I have been exploring my daily and weekly chores from a sacred perspective. Not because I’m on a quest to be holier-than-thou, not because I can elevate myself beyond the mundane acts of my real life, but quite the opposite, in-fact. I think the holy might most often be found in the ordinary moments. I’ve begun calling these things the holy-ordinary. It doesn’t necessarily make a moment easier or even harder but it does bring some degree of meaning.
So much of my life is about my family, raising kids and tending my marriage.
And when you are in this season of life there are a lot of practical things that must be done to keep the machine running smoothly and everyone alive. One of the most important: groceries. We must eat.
I try to make this as zen of an experience as I can, picking a time I can guarantee I’ll go alone, maybe swinging through Starbucks and treating myself to a hot beverage (coffee=love) or grabbing a bag of chocolate in the checkout line, sitting in the parking lot and reading a book or scrolling social media. Or maybe even wandering through the shoe or home decor aisle and lingering to look at all the beauty, colors and designs that speak to me. These are all tactics I have tried.
But there are weeks where plans fail, and the strategy does not line up and you find me with a cart full of kids and groceries, barreling through packed aisles, talking too loud, begging, bribing and herding my children. I’m sweating just typing this.
I found myself in this exact situation last weekend, except this time mid-produce-aisle- herding, it came to me…. I am practicing a spiritual discipline. Maybe this is a holy-ordinary moment.
I know you can kinda chuckle at that idea. But it has to be true. If fasting, prayer, fellowship, frugality, service, submission and surrender are all characteristics that may define a spiritual discipline or practice, then spot on. I don’t know about you but it is no easy task to carry all my offspring to and from a bustling store; managing behaviors, finding all.the.things, paying for all.the.things. All the while keeping my salvation intact. (insert deep breath here) I fast, I pray, I fellowship, I serve, submit and surrender over and over again, with each wheel turn of the grocery cart.
I think so often we over complicate our spirituality, when the truth is we have a whole host of opportunities to engage with God in our right now circumstances, even in the produce aisle at your local supermarket while you mutter to your offspring. We need only be willing and have eyes to see it.
The spiritual act of grocery shopping with kids is one of the hardest acts of my parenting life right now. So I am going to continue to pray prayers under my breath while other choice words beg to come out. I am going to clench my teeth and speak kindly and respectfully to my kids even when they are crawling on the floor and hanging off the side of the cart. I am going to pray and be thankful for the money I have to feed and nourish the people I love. And I am going to do it over and over and over again remembering that even with it is painful it is holy, even when it is brutal and uncomfortable it is holy, even if I don’t have a perma-smily on my face it is holy. All the while also praying that God would grant me the grace to go alone just this one time.