Grocery Shopping as an Act of Worship?

I’ve been thinking lately…a lot! Scary, I know, but it’s true

You see, I have worked full time and then some as a Pastor at a mega church in my neck of the woods. I gave four and a half years of my life to serving the Lord there while I learned about ministry, about the inside of church, and about who God was molding me to be. In that time that I was working all the time I rarely, if ever, went to the grocery on a consistent basis.

My husband was also a Pastor at the church and it seemed like everything we did was there at the church (not a bad thing, just out of balance for us) and it left little time to do the normal every day things (like go to the grocery).

In our marriage the grocery store became a thorn that was always bugging me and always frustrating him…he had valid concerns, mind you, because there were at times very little in the house to eat.

I used to whine and complain to my friends about how “stinky” it was to go grocery shopping, I pretty much hated it, and mostly because I was over booked, over scheduled, and out of whack. For some reason I could never find time to go…I really didn’t like it at all.

Four months ago I stepped out of full time ministry. It broke my heart at first but it has become the biggest blessing for my family. It was clear to me that I needed to be back at home. You see, I have to two Middle School boys and I know that my time with them is on the backward countdown (do any of y’all do that? I only have 4 years left with my oldest before he goes to college…eek!).

In the time since then God has been growing me, stretching me, pruning me (as Karen would say) to prepare me for the next ministry adventure that He has for me. I wish I had all the answers now, but you know what the cool thing is about it all?

I am actually learning LIKE to go to the grocery store now!!! Can you believe it? Seriously…I am telling you the truth. I have switched my thinking to realize that when I go to the grocery I am actually “worshipping” God by being a blessing to my family.

I take my time now…
I go down each and every aisle.
I talk to the people shopping around me.
I visit with the check out people and the elderly bag boys.
I bring a list and make sure to check it all off (never did that before).

It sounds so simple and yet so profound…my family is my FIRST ministry and God has called me to care for them, to love on them, and to appreciate them. So now when I go to the grocery store I think about what each of them would like and it makes me SMILE!!! I may never LOVE going to the grocery store, but I am making baby steps…at least I don’t hate it anymore, right?

Hum…it’s pretty cool to think that the simple every day things that we do as women, as moms, as wives, as friends, etc. can really be an act of worship! Check out what the Good Book has to say about it…

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

What is one thing that you really didn’t (or still don’t) like to do?
Could you turn it around and look at it as an act of worship?

Try it…it may change your heart and the way you look at things!

Gone to the Grocery,


  1. AMEN!!!!!

    You took the words right out of my mouth! I now love doing the mundane things for my new family – and that would have been impossible if God hadn’t moved me when He did. I love going to the grocery store – John thinks I am crazy!!

    Have fun at Publix!!

    Heather 🙂

  2. Mel, thats a great way to look at grocery shopping, cause I do not like it either!! So I will try to do it as an act of worship, very cool way to look at it. Great Scriptures for this:) Thanks.

  3. Wow there really have been big changes in your life, I hadn’t realised how much Mel! I don’t know why but I keep feeling I should give you one of my dear friend’s blog-site for you to visit – I’m not sure why, but I can say this friend is so awesome.
    Her site is

  4. Great post Melissa! I don’t mind going to the grocery store. What I don’t like is folding clothes, but you got me thinking. What if I prayed for the person whose clothes I was folding as I did it. That may change my perspective. I’m kind of excited to do laudry now. Thanks!

  5. Melissa I love this post! In so many ways the grocery store has been a haven to me(I know I do need help). When my boys were younger my DH would stay home and I’d go…alone…by my self! Then when the kids got older my DH started coming with me (would it count as a date?) We’d have so much fun laughing at just silly things!

    Something else thatGod has been showing me that everything we do is ministry. We don’t always think of it that way.

    Anyway…wonder if I could make doing laundry an act of worship?

  6. Great words of wisdom here. We learned this while doing the purpose driven life. It was lite material but it did put some things in perspective. I do NOT like going to Walmart. I don’t hate it–but I don’t love it. I will try and revamp my thoughts. Who knows what will happen.

    I am here because Free To Fly told me about the book ya’ll are doing.I wish I could do this but I think it would upset the cart. I do have the book and the video that she did on Life Today. We were supposed to do this in womens group–but I burned out.We will start again soon.
    Thanks for your heart.

  7. Melissa,
    I can relate to this totally. I got sad this Christmas thinking that Brett will only be living at home for another 4 years.


  8. Hi Melissa, you are right there is nothing like the ministry we have as wives, moms, friends. It took me a change in my life to realized that being a stay home mom was my main ministry. Of all the house shores the one I still don’t like to do is to put the clothes away after I fold the drives me crazy….Jules

  9. That is awesome! really awesome!

    Maybe I can try to mop for Jesus… that may be taking it too far, but I really like your outlook. thanks for the encouragement.

  10. LAUNDRY!!!!! I have to pray for each person in my family as I fold their clothes. It softens my heart and makes me thankful that I have them and their dirty clothes in my life.

  11. I loved your first line – I so GET THAT! You know, I actually like grocery shopping too.

  12. Just coming home from the workplace myself, I am sooo excited to have a cleaned out sink. I haven’t unearthed my desk yet and I am working on the basement but time, oh precious time. I don’t like going to the grocery store because we are on a more strict budget now and I have to think harder about prices, etc. before each item but I know God will honor my desire to be faithful to our home and budget!

    Good thoughts to think on, Mel! I enjoyed the verses you incorporated!

    PS. Who else wants disposable socks?!

  13. This is great Mel, although I’m wondering how anyone can NOT like grocery shopping !!! I LOOOOOVE it … especially when I get to go by myself !!!

  14. What a great post Mel! Everything we do for our family is a blessing. It’s all in the way we look at it.


  15. amen….we have so much more than the rest of the world…and I to complain about this chore..then about putting away the ABUNDANCE…shame on me..

  16. So glad you are feeling that contentment! It’s a beautiful thing.

    And it will be 2 years…the big change really comes when they get their license. I, like you, had been thinking it was 18..but 16 rocked my world.
    All of the sudden they didn’t need me so much and we lost lots of drive time together.
    Prepare yourself my friend.

    I look at all of life so differently now. Worship is a part of most everything we do -especially that which we do for family.

    I love ya! Great post.

  17. Thanks for stopping by today, and I love your blog. I will have to come back when I have time to read your posts. Feel free to participate in today’s “Know & Tell” meme if you would like. I will be back… 🙂

  18. Melissa ,
    I am friend of Kim Holmes, She let me read your blog, I have related totally with it. It is right where God has been taking me in the past two years, I too worked at a church ( and loved it) then the pruning began and now I have seen some blooms from it. Thank you for sharing ,cause no matter where you work, We all have to learn to worship Him where we are.
    Lisa Oyer

  19. Thanks for visiting! This is a great post, too.

    My hair color is not real (well, it is now…but not in the pic you see on my page.) It is 7RC with blonde highlights. I LOVE that color. My hair has red tones and I’m very fair-skinned, so I really like to keep that look. I quit coloring my hair, though, so I won’t have to color it during pregnancies.

    Anyway…thanks for the compliment!


  20. It blows me away to see that so many of us can relate to this…

    I personally like the “disposable socks” comment. HA!

    For those of you with laundry “issues”…just do what I did…train the dh to do it. He actually likes to do our laundry. (I love him dearly for that!)

  21. Melissa,
    Hmmm, I wonder what kind of ministry it is when I have three kids in tow… Shopping is not my favorite thing either but it must be done and I suppose my attitude about it could be changed. Thanks!

  22. mel…i am new to your blog and find it inspiring….my question to you is..WHERE DID YOU MINISTER AT …WHAT MEGA CHURCH ARE YOU ALWAYS REFERRING TO????

  23. Heather,
    Shopping, no matter what kind is an act of worship and blessing depending on how you go about it in your heart!


    You can email me at melissamashburn [at] bellsouth [dot] net
    and we can talk about it, but as for posting it on my blog that’s not something I feel would be the right thing to do. Thanks, I am looking forward to your email. 😉


  24. Melissa,

    Thanks for stopping by. It is nice to meet you too! This is such a great post! There are seasons in my life that grocery shopping is not a love. But I agree – it’s my attitude that needs to be adjusted. Right there with the doing the laundry.

    The saying is my son’s favorite and living where we do, it’s very funny. Though not appropriate for all!

  25. This was wonderful. I can’t say I’ve every disliked grocery shopping (because it involves FOOD!) but I do feel the same way about many “domestic” things. A thorn indeed. I have recently had a change of heart about laundry. I’ve convinced myself to embrace and love the laundry…hee-hee! It still doesn’t put itself away, but I’m doing much better in my relationship with that thorn.

  26. I think this was an excellent post. Worship definitely is an attitude of heart and not limited to one expression!!! I loved how real you are in this post and how easy it is to relate to others weaknesses… it really makes you feel that you can change if others can too…. Thanks for being you! I have missed your visits to my blog…come back soon …hahaha

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