We went to Walmart today.
I went to Walmart with my four children.
And I bribed them.
My older two wanted to run in to Goodwill
which is directly across the street from Wally-World.
(yes, I've got them addicted already!)
I promised we would if we all came out of Walmart in one piece.
I had some things I needed that I just couldn't get at any of my other usual stops...like Aldi...or Dollar General...or Ace Hardware...or pretty much anywhere else...just not Walmart.
And you know these things were needs if I was willing to go to Walmart to get them...
willing to go with all.four.children.
One of the things on our list was an electric pencil sharpener. We homeschool here at Ye Hisaw Homestead...and while I'm sure there's probably some virtue in teaching kids the old-fashioned,
use-a-pocketknife method of pencil sharpening,
around here we use an electric sharpener.
Two years ago we bought an Xacto brand sharpener...at Walmart...
paid $20 for the thing and I was never satisfied with it.
It died early this summer.
Today we were on the hunt for its replacement.
Fun, fun times. Searching for an electric pencil sharpener...
right smack dab in the middle of school supply season.
Add to this that we were in my most un-favorite-est Walmart ever.
Think of the most logical place in a store for any item...
ok...you got it in your head now?
Now...instead, place that item directly across the store,
completely opposite from logic.
Yah. That's how this Walmart is laid out.
Anywhoo...we found the one electric sharpener in the entire store.
And I promptly put it in my cart.
And then...I noticed the price.
And I promptly took it out of my cart.
Thirty Dollars!!! $30.00!!!
Where I come from, that's a lot of money!
Especially for some cheap, made-of-plastic contraption that screams, "I'm going to eat your pencils down to nubs, shoot #2 lead shavings all over your floor, and then I'm going to burn up...right after your 90-day electronics return period expires."
So...I did what every good Christian does.
Now that I couldn't figure it out on my own, I prayed.
Right? Isn't that what we do?
"Hey, Lord, I thought I had this all figured out...and in that case, I didn't need your help. But as it turns out, I'm not so smart...so...you think you could help me out a bit?"
I did not want to spend $30 on a pencil sharpener.
I didn't want to spend $20 on a pencil sharpener!
$10 would be more like it...$5 would be even better!
So, I prayed.
Not a kneel-in-the-middle-of-the-Walmart-aisle prayer...
just a quick "chat with my Heavenly Father" sort of prayer...
those chats sometimes feel more like I'm thinking to Him...
does that make any sense?
And then we finished up in Walmart.
And since I still had a small shred of sanity left,
we ventured across the street to Goodwill.
You just jumped way ahead of me!
You already know how this story ends, don't you?!?
I had completely forgotten about my little Walmart prayer.
I looked through the dishes
(and scored a sweet little Pyrex bowl).
I looked through the lamps
(never know what you might find there).
I looked through three or four shelves covered with other people's cast-off crafts
and discarded odds and ends.
lo and behold...
there, on the rack, with tacky three-ring binders,
with boxes of gratitude-for-your-expression-of-sympathy cards,
with birthday invites from 2010...
there was my electric pencil sharpener.
And it's old.
Old in a cool, vintage, work horse,
I've-been-sharpening-pencils-thirty-years-and-will-for-thirty-more sort of way.
I grabbed it off the shelf,
held it to me,
and immediately thanked Him over and over again.
Again, not in a kneel-down prayer way,
but in a talking-to-Him-like-He's right there sort of way...
because really, He is.
He is right there.
And He cares. He cares about our "big" things.
And He cares about our "little" things.
And sometimes I wonder if maybe it means more to Him when we come to Him for our "little" things.
...the "little" things that theoretically we could handle on our own.
But instead we choose to let Him take care of them for us.
Let Him help you find your missing keys...
and then thank Him.
Listen as He reminds you to check the ignition one more time before you lock your car...
and then thank Him.
Ask Him to help you find a better deal on a pencil sharpener...
or on a new dress...
or a baby crib...
and then, always, thank Him.