Monday, October 24, 2016

Where is the creamy peanut butter - The Grocery Shopping Struggle

The Grocery Shopping Struggle

It was simple task. Thirty to Forty-five minutes at max. After all, I have a degree, a mortgage, three kids, and organized events serving thousands of youth. Why was this so difficult? This task right here, this task right here, death...of my pride.

Attempting to greater assist with the family chores, I elected to do the grocery shopping.  My wife e-mailed the list as a handy PDF and sent it as a text. Sounds like a bit extra however given my track record for forgetting things - it made sense.

I had a plan. Start with the items under bread, then dairy, over to meats, slide through the baby section, and wrap it up in veggies. It was too perfect of a plan to fail or so I thought. You see...I had never grocery shopped for my family let alone at this grocery store for these items.

Don't judge me.

The moment the magic sliding doors revealed the acres of food awesomeness and the friendly snack lady offered me a blue-cheese burger bite, I should have known it was going to be struggle city.

The bible says in Romans 12:12, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer" (ESV).

Ten minutes in, the bread section of my list was done, I'm feeling great! Over to dairy. Danimals yogurt - check. Cheese sticks, milk, - check and check. Easy business. Next up, meat. Salmon. Wait. Does she want fresh salmon or frozen? Skip it I'll come back. Chicken tenders. Hold up! Why are there so many different prices for the same package. Where is the pork tenderloin that's on the list?

My confidence is rocked, my hands are sweating, I'm falling and I'm getting hungry.

My mind said, "Forget the plan - go rogue!" It felt like the grocery gods were hiding everything I wanted and laughing at me. Where is the creamy peanut butter - not chunky, not mixed with jelly, just plain creamy?! My determination was getting defeated. But somehow my pride wouldn't let me call home. I would just make up a story and blame the blue-cheese burger bite lady! All of a sudden, I realized I had been in the grocery store for 45 minutes and all I had was a loaf of bread and some dairy items.  My anxiety was off the charts!

Where did the time go?

I abandoned the grocery cart on a random aisle, closed my phone with the list, and ran in search of a protein bar and an exit. Game over. Grocery store - 1 Enterprising Dad - 0

It's a crazy true story - nevertheless that is a lot people's reality... well made plans that didn't go as planned.

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with the plan. - Tom Landry

As bad as I wanted to give up that afternoon, I had to remember why I started in the first place. I wanted to take care of my family and help with the house chores. After a small search and rescue mission for my abandoned grocery cart I said a small prayer and began again. (Philippians 4:6)

Stop limiting your prayers to to your major issues. God cares about it all, even the disheveled dad on the wrong grocery aisle. (Proverbs 3:5-6).

So, yeah it was the longest grocery shopping experience ever (2.5 hours) but I made it.  You know what, you will make it too.

Make a plan.
Make allowance for you plan not being perfect.
Make sure you pray the entire time.