#firstworldproblems

The boys always ask what we're going to do today.

"We're going to go to the grocery store."

"Is that it?"

"Yes."

Trust me, it takes everything I've got to get through a trip to the store with my three boys in tow. EVERYTHING. Lord, please help me.

 

First, we walk in and are assaulted by a huge display of Hot Wheels Cars and PlayDoh. That took about 20 minutes.

Then the big boys kept running off, hiding in the stacks of diapers and toilet paper and paper towels. Running to all the TVs strategically placed in the store playing DVDs like Home and Grease. The 2 year old wanted out just like his big brothers and that was a huge war in itself. 

I contemplate leaving the cart where it is and scooping them up and leaving. UNCLE. Lord, please help me.

In my head I'm trying to bargain shop and sort coupons and think of the week's dinner options. The kids are all over the place. Like 3 octopi. Touching everything. Hopping everywhere.

"Can we go to the toys? Can we get some gum? Can I have Doritos? Can I have Jello? Can we go to the toys, now? Can we get gum? Can I get in the cart? Can I get out of the cart? Can we buy some Honeybuns?"

Then, I ran into a friend. We stopped to visit and our kids started running up and down the aisle. Mid dash, my middle child ran smack dab into a woman's cart. HARD. It was embarrassing. 

We had been there for an HOUR. My brain was pretty much mush. Forget meal planning. All that was in my cart was milk, creamer and plenty of Kleenex.

We zigzag around the store as I cut the list short, only getting the bare necessities. We had a $100 gift card to spend. I really can't go over. We don't have much in the bank. What do we have to have? What can I leave until next time? Lord, please help me.

Once everyone was strapped in, I sat in the front seat, exhausted. That was the worst trip, ever. I spent all the gift card. How were we going to make it until the 15th?

As we left the parking lot, I see him. His sign read, "Disabled Vet. Please Help. God Bless."

 

My first world problems?

We are poor.

There, I said it.

 

I quit my job back in 2011 when my second child was born.  Our income was slashed in half. We have learned to manage, but man--it has made us humble. Grocery shopping has never been the same. It's become a game of Russian Roulette. Betting the dice. I have to pray before I go in . .  Lord, please help us.

It's very stressful. It's very depressing at times.

On the one hand, listening to God--navigating His will for your life--having to trust Him, even though the bank account is overdrawn. And, on the other hand--doubting Him. Why? Why do we have to struggle so much? Why can't we ever seem to catch a break? Why God?

Lord, please help us.

We have a house to live in. We have cars to drive. We have access to a grocery store. We have running water and electricity. We have good jobs. We have access to good medical care. We are all healthy. Our children have access to a good education. We have clothes to wear. We have nice things in our homes. We have family. We have friends. We have FREEDOM.

 

We still live paycheck to paycheck. Always behind. Never getting ahead.

Lord, please help us.

 

I see the couple in the WalMart parking lot, a baby in a stroller and a sign saying "Please Help. God Bless."

I see the man walking with his dog and large pack on his back walking along IH 10 headed west.

I see the news post on Facebook about Jonathan McComb,who lost his family to the flood in Wimberley, still combing the riverbanks with rescue crews to find his daughter's body.

I see the image of Aylan Kurdi. His lifeless body a huge reminder that we know NOTHING about real strife. 

My struggle pales in comparison to millions of people. People in Syria. In Africa. In Equador. In Detroit. In New Orleans. In Texas. In Boerne. In my neighborhood.

People are dying.

People are sick.

People are trying to pay the rent.

People are homeless.

People are going through a divorce.

People are hungry.

People are lost.

Lord, please help THEM.

 

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

 

I live with ridiculous freedom. With ridiculous abundance. It's so easy to keep so focused on my empty bank account. My FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. But, I have it pretty great. I must never take that for granted. Lord, thank you.

What can I do?

I don't have much to give.

I can pray.

I can smile. 

I can genuinely pray.

Lord, please help THEM.

 

I wish, with all of my heart, that my bank account was overflowing. Yes, I admit, it would make trips to the grocery store more bearable (but I would still have my three crazy boys climbing the walls.) I wish I had more to give. To give to the church. To give to the needy. To give that woman standing on the corner with her sign, in the blazing hot sun. To give to the victims of disasters and tragedies. To give the refugees.

All I can give right now--is my prayers. That is all.

But THAT is really SOMETHING.

Lord, please help them.

Lord, please help them.

Lord, please help them.

And, my #firstworldproblems dissolve . . . . .

 

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’   Matthew 25:34-40 NIV

 

Pray for the Syrian refugees today and all those experiencing intense persecution.

Check out    http://wewelcomerefugees.com