Do you remember the first time you worked hard, saved up, and bought that beloved something? I remember saving the money I earned from stacking wood to buy my first pair of running shoes. My best friend in elementary school was Shannon Hooson. Her parents were the kindest people. In fact, looking back, I’m sure her dad overpaid me. We stacked wood for two days and then he took his two daughters and me to the sporting-goods store to buy us all running shoes for an upcoming road race. It would be my very first race. I was so excited.
Reflecting back, I am realizing that he paid my registration fee too. Yes, I’m sure I was overpaid. As an adult with children of my own, I now recognize the price of running shoes, registration fees, PTA, soccer fees, doctor visits, dentist visits, and all the other little things that cost a small fortune. As a wife, mom, and doctoral student who has experienced funding cuts that last two years of the program, along with the ongoing expenses of the Warrior Women ministry, I am continually humbled and simultaneously so thankful for the little things! I recently went to the grocery store and spent exactly $34 on some lunch supplies. When I got home I realized that I forgot the “Mr. Mustard” that my husband loves. I would need to make a special stop later just for the mustard.
Walking into the house with my lone jar of mustard, I almost dropped it on the walkway! As the jar rolled to the tips of my fingers and jumped up in the air, I thought about how expensive this $2.09 jar of mustard was to me right now. I thought about how if I dropped it, I couldn’t just go back to the store and get another jar. I thought about how much my husband loved this mustard and how I made a special trip to the store just for this jar of mustard. I thought about medical bills and current bills and the cost of the doctorate program. I thought about the cost of everything from my son’s cochlear implant surgery to this jar of mustard. I thought of all these things as I stumbled, reached out and caught it all the while saying, “Oh, Lord, help me” while it was in the air and “Thank You, Jesus!” when I was safely back in my palm.
You may think I sound silly with all this talk about a jar of mustard. We know, however, that I am talking about much more than mustard. It’s about recognizing the cost of things and the value of what the right mustard on my husband’s sandwich does to his heart in the middle of a busy teaching day – in the middle of a tough decade or two. It’s the little things that make the difference like Mr. Hooson paying for a young fatherless girl’s first pair of running shoes and her first race. It’s about asking God for all things and believing that He can finish what He starts in each one of us. It’s about being thankful for the little things which are truly, truly big huge things in the big picture of life. It’s about recognizing God’s faithful hand in providing mustard, the strength to reach out and catch the airborne jar, and the breath to breathe and thank Him in the midst of it all. It’s about recognizing the price that Jesus paid on the cross for all of us.
I always take things back to the cross, especially my perspective, because it Right sizes things for me. Truthfully, it’s about realizing that our value and worth is so beyond precious to God. He calls us each by name, assuring us of His ability to catch us when we stumble and then become airborne in this journey of faith--fueled by His grace amid the race of this life and beyond.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 16 May 2017.