Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a good pair of boots

every girl needs a good pair of boots. i'm not sure if my grandmother or my own mother ever said that, but i am saying it.  right now. right here.  today.  i am declaring for myself, my three daughters, and any other woman wishing to be included -- we girls need a good pair of boots.

we've got some places to go.  we've got us some walking to do.  it is what we women do. we walk.  we run.  we tip-toe. we toddle. we wade. we wander. we glide. we go.  we climb and sometimes we crawl.  we have to.  there's a lot of life to get through. and some days it takes a good pair of boots to move right on through it -- right on over it.  

i want to raise little women who aren't afraid to pull up their boot straps and tackle the rough terrain of life.  women who aren't afraid to walk awhile, to go the distance.  not girls who will thoughtlessly plow over someone...but girls who will tenaciously plow over something -- some kind of obstacle.  because obstacles there will be--we can count on them. i have learned a lot this year about obstacles...mountains.  i want my girls to have that mustard seed kind of faith...a faith which says, "mountain move from here to there." (matthew 17:20).  that's what God tells us we can have.  He tells us nothing is impossible with that kind of faith.  and yet we sell ourselves and our God short.  we wake some days thinking we just can't.  thinking we'll just cave.  certain we'll crumble.  perhaps we need a good pair of boots in our closet.  perhaps we are in need of a stronger faith in our life. 

just last week, i sadly threw away a favorite pair of boots.  cowboy boots. ones i had worn for years--had worn them through. thin. pretty much threadbare. i tried to take them to a shoe repair shop and the sweet, chinese man, who has re-heeled several pairs of my shoes, all but laughed at me.  in so many words, he told me it was "too late."  there was a hole, large as a quarter, and it went all the way through. the heels were worn right down to the metal base.  he snorted a little, clucked his tongue at my duct tape patch and explained it would be cheaper to buy a new pair then to resole these babies. (babies is my word, not his).  i wanted to tell him, "but i love these boots. they are friends."   i have no doubt i would have gotten even a sharper tongue clucking had i piped up and talked further.  but, you understand,  the leather was soft and faded, fitting just right. i had done a lot of walking in these boots. done some dancing. even done some dreaming. they were a good pair of boots. i should have photographed them before throwing them out with the trash. as i write this morning, i regret my thoughtless tossing.

but to make sure i'm being honest here,  of course i am hopeful there will be some delicate days thrown in.  pale pink ballet slipper kind of days.  days for dancing.  days for delight. i want my girls to twirl lightly every once in a while, weightless and wonderful.  there is time enough for heavy - time enough for sloshing and sludging.  but while they can, oh how i desire my daughters to be living, breathing cinderella's in glass slippers just before the stroke of midnight.  a little magic and a bit of marvel in our days is a good thing.  i happen to believe it a necessary thing. 

ballet slippers and glass slippers and most definitely, bedroom slippers cannot be worn every day.  some days only boots will do.  growing up, my siblings and i walked to our elementary school.  from pre-school to 8th grade we walked.  it was a few short blocks.  but in the middle of a harsh ohio winter, those blocks grew longer.  i remember many mornings battling my mother hard over my need to wear boots.  (they weren't exactly stylish back then).  there was zero cute factor in the black rubber she wanted me to slide my fashion-forward foot into.  instead, i preferred to trudge through the slush of grey snow in whatever the great gods of style had dictated for that year -- yes, even in elementary school.  my pride (i.e., vanity) may have remained intact, but my feet were miserable. to this day, i easily recall the feeling of damp feet in math class.  the classroom radiator humming and crackling, and my chilly toes wishing to creep toward its warmth. i was silly--still am.  i still will sometimes choose style over function. still will choose pretty over practical. sigh.

thankfully, boots have come a long way in the past  couple of decades.  we've got some pretty cute options these  days --- and it is a good thing.  because if there is anything i have learned this year, it is how we cannot escape the long walks. the deep snow. the hard stuff. we will face times and mountains and slush and we had better have a good pair of boots to pull on...some straps to pull up... some faith to hold on to. if all we've got in our closet are those pretty little ballet flats, we're going to be in trouble.  we can count on some pretty miserable feet.

friend, do you have a good pair of boots? 

"but as for me, my feet had almost slipped; i had nearly lost my foothold." ~ psalm 73:1

"and I will make all My mountains a road, 
and My highways shall be raised up."  
                      ~ isaiah 49:11

last winter -- deep snow in georgia!  can't really say we had a good pair of boots...rain boots don't exactly qualify!  we did the best we could with what we had.  kind of laughable for my northern friends.  

boots from my girls' discipleship group a couple years ago.  they came to play in the creek.  perfect!  

rainy day walk, mommy and connor. 

my very favorites.

1 comment:

Aus said...

Good morning Jody - thanks for this one!! Great thoughts - one man's mountain (or stumbling block) is another's foothill! And ya know - you can pretty much do anything with a 1 pound claw hammer - but a framing hammer makes building walls "easier" and a 5 pound sledge makes tearing down a snap. Yeah - the right tool for the right job - but the wisdom to know what tool at what time!

Thanks for raising kids that can relax when it's possbile - but still go the distance when they need too! (And we walked to school in those same Ohio winters - up hill both ways!!)

hugs - aus and co.