Today is that day! Well, I guess I could say it started yesterday. Black Friday and the holiday rush is on. Ladies, shopping is probably our most vulnerable time to compromise our safety and the safety of our flock. We’ve all seen the news articles of crazy rushes for merchandise, and tempers getting out of hand, to the point where people do some horrific things. We’d like to take some time today to give you three important tips about how to keep yourself safe while shopping, and not just today, but each and every day.
Avoidance – Okay, not avoiding shopping, it’s a necessary evil (I’m not a fan). But the avoidance I’m speaking to is avoiding the awful events you read about. Most violence can be avoided and that’s the route you should always look for first, BUT that requires you to be aware of your situation and surroundings to recognize a threat to avoid it (see points below). If something is awry, remove your self from the situation. Leave the store, move to a different aisle, but don’t freeze and remain in harms way. God gave women a special gift in intuition. If you have that feeling that something isn’t right, trust it! Another thought is maybe avoid the possibility altogether. Is it really worth braving the Black Friday crowd for that one shiny item? You must weigh the risk versus reward since the shopping violence tends to happen on days with large sales.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Pr 27:12 (ESV)
Awareness – Avoidance cannot happen if you are not aware of your surroundings. It’s critical that your full attention must be to your surroundings. Put the phone down, stop walking around reading the ad, and be observant of people around you. Chances are you can suspect something is up by someone’s body language or tone of voice. Ensure your hands are not tied up with bags, even if that means making that inconvenient trip to your vehicle in-between store visits, just make sure you conceal your purchases from plain sight in your vehicle and ensure it’s locked! It’s also critical to be extra diligent when entering or exiting your vehicle. Criminals have learned that act alone is a vulnerable time and can catch people by surprise.
Protect – Protect what is yours. Keep your purse safe. Never leave it in a cart unattended, even if you are just taking one step to reach for something. Never set your cell phone down where someone can easily grab it. Always put it in your purse or pocket, and keep it there while shopping (see awareness)! If you are shopping with your children, do not let them wander. Again, are you putting your flock into a bad situation? If you have the ability, leaving the kids home during the busiest shopping times, or asking a friend to help you with shopping with the kids. Managing children can be one of the biggest hinderances of your awareness level during shopping. Ensure you have your self-protection device on you and easily accessible, whatever tool that may be. And if you don’t have a self-protection system (mace/pepper spray, taser, baton, knife, firearm), please consider researching and finding a system you are comfortable with.
Ladies, please be careful as you search for your treasures, but remember, where your true treasure lies…
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Mt 6:19-21 (ESV)
Wishing you a fun and safe holiday weekend with your flock. Tend to them well!