Old mother Hubbard has gone to the cupboard… and it is bare again. With two teenage boys in the house, (and a tween girl who grazes constantly) there is regularly heard the complaint that there is nothing to eat in the house! Honestly: it’s often true. Rightly or wrongly, I shop for groceries only once every two weeks. I have a delivery of fresh veggies come to my door once a week (Shout out to mamaearth organics — fabulous company!) and yeah, we have to pick up milk and bread sometimes… but grocery shopping tends to be an event for me, rather than a regular occurance. To which I muse…
I was feeling ill this week… stuffy nose, fever, the whole deal… so grocery shopping got delayed again. The household is feeling the pinch. I am scrambling to think of things that will combine in some way to be edible enough to satisfy. School lunches are the worst. I try and come up with delightful healthy alternatives to jam sandwiches… but there is just no going with “colourful beetroot spinach wraps with avocado dressing” for picky teens. And forget the organic alternatives and smiley face cookie cutter bread with strategically placed apple slices in their separately cooled containers. I’m lucky they even remember their lunch bags, let alone read the love notes I dutifully sign with hearts and x’s and o’s to wish them a lovely day and to remember their memory verses…. okay — NOT. I would love to be that Pinterest perfect, Instagrammable mom, but alas, I am not. Cheese and crackers it is. Packaged. That I bought at the dollar store.
Seriously though, I actually like to grocery shop. As I said, it’s more of an adventure than a task for me. I shop at a big store with lots of choices and housewares and a pharmacy too… so usually it is a one stop deal and a very full cart. I once got asked if I owned a group home 🙂 and get many a strange look as I strategically pile the bags at the checkout. I have it down to a fine science now, which scares the hubby, who refuses to help bag anymore. (Don’t get him started on coupons either — there is no fury like a girl who price matches!) Needless to say, the crew was not surprised on a recent trip south when I wanted to go to a place called Jungle Jim’s International Market in Cincinnati. With over 200 000 square feet of shopping adventure… why not?!
With all its colourful and slightly kitchy displays, it was kinda fun to walk through this giant store and marvel at the simple abundance of food we have — cheeses, wines, fish, various cuts of meat, and candy! The back of Jungle Jim’s even had little stores for various countries where you could find your “taste of home” if you needed to. It had organic, gluten free, fresh, frozen and local. We actually commented on the difference between American and Canadian groceries… we are way more apt to have international choices as our “normal” selections here in Canada. At least in our big, diverse city, anyway.
So, as I sit here contemplating what on earth are we going to have for dinner (nope… still haven’t been shopping yet!) I am reminded of how blessed we are. Sure, we complain. But I can walk to the convenience store (convenience… ever notice that?!) to get a snack. Or stop and grab something “to go” on my way home, or spend the time and load my cart up to the hills with whatever I want. We are richly, richly blessed at our house. Many mothers pray they will scrape enough together to keep their beloveds from starving, let alone spend the time cookie cuttering their lunches into fun and colourful shapes. According to world hunger stats, some 95 million people are undernourished in our world. One in five children go to bed hungry. Even here in Canada, where many fall below the extreme poverty line. Yet, we waste one third of the food available to us.
Did you enjoy your abundance last week celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family? Did you bring your canned goods to the Food Bank Box during their fall harvest drive and feel good about it? Oh my friends… like you, I am guilty of gluttony in a world where convenience and abundance is so prevalent. Where grocery shopping is an adventure, not a need. Where I stack up my points and fill my cart with sales just because “I want”. Let’s make the effort, together, to be conscious of our brothers and sisters who struggle. Let’s be truly thankful for our abundance and not take it for granted. Let us share and serve. For the adventure may not be at Crazy Jungle Jim’s International Market — it might be right here, in our own hearts, when we light the flame within, and train our brains to be aware of, and provide for, the needs of others.
REMINDER: 30 Days of Blessings is the brainchild of mittonmusings and has finally launched! It’s our attempt to be conscious not only of the many ways we are blessed by God, but also to think of ways to bless others. We will be starting our challenge Oct. 15th… but it is not too late to sign up! Join us, visit our 30 Days of Blessings page to get started!