Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shoes, More Importantly, Walking in Them

Last January, I posted that my accessory for the year was shoes.  I was in need of shoes.  Shoes had been an area of my wardrobe I had sorely neglected.  Did you know that the shoes you wear to an interview can make or break the deal for your hiring?  I had no clue that shoes could say that much to other people and, to be honest, I didn't care.

This past year, shoes were added to my closet.  My dear friend (aka. Ethel!) bought me my first pair of new shoes for the year.  I posted them on the header of my blog, and (below) those shoes are a train track leading to who-knows-where... prophetically, that train track became my year.

In March, I bought some shoes for our daughter's wedding at a huge savings.  In the summer, I bought tennis shoes for my cleaning business.  In August, I bought wedding shoes for our son's wedding in Italy.  I also bought shoes to walk the cobblestone streets of Florence and Rome.

My first pair of shoes became my designer shoes. I would step into them before a meeting with a client.  Of course, my friend "the buyer" (aka.Ethel!) is also a designer, so I felt she was going with me when I stepped back into this business.

As I thought about my shoes from this past year and where they have taken me, I had to stop.  It wasn't the shoes that God wanted me to focus on, it was the lesson. I now have "walked in other peoples' shoes," understanding things I could have never understood before this year.

I have now walked in shoes of poverty.  I now know what it is like to find a charity in order to keep the electricity on for your family.  I now know what it is like to have food from a food pantry or government-provided assistance for food.  I now know what it is like to be at the receiving end from the wonderful Body of Christ...people who put their hands and feet to their faith. I now know what it is like to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread" and literally know that verse. I now know what it is like to be in such need that you couldn't imagine life ever getting better.  I now know what it feels like to want to walk away from your marriage, because it is all too much to handle.  I now know how to empathize, not just sympathize... because I have walked in other peoples' shoes.

More than the look of my shoes....interview or not, I have stood in my shoes before my Savior.  I have felt what others have felt. I know what it is like to go through a long period of financial hardship.  I know what it is like to see some light at the end of the tunnel, yet still wonder if the next thing coming will crush you.

I thought my shoes were to adorn my feet, but that isn't the lesson God had for me at the end of the year. My real accessory was for my heart.  God wanted my feet to learn how to walk in areas I had never been, so that I can minister to others in ways I never could have before.  He wanted me to meet Him in a new way... Jehovah Jireh.

I will never look at shoes in the same way.  I pray my interviewer (God) feels I am ready for the job.

Ephesians 6:15 ESV / 

And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

18 Joining in with more words:

Sharon said...

So very inspiring, Janette. Your faith walk this year has encouraged me so much. I feel as if I have somehow also walked in your shoes.

And every step has led me closer to the Lord.


(By the way, you've got some pretty adorable shoes!)

Debbie Petras said...

I often think of walking in another's shoes. It's all too easy to criticize others but if I understood better, I would stop it. We've both been going through some tough years. I love your analogy with the shoes. And by the way, they are very cute.

Love you,

Christine said...

I am blown away with your lessons and writing!!
I'm serious when I say this, you should write a book. You have a wealth of life experiences that could help us and encourage us.
I pray for you and your family, that this new year will be very rewarding!

camp and cottage living said...

It is truly someone who has experienced real hardship that is able to minister to others who are suffering.
Thank you for your candid post.

Farm Girl said...

will I love this as I do all of your very thought provoking posts. I also will never look at shoes again quiet the same way.
You have walked in many different kinds of shoes for 2013 I am glad that you can see so many steps that God ordained for you when there was not one.
I don't even want to ask what you have been thinking for 2014 :)

podso said...

Love this. Such great insight. Nothing is ever wasted in this life --even the shoes we walk in (and where they take us!) Maybe next year will be less eventful for you!

BARBIE said...

This really spoke to me. Who would have thought the lessons we could learn from shoes. Thank you for sharing.

myletterstoemily said...

i would say that you are qualified to walk in any shoes and have done so well in yours. i'm just sorry that so many of them were so difficult. i pray that this year your shoes will be filled with blessing and abundance.

Debbie said...

I know that some of those shoes you've worn this year have been uncomfortable ones, ones that just didn't seem to fit just right. And yet you've walked in them with determination and grace and persistently moved forward. The lessons you learned along the way will no doubt now minister to others who might need to wear similar ones in the future. You lady are an inspiration to so many. Praying now that 2014 will bring much easier walking. HUGS!

BTW...your shoes are soo cute!

Pom Pom said...

You are a good learner, Janette.

Cindy said...

I agree with Pom Pom...you are a good learner but mostly you are a good sharer. I love the practical applications you share about what the Lord is teaching you!

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Yes, Janette, I have walked in all of those shoes as well. And, this I have found, all of those experiences taught me to trust in God's providence. He always provides, not always in the manner I wanted or imagined, but He still provided. If we didn't have need, would we ever learn to trust, really trust? That is what I learned in 2013: to trust Him regardless of my circumstances and in spite of overwhelming odds, and this trust is on an entirely new level than what I had before. May you be as blessed, Janette.

Vee said...

I am sure that you wear those shoes with panache...I'd trip and knock myself for a loop. That wouldn't make a favorable impression, right? You inspire me with your stunning honesty. There are not many women of faith who would share as you do. I think God definitely has a plan to use your insights.

Catherine said...

Dear Janette, It is a journey that we are on. I know that you know the meaning of trusting in the Lord. He does miracles each day. They may not seem like miracles to others but we know that they are.
I wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year and I am grateful to know you.
Catherine xo

Rebecca said...

What everyone else has already said.....

God bless your family and your "world" in 2014, Janette!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Great post. Great shoes! ;-) You are so lovely inside n out! Have I told you that I love the blogger profile pic? It's clearly reflects your beauty and style! I'll be visiting often to see where God leads you in 2014. I'm sure it will be the perfect path.
Happy New Year!

Debbie said...

I love this. I love the part at the end where you tie it all in to standing in the shoes of empathy before God. That was a holy spirit inspired lesson.

I relate to this more than I can say. It isn't the way we want to grow closer to others and to Christ, and none of us would choose it, but in the end (or maybe just as we round a corner) we understand "it" all so much better than we did in our bare feet.

My dad used to say that often about having cancer all those years. No one could look at him by the end and not be able to tell because it had so drastically changed his physical appearance. But the biggest change was inside of him.

This has been a roller coaster of a year for you. I mean this sincerely when I say that I have never had a friend (visible or unvisible) who has had a year quite like yours. I also mean it sincerely when I say that it has been an honor to be a Moses on the Mountain to such a faithful Joshua on the field.

Praying that your 2014 shoes are maybe a bit more comfortable. And OK, maybe for a bit of snaz to go along with it. Yeah, that's the ticket: Comfortable Snaz.

Sorry to be a horrible blog friend of late. He's still working on me.

Debbie said...

And again I ask: Why is it that I can't write a blog post of my own, but I can clog up everybody else's comment section with a novel?


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