Have you ever gone on a God Hunt? A God Hunt begins when you teach yourself to look for God’s hand at work in the every day occurrences of your life. Here’s one of my personal God Hunt Sightings:
Is there anything harder than shopping for teenagers? They have a concept of style, but their personal taste lends more toward the faddish and has as yet not been developed. What dominates their choices is more a matter of “What is everyone else wearing?” than “What looks best on me with my coloration and with my particular figure?”
Shopping with my daughter, Melissa (she is now in mid-life, though I stubbornly continue to think of my adult children as “the kids”), was so frustrating that I finally just gave her the money, dropped her off at the shopping center and picked her up several hours later. I figured that was the best way for her to learn about worked and what didn’t work for her personally, how much she could squeeze out of her clothing allotment, and which sale prices for which cheap clothes that didn’t last were not worth the discounts.
This saved arguments, and we both, mother and daughter, were happy. Melissa has developed a great instinct for color and pattern combinations. I’d like to think it had something to do with the shopping choices she had the freedom to make when she was a teen.
Melissa now says the same thing about her daughter, my granddaughter Joscelyn: “Josie is such a picky shopper. I just can’t get things for her on sale if she isn’t along.” Josie, like teenagers these days, spends a lot of “recreational” time with her friends in the nearby mall.
I was reminded of all this when we visited our oldest granddaughter, Caitlyn, at Indiana Wesleyan University. Caitlyn has grown up in the warmth of Arizona and this is her first winter here in the Midwest. She has expressed trepidation about being warm enough in the cold months—and well she should. Moreover, a soccer star with a sports scholarship, she came away to college with the least amount of clothes I think I’ve ever seen an American 18-year-old possess. Plenty of sports outfits, sports shoes and sports sweatshirts, but where are the darling little Forever 21 styles I happen to love myself?
More important, where are the boots, scarves, jackets, sweaters, thermal stockings, gloves and tights that help us Midwesterners survive one frigid day after another?
So my husband and I took Caitlyn shopping. We drove a half-hour to Muncie, Indiana, which looked big enough on my map to have some of the chains I am familiar enough with to know what kind of price levels we would be able to afford.
Payless Shoes, which had a two-for-one sale going on, is where we began. Caitlyn—hesitant about spending our money, hesitant about what kind of boots you needed for this weather (since we’ve had a surprisingly warm and lingeringly pleasant fall)—agonized over her choices. We finally ended up with fur-lined grey moccasins, knee-high felt boots, and some what I used to call mukluks (from their Alaskan Eskimo origins) in black. Then, stockings and scarves. Then Macy’s (where I remembered from the prices why I don’t shop at Macy’s). Then Target.
I came home, called Melissa and made plans to jointly give Caitlyn a gift card so she could go shopping at Forever 21 with her style-maven younger cousin, Joscelyn. With much hesitation, I picked up a warm sweater in her size and a lovely pair of black leather dress boots. If she doesn’t like them, I’m only out $2 for the sweater (on clearance at the nearest resale shop) and $6 for the boots.
The interesting thing about this shopping spree is that I had enough money! David and I were in Europe for 12 days and I simply forgot to record my Social Security check for the month of September. I had an extra $643 in my account! It felt so good—so deeply soul-satisfyingly good—to be able to say, “Go ahead, Caitlyn. Get what you want. I have enough money.” Is there anything a grandmother loves to do better than spend money on her grandchildren?
Thank you, God. Once again, I spy You!
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.