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This past week-end, I went on the youth ladies retreat. We attended The Revolve Tour in Baltimore! The Revolve tour is this really great, empowering and relevant conference for teen girls. The team travels around the country and is put on by the same people who do the “Women of Faith” conferences. At the conference there are speakers and concerts (which were great). One of the keynote speakers this year was Jenna Lucado, who happens to be Max Lucado’s daughter. She has written a book about the relationships that girls have with their earthly father and heavenly Father. Her introduction was that she was ‘weird’ and then proceeded to give a couple of examples to support this statement. (BTW… she is a little weird… haha… but who isn’t???)

So in honor of the Revolve Tour and the awesome girls that I spent some time with…. I AM SO WEIRD!!!

Here is my proof….

So what?????

OK, I LOVE the grocery store (GS). I do love all shopping. But, the GS is in it’s own special catagory!

I have officially visited every  GS brand i can find in a 20 mile radius. So here it means, Giant, Safeway, TraderJoes, WholeFoods, Roots, Harris Teeter, SuperFresh, Shoppers, and the food part of Target. I am sure there are more, but I haven’t been here that long! Each one has its own unique characteristics, for example, the Harris Teeter handles the groceries for you, no conveyor belts needed and Trader Joes is so shoppable and little. But, without a doubt, I love, love, love a good concept! My newest favorite thing is the Giant grocery store “do it yourself” possibilities. As you see in the picture above, you get a scanner and then proceed to scan your groceries as you go, bagging and all!!! When you are done, you don’t have to unload everything and reload a thousand times, it’s all done at once! I think it is great because it gives me more time to peruse the aisles instead of waiting in line to unload my cart. And, to top it all off, you can self check-out too!!!! Very fast, easy, fun, could it get any better??? YES!!! The great thing is, if you do your shopping this way (as it is not required) you get an extra discount and coupons as you shop, love that!

OK, so aside from great marketing techniques, I just love GS shopping in general. After all, it is food! I am not too brand conscious and like to try new things, so it is always a great adventure deciding what to buy. I always try to avoid lists, I mean, they are crazy restricting! I like to go up and down the aisles and look. (I do actually make lists, sometimes, so that I do get what I need.) I like to leave a couple hours for this activity too, usually take 1.5hrs but has been know to take 3! (I know!!!) I try to leave enough time so that I don’t feel like I am in a hurry and can take as much time as I want to check/compare prices, look for new products, and just decided in general! I love the details like: fiber in bread, price per oz., and a million pizza/ice cream choices. In fact, I love GS so much that when I visited some famous European Cities, I took the time to check out the grocery store culture, too!! I grocery shopped in Paris on my way to the TGV, in Nice on my way to the Mediterannean Beaches, and in Rome in between the Vatican and the Piazzza Navona. (That’s 3 times in 10 days, wait, it’s 5 because I went to the GS in Nice 3 times!)

However, there is one key factor for me: proper attire. Yes, I dress for the GS. You see, I tend to be “cold natured” and therefore, GS spells FREEZING!!! So in order to get the most enjoyment out of my trip to the GS, I carefully consider what I will be wearing on my expedition, comfy and warm! (Told you, so…)

Anyway, I call this ‘wierd’ because every time I tell someone that I love the GS he/she looks at me like I am from outer space. I just can’t help it if I find it to be a cleansing and empowering experience to make so many choices for myself!  I mean, how many of us struggle with simple decision making skills?

In the words of Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, $4.95  get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

In the grocery store, I get to choose how much fiber I want in my bread, how little sugar I would like to consume for breakfast, and which ketchup gives me the most condiment for my dollar. In a time where I feel so uncertain about choices and how to manage my time, life and money, the grocery store is a welcome relief.

So, if you ever need a partner to the grocery store, let me know, I’d be more than happy to accompany you! Or go for you, no problem, I don’t have to be there for my own purposes. ( I’ve been know to just visit, without even buying anything!!)

What about Cameron Diaz?

“I can spend hours in a grocery store. I get so excited when I see food, I go crazy. I spend hours arranging my baskets so that everything fits in and nothing gets squashed. ” ~Cameron Diaz

Yep, she gets me.

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One of the greatest things that a person can learn in their lifetime is to experience others. This seems silly I guess, of course we see and hear everyone. But, what I mean is more that that, I mean, intentionally, purposefully, and with respect. From time to time, I find myself purposefully looking away, not with the intention of respect, but with the intention of ignorance. You must know what “they” say, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”, right? I wonder a lot in those situations what the good thing to do would be. I don’t say right because to me, right is subjective and good, not so much.

As humans we are naturally learners, so we tend to observe and consume bits and pieces of information just by looking, hearing, and experiences. I believe we link the experience with a necessity for action, so what we don’t see, we don’t have to do anything about. Right? Well, at least that is the way that I tend to operate. Avoiding the “now I have to do something” thoughts is really my intention. Being aware of this attitude has caused change in me. I sincerely hope that I have improved my ability to lay aside the guilt, and give people the dignity that they deserve and I would expect, myself.

And why? Because, if the norm was to live out under the stars, we’d stare at people who lived inside and set up programs to help the break free of their plight. And if the norm was to wheel around instead of walk we’d pass laws to make sure buildings included stairs and extra chairs so that “walkers” would be able to participate in daily life in an accessible way. We all have some challenge, we all have some strength. Some things stand out and some can be hidden. Look with respect, look and find yourself, look and learn. Listen to people, their story, their challenges, and wisdom.

I have found, that there is nothing that I HAVE to do, but for me, I choose to see you as I see myself: You’re not perfect, you have something to offer, something to teach me, something to learn from me, you have a story, a past, a present, a future, you can change, and be changed. (Even if it seems/is hard.)

Now what? Well a small step for me what this awesome website: http://www.r-word.org. It’s not only about equality, but about respect and that is probably the two best things anybody can do for their community, respect it and point out how much we are not in it alone.

Check out http://www.r-word.org/ (you don’t have to do anything, just look, and if you want, make a pledge of action)

One more thing, before you go… Galatians 3:28 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

dcbutterfly

*B.A.S.I.C = Brothers And Sisters In Christ