Original Post: 7/19/2008
Costco is to mothering what the ironman triathlon is to endurance sports.
Preparing for a trip to Costco with three kids is not for the faint of heart. Physical strength, emotional stamina, and mental insanity are prerequisites. Expect sweat and tears. From the kids, too.
I traveled to Costco on Friday to pick up a couple (hundred pounds) of groceries, three kids in tow.
Checkpoint one–front door: we were too late for the promised muffins and juice. I smooth over level-five crisis with a peacekeeping promise of abundant churros upon completion of shopping.
Checkpoint two–peanut butter aisle: every grocery item seemed too heavy or too high up to allow for any help from the kids.
Checkpoint three–frozen foods: Tandem mother-daughter tantrums.
Checkpoint four–checkout: realize I forgot mandatory grocery item, return to checkpoint three.
Checkpoint five–tail the guy who must be providing gatorade to every vending machine in Richmond. Finally pay a couple (hundred) dollars, head to the food line. How is it that in the store you drop money left and right, but in the food line, you can feed a family of five for three dollars?
Whew. We survived. Barely.
It made me think about my spiritual preparation for trying circumstances. I cannot head into Costco with my kids without being mentally prepared for what is to come. I don’t just “drop into” Costco, I think and plan. I have a pep talk with myself and with the kids. I bring change for the food line.
For the serious stresses of life, spiritual prep is necessary. I need to know God’s word so I can call on him in those circumstances. I need to train my mind and spirit so that I can react in all things and all calls as if doing it for Jesus himself. Do I succeed? Not always. Not alot. But sometimes it’s the little transformations where Jesus manifests in my life. I used to not be able to laugh at a Costco day. Now I can sweep cinnamon and sugar out of carseats and smile, knowing that my ability to laugh at the frustrating parts of life is a sweet gift to my kids and a glimpse at the Spirit that I know is growing in me through this season of life.