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She appeared in nearly every aisle we went. Cutting us off with a half-way “sorry” as the gray haired woman finagled her way in and out of the cracks between shopping carts and turkey hunting families, I came upon the last thread of my patience in the produce section. There she stood, blocking my way to the yellow peppers as she relaxed in front of them, meticulously sorting through the green beans. She carefully inspected them for imperfections before filling her bag. One. By. One.

The pressure inside me intensified, filling my ears with smoke. Pumping my heart to full beast mode. I’m sure this woman could sense the creature morphing beside her, but she was fully dedicated to her bean inspection. I could hear the warning siren going off in my head.

Assuming the woman experienced a season in her life where she had to balance 10 million things at once, I hoped she would have some grace and realize not everyone had time to wait for her to inspect the whole bin of green beans. Where’s the tolerance for imperfect produce?

But no, she either didn’t remember or didn’t care, because she just stood there with a colony of pilgrim descendants waiting for her to choose the perfect green beans. She turned aside once, trying to charm her way into our hearts by noting how cute my son was. My charm meter has been finely tuned to detect veiled manipulation, so I just clenched my teeth and waited.

Maybe the shopping frenzy from November through the end of December is the true Antichrist, I don’t know.

But in the midst of green bean #30, God stepped in line beside us. I don’t know that He said anything in particular, but laughter at the green bean situation suddenly bubbled up inside me.

Sometimes I need help laying stress down. Thankfully, God shows up in grocery stores and in the midst of our impossible schedules. I made a decision.

If my house isn’t clean enough, it’s because I’m looking at God’s magic.

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If someone doesn’t approve of the way I do things, or don’t do things, I’ll just turn my head to look at His grace.

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God’s magic is just one glance away from our distractions. I pray that God will pour His grace and loveliness into your holiday season.

 

 

 

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