Tuesday, March 11, 2014

If and When Shoes

1989 Me with Allyson
at my bridesmaid luncheon
Little girls love to dress up in fancy dresses, borrow mommy's purse and wear her shoes.  Allyson, my best friend growing up, and I looked so stylish dressed up in my mom's high heels one day.  It didn't matter that the shoes were twice as big as our feet.  We clunked and shuffled out the front door headed to Allyson's house to find more stuff. Stomp, stomp across the porch and down the step until CRASH! Allyson flew to the yard dragging her knee and shin across the rough edges of the concrete steps.  Along with grownup jewelry, she wore mercuricome and Band-Aids as accessories that day, but we found our own shoes that fit and walked down the street to the purses in her mom's closet in search of chewing gum and nickels, and then to the station wagon to pick our kids up from school.

As a grownup, I'm supposed to wear my own shoes or at least shoes that fit and are comfortable, so wearing a new pair of shoes on a 1.2 mile walk around EPCOT wasn't a good idea. Imagine walking a mile in a pair of shoes you've never walked a mile in. I probably should've learned a lesson about wearing my own shoes and walking a mile in shoes that have been walked in first.


Ready to become a REAL mommy
If those kids were mine, I'd make them behave in the shoe department.  When I'm old and can't take care of myself, I'll be more than happy in assisted living and won't complain about being there or the shoes my daughter brings me. Dependent clauses beginning with If and When are often joined with statements that haven't happened, so the outcome is unknown. Do I know for certain what I'll do when I'm older? No.  Did I know what kind of parent I'd be before I had kids? No. I only had an idea

I've walked many miles in my own shoes: raising three kids, teaching, working retail, being the youngest child, being married,  attending a small college, having A.D.D., being depressed,  writing a blog, and so on.  The list of shoes I haven't walked in is much longer: retiring, divorcing, raising an only child, raising a special needs child, being a nurse, working in a bank, owning a business, losing a home, living in a wheelchair, coaching a team, serving in the military, burying a parent or a child, and so on. Do I know what I would do If or When?  No. I only know what it's like to raise Luke, Hope, and James. I only know what it's like to be married to David (bless his heart).


It's tough remembering that I haven't walked in different shoes but easy to have ideas of what I would do in those shoes. Sometimes, my If and When clauses are about situations, but too often they're about others and how they're walking in their shoes. I couldn't possibly count the times I commented on how I would do things differently If and When I wore their shoes, only to find myself crashed, wounded, and blistered. Luckily, God doesn't count them either because I'm forgiven for those times.

How can I know what I'll do When I'm a grandmother or a mother-in-law, when my daughter moves away, or when I have to give up the house and yard I love? And, what do I do with If? I can empathize with people whose shoe list resembles mine, but every situation is different.  I have friends with three kids, but they're not my kids.  I have friends who teach, but we have different students. I know many who are depressed, but I'm not living their lives.  Lately, I've realized there's only one way I can know what I'll do When, or what I can tell friends If they ask about their If and When.

My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14

The LORD remains near to all who call out to him, to everyone who calls out to him sincerely. Psalm 145:18

Call on God. Walk with Him. Search for His truth, His wisdom. Unfortunately, there are circumstances I can't control, but I can constantly work on my walk with God.  I've only walked in my own shoes, but so has He. If and When I work on this relationship, when I'm walking with Him and learning His wisdom, I don't have to worry about the When Shoes I haven't worn yet or the If shoes I may never wear. He walked in your shoes and knows your If and When before they happen.



Put your own shoes on and walk with God,




Speaking of shoes....

Sole Hope not only puts shoes on the feet of children in Africa, they also treat the heartbreaking medical condition of the parasite chigoe flea, or jigger. Take a look at my friend Cindy O'Brien's blog about this amazing ministry. www.cindyobrien78.blogspot.com Sole Hope's website is www.solehope.com

Dawn Staley, Olympic athlete and women's basketball coach at University of South Carolina, started the national charity Innersole that puts shoes on children in need. www.innersole.org