Wonderful white shoes
The dog-days of Summer are just at our heels and I am still trying to learn what it is to be a good "Dog Mom."
Greetings friends. Happy Tuesday.
My sweetheart said, "Today is your writing day, " So I said, "Yes, Sir!"
Maisey naps while I enjoy the hum of the air conditioner and my favorite chair.
I forgot that I was forty at Teen Camp two weeks ago now, and have sustained a bit of a knee injury.
Wow, what a frustration it is having part of yourself not able to keep in time with what the rest of what the body needs to get done!
In other words, the Lord is doing his best so slow me down to get me to learn some things.
And I am fighting him all the way, just like the model student I have always been.
My spiritual report card would read in red ink: "Talks too much. Doesn't pay attention. Distracts the other students."
I would LIKE to think that it would also say, "A joy to have in class," with a very large smiley face.
So I am in the school of rest from the norm while preparing my own four at home for a new year and spending as much time with the older two before they head off to new experiences and learning of their own.
Though I have been pretty frustrated with myself, I HAVE become an ace at yelling from a chair for a drink, some chips, or whatever I left upstairs that I don't want to get up and hobble to acquire.
I'm getting straight A's in selfishness.
I always knew I could do it if I applied myself.
And hearing my oldest girl recall her first year of college and the challenges she faced as she heads into her second, brought back so many memories of my own first year away from home.
I remember with her the overwhelming feeling of room mates.
I had three, she had three.
We both felt like sardines, but interestingly enough I had more closet space than she had!
My room HAD to have been more animated than hers by a LONG SHOT.
Two pastor's kids, one deacon's, and one bus kid.
One was the perfect social butterfly, two were a bit too social, too loud and emotional, and one was a hermit.
When it came to academics we truly had, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
I will admit to taking not just the bad, but also the ugly to my credit.
I would have been voted, "Most likely to excel in the bus garage," that year, but boy did I have a heart for God.
I didn't care if my clothes were a mess and I wouldn't have known a front-pleated culotte if it had smacked me in the face, I was there to learn about the Lord.
My daughter and I laughed over me being so excited to just get to college that I ended up in the WRONG registration line which is how my husband and I met.
So let's just get all Calvinistic for one moment and ask, "Was I REALLY in the wrong line at that moment?"
Okay I couldn't help myself there.
I remember walking into the door of the registrar's office as he held his hand out to me.
He sat behind a table with a few other staff members and I thought he wanted to greet me and shake my hand.
Because of COURSE everyone else was just as excited as I was for me to be there.
Well he actually wanted my class schedule that I was supposed to give to him. I figured this out AFTER I went down the entire staff line-up and shook each hand saying some weird remark about me being so excited to be with them.
This scene basically sums-up my entire first year.
Me being somewhere I shouldn't, saying the wrong thing to the wrong people.
That about does it.
My daughter laughed at my mistakes, mess-ups and mishaps but I remember them all and how horrible and humbling each were then.
And how we can all laugh at them NOW.
As backwards as I was then, I can unmistakably see the Lord's hand on my life.
And as I am watching his hand lead and direct my own girl, watching him answer her hard questions and meet her every need, it takes this heart way back to a pair of white shoes.
Before I jump into why white shoes were spiritually life changing for me, I must note that as a freshman, I had this group of older girls who de-lighted in making fun of freshman girls like me who hadn't a clue when it came to "Modest modern" style.
This posse would camp out at the front desk and mock you when you came in completely disheveled from classes.
You hoped that they would see your friend's wrinkled blouse before they caught a glimpse of your navy skirt/black top combo, and decided to pick on her instead of you THIS time around.
I'm not sure what this really did for these girls who most likely had their Dad's credit card for each new banquet dress AND for their school bills, but I did not.
And most of my friends didn't either.
We were there working our Baptist Bums off when we weren't scurrying to classes that we were barely passing.
Wardrobe planning and executing wasn't exactly taking up a lot of brain space for us.
My "style" at that time consisted of "Goodwill" with a sprinkle of "Walmart."
And these mean girls knew it.
They would get on us for mixing colors, shoes, patterns and even which nylons should go with which shoes.
I was just weird enough to believe that white nylons and black K-mart shoes went with everything.
So not only was it a chore to get ready and get to class, but it was also a challenge to get by the front desk with any ounce of joy left for the day.
This group made fashion a bit of a big deal and fitting in an even bigger one.
How grateful I am for my room mates and friends who helped this girl out.
There just weren't funds for the latest and greatest.
I borrowed more clothing than I can even remember and more than once my room mates saved me from the fashion police.
One of my room mates had family who would visit often.
It was sweet/hard for me to watch.
I LOVED seeing her loved on, and her family with ziplock bags of homemade goodies was the cheeriest bunch ever.
It was just hard to be far from family and feeling so out of my league in just about every area.
They were so gracious to me and always kindly asked how I was doing.
One such visit was just before Easter.
At home I remember getting a new Easter dress and a new pair of shiny white shoes for Easter service.
Well, this Easter would be busy and filled with bus routes and the like, but I was determined for it to be a great first one away from home.
I'm not sure of the details surrounding my room mate's visit with her family but I do remember them leaving and me finding a shoe box in my closet.
With a pair of bright white shoes in it just for me for Easter.
Shoes that I did not have money to purchase.
Shoes that made me feel like a million bucks.
Shoes that the Lord gave me, though a sweet Mom who saw that I needed encouraged.
And that still encourages me today.
Those shoes, simple as they may seem, were an answered prayer for me.
A prayer asking God if he still remembered me.
If He still cared about my needs and knew that I was failing Math.
It was me flailing in an ocean of doubt about making it in college and Him throwing me a lifeline that shouted, "I see you! I know what you need! You please me!"
Judy Garland's ruby slippers couldn't match the treasure that these shoes were to me.
Each time I wore them they reminded me that I wasn't alone on campus and in this great big world.
There was a God who knew my name, my upcoming hour of detention, my shoe size, my every need, and would soften the heart of a Mother I barely knew to "Mother" me a bit too.
You can bet-your-bottom-dollar that I wore those shoes way after labor day or whatever day I wasn't supposed to wear them any more.
Take that fashion police.
I wore them until they completely wore.out.
And in a few weeks, when I get the suitcase out again to pack up this adorable girl of mine, I hope I pray over each skirt, each sock, each dress, and thank God for all the ways she is learning what I learned so long ago now.
I hope I send her away with ziplock bags of goodies and most of all, I hope I keep my heart open for girl just like me who just might need a pair of bright white shoes.