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At least once a week I plan my grocery trip & store routes for all the pickups, returns, and drop offs. I like to be efficient so I plan them in order. Then I list my items on Cozi and estimate the time I need with a little extra for extra events which may occur, like Austin traffic.

Yesterday was one of those days where everything seems to slow you down. You feel a little crazy running back and forth. Would you believe those paper towels I bought disappeared between my cart and my car? I didn’t notice ‘till I came home without them and promptly returned to the store where they were kind, helpful and took care of me.

By the time I made my way to stop number six in just over two hours, I was tired and running out of time to pick up the kids. And stop number six? Costco. Hello! How long do you spend at Costco? I could walk around dreaming for…I don’t know, quite some time.

In the first aisle I remembered the returns which were left in my car. Can I just say, turning around is one my biggest peeves. Once I start moving forward, I want to keep the momentum going.

Deep breaths.

I decided to deal with returns after shopping. I would plug through Costco quickly. Well, not too quickly so as to not bump someone like I have in the past. This mama’s gotta’ learn to slow down and exercise a little patience, you know?

Anyway, I did shop quickly, then checked out swiftly, and had just enough time to drop off my items in the car, pickup the returns, go back in & run to the restroom before arriving at my kids school at 3:30.

Phew…

Customer service. No line.

Phew…

Quick return of over $34.

Phew…

Wait a minute.

As I rushed towards the rest room I considered the amount I just received. $34? I only had two items for which I’d paid $7 each. Things added up a little too much, and in my favor.

Oh, the thoughts which quickly ensued.

That’s $20 extra dollars. Yes! Extra cash, how nice of them. It’s a big store. They can handle an insignificant amount like this. It’s their glitch, not mine. I should just walk out of here before my stomach gets too knotted up. I’d come out richer than I was when I went in..

Besides, it’s after 3. I’m running out of time and if I take care of this I could be late.

As if the kids couldn’t wait a few minutes for me to arrive.

Ugh, I’m not proud of these thoughts. But there they were, just like that. I began to entertain them and quickly realized, “I have a choice to make.” I can choose to listen and agree with the enemy’s temptations or I can recall the truth which lies inside of me already.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” ~ Proverbs 14:12

When You Want the Way Which Seems Good

Photo courtesy of Karsten Berlin on Flickr

Wasn’t it just last night when I stood in front of a group of women sharing my heart about getting honest with ourselves and with God about our thoughts & feelings? About trusting Him with what he already knows and seeking His presence in dealing with our hearts and minds?

Selfish Jo really wanted to keep the extra cash. But, to what end? How would $20 be different than $2 million in the same instance? The bottom line is, it wasn’t mine to keep and I knew it. Conviction came on me as the Holy Spirit nudged my heart to do the very thing I talk about day after day. Trust God.

Why is it that once we hold onto something we don’t want to let it go? Why do we suddenly feel such great ownership & possession to something which wasn’t even ours moments ago? Or to the things which are not, and never will be, ours?

Envy. Pride. Selfishness. Greed.

And a lack of trust.

Choosing to walk out of the store with an extra $20 was about doing the wrong thing for sure. But, perhaps even more, it was about a lack of trusting God for my wants, needs and desires. It’s part of my pattern. My way of surviving life.

Fending for myself. Thinking my way is better than God’s way. Ugh. This kind of living is death to my soul and I want to be over it.

As much I want God to give me what I want when I want it, I want to want Him more. I don’t want what seems good. I want what is really good – God.

“Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” ~ Luke 12:2

Let me tell you, I had to insist to the cashier that she did indeed ring up something wrong. Eventually, she was grateful. Not only could I not keep the money without due diligence to correct the error, but not speaking of it is like keeping hidden this desire to sin.

Hidden sin hardens our hearts & cripples our lives.

I don’t exactly enjoy admitting my own selfishness, greed & pride. But I really don’t enjoy the sickness of self which comes from denying it and hiding it in darkness either.

I’m committed to bring darkness into light and exposing the enemy for the liar and deceiver he is. It’s time we claim our victory in Christ through courage and making the hard, but right choices.

It’s time we choose honesty, with ourselves and with God. In this place we find the peace and rest we long for because we experience His grace, redemption and great love.

And guess what?

Arrival time. 3:32.

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