Pride Goeth to Food Lion (2013 Edition)

I’m re-running this post from May 31, 2012 because of all the pride kickers that I’ve published, this one kind of takes the cake. PLUS, at the end, I have a new little invitation for you.

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? 

PS: Literary question, when comparing this post to the last one, do you think it is irony or symbolism that I’m asking you to “join me” on a bandwagon that involves walking?  😉


9 thoughts on “Pride Goeth to Food Lion (2013 Edition)

  1. I am kinda putting myself in the situation where I walk for food as I will be spending time in Spain in a town that doesn’t allow cars within its perimeter. I will be walking for food and to the university and to take care of any needs the students I am taking with me might have. It is so true that much of the world walks–without any choice to be had about it.

  2. Bless you, my dear niece, for being so totally transparent and vulnerable. Even though I’ve read this before, it still inspires me to be more open and honest and expose all the yuck (pride) that I think I can conceal. Ha! God knows the intents and purposes of my heart, which is desperately wicked! Thanks for giving us something to think about!

  3. Ha, pride-buster! There I was, smugly thinking, “Well, Katrina, I always walk for my food here in Ukarumpa, as you well know.” Then I thought, heck, if we were in the UK that would be an hour’s walk to the nearest supermarket – no way! You got me 🙂

  4. Hmmm…Ezekial 16:49 jumped off the page for me this morning. Then I remembered a friend asking about the Summer of 7 and so I went to find the page for her. Found your blog. Looked around a little. Read this blog…and closed your blog page to find myself back on Ezekial 16:49 highlighted in my online Bible…”This was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud and had plenty of food and lived in great comfort, but she did not help the poor and needy.”
    Hmmm…Is the Holy Spirit trying to tell me something?! Wow! What a start to the day and week!!

    1. Wow. That’s an incredible passage. Thanks for sharing it with me. I haven’t started walking for food again, but I know I need to do SOMETHING this year to jolt me out of my complacency. That’s what the Holy Spirit is prompting in me.

  5. I know I am late in replying but computer time is lacking. I loved this post last year and it is still challenging. I will not be walking for food. I love the idea but my closest store is 3.8 miles. I learned that last year when you were talking about food deserts and I realized how close I am to living in one. Anyway, seeing as how that would be an almost 8 mile round trip on busy roads with no sidewalks in summer heat I have looked elsewhere.

    My challenge is to run a 5k race on July 4 to raise money for Common Heart. I have run before but very inconsistently since my first child four years ago. I am not in shape for this race but I am determined. I love this organization and how it is letting our family, even with young kids, reach out to those in need just 4.4 miles from my house (Ironic the trailer park is almost as close as the grocery store … unfortunately for them not in the same direction, the people there definitely live in a food desert). Anyway, as I drag myself out of bed to go run before my husband goes to work I am praying that God will show me how much he loves those in need right here in our community. Now I’ve just got to swallow my pride and ask people to sponsor me when I run or it will be for naught … you’d think the running would be the hardest part but its not for me. I’m so tempted to just give and not ask anyone else but then I’m denying them a chance to help and I’m not spreading the word about this great organization. I know God wants me to step out. Its just so hard.

    I am also challenged about loving my neighbors. Most of them smoke. In fact I think everyone God has called me to serve recently smokes. That’s hard for me. I don’t like it. It smells gross. When you hang around it then you smell like that. Ugh. But God keeps reminding me that there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, (Galatians 3:28), smoker or non-smoker … the only difference in his eyes is if we follow Him. He’s asking me if I’m going to let a little smoke condemn my neighbors to hell? When I put it that way I guess not, and yet I’m not sure how to overcome that barrier. Going to have to keep praying about how to move forward to reach my neighbors. Maybe a little spaghetti.

    1. Well, it has turned out that, thanks to a week of almost constant rain, we aren’t walking either, but I hear what you’re saying. Walking isn’t the point so much as being aware and compassionate to those around us.

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