So today I start the Food challenge part of The Summer of 7. I bet you think that I will totally rock this, seeing as how I’m kind of a real food/ minimalist blogger and all that.
Yeah, me too. I totally though that, for a few seconds. Then I remembered that the purpose here is to “mow down the excesses of an overgrown life” and what seems to be most overgrown in my life doesn’t have as much to do with food selection.
I’m about to write four
stories confessions that will most assuredly make you like me less. This is painful because the whole point of blogging is to conceal all the icky things about yourself and proclaim the awesome ones. I really truly think and fully believe it is a narcissistic exercise. The Summer of 7 is going to ruin that for me; I just know it. I hope you will be here at the end of the post, but I won’t blame you if you want to spit on me.
I grew up shopping at Food Lion, which is a local, not up-scale, grocery chain. The store in my town opened when I was 7 or 8, and my parents let me go and buy anything I wanted for $5. I bought onion bagels and cream cheese. What a weird kid.
Anyway, a few years ago I started couponing. I got frustrated that FL didn’t double coupons, so I began shopping at the newly opened “up-scale” Harris Teeter a few miles further away. It felt good. Fancier food. Wider aisles. Richer people. It didn’t take long before I had convinced myself that I was too good for Food Lion. It was ghetto. The cashiers were rude. The meat section smelled like cigarettes. A few times, they had a good deal and I returned, but I really felt I was slumming it. I broke up with Food Lion forever.
After I began real foods, I felt there was no reason to even consider Food Lion. Truthfully, now I condescend people who shop there. (Sorry Mom.) They don’t even carry organics. While Food Lion is only 1.5 miles from my house, I opt to drive past it on my way to the classier places that I now frequent. Funnily enough, it really wasn’t that hard for me to become convinced that I am just better than people who shop there. I mean, that’s true, right?
My next door neighbors have a basement apartment that they rent out. I didn’t know this until recently because they’d always rented to singles who I didn’t notice coming and going. A few months ago a small child peeped over the fence and invited herself to play with my kids. I went to scout out a parent and got the following admonition from the grown-up in charge, “Send ‘er home if she gess too vi-lent. She had a bad mamma.”
Oh looky. A new renter.
For the purposes of this story, let’s just call her “Mayella.” (See what I did there?) It turns out she’s a straw-haired, chubby, bossy little girl who has some speech delays and often proclaims of Addie (my angel) “HER ain’t sharing!!”
She is not exactly a delight to be around. Mayella doesn’t know how many siblings she has, nor is she clear on where her mom lives. Hmm.
Similarly, her guardian, who she interchangeably referrs to as “Grampa,” “Dad,” or “Uncle” does not seem to have a profession that I can discern and is often standing in the driveway smoking. Mayella’s Grampa/ Dad/ Uncle doesn’t drive, presumably because he doesn’t have a car. (I have my theories.) Sometimes he rides around on a bike and drives her helmetless on the handlebars of his bike. It’s horribly unsafe.
After she tromped into our yard a few times, I didn’t discourage my kids from avoiding her, and I certainly made sure she NEVER came inside our house to play.
I mean, you never know, right?!
When we lived in Papua New Guinea, there was a produce market several mornings a week from 7-8 where national people brought produce to our center for us to buy. There was no produce in the little store, so market provided a chance to obtain it. As we did not have a car and lived at the top of the hill, it did not take long for the thrill of walking to market to wear off.
What a DUMB time to have a market? It was SO early. Plus, it was dreadful to be stared at by nappy-headed nationals who were cold, somewhat dirty, and had walked miles to present their garden wares pleadingly to a showered, warm, coffee-toting, “wealthy” white lady. I hated having to look over the produce. I hated how they stared. They stared at me.
Stared. I had never been stared at. How am I supposed to appear? Critically? Uncritically? Pityingly? Uggh. I smiled awkwardly and passed my money over as fast as I could. I felt so guilty having money. For being too dumb to grow my own food. For having clean feet. All this guilt pummeled me as I traipsed my broccoli and lettuce back up the hill to wash it in bleach, hoping my tomatoes weren’t squashed from my bilum.
It was embarrassing. I hated going. I hated walking there. I hated walking back. I hated carrying our food. I made Jeremy go. Eventually, one of the teen boarding homes started offering a market shopping and delivery service. I could not sign up fast enough. I don’t think I ever went to market again.
I’m a gigundous snob.
STORY 4: The Juxtaposition
A few months ago, I was driving home from Trader Joe’s with a carload of real and organic food that I’d just purchased. In my head I was composing a blogpost on my healthy eating. The radio was tuned to the Christian station and Anika sat happily in the backseat. I was only a mile and a half from home as I whizzed past Food Lion (TRASH!) and up the slight hill passed the Post Office. Out of the corner of my eye, on my left I saw my neighbor, the Grampa/Dad/ Uncle struggling to push a bike up the hill with several Food Lion bags awkwardly dangling from the handle bars. Out of one bag, a box of Lucky Charms protruded quite obviously
“Wow! Like she really needs Lucky Charms!?!” I thought, congratulating myself on how much REAL-ER the food I had just bought was.
I got about two more block down the road before I heard it.
Now, I’m not going to say it was the Holy Spirit because I know it will upset some of you to think that I am attributing these words to Him, but what I heard in my heart was . . .
YOU B!&@%!! How could you DRIVE RIGHT PAST HIM!?! You really think Mayella’s problems are about food?!.
I was perplexed. I actually couldn’t immediately figure out what the voice expected me to have done. I mean, where would I have put him and his bike? Honestly!! The nerve.
It took me until I was unloading my own groceries into my own house to realize, at least I could have offered to drive his groceries for him so he could ride the bike instead of pushing it.
After all, he lives next door.
He is my next door neighbor. Mayella is my next door neighbor.
I blog about saving to give, serving the poor, living simply, loving your neighbor, and a lot of other topics that inspire. Yet I am very, very, very trapped in my own pride a lot of the time. I say one thing to you, but I don’t even love my neighbor. Mayella’s problem isn’t Lucky Charms.
She doesn’t have a mother. She is poor. She is struggling to learn. And she has a “Christian” neighbor who wouldn’t even invite her in the house.
But I’m trying.
Mayella came over for dinner the other night. We had spaghetti.
In the book 7, Jen Hatmaker eats ONLY 7 foods for a month, but I really didn’t feel like that would deal with my food issue.
Then I thought about eating only foods from the Farmer’s Market and walking to get them–basically, being a total locavore! Unfortunately, our market is very small, so I don’t honestly think I could get enough variety for our whole diet. Total locavore eating would probably be the “poorganic” thing to do, but it just didn’t seem to be the whole point . . . for me.
See . . . I heard that voice again. (I’m actually pretty sure it is the Holy Spirit after all. And be assured, I’m as astonished as you are that He is still talking to me.)
You want food? Well you can walk your skinny tail to get it. You can walk to the market, and then if you have to, you can walk all the way to the Food Lion. Then you can carry it home, just like your neighbor and many people all over the world.
That’s it then. You heard it. I’m walkin’. I’m carrying my food uphill. For
seven twenty-one days, I am going to eat only food in our house or what I walked to get. A lot of the world ALWAYS walks for their food and carries it home by hand, so maybe this will give me some of my lacking appreciation for them. While I can do a mostly locavore spin on this challenge by getting a lot at the Farmer’s Market, I’m sure that I will have to make at least one 3 mile walk to the Food Lion.
Oh, and I PRAY it breaks down my pride.
May 2013 UPDATE: I’m considering walking for food again this spring. Let me know if you would consider joining me. What do you think you could learn from walking for your food?
40 thoughts on “Pride Goeth to Food Lion”
Wow. Gotta walk to get it. I like it. And I love that you adjusted the “fast” to fit your own weaknesses and needs. That’s SO what the whole thing is about. Looking forward to following your summer of 7!
Andrea S. recently posted…7 Weeks of Less – FOOD
Wow! This actually might be one of my favorite posts of yours ever. Love your candidness and willingness to share. Looking forward to hearing how your week goes
Amy recently posted…The Summer of 7: Mowing Down the Excess of an Overgrown Life
Tears in my eyes at your honesty and transparency. It has certainly given me lots to think about! It’s amazing how we can deceive ourselves (me, too!) about how spiritual we are, while cloaking our pride and judgements against those less fortunate. May God continue to reveal Himself to us and in us!
The scary part is realizing how EASILY I believed the “better than” lie. It just sounded so good and true to my heart; I didn’t think to reject it. I think we are all quicker to believe we are “better than” than we’d like to admit.
You made me cry!
Hooray! My goal in life has always been to make my sister cry over my snobbery. 😉 Love you!!
Honest and inspiring. My favorite thus far.
Nope. Love you more!
I’m with Kay on this one. I totally love you more (not realizing that was even possible!). You inspire me with your honesty and your compassion, even if you have to have the Holy Spirit say very blunt things to you to get you there – as He does to me. I think maybe blunt people hear His tender counsel more in “our” language than, say, a sweet little lady would. 😉
Have to confess that I have been lazy about reading the blogs that I follow lately. I slowed down and read this post this morning. Prompting of the HS? I am crying (as I tend to do over your posts). Thank you for your transparency. I heard myself in your words.
You DO NOT have to confess lazy-blog reading, which is not a sin! 😉 I am glad that the Lord is working through my mess though. It reminds me that He really does use everything for His glory–even our darkest pride.
Girl – you be messing with me here. I’m all out of my zone headed to the Farmers Market tomorrow. Shut Up! That was in reference to my mind as it is just spinning right now.
Talking about those walking. Working on the inner city I have many friends now that do not have cars, many of them do not even have means for bus passes, but I”m always nice to honk and wave as I drive by in my nice air-conditioned car. “There’s my friends” I say to whom ever I’ve with.
You are messing with me.
Positively Alene recently posted…i can’t handle a mutiny without coffee – summer of 7.
Alene, I was very clear in the beginning that I was planning to drag other people down with me, so you can only blame yourself if you are being mess with. 😉 Love you.
shoot – I just thought I was already messed up. I think there’s more messing to come!! YIPES!!!
Positively Alene recently posted…i can’t handle a mutiny without coffee – summer of 7.
Katrina, you honest soul, who brings tears to my face. Thank you for stirring my soul. Thank you for listening to the Spirit. I will pray for you all seven days and for your “walk.”
Thanks! First walk to Food Lion went GREAT . . more on that upcoming. 🙂
You’re just saying what we’re all thinking. Gutsy write. LOVE–
Amy in Wanderland recently posted…I’m pickier than I thought (plus, a peek at my horridly messy pantry).
Love this post, Katrina, and the great pic of Farmer’s Market in PNG. If it is any comfort, I find the produce, esp. broccoli and cauliflower at FL generally to be cheaper and fresher at FL. And though they don’t double coupons, they allow you to buy one item of B1G1 free at half price:). Ellen
Well, I’m going to do a full post on it, but I have already done my first walk to FL and been totally mollified by how much crow I had to eat. They DO have organics and great prices on them to boot. 🙂
carrying food from the store. I haven’t done that since college 🙂
What an interesting take on the whole concept of connecting with the poor. Thanks for sharing!
elissa recently posted…Thou shall not judge thyself.
The town I went to college in didn’t even HAVE a grocery store. We carried all our food from Subway. 😉
I have never met you. I love you. I subscribe to your blog through bloglovin’ and today’s post has slapped me squarely upside the head. I am a 45 year old, mother of 7, married 26 years. We maintain a small farmstead (10 acres) and grow/raise the majority of our food. I bake all our bread, cook 3 meals a day from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and I am a snob. I feel as if you have ripped the “perfect-me” mask off my face this morning…I really had no idea how judgmental I am of others. Wow. Shocked. Humbled. Convicted. This is how I feel. Thank you for your honesty. I like you better than ever because of it. Blessings to you and yours…please keep blogging!!
Beth, I am thrilled you do not hate me and that you LOVE me instead–especially considering the fact that I’ve apparently smacked you today. (Are you Jesus? ;)) I am glad that God hasn’t given up on us and is working all these things out in our hearts. Now, to keep on “walking” with all this in mind . . .
So powerful, Katrina. Thank you for sharing these stories.
This may be my new favorite. LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Oh, I was going to say that too: My new favorite blog of yours EVER! Which means it’s my new favorite blog post ever, period. Great minds think alike (love you, Mom!).
I love this post. You truly get to the heart of the matter. Your message hits home and I might just join you in this adventurs (once school is out).
Powerful. eye-opening. superb writing. I was bent forward over the keyboard reading as FAST as I could …praise God!
Tracy P Barton-Niles recently posted…7- The Book Club
I LOVE your posts–thank you!! I have recently connected with this very same family and learned that this man works his tail off @ a local gas station (w/in walking distance, of course 🙂 to provide for his granddaughter; and it is to his basement apartment that some of Waxhaw’s local, underpriviledged kids show up @ 1 o’clock in the morning when they are in trouble. He is one of the most spiritually-minded people I know. I love how God uses what we think are the “least of these” to show His love in some of the hardest-to-reach places. This man wants to learn how to read, and I have been too much of a busy snob to offer to teach him…
You definitely need to put these posts into a BOOK, Katrina! I know tons of people will identify. Thanks for putting words to what is inside ALL of us at times. I had to laugh about you and the Holy Spirit. I used to tell my mom “what God said to me” and she would reply, “Hmmm, He doesn’t speak to ME that way!” (in other words, He spoke to her in nicer language, I guess) LOL
Just have to say that I was still thinking about this one this morning, Katrina. Oh, how we just love to look down our noses at others. Isn’t it amazing that we don’t always immediately say, “God, forgive me!” May He have mercy on us as He teaches us to LOVE as He loved.
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