I come before you, Lord, as I mentally prepare to unbuckle these children from their car seats.

I greatly desire your presence as I fast-walk across this parking lot and into the valley of death that is the store.

Dear Lord, please guide my path to the items we need and far away from the candy display.

Jesus, shield my toddler’s eyes from the bouncy balls and shield my big kid’s eyes from the Pokémon cards.

Let us leave this establishment in one piece with sanity still in tact. Shall we leave standing upright and not carrying any flailing little person mid-tantrum.

Lord, let this trip be unlike the last, which ended much like a dumpster fire of tears and regret.

I know I promised you I wouldn’t make this trip alone again, but you know I am a naive soul.

I have still yet to learn my lesson and I have become complacent with my suffering.

Dear God, please surround me with those like me in this store, the hot-mess ones with the stretchy pants and the messy buns.

Protect me from the judgey Debbies of the world, Lord. If my child mustn’t behave today, please let it be on an aisle where we’re close to no one.

Dear God, please help keep little hands in the buggy and little mouths running at something lower than max volume.

Please forgive me for that word that escaped my lips yesterday, and PLEASE let the check-out line not be the place in which it’s repeated.

Give me the wisdom not to fall victim to the on-sale items, and if I do fall short, I pray my husband will forget to check the bank account.

Jesus, be a fence around us today; keep everyone we know out so that there’s no “hi, how are you?” breaks in our shopping flow.

Lead me not in temptation in the baked goods aisle.

Deliver me from the evil of choosing the squeaky shopping cart.

Thank you for this close parking spot. Praise the Lord!

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Originally appeared on Trains and Tantrums by Whitney Ballard


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Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.