Today’s win was the stuff of miracles — or the miracle stuffing. Our family members have been consumer guinea pigs for gluten-free food companies for ten years now. Three of us have the joy of needing sustenance outside the mainstream culinary standard. It is a miracle when a product comes along that we are willing to finish, let alone tastes like actual food that didn’t come from a pet store food aisle.
Normal gluten-free fare is expensive. Flavor is not factored into the pricing of gluten-free products. The marketing mindset of gluten-free companies is more like, “Hey! Just be grateful someone is willing to make cheddar biscuit mix you moron! Without us, you’d be eating baby food or dead! Shut up and eat!” Inspiring, eh? With great marketing mind tricks, they sell variations of the tapioca hockey puck theme to the Tiny Tims of humans who eat to survive. We should be grateful to be able to eat fancy crap that tastes like fancy cardboard because the actual alternative is cardboard itself. Full-flavored Foccacia will never be an option. Out of the generosity of their hearts, gluten-free food companies make sure that each product comes in a different flavor, texture, and packaging configurations.
Aldi’s gluten-free stuffing is in itself a miracle. Imagine that. A miracle one can buy. Would that they were all that easily obtained. Since Aldi’s tightened up their gluten-free facility maintenance and ended the cross-contamination fiasco, we have been able to waltz into Aldi’s, pile the gluten-free foods in our basket, pay for the haul and go home like normal people. But today, the eve of Thanksgiving, our procrastination in obtaining gluten-free Thanksgiving fare created a problem that took a miracle to solve. You see, it appeared that Aldi’s was fresh out of their well-loved, sold out, gluten-free chicken stuffing boxes.
I have strong instincts for certain things. Strange as it sounds, I get vibes about nearly everything I focus on. They are rarely wrong, and when I don’t honor the vibes, I regret it. I think you know what I mean because you have those intuitive vibes about things in your life, too.
I find that most intuition leads me to solutions to issues or problems I am having. My vibe-o-meter detected boxes of gluten-free stuffing, yet my eyes could not find them. I know that vibes don’t lie. So I went up and down the aisles determined to stay until I found the boxes.
Behold, the moment of divine intervention!
As I walked the Aldi’s aisles, my daughter juggled the boxes and packages in her arms. I had a sudden thought to find a place on which to put my Mary Poppins bag and find my cellphone to see if my husband had returned my text.
I spied the frozen display case, it’s flat surface offering a comfortable place to set down my purse. But I got the “nope” vibe. Quickly scanning for another place upon which to lay my purse, I spied a stack of toilet tissue packages nestled up against what appeared to be the clearance rack. Toilet paper! I forgot that we needed toilet paper! Seeing the opportunity to multi-task the message checking and toilet paper selecting, I hustled over to the display, making a mental note to not forget the toilet paper.
“I need to check my phone.” My words were quick and my sudden, unexplainable change in activities perplexed my daughter as she was burdened with juggling the groceries. Gluten-free crackers and powdered gelatin boxes shifted around in her arms. As I reached into my purse for my phone I jumped at the sound of something hitting the cement floor.
My daughter was kneeling on the floor, gelatin boxes spread out before her on the ground. Her gaze was fixed upon the bottom clearance rack next to the toilet paper. She set the cracker boxes on the ground and chuckled as she reached to the very back beyond the view of shoppers like myself. “Well look at that, Mom. There’s a miracle right here.” She sat up and produced two boxes of gluten-free stuffing.
“You’re kidding,” I laugh.
“Mom, there are six boxes here. Want all of them?”
“No,” I said hesitantly, quickly calculating the staleness of the stuffing should I stock it for next year. “Just two. Let’s let someone else share the miracle by pulling those to the front where they can be seen.”
This may seem a small trifle compared to the world’s larger issues. I get that. But my point in sharing this goofy little miracle is that God is truly in the details of our lives. Through a strange, seemingly disjointed sequence of decisions and events that included a nudge to stop shopping and check my cellphone, which led to setting my purse down on a toilet paper display, which caused my daughter to get flustered and drop the gelatin boxes, we were led to what we needed. It’s the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie version of miracle-making.
And so it goes in every aspect of our lives. If we can become still enough inside and learn to listen to that still, small voice that seeks to guide us toward our highest good, we will see things shift in our lives for the better. I like to think of the Gluten-free Thanksgiving Stuffing Miracle of 2019 as a practice run for intuiting the bigger issues. It’s a simple but sure way to partner with God in the day-to-day decisions of our lives. I like the good that comes from honoring the vibes.
As my daughter rearranged the remaining prized stuffing boxes in full view of passersby, I marveled that God should care enough about my family’s dietary needs to help us find what we needed. He will help you find what you need, too.
And yes, you guessed it. I forgot the toilet paper — but not for lack of God giving me fair warning.