|thirty dollars of groceries…random|
Well, Emily over at Imperfect Prose is having what she calls a synchroblog
and although I had no intention of sharing this, I am going to be brave like Emily.
Because when she shared her heart today I felt ashamed that I was too prideful to be honest.
And I knew that though there are tears, there is hope.
And God has called me to transparency despite my own desire to hide when it hurts.
I know as Emily does that there is blessing even in the tears…
Emily has asked us to write on this and then link up
What Does It Mean To Be Blessed?
The conversations around the house seem to be short.
Brief frustrated interactions sprinkled with tensions.
Humor dispersed throughout, yes.
But all is superficial.
I wonder, and feel alone.
Insurmountable stress heaped high.
Yet underlying it all is that thought that plagues difficulty-
that feeling that all other Christians hold you in suspicion.
Job’s friends are never without opinion.
We keep to ourselves, knowing it is dangerous but feels safer.
Every decision boils down to dollars and cents.
How far to drive.
What to do, not to do.
Breath holding every time the smallest splurge is chosen.
So much we long to give.
Another friend wants to sleep over, for the second night.
I smile weak and say there aren’t a lot of snacks for another night.
Why do kids like snacks so much, anyway?
My stomach feels sick.
I’m glad I bought the ice cream sandwiches, at least a little something…
$1.50 for 12.
I think back to the scene at the grocery store.
Just days earlier.
It’s one thing to struggle when you are single mom,
but when ends are hard to meet as a family, with a hard working,
self sacrificing husband-
it is painfully discouraging.
I set out with thirty dollars.
One more week – 7 days.
I choose, careful.
I pick things up, put them back.
I think meals.
I ask how, to him who is wearing a smile that grows a little more stiff each day.
He says he does not know.
He says it’s been like the fish and the loaves all month.
We don’t understand it.
We are blessed.
I stalk the aisles, a spy.
My Girl has asked for one thing.
I see the price.
Deli meat, really?
One thing, she asked.
I put a small amount in the carriage,
Tallying in my head.
I stink at math.
I see watermelon, thinking it goes far.
I put it in the carriage.
I can make it work.
Chicken Breast on sale $1.99 a pound.
1.50 for bleach (the bathroom tiles need attention),
1 box of pop tarts (they love them for a snack).
We are blessed.
I am cashing out.
The young cashier rings the items.
I watch and feel my stomach turn.
A line is forming behind me.
The total is over
I apologize, and quick call my hub.
He lets me know that we have no wiggle room in any other accounts.
It is what it is.
I apologize again to those before and behind me.
The cashier offers to save my order.
I feel the tension in the line behind me.
A manager comes and releases my order – I explain the situation briefly.
I head over to Customer Service, where
one by one we remove items out until we are within
the amount I actually have.
I actually am not thinking clearly at this point
so I just go for the most expensive things.
Watermelon, chicken, deli meat, bleach. I can’t even remember
what I have or don’t have in the carriage.
I just want to stop the painfulness of the moment as quick as possible.
We are blessed.
I reach the car, and feel angry.
I am angry.
I cry and feel the anger circulate through my body.
I say things, I know I will need forgiveness for even as they spill out of my mouth.
I know He hears and I tell Him that I know I am blessed, but
I hate the most that I feel so pressed, squeezed.
And I feel so angry that really,
this is all I have for thirty dollars…
I am mad at a things I can’t see, name.
I am mad at my own inability to stretch that dollar more.
Home, I look at what I have and think about what I left behind.
I take a picture and send it via text to my hub.
He reminds me, it will get better.
I feel my anger subside.
Fishes and Loaves.
I know we are blessed.
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed
to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich,
yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9