acts 19:36 that “These facts, then, being unquestioned, it becomes you to maintain you…r self-control and not act recklessly.”
and because God is in charge of my changing heart, I will rest in what the New Living Translation says
Zeph. 3:17, “For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
So next time you see me sweating like a sumo wrestler at the Wal-Mart check out line with 3 fussy babies, too many groceries for one cart, and a smile on my face, just know I’m attempting to practice practical calmness in hopes of resting in supernatural peace: practical peace!
What do your shopping trips look like?
Any helpful hints? {I’ve tried all kinds of things: different times, days, with the hubs, by myself, etc}
What reoccurring situation will you use to testify what God’s doing in your life? How will you look different that the rest of the world when under stress?

About as Jules is going

Julie Rothacher is a missionary currently serving in central Arkansas, with her husband of 10 years, as youth ministers. She and Matt have 4 children, Magdalene (6years), Isabella (5years), Benjamin (4year), and Elizabeth (1year). God is leading Julie and her family on fun adventures. She is new to blogging but loves sharing what God is doing in her life which include but are not limited to the simple silliness of every day quirkiness that happens around her home with 4 under 6, a hilarious husband, and their newest endeavors: homeschooling and CHURCH PLANTING!

4 responses »

  1. This week I actually changed my schedule because Monday’s were too stressful for me. I decided that housework, laundry, AND groceries was too much for one day. Last week I was forced to change my grocery day to Thursday and that freed up my Monday. That’s not to say that Thursday won’t potentially get busy, but yesterday was SO much better because I just had stuff to do at home and didn’t have to worry about getting out and back before nap time. I know you have 3, but one thing that helps when my 1 little man seems to start getting bored of sitting in a buggy is letting him help. That means he gets to hold the list, sometimes crosses off items, and sometimes I let him put some things into the buggy. I’m sure you’ve tried that, but I know when I was a kid, having something to do in the store always made me appreciate going a little more than when I was just there and was annoying my mom asking for things.

    • I LOVE the helping suggestion! I do let them help with somethings like Mags (because she’s the oldest) gets to walk and hand thing into the cart to Izzie who gets to play with them until the next thing comes. I like the checking off the list thing. Maybe I’ll starting taking a “list” for them to play with/mark off.
      I am also considering changing the day again but Mondays are actually our slowest; except for Matt day off and we try and use that as a sabeth since Sundays are crazy.
      Thanks for sharing, the encouragement, AND suggestions!!!

  2. Oh how I can relate to this, just with three extra kids, a few more tantrums, a few more missing shoes, and lots more bananas being handed out! 🙂 Now that I have a few older kids I can actually send them off a list of their own and it cuts down the time shopping! 🙂

    Thanks for linking up in the Koinonia Community!!!

    • Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to have “extra kids” along for the ride. Children are truly a blessing even when it makes us have to work harder on having peace. I love the idea of the Koinonia Community and hope to get to visit more often!

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