Hello, my name is Osheta Moore and I’m a Target-a-holic.  It’s been eleven days, seven hours, ten minutes, and three seconds since I checked out at Target after an hour’s wander.  Recently, I  put away my Target Check Card because of our family’s “oh no we’re waiting on our appropriation’s spending freeze” and now I’m struggling.
I wasn’t always this way. I was an equal opportunity shopper.  Shaw’s, CVS, Trader Joes– they all received my patronage.  When the kids were little and tyrants at the check out, I’d do my shopping in bulk so as to never, ever have to take them out in public again.
Efficiency was key and cost was king, so I ordered in our cleaners and even gave Peapod grocery delivery a go.  Things changed the fall of 2010 when the kids began sharing the same full-day schedule, leaving me with 6 hours all by myself.
That morning, I kissed Trinity’s little cheek at the classroom door and wished her a happy day.  Then I high-fived her older brother, T.J. walked him across the hall and told him “you rock!  Have an awesome day”. 
Tyson didn’t want me to walk him to his class because he was a second grader, “Um…Mom, I’ll go upstairs on my own.” he said. 
Temporarily dejected, I shrugged and offered my fist for a bump, “Have a good day?” I asked, realizing I was dancing along the line between cool mom and out-of touch, embarrassing mom.  Apparently that was an appropriate send off for the all mature second grader, because his little fist heartily bumped mine and off he went, up the stairs into a world of Mary Pope Osborne’s “Magic Tree House” adventures, spelling lists, and fractions.
I stood alone in the hall for a moment, letting it all sink in, and then Aretha began to sing, 
“Freedooom!  Freedooom!  Freeeedooom! Yeah, Freedom!
ba da ba da da
“Freedooom!  Freedooom!  Freeeedooom!  OH, FREEDOM!”
I bopped down the street to my minivan with my new empowerment anthem, “Think” playing in my mind.  I stuck the key into the ignition and headed to the new and improved Target three minutes away from my house.  
“New and improved” because they just added a grocery section and….A STARBUCKS!  Yes, this mama was going to have a good morning sipping a latte and checking off my grocery list in childfree peace.
That morning was good indeed.  It was satisfying not just because I didn’t have the kids, but because Target is one welcoming establishment.  The aisles are clutter free, the cashiers at the Starbucks are always so cheerful, and it smells wonderful.  
Target has a distinct aroma.  Like happiness and hope with a bit of joy thrown in to round out the fragrance’s bottom  notes.  Nothing like Eau du Walmart, which smells of frenzy and confusion with a healthy dose of disdain.  
I. Love. My. Target. 

So much so that I often find myself, “forgetting” key meal ingredients or toilet paper just so I can wander the aisles with a cup of coffee and my morning sermon podcast on my phone (yeah, I try to justify the consumerism by throwing a little devo time in there.  Jesus meets me in the frozen food section.  Really!).  
But, we’re church planters now and our monthly income flow is so different than what I’m used to.  Gone are the days of 1st and 15th, without any thoughts to launch team giving or fund-raising.  Gone are the days where the only paperwork you fill out to receive your check comes the same day you learn the office dating policy and how to label your lunch in the staff break room.  No, there are forms and reports due monthly or they’ll be no check for you… or the church.  The department that cuts our check isn’t found in a cubicle on the 5th floor managed by a Type- A, bespectacled forty-something named, Lois.  No, our office is in another state, which means even if the wildly efficient bookkeeper puts our appropriations in the mail on Monday, we’re looking Friday before it comes.
It’s an adjustment to be sure, especially since I’ve given up my Target wander time to accommodate the leaner times of the month. It’s an adjustment I’m willing to make.  But sometimes… I wear red around the house… and it makes me feel better.  I wear red as my way claiming my allegiance to one of my favorite organizations, the bulls-eyed building where everything is right on Target…my lovely Tar-jay. 
But a funny thing has happened in the eleven days, seven hours, ten minutes, and three seconds since I checked out of Target after an hour’s wander.  I’ve learned to wander my home more and in the process I’ve decluttered my halls and floors (its hard to wander when you’re tripping and slipping on kids’ stuff).  Incidentally, I’m a more cheerful mom.  I’ve scrubbed, washed, and polished my kitchen making it shine.  It now welcomes me to have a cup of Keurig joe in my favorite “Keep Calm, Eat Cupcakes” mug.  I’ve lit candles that fill my home with the smells of the season.  Peppermint, Sugar Cookie, and Nutcracker Crunch swirl and dance together creating an atmosphere of rest, comfort, and love.  Instead of Jesus meeting me in the frozen food section, he’s meeting me on the couch, at the sink, and sometimes while I sip at my freshly polished table.
I’m happy we’re adjusting to a new way of budgeting because of the church plant.  It’s helped me find happiness, hope, and a bit of joy at home.  I still hate homemaking, but I now love my home…mostly. 
I’m still a Target-a-holic and I’m still anxiously waiting for my next chance to wander the aisles.  I just have a better perspective now. 

When I can, I won’t spend an hour just prowling for orange clearance stickers or sniffing the Method products.
I’ll only spend forty-five minutes and I’ll stop at the new pear ginger dish wash.  Don’t judge!  I’m a work in progress, ok?

Learning to focus on the right bull’s eye,