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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Bourne

Complaining at the grocery store

Updated: May 20

Over the weekend I did a quick grocery store run. This wasn’t a full trip, just a fill in the blank kind of trip. Now I’m also trying my hardest at eating lo-carb, with a child who does not need to be eating lo-carb so that’s been quite the challenge. I’ve had many nights of eating mixed nuts and broccoli for dinner after soccer practice while Lennon eats fast food. Don’t judge my choices lol. Lo-carb tortillas are my best friend and have made many lunches. Maybe I’ll share some of my recipe ideas on here one day! Like my quick lo-carb pizza rolls.

So, to Walmart I went, because HEB, as much as I love the store, has been a little too pricey here lately. The trip started out good in my favorite place, the gardening section. I didn’t find what I needed and moved on. All was well until we got to my least favorite section – the food. Now I was on a tight budget, so I had my list and my calculator pulled up. Lennon wanted to drive the cart, so I cautiously allowed him to do that (with one hand on the cart lol). So, then I started to look at the various prices and stress starts coming in. Anxiety creeps in as my heart races and head starts pounding. I’d look at one thing and say how did that get so expensive sheesh! Then put it back and look for a cheaper alternative. Well, there was about 30 minutes of me walking down aisles doing this – all while Lennon heard. Of course, he didn’t say anything although maybe once I think I heard him repeat me. The whole time I was just stressed out, frustrated that I couldn’t afford a $3 box of raisins. I’d compare prices, complain about it, then throw something in the cart. This probably happened 20 times before I realized what I was doing. I wasn’t showing joy, definitely wasn’t “lighting up the isle” (this comes from a saying at my church – “we light up the room.”) with a big smile on my face. I have no idea how many people saw grumpy me going through Walmart.

We got to the register, and I paid the total I was already prepared for thanks to the calculator. We loaded the groceries in the car, and I got stuck in my head for a moment with all the thoughts I had been pushing away during the week. Earlier in the week I was hit with the news that Lennon's daycare would be tripling, and I would need to provide lunch for him on top of that. But despite feeling that anxious feeling in my chest when I got the news, I simply said, “praise God He’s got this” and shoved in the “deal with later” box in my mind. The next day I went ahead and worked on our budget for June with the new totals and saw the big red number – hundreds of dollars in the red – and I said, “God will make a way” and shoved that in the “deal with later” box. Well, it was in the car at the grocery store that the box got opened. In a moment I found myself overwhelmed and I thought, “God, you promised us ‘restoration’ this year, but I can’t even handle a grocery trip. We’re back to paycheck to paycheck and I don’t understand. I’m giving above and beyond. I’m paying off debt. I’m not wasting money. I’m being a better steward, doing all the things you asked us to. Are we ever going to get out of this?” I held back the tears because I didn’t want Lennon to see me overwhelmed and instead talked to him for a moment. I apologized to him for my complaining in the store and explained that God would take care of us as He always had. Then I put on some worship music, loud.

Now at this point, the tears did flow. Lennon is used to that when worship music is playing (and I’ve explained why I sometimes am in tears in worship to him) so I wasn’t worried about it. It started as a “woe is me” moment but quickly became a moment of repentance. I realized that in that store I probably missed so many opportunities to minister to people, even if it was just a simple smile or a short encouraging word, I was too busy being worried about money. I thought “how many times recently have I done this? How many times have I found myself complaining in the grocery store?” I wasn’t thinking of anyone but myself. My faith was nonexistent at that moment. It’s funny how we can have so much faith for others or faith in certain situations in our lives and it takes one thing to show us our weakness.

Lennon and I have been through more financial “storms/tests/trials” than I can count at this point. It’s the mountain I seem to run a lap around almost every year. I’m hoping one day I’ll learn the lesson for good! I have yet to see a time when God didn’t come through. There have been some scary moments, like my car breaking down or almost losing our home (that we did end up selling). A couple of years back we were homeless staying in the shelter. But I realized in this “deal with later box opening” moment that somehow, God has always made a way for us. I repented for my complaining and my lack of trust in the Lord. And I started praising Him. I praised Him for an opportunity to see His goodness again. I praised Him for another chance to watch a budget in the negative somehow work out and the testimony that will come from that. But it hit me that there’s times that I need to share during the trial, not just after it. Typically, I wait until we get through something or past a certain point before I will share. (Though there have been some exceptions to that.) Especially when it comes to finances though because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea because I am NOT asking for a handout. God is my provider. But this time you guys get to read about it before the miracle happens. Because my God is that good. He will show up – watch. I’ve done and continue to do my part – now it’s His turn to show up and show out like always. But I also wanted to share this as a reminder for some of you out there because I can guarantee I am not the only one who has been complaining at the grocery store. Or maybe you’ve been complaining about your job. Complaining about the way things are at home. I bet there’s an area of your life that you’ve been lacking in faith. What’s that area for you?
Another thing to note here too - if you have kids, they are watching you. They are learning from you. And they will do what you do. I am so grateful the Holy Spirit gave me the sense to apologize to Lennon about my complaining. You know one thing I can say is that boy has seen God come through in our life many times. He has watched my journey of faith and I pray it helps him avoid some of the pitfalls and harder lessons of life. Though I know he will have his own journey with the Lord, I pray that my life is an example for him. One thing I can honestly say I'm good at is sharing what God has done with Lennon, I make it a point to do that often. And I make it a point to bring those things back to our remembrance. To talk about the times that God helped us, rescued us, provided for us, etc. If you are not already doing this, this is your reminder to not just share Scripture with your kids, but real-life stories. Now obviously there's an age appropriate way to share certain things and some things may have to wait. But don't think they are too young to understand either. Lennon impresses me a lot with the things he's picked up on in his walk so far. He always gets me with the memory verse - how in the world does he remember things so well. I am so grateful that he has that ability and nothing is hindering his mind from storing the Word of God. And I am grateful for our church family who is helping me to instill values and the Word into his little heart so they may carry him through life as he grows older.

Start hoping again. Start believing in what the Lord promised you again. Some of you need to find that devil-stomping faith again. The faith that says, “no matter what, I trust you, Lord.” Some of you may have been believing for healing, for a lost family member, for a future husband, for financial breakthrough, for a child to come home and you gave up. You lost hope. You told yourself it’s not going to happen, and you believed it. Others are out there complaining to anyone that will listen – sometimes disguised as a prayer request. I’ve been there, done that. It’s time to shift your perspective. It’s time to stop complaining. It’s time for you to hope again. Now I will say this – God’s promises are conditional. You cannot expect God to give you breakthrough in your finances if you’re not giving or being a good steward. I hate to tell ya this, but it’s a lesson I learned – if you have debt and you’re making no effort to take care of that, you’re limiting your blessing. And you may say “Oh God is going to take care of that” well maybe He is trying to, but you keep spending that money on something else. Take a step towards paying that off. Seek guidance on how to do that. I can say all this because I’m walking through this right now. I learned this lesson the hard way. Don’t expect Him to bless your home if you’re constantly complaining about how bad it is. Don’t expect to receive encouragement from others if all you ever do is talk about yourself. We reap what we sow. Our words are powerful. You see I had to repent for all that complaint because you know what I did? I spoke death over my own financial situation. I cursed those dang raisins and now if they’re $4 next time…sorry guys. (I declare raisins will be $1.50 next time…. jk…kinda). Every time I said or thought “man this is too much, I can’t afford this” guess what? I spoke that to life. Some of you might think “ok that’s a little harsh” but truly there is so much power in what we declare, whether intentional or unintentional. The Word says:

“With the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:20-21 NASB)

What is the product of your lips? What are you speaking about your situation? You know I can’t count the times that this simple thing has turned everything around for us. Where I stopped crying and complaining and started praising God and decreeing that it come to pass. It’s funny how I can pray for a tree (see the “unanswered prayers” post), but I forget to speak life into my own situation. Or how I can be on my face for an hour praying for other people and completely forget that we’re still going through it too. I’ve decreed blessings over others and watched them come to pass. Yet I forget I can do the same thing for us. Now don’t get me wrong, the order is “Jesus—others---self.” Praying for others more is not a terrible thing. But I have to remind myself sometimes that Jesus gave US the authority to declare these things that are within His will. It’s important to stay in the Word so we know what that is. Because if you read this and think “I’m going to decree a billion dollars into my bank account” we’re not talking about the “name it and claim it” thing here ok. I’m not saying God can’t do it, because He can. I’m saying He’s not going to give you a billion if you can’t even give 10%. So don’t start taking all of this out of context. Get into the Word so you know what He promises you. He promises us prosperity – but do realize that prosperity is not always financial. Some of the happiest people I’ve ever met lived on very little money, and some of the angriest/saddest had a lot. Being content with your situation is a powerful thing and something the Apostle Paul talked about.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV)

But in the same breath, don’t settle with a poverty mindset. Cast that thing into the dirt. I grew up with that mindset. It took years to break it and obviously it still tries to come back at times. While I am content with where we are, I am not content in living with the mindset that things won’t improve. We are blessed to be a blessing, and we will see an increase in our finances because I can be trusted with that now. God gives seed to the sower! I’m still working on paying off debt, but I believe God is going to help us with that. My stewardship of finances has improved dramatically over the last 6 months thanks to a wakeup call from our Pastor and some guidance. I am happy to share some of what has helped us on this journey one on one too! (And no, I’m not charging a coaching fee just message me lol) But see how I’ve switched the narrative there? You can do the same thing. You are the narrator for your life after all. God makes the plans, but we choose whether to follow the path or not. There is so much guidance in the Word I cannot stress enough that all of us need to be in that daily. I hope my story encourages you. If you are struggling in this area, you’re not alone. But don’t stay there. Rise up out of it. Turn your focus from money and worry and stress to Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him and do not let the worries of the world pull you down. If you are doing your part, He will do His. Psalm 37:3-9 (NLT) says:

“Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.”
Speak life. Don’t stop believing. Take the complaints into the prayer closet and leave them there. Praise God in the midst of it all. And when you come out of it, share with others how God brought you through it. It's not all about you you know. Others are going through things too. Pay attention to the needs around you. Don’t lose focus. Don’t get distracted. Keep your eyes on Jesus and let Him pull you through. He is faithful regardless of how we may feel about it. God is protecting you, He is guiding you, and He will see you through this. You are not alone.
And as I always say, if you read this and you don’t know who Jesus is – let’s have a conversation about that. I’d love to introduce you to my best friend!  

P.S. I went back to Walmart. I was only there for 2 things this time - one of them being a replacement coffee pot from breaking one right after the above mentioned trip. I smiled as I walked down the aisles. I'm pretty sure people thought I was weird with a cheesy smile but I didn't care. Praise God I could afford a coffee pot (because I run on Jesus and coffee)! I remembered the simple truth that it's not all about me. That people see me out and about and I ought to be just as cheery in the store as I am on a Sunday morning. It's a work in progress, but there's progress! My encouragement to you today reader is SMILE! :)

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