Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Where Did I Put My Shoes?
Unlike many women, I hate to shop, and I hate new shoes. Blasphemy, I know. Most of you are reeling in shock. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love new things. I love the feeling of looking great in some fabulous outfit, but I’d rather have my gums scraped then go into a crowded store, not being able to see any of the merchandise, and be surrounded by staring people and lots of noise. Man, I need a personal shopper! To me, new shoes just don’t feel as comfy as my old worn in ones. So, I usually resist buying new shoes. When I heard about Time Out for Women’s shoe party, and what roles our shoes represent, it took some pondering to determine the symbolism in my closet, or under my bed, or wherever I have left my shoes. Dang it! Where did I put my shoes? First, I have my black flats- some dressy some not. They are flat mainly because in heels, I’d be over six feet tall and, now that I’m blind, I’d trip and spend more time face down on the pavement then actually walking. One pair I wear with my TOFW outfits, black because I seem to be drawn to the slimming effect of black clothes. I’m not sure I want to evaluate that topic right now, but nevertheless, I love black. One of my roles is as an inspirational speaker/author. I absolutely love this role! In my black flats, I have traveled across the US and to several cities in Canada. I can’t express the blessing this has been to me. I have met incredible, faithful women who carry humongous burdens, yet trust in the Lord. I have been able to share my story of heartbreak and laughter, and have had the privilege of testifying of the love and power Christ has given me in, literally, the darkest days of my life. I bet Dorothy’s rubie red shoes never carried her on such an adventure. Another pair of my black flats I wear to church. In them, I have taught the Gospel Doctrine class for five years. I’ve loved that calling. I have learned so much about the scriptures and, through them, Jesus Christ., Each week, in my flats; I’ve enjoyed discussing the gospel with my friends in the congregation. Now I get to wear them to Primary, a place I never wanted to wear them. But, isn’t it interesting how we get pushed out of our comfort zones as we accept callings? I trust Heavenly Father that Primary is now the right place for me, and I’ll serve willingly. My tan, furry lined boots are an interesting study. They go nearly to my knees and I wear them when I have to brave the snow. I feel kind of like a Clydesdale horse in them, but I’d rather not get that darn cold white stuff next to my skin, so I wear them. These boots might represent something profound that I’ve never considered before. You see, I’m a California girl. I know, I don’t look like Barbie, and my skin is a bit pasty, but I actually did grow up in Northern California. Winters there got cold, but not like Utah. It snowed all of two times during my growing up years, and that snow didn’t last. It’s what they’d call here in Utah, a “skiff” (a strange little made up word that means just a little snow). Back to my boots- I think they represent my willingness to follow my husband, and live in the cold and snowy Utah rather then in my beloved warm California. Sure, it can be scary trying to walk blindly in the snow and ice, but I do so because I love James. This is where we feel that Heavenly Father wants us to be. This is where we feel we need to raise our family. Naturally, I would rather trade in those boots for flip-flops and sand, but for now, I brave the snow. Come to think of it, I hate flip-flops! They give me toe wedgies. My gym shoes represent my weakness as a mortal. Usually, they give me guilt. Even though I can’t see them, I feel them staring at me every day, saying, “You really should put me on your feet and walk. You’re getting fatter and fatter! Put me on and let’s get to it!” Some days, I hate those darn shoes! They remind me of my weaknesses and how I feel towards my body. Yet, I know it is a process to master self as well as that self’s excuses. Some days, I love my work out shoes. I love the feeling after I have exercised. I feel like I have accomplished a huge feat with my huge feet! The real me is represented by my bare feet. They are callused and sore, but I prefer to go barefoot than to wear shoes. It sounds weird, but I see a lot with my feet, and shoes block my vision. My feet have gotten me through a whole lot in my life. They’ve taken me door-to-door on my mission in Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio, and have allowed me to teach the gospel to many people. My feet have walked all over campus as I studied for what seemed like eons at BYU. My feet have supported my body in recovery after recovery from illness, surgeries, near death pregnancies, cancer, etc. My feet have walked in the dark, helping me trust God to move forward both literally and figuritvely. My feet have carried me as I’ve labored day after day to take care of my family, to cook, clean, do laundry, comfort/love children and so much more. My feet have taken me to the temple where I have made sacred covenants with and worshiped my God. And my feet will someday take me before the wounded feet of my Savior, where I will bow before him in gratitude and awe. I am incredibly thankful for my feet, my shoes, and for the roles I have right now in my life. I don’t know where my feet will take me next, or what shoes I’ll be wearing, but I trust that the Lord will be walking right along side me every step of the way.