Kicking off the heels…

I used to love wearing high heels. I can close my eyes and still smell the brand new leather as I opened the box…oh my…wow…yes, moment of silence for that. And, since we have LONG since established my little bit of OCD-ness, I can admit that opening closet doors to see all the boxes lined up with their labels facing outward…

(Ok, I got a little lost there for a moment. Suffice it to say that I loved that image.)

Image. That says something to me about the heels, as well. As a teenager, they said I was growing up. As a college student, they said it was time to dance. As a young professional, they said I was making it on my own. Quite the talkative things, my shoes…and they always came with a lot of attitude–some of it good and some of it not so much.

After I got married, my husband was surprised to learn that he had to move a whole refrigerator box full of shoes to our new home. Work, church, and in between, I had at least several pair to choose from and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I had other styles, too, of course, but the heels always made me feel special…almost like social armor, which really isn’t often necessary when you’re almost 6′ tall and know who you are. (grin) Well, maybe I just thought I knew some things back then.

I pared down over time. Styles changed. Life changed. I bought more flats, wedges, tennis shoes, and fewer heels, though I always kept a few in the back of my closet. In fact, I’ve had three pair that have survived the multiple purges over the past several years as I’ve gone from acquisition mode to the search for space and the peace of “less.” At first, I stopped wearing heels after I took a tumble down some stairs and needed some recovery time. After that, I just never went back to them. I found other options that suited me…and weren’t as perilous.

That’s not all that’s changed over the years. You know, Saul’s armor didn’t fit David…and not because it was too large, but because they had different battle styles. That’s true of me, as well, now. I’m still me, of course, but my life is different and my current battles aren’t the same ones I used to fight. That means some wardrobe changes are in order. I’ve decided I no longer need to hold on to things that don’t fit the life I’m living now, so I’m finally letting go of those last three pair of heels…and a whole lot of other things like attitudes and life strategies that haven’t always served me well. I’m a lot less rigid these days, a lot less judgmental, and I’m a lot more at peace. I find I laugh more–mostly at myself!–and I like me a whole lot better, too–and that is really saying something. (Ha!) I’m free to be ME: the one GOD knows and loves, and I can rest in that a lot more than I used to. I find I’m less concerned about any images that might be held in other places when I focus on HIS image of who I am. I’m more grateful for little things and I’m more aware of my gifts and limitations without being hampered by either thought. God is good and I am His. It is enough.

Oh, by the way, I tried those 3 pair of shoes on and I loved the way they looked. I almost put them right back in the closet! They felt ok on my feet and I found I could still walk in them just fine…for a little while. Then I tried on a few other styles–and my back gave an almost audible sigh of relief and my feet did, too. There are better things out there for me than the things I once held onto “just in case”, you know…so I’m making room for the now and finding that memories take up less room in the closet. So, out go the heels–gorgeous as they are –along with a pair of Keds and 2 pair of flats! Today, you’re more likely to find me in tennis shoes and they suit me just fine…in fact, it’s a lot easier to kick up my heels than ever before.

Question of the day:  What are YOU holding onto that you need to let go? Make room for the life GOD wants for you now. You just might be amazed at how great it can be!

 

 

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For your weekend…

“Not what we give,

But what we share,

For the gift without the giver

Is bare.”

~James Russell Lowell

 

My cousins near Des Moines are expecting about 26” of snow over the weekend.  Winter is still very much on their minds.  Other friends are dealing with flooded areas and still others are continuing to clean up the debris from recent strong winds.

Here in Mississippi, the rain has passed, the weather is balmy and the wind is soft…and with all of the blooming buttercups in the yard, I’m having a hard time restraining myself from doing some Spring Cleaning out in the yard.  It’s still too early.  I know this from years of experience…of doing the garden clean-out before winter had truly passed.

Knowing that I will most likely have more cold weather to endure doesn’t remove my desire for some good old-fashioned Spring Cleaning!  (Oh, come on!  You KNOW you can’t wait to do it, too!—grin)  Since I can’t be out in the yard quite yet, I’m focusing on the inside for now.

My idea of Spring Cleaning may be a bit different from most people.  I like to look around the house and see what needs to move on out to bless others.  Actually, I do this several times a year.  My husband has joked that he has had to keep moving in the past not to be included in the clean-out.  He’s wrong about that…I need him to help me with getting some of the heavier items out of the house!

I am not a minimalist as far as home decorating goes, but I’m definitely not averse to seeing some “blank spaces” as I look around a room.  I’ve had a rule for years that when something comes into the house, something must leave the house.  That forces me to make buying decisions very carefully.  If something catches my eye, my first thought is, “Where would I put it?” and my second is, “Do I love that more than something I already own?”  If not, then it stays in the store.

Sometimes our things move on to friends, sometimes they get sold, but most of the time, they end up at a local charity shop.  I love the idea that someone else can make use of these things and be able to purchase them at reasonable prices…all the while creating a benefit for others who are in need.

At the risk of moving this in a political direction, the current state of our economy has created a larger group of people in need of assistance; people who are not content to take government hand-outs, but are having a very difficult time making ends meet.  Donating to local charities—whether in cash or in donated goods–means some of your own neighbors may be able to receive additional assistance or even make purchases at prices that are still within their strained budgets without feeling embarrassed or having to do without the things they need.

So here it is…your challenge for the weekend:  start going through your cabinets or your closets and start a ‘give-away’ box for a charity in your area.  Most of us have more than just the bare necessities and many of us have more than we will ever use.  Don’t make this a big deal—just pick one side of your kitchen and clean out those unused pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc. OR use this as the opportunity to go through your clothes closets and get ready for the upcoming change of season by cleaning out those things you no longer love or that your kids have outgrown.

It’s “not what we give, but what we share…”  What will you share this weekend?  I think you’ll find you’ll be blessing yourself as well as others nearby!