Monday, October 1, 2012

He Still Shops With Us

They were tiny little things when we started this.   With Chloe, a 45 year old woman in a two year old's body, and Emma my tiny newborn, we began the  "Parson Pre-Shopping Power Prayer." 

It really did not matter what we were shopping for, as we would pull into the parking lot we prayed. It normally went something like this,
Dear God, thank you so much for giving us the things we need.  You know that today we are (grocery, clothes...) shopping.  You know the amount of money we have to spend and the things on our list. We ask that you would help us to be good stewards of the money you have given us.  Also, please help each of us to shine for you in our words and actions.  

Why did I start this?  Because my Bible study teacher told us she did this.  I knew what her children were like and I wanted godly girls more than anything, so we started praying before we shopped.

While we have certainly had our breakdowns and less than Christlike moments in the mall, for the most part shopping has been a faith building time with my girls.  Last Saturday was one of those times. 

Chloe has entered her Freshman year of high school and we have entered this season of life fairly uneventful.  She is adjusting to the work load and being diligent to complete her studies.  Her grades are good and her attitude (even when she is having to choose joy) has been positive. :)  SO....

When her...well....her.....

best "guy" friend asked her to his homecoming dance.....we said yes.  (Plus...we like this kid.)

This was the two of them at our school spring formal last year
Saturday morning we set out in search of a dress.  As we started the drive, I asked Chloe to pray. 
She did. 
She asked God to show us the exact dress that would be hers. Not please help me find one today..but show me the exact dress. She was prepared to wait on the EXACT one. 
We hit the first store, loaded up our arms and locked ourselves in the dressing room.  Every.Single.Thing. she put on looked great, but got a quick NO.  Until a specific dress...
That dress caused quite a reaction. Big eyes, a slight twirl, and a "hmmm.....well....maybe."  I knew it was the one but was not about to say it. 
We wound up in three other shops that morning. No other dress she tried on fit like a glove.  No other dress made her eyes dance.  No other dress.....was THAT dress at the first store. 
We got back in the car and she gingerly asked, "Mom, could we just go back and take one more look around the first store?" I agreed and we pulled back in. 
"Her" dress was hanging right where we left it.  I grabbed it and we walked through the junior section looking on each and every display for anything else that just might be an option.  As we picked up one dress, a lady walked past us. 
She stopped, turned around and said "Excuse me. I have this store cash stuff that I am not using.  I have walked this entire store and can not find ONE THING I need or want.  It expires today, please take it and use it."
We were shocked.  I asked her if she was sure. (Surely she could find a candle or some jewelry...something!) She assured me she didn't want it and put the "cash" in my hands. We thanked her, and she walked away. 
Chloe looked at me with BIG eyes and said..."I am getting a dress!" 
We did wind up with THE dress.  :)  But God was not done thrilling us. 
We got to the check out.  I knew that the dress was not on a "sale" rack.  It was at the top end of our budget, but still okay. The "cash" was a treat and Chloe and I had already said that God had definitely come shopping with us.  
The cashier was a darling twenty something who asked Chloe if this was for homecoming.  She said yes and we chatted a little bit.  She then announced the dress was...
 My mouth dropped. That was WAY less than it should have been.  She had NOT deducted the "cash" or my on-line coupon.  I may have squealed, "WHAT?!?!" The cashier said..."WOW. this is really on sale!"
THEN she started scanning my coupon and the "cash" from the mystery shopper.
When all was said and done, Chloe got her dream dress...for.....
We were standing there remarking at how God had really shown off for us. That little cashier just smiled. We may have scared her a little.
You better believe God got a big ole' hand clap when we got in our car. 
I drove home and Chloe texted as fast as her fingers could type, sharing her news with her friends. 
I smiled because as much as my girl loves this midnight blue homecoming dress, she was the first one to say..."God really did answer my prayer today."
Yes baby girl, He did. But He answered mine as well...
You see, when they were little and we would pray before we shopped, I always finished that prayer silently...God, please help them understand it is not about the shopping.  Please help them see that you want to be involved in the everyday activity of life.  Give them hearts that love you, the GIVER ,more than any earthly gift you give to them. 
 After 12 years of taking God shopping with us, He still amazes me.