costco lessons.

A few weeks ago I went to Costco. On a Sunday. At 11:30 am. Yes, I see my mistake here, especially after driving around the crowded parking lot for 10 minutes trying to find a spot that wouldn’t require me to pull out my walking shoes. (Ha, kidding, I don’t own walking shoes.) But I was in a good mood and ready to handle the crowds so I could grab a few things.

Well, the place was a zoo, like, even zoo-ier than normal. (I was reminded quickly of my brilliant idea to suggest a ‘sample lane’ for those who wanted to snack and linger and a FAST PASS lane for those who didn’t. Great idea isn’t it?!) But as I bumped carts and grabbed my items, I was amused watching the chaos go on around me.

And so, with my 5-6 items, I headed to the checkout, where it appears that on this particular Sunday, Costco was attempting to compete with Black Friday lines. After glancing at lines 10+ people deep, I picked my lane and got ready to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

It was clear there was an issue with the registers on all the lanes. The beeping and error messages were ringing loudly and the people around me were getting exasperated. I putzed on my phone, determined to wait this out. (After all, organic eggs and a lifetime supply of cottage cheese can’t be purchased anywhere, ha.) I started to eavesdrop on the conversation behind me. It was a dad with his two daughters, likely about 7 and 4. The youngest daughter was nestled in the cart half asleep, while the older daughter gabbed away.

Daughter: Hey dad, guess what?

Dad: What?

Daughter: I love you

Dad: I love you too.

Daughter: Let’s play the armpit game.

Dad: Okay.

Giggling, squeals, I got bumped. (I did look behind me to see what this game entailed. It appeared to be her raising her arms as he would try to sneak his hands under them in order to lift her up before she could put them back down. It was cute.)

A few minutes passed.

Daughter: Ugh, this is taking forever.

Dad: It sure is taking longer than we expected isn’t it? What a good time to practice our patience!

Daughter: Well, I have been really patient Dad.

Dad: I know you have, you’re doing a great job. It looks like it’s going to be a little bit longer but that’s okay. There’s nothing we can do about it, is there?

Daughter: We could tell them to get some more registers and then maybe it would go faster.

Dad: That’s a great idea, we could tell them that. But how would we want to say it?

Daughter: In a nice voice.

Dad: You’re right. I am sure that the people who are working right now are feeling really tired because they are so busy. But when we leave, if you feel like it still, you could make a suggestion to them.

Daughter: (pause) They probably already thought of that idea.

Dad: Sometimes there is nothing that we can do to fix things and so we just have to be patient, huh? We can make a suggestion if we say it nicely, but sometimes the suggestion doesn’t fix things right away. So then we just have to wait, knowing it’s out of our control.

Daughter: (longer pause) We will get there eventually.

Dad: Exactly. I’m really proud of you for waiting calmly. Let’s just focus on having a fun time in line, okay?

Daughter: Okay! Let’s play the arm pit game!

And just like that, the moment was over and the arm pit game began again. We all went back to waiting and I wish I could tell you the line picked up. (It probably took about 45 minutes) But the conversation between that dad and daughter has stuck with me.

Sometimes we have to wait. Situations are out of control and there is nothing we can do to fix it. Those are the times when it’s really easy to whine, complain, make irritated comments and melt down. But that dad reminded me that sometimes all we can do is stay patient.

I wish I would have turned to that dad and told him thank you and also complimented the way he patiently and lovingly parented his daughters. It would have been really easy for him to let out exasperated sighs and spout off less-than-kind comments to the workers. But instead, he used it to teach his kids (and me) the importance of waiting things out, simply because we can’t do anything else, understanding that we will eventually “get there”.

Galatians 6:9 says it so well – “So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.”

My encouragement to you today dear friend, is don’t give up. I am preaching this to myself today too. Let’s not tire of being patient, of doing good, of monitoring our attitude and continue to push on. We will reap a harvest when God’s timing is perfect. His Word is reliable and so we strive on, we push forward, we practice patience and we trust Him to come through for us. He will, I know He will.

To the dad in that Costco line, thank you.

PS – I am incredibly behind on comment replies and email correspondence. The embarrassment of being so behind has kept me offline for too many days now and I am SO sorry. I am finishing up a few exciting projects and wrapping up a work contract and then have BIG goals to get back to you. Please know I read every comment, email and pray for you often, even if my typed replies are lacking. It means NOTHING about my deeply grateful heart! XO!

41 thoughts on “costco lessons.

  1. My Perfect Breakdown says:

    I love Costco, seriously it’s probably my favourite store – but I never go on the weekend. :) And I love that this story took place in a costco, because it was such a great teaching opportunity for the dad! You can just hear the love in your telling of the story. Simply beautiful!

  2. Tabitha Gunn says:

    Thank you so much for this!! It is exactly what I needed to hear. I stumbled across your blog awhile back, while looking for IUI info. Since then, I am now setting sail for IVF. I pray for you and hope that someday we both have our babies. In the meantime, thank you for saying exactly what I needed to hear!!

    Tabitha Gunn

    The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it and the faith to believe it possible. 112 Degrees

    On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:04 PM, Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a

    • chels819 says:

      I am so glad you have stumbled onto this blog Tabitha!! I am sending up a prayer for you as you start down this IVF road. I pray that it’s successful and that you learn and grow as a result! I love that quote you shared too. :) Best wishes!

  3. Kaity says:

    What a beautiful story and lesson you witnessed! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    This is a good reminder not only to be patient, but to be observant, because good things are coming all the time and will continue to come from Him! We just need to be patient–and stay awake and alert to his messages of love and peace!

    • chels819 says:

      What a great thought too – observance is such an important part of it all. Thanks for pulling in that aspect as well, I hadn’t even thought about that! Amen! XO!

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I love to read stories like this. In reminded to stay patient and hopeful, because it is all worth the wait.

  5. pikachu4you says:

    What a great lesson to have learned. What a great way for that dad to teach his daughter a lesson. So many parents jump to sit down and shut up instead of taking the time to teach their kids what is actually going on. :) I want to high five that dad. Plus it is a lesson that can be learned in so many walks of life.

    • chels819 says:

      I was so impressed with his tone of voice and tenderness. I really wish I would have said something! I got too caught up in the moment of eavesdropping that I felt so much like an observer and forgot I could also be a participant!

  6. chon says:

    Costco can teach you many things :) as I start dealing with my HUGE emotions of only ever having one my mind constantly drifts to those still fighting and falling down and coming up swinging to get the family they deserve. I honestly have no doubt your time WILL COME. I do. I just wish it would come faster (if you need some inspiration check out womb for improvement. It took five years to get her #1 and and now in the space of three years she will have a family of 3, it can and does happen. Stay strong beautiful girl. x

    • chels819 says:

      I am so appreciative of your encouragement and positivity. I will definitely check out the story of the gal you suggested. I am thankful for you and your heart. xxx

  7. Joanna Clarke says:

    Love this so much. What a great family! Inspiration is everywhere, and I love that lessons can be found in even the most mundane of things. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Krysta says:

    What a great post! I am just a few days into my TWW, so this is a much-needed reminder haha! Thank you so much – and it’s so encouraging to hear about a father parenting his daughters with such a positive, pleasant attitude. Thanks again!

  9. Amie says:

    I LOVE this story so much for many reasons!! I also think you have a fantastic idea on have slow and fast lanes for people to choose, brilliant idea!!

  10. babydreamsandlove says:

    This is the kind of parent i pray to be like one day. That kid is going to grow up with some awesome life lessons! Definitely makes you realise ae. Somethings are just outside your control, and you just have to be patient!

  11. Jessi Wallace says:

    The funny thing is the same thing happened to me at Target on Saturday. Except, not only were the registers down, the entire store lost electricity, LOL! So it got pitch black for those of us in the middle of the store, and I mean BLACK… and then the lights would come back on, then go back out again seconds later, and at some point the emergency generator finally came on which gave us partial light and all these people were just standing there like they had seen a ghost. Frozen, not making a sound. Then, masses ran to the front to exit. I figured, I’m not done shopping, I’ll just hang out. Aaaand I did. And Target was nice enough to give us $3/off coupons at the register to apologize for our “inconvenience” as the registers slowly got back to working one at a time. But while those other people were all freaking out and trying to leave the store as quickly as possible, I enjoyed the fact that the store went from crazy busy for a Saturday to pretty much empty!

    On a side note, thank you for sharing the story and the encouragement in the end. Sometimes I want to give up, but I can’t change my circumstances so I will wait on the Lord.

    • chels819 says:

      What a great story teller you are! I could totally envision being you at Target when this happens! A hidden blessing that patience pays off as well! Thank you for this encouragement and sharing your experience with me. Our patience will pay off and He is watching! HUGS! xo

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