It was one of those weeks, what could go wrong, did go wrong. In multiples of three, bad news just kept coming. But we were out of food, so yay! One thing I could control, I went to the store.
A little background, my daughter is allergic to a lot of foods - including eggs. But since we moved into a new house, I sometimes buy food exclusively for my son and keep it downstairs. He loves making scrambled eggs, so I thought I’d surprise him with a carton.
Everything went fine until I got to the checkout, and as the clerk lifted the eggs out of the cart a trail of slime leaked from the carton - and I burst into the ugliest ugly cry to end all ugly cries.
I said, “Sometimes it’s not just the eggs.”
And the clerk replied, “Sometimes it’s not.”
He cleaned up the mess, and gestured to another employee who handed him a bouquet of flowers which he in turn handed to me.
As I left, he said “I hope your day turns around.”
Sometimes it’s not just the eggs. With the Christmas season fast approaching, there are so many fun things to do and see. And there are so many things to stress about. Real things, perceived things, forgetting things, remembering things.
This story reminds me that no matter what is going on - whether a week where everything goes sideways or not - God will clean up my messes, and give me beauty for ashes - flowers, for cracked egg shells. It also reminds me to face what’s broken, and accept help.
This holiday season, I absolutely know I’ll try to win at something that’s not a contest. I have a history of taking a small tradition and Clark Griswolding it. Small birthday cake to celebrate the birth of Christ? How about a cupcake tower with 32 colors? Suddenly, it’s not just the eggs anymore.
Last year, I had a tree in every room. This year, I texted with a friend because when I set out to have the jolliest time ever with my family… some of them just weren’t into it. She admitted decorating for Christmas turned her into a Scrooge too. So I stopped decorating like it was the Yuletide Olympics.
Admitting some parts of the holidays are stressful in a text to a friend felt like accepting the help of the clerk at Trader Joe’s. Sometimes it’s not just the decorations, it’s Uncle Lewis. It’s too many parties or not enough.
So no matter what your Christmas season holds - remember the cashier at Trader Joe’s. He saw my mess, helped me clean it up, and even got me flowers. If that’s what the clerk at Trader Joe’s can do, imagine what the God of the Universe can accomplish through you. Jesus is the reason for the season, but sometimes eggs crack and it’s easy to forget the why.
In the spirit of the holidays, here are some flowers for you - available all month long as a free download on my website. Merry Christmas!