Shoes…More SHOES…and Moccasins

Heels,flats,boots,sandals,sneakers…you name them I luv them! I’m the woman who chooses the shoe and then the outfit! Colors, patterns, pretty much nothing is off limits for me when we’re talking SHOES…except for the color black. I often hear women say that they have a closet full of black shoes…not me. When the occasion called for me to wear a black shoe, I’ve even had to buy a pair. (now that is not a real problem for a woman who seriously luvs her some shoes!) The interesting twist in me owning very few black shoes is that I usually wear black. I luv black. It is my favorite clothing color! Coincidentally you can wear almost any color or pattern on the shoe if your outfit is black. People see you, glance down to your feet and BAM…color, pattern, you’ve made a definite impression!

Over the years men, women and children alike have taken notice of my shoes. I’ve been referred to as “the lady who wears those wild SHOES!” Being recognized for the shoes that I wear made me do some thinking… What if we all began to step outside the necessity of wearing shoes, as well as the frivolity of spending small fortunes on shoes and began to think about walking a mile in another person’s shoes? 

The same people who admired my “cute” shoes usually had no idea the path my shoes had taken. They didn’t know that as a 20 year old single mom, I owned one pair of shoes! They had no idea that even when I was young and a bit clueless about the responsibilities of motherhood, I realized that my daughter’s needs took precedence over mine. When she went off to college, I invested in an expensive pair of work shoes. It was important that my feet didn’t hurt as I walked to Asia, Australia/New Zealand and Europe. My job as an International flight attendant allowed me to earn enough money to provide her with the extras that her scholarship did not. Years later those long walks “across the pond” caused me to need surgery on both feet…(the same feet, in the “cute” shoes, that so many people have noticed). When my youngest daughter was an up and coming 20 year old hairstylist, she channelled my “shoe luver” compulsion! Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin were her “shoes of choice”! And fortunately in that season of single-parenthood, I was thrilled to buy her a few pairs of her favorites.

ImageWhat’s my point? Simply no matter the shoe one wears, be reminded that only you (and God) know the journey you’ve taken in your shoes. So before judging another person’s life, consider walking a mile in theirs. Whether plain or fabulous, run over or brand new…the shoes don’t tell the whole story! We’d all do well to consider “walking a mile in another man’s moccasins” before passing judgement. You can share an unlimited amount of compassion and possibly be a change agent in someone else’s life when you consider a person’s story and not just their SHOES.

Hockey, My GRANDson and Patriotism

One of my absolute favorite past times is cuddling with Joshua…my 5 year-old GBb. Whether we are watching a movie or just talking, he garners my full attention. So on New Year’s Day when he climbed up on the couch, fireplace in the background, to watch “Bowl Games” with me, I was thrilled! As I surfed to find the most entertaining match-up, we came across the NHL Winter Classic. Joshua insisted that we stop there and bag the other games. He was fascinated by this unfamiliar scene. The NHL Winter Classic is an annual outdoor game that pays homage to the origin of ice hockey. This year’s event was held in Philadelphia. Snow on the ground near the venue, spectators dressed appropriately to brave the elements and flags waving in the wind. A picture-perfect setting to again capture my GBb’s attention. He wanted to know about all the different flags. Why were there more than the American flag? Seemingly on cue after I explained that hockey is a very international sport, played in all the countries of the flags represented, the national anthems were sung. First “Oh Canada” and then our own “Stars Spangled Banner”. As Patty LaBelle belted out those words my heart began to race, tears welled in my eyes and I stood and joined in singing “…And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our Flag was still there…”

Sitting there with my absolute favorite GRANDson (I only have one), my love for this nation was re-ignited. Who knew that searching for Bowl Games would cause me to reflect on the blessing of being born in the United States of America? In today’s visceral climate leading up to the presidential election, it felt good just to be thankful that I was born in this country. Amidst all the trouble and turmoil, I have chosen to be grateful that the God who created the universe chose that l be born here! And because I know that HE is infallible, I know that my place of birth is a part of HIS divine plan for my life!

And so I’ll pray and practice “being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” because the scripture goes on to say “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” Js.19-20 NLT

After all I could have been born in…say…N.Korea. Who knows what my prayers would have looked like then? Something to consider…