Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To the lady at the Trader Joe's:

It went down like this:

The kids and I pushed our shopping cart into the check-out line. Remembering the recent city ordinance that shopping bags will no longer be available, I said out loud, "Oh no! We forgot our bags." A lady in the check-out line next to me says, "That's because you have too many kids." And that is when I started yelling at a stranger in the grocery store. That is when my kids saw their mother go bat-crap crazy. "Excuse me?!?!? What did you say? TOO MANY KIDS! How dare you! What kind of thing is that to say in front of a child! Every child is a blessing...." And so on and so on and so on. I turned to the kids and told each of them how much I loved them--out loud. But, I wasn't finished. I turned back to that poor lady and finished with, "Oh, so I suppose you've never forgotten ANYTHING seeing as how you don't have TOO MANY kids!"

Turning back to the checker I saw clearly that I had his sympathies. I then realized that we had forgotten one thing that Meg was holding and he had already totaled our order. He said, "Don't worry. That's on me." and gave it to me for free.

I left the store shaking. I'm still torn between terrible remorse at having lost my cool and being proud that I stood up for my children so passionately.

Dear Lady In Trader Joe's:

I am sorry.  Perhaps you did need correction, but I'm sure I could have done it more lovingly and without causing quite the scene I did.  What you said was the proverbial straw.  You see, I deal with negativity towards large families every time we go out.  Our city is not very child friendly and people can be downright mean.  I feel sure by the look of shock and embarrassment on your face that you didn't intend to be mean.  I probably ruined your day.  I hate to think I did because I prefer to have the opposite effect on people.  If we meet again, I hope I recognize you, so I can apologize face-to-face.

If I had it to do over again, I'd like to think that instead of letting all my frustrations with all the comments I've received in the past year spill out on you, I'd calmly look you in the eye and say, "That wasn't a very kind thing to say.  Every child is a blessing.  I forgot my bags because the ordinance is new.  It looks like you did, as well.  May I purchase a reusable bag today for you today?"

That would have been a better example to show my children and you and the checkers and the rest of the shoppers.

The Lady With Exactly The Right Amount of Children


Allison said...

UGH!!! What is WRONG with people?? I can't believe she just said that to you...in front of your children. Unbelievable. I probably wouldn't have been as nice...I would have had to put earmuffs on the kids to give her a piece of my mind. >:-(

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I'm glad you spoke out. It never changes...I received the same comments when I had my 5 with me...and that was a long tome ago. I love it when I see large families...and I always try to say something sweet to them when we meet eyes. I also understand how you felt by losing control, and I'm sure if you meet up with her again you WILL remember her and apologize. God bless your large family!
Deb Satrang

Anonymous said...

Daja... you're amazing. My only 'regret' in life is that we didn't have more children!

Anonymous said...

Ahahaha. Team GOMBOJAV! :)

Ellie Rae said...

I'm glad you "lost your cool." Some things are worth losing your cool over. Jesus lost His cool with the Pharisees. That was not a nice thing to say in front of your children. What are you supposed to do? Shoot a couple of them? That was very self-righteous of that person. You're right, I'm sure they didn't mean to be unkind; comments like this are a reaction against large families because as a society we have been taught to ridicule them, but you were right sticking up for your children. And your children know you love them. I don't think you need to apologize for anything.

THE Princess Bombshell* said...

I could imagine how shaky you must have felt walking out. :( I'm sorry you had to experience that. I think God's grace will cover the experience and my cuddles will only remember their mama standing up for righteousness. Besides with the conversation I'm sure you had in the car afterwards, they know of your repentant heart.

I get that crap with only four kids. Where's the line of "too many kids" or "handful" drawn? It must be between three and four.

My answer 100% of the time when I get "Wow. You got yerself a handful." is "A heart full, too."

I had a sweet thing happen two days ago while walking across the parking lot into Food 4 Less. As usual, people are walking the same direction you are as you're going into an entrance. I noticed a man a little older than me walking ahead of us (attractive, too, ahem.). He went for the carts, as I was. He said "All yours." and handed me a cart. Ok, that was polite I thought. I told him how sweet he was. But the thing was-- HE WASN'T GETTING ONE FOR HIMSELF AT ALL! He went down the aisle to get us a cart because he saw my hands WERE full! lol He went in empty handed to just grab some soda. When I saw him in the store he gave me the standard hands full line, and I have him mine back. Made him smile.

Happy Elf Mom said...

Dear Lady at Trader Joe's:

You are daggone lucky you ran into Daja instead of me.

Dear Daja:

I think your first instinct was the correct one. Even Jesus had some harsh words for people on occasion. Notice you didn't turn to this evil hag and tell her you wished her mother would have practiced better birth control.

Happy Elf Mom

Gombojav Tribe said...

Happy Elf Mom, I almost choked on my drink. Thanks.

Bishop Gabe said...


No apologizes necessary. You shut the devil down. If you feel you must apologize for making a scene, I wonder if Jesus needs to apologize for making a scene in the temple when He drove them out with a whip. You were filled with righteous indignation and you have no idea who else you helped. This rude and disrespectful woman is only one of many. You were defending the heritage of the Lord.

I am very proud of you. You put the devil in his place and caused him to shut his mouth. It is okay for us to be stepping stones but we do not have to be the devil's doormat.

I believe the Lord smiled and Satan trembled. You have been given the gift of mothering. Don't ever let the ignorance rob you of that.

Anonymous said...

Oh Daja, I know it wasn't a pleasant experience for you, but thank you so much for the laugh. You are awesome! Do you have a good comeback for "Now, you know what causes that, don't you?" I am so SICK of that one! I need a good response! I usually just stand there with an uncomfortable chuckle. Help...

stephanie c. (proud mommy of jazzy) said...

Glad you stood up for yourself.
And your wonderful Gombojav tribe. :)
Good for you. Knowing you, you probably still said it in a decent and appropriate manner.
Her comment was out of line and disrespectful.
Children are and always will be a BLESSING.
steph and jazzy

Karen Joy said...

I think I would have had the same reaction and the same regret. And come home and blogged about it. :D

Yesterday, I went to Costco with my five children plus my nephew, and as we were loading back up in the truck (after a very successful outing -- in fact, the whole day was amazing), a guy was sitting in his car with the window down, talking on his cell phone loudly about the crazy woman in the car next to him with six kids. I considered "losing it" on him, but I didn't. I rather regret NOT saying anything!

THE Princess Bombshell* said...


Yes, you say-- "Yeah, we do-- it's fun and we like it!" :)

Mrs. and Mama K said...

i always try to remember my friend's line when given the comment about having my hands full..."actually, i have extra hands" and my kids can definitely be helpful! i find it funny to get the line when i'm wearing the ergo..."what do you mean?! i got this thing to be hands free!!"

so hard some times to turn the other cheek...

Karen Joy said...

Oooh, I like the "extra hands" response! It's true: My children are very often amazingly helpful! I will use that in the future. :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

Rebekah, great suggestions here and on Facebook!

If you don't have the nerve to use some of them, perhaps you could just say, "Oh, I'm sorry. Did your mother not have THE TALK with you? Or did you just fail health class?"


Claire said...

I can't say I'm surprised. People are far too concerned about other people's business anymore. :( I am with the folks (everyone here, I think) that support your decision to let the lady have it.

I would really like for us to work on a response to Bekah's inquiry: When people say "You know what causes that, don't you?" Man, I am going to be thinking about that one.

Robert said...

I kinda like your original response to the lady. Yes, you could have been nicer...but...what the heck. A good tongue lashing now and then doesn't hurt anyone. lol

Awesome Daja!

Gombojav Tribe said...

Robert, Gana says, "I agree! She got lucky. She could have said that to me."

stacy said...

Good job daja! your kids wil remember that mom loved them and was proud of them! With 5 boys I can't tell you the times i've heard "Oh poor thing do you want a girl?" depending on the tone i tell them yes or no... usually it's "no. i am well protected thankyou!" and then to have philip seven years after caleb so many people wanted to know if he was a suprise! I kept thinking "really guys we didn't have any kids for seven years you think we forgot what we were doing? really?!?" what i said was "No he was planned!"
anyways... sometimes people deserve what they get and maybe she will think twice about passing judgment again. !

Have a lovely day my friend!

lucien said...

Another take on her comment would be that she thought you had more children than she could care for without forgetting something...which would speak more to her own lack of self-confidence than anything else. In such a case, she would be wishing she'd said, "Oh,...but you remembered what is really important." The look on her face seems to match the failure of an ill-formed pleasantry than the landing of a well aimed, verbal blow. Whereas, if it had been an intentional jab, she may have even appeared smug when you reacted, as you would have appeared to be "giving her circumstantial evidence of having judged the matter correctly." Either way, I thank you for sharing this as it helps me clarify some things that have been in my heart.


Mrs. and Mama K said...

Reminds me of this post: http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2010/08/we-dont-love-children-we-love-drywall.html

bettyl said...

I can't decide if you were right or wrong but I wouldn't fret over it.

Ellie Rae said...

Go to that link. This lady has 7 children, and faced the same thing recently. Read her list of snappy comebacks.

Andrea said...

I would have donated $100 to BirthRight to see this... and another $50 if the veins on your neck were standin' out as you did it.



Love it!!

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