Please remove your shoes upon entering

Have you ever noticed how automatic it is that we remove our shoes as soon as we enter someone’s home and the door is shut behind us?  There is no need for a decorative written message or a mat suggesting the removal of your shoes.  It seems an unwritten rule to remove your footwear when entering someone’s private space where you have so graciously been invited.  Home, where we dwell even more each day than we ever have before.  Let’s go a bit further and talk about sacred space.  

You may say your home is a sacred space.  Oh but Loves, it doesn’t seem sacred when you barely have enough space to breathe inside your own home, with children doing online learning and many working from home.  Between cooking meals, cleaning up, keeping order in your home and your family, do you ever need space?  If you live alone, do you spend your time trying to figure out whether you should be using time to rest, using time to accomplish more?  But really you just want time to reminisce because you miss your Loves, or you just need time to process this world we live in and the impact it has on your heart and your dreams.

In a previous post, I dared you to dream.  In this post, I am challenging you to find a sacred space and begin dreaming again.  This is a place to feel, to explore, to discover, to remember who we are, to dream, to write out ideas that have been planted but have been dormant for some time.  To capture goals that best manifest our purpose in this season (who and what we were created and destined to be and do).  

I dare say this is the space where we must remove our shoes.  No one else physically goes with us.  Our connectedness to others goes with us.  Their influence on us, our relationship, their spirit, their needs are in this space with us.  This place is sacred because it’s our very own.  It is where we meet and can be ourselves—in the truest form.  This to me is why it is sacred.  Barefooted. A woman who loves shoes. Just me and my Creator.  Just.  Simply.  Me.

Music sings when no notes are played.

Joyous laughter reverberates.

Light shines no matter the position of the sun.

The smallest flame warms the atmosphere.

Gifts are unwrapped, no holiday in sight.

Dreams come alive, dancing in your eyes.

Sustenance when no food has been eaten.

Sight and sound are sharp enough to see clearly, to hear the soft gentle whisper calling you.

Yes. You.

It is not about the physical space as it is a place within your soul, thus making it sacred.  This is the place where we remove not only our shoes, but also the expectations of others, stereotypes, judgments, daily responsibilities.  The place of grace, of dreams, of voice and truth and light and love, no matter your mood.  

If you have a full house, in addition to having your own space, create a time and space to have some sacred moments with others in your home, whether it is a spouse, partner, family member, roommate.  For any children in your life, spend time with them in a sacred space, empowering them to set up their own sacred space, encouraging them in who they are and in all they are becoming.  

Sitting quietly-crying, smiling, remembering, dreaming.  The space that prepares you to put on the right shoes for each occasion, to stand tall, take your position and go forth.  This is the place where a steady stance is learned, improved, perfected in Jesus.  The readiness of your feet to stand on the holy ground within the sacred space, the readiness of your soul and soles to go, do, be. 

Just.  Simply.  You.

Soul & Soles

You might think my love of shoes is about fashion or glamour.  Oh, but it is about so much more.  Whether we are home in slippers, venturing out in running shoes or hiking boots, wearing pumps and a business suit, stepping out in high heels and a little black dress or barefooted at the beach, our soles carry us to the places our souls desire.  Shoes are about movement, but they also keep us firmly planted as we take our position, wearing heels in the boardroom or hiking boots to conquer the terrain. Shoes are part of our daily armor allowing us to stand firm when met with opposition. Shoes can also be utilitarian (comfort, safety, sports, dancing).

Over the years, many people and things attempted to knock me down, make me misstep or lose my way.  Shoes have cushioned my tired feet, given me confidence, steadied me and allowed me to exhale in relief as I reached each destination. It all started with an excited little girl pulling on the intricately stitched brown leather boots I picked out myself and going on adventures that only cowgirls could embark upon.  Smiling, heart pumping, I sported red canvas high tops as I accelerated down the sidewalk, adjusted myself on the glittery gold banana seat, lifted my feet off the pedals, pointed them forward, simultaneously letting go of the handlebar grips, spreading my little girl arms out wide in a moment of flying free from chores, the whirring of the wind through the bicycle spokes replaced the loud arguments between my parents (divorced a few years later).

In my adult years, the shoes worn by four pairs of little feet quickly grew into a heap of shoes in the corner, and in another flash, the only shoes remaining were mine.  Taking care of my children had always been my reason to never give up. Right there and then, taking care of me had to be my reason. Arriving at work on a mid-August morning in 2015, velvety red five-inch pumps with gold embellished straps and heels carried me one determined step after another to my supervisor’s desk as I handed in my resignation after 17 years.  “Dorothy” had been to see the Wizard, and she was going home.  By the first weekend in September I sold my home, resigned and moved from Minnesota to North Carolina. Continuing forward, I took time to visit my sons, who were then living in Hawaii.  I traded my red heels for black walking shoes. The protective closure over my toes, air slots and cushioned soles supported my feet, keeping me steady hiking up the mountains.  The soles demonstrated practicality while my soul was exhilarated, determined and laughing in this quality time with my sons.

Even more dreams were coming true for this once brokenhearted woman, a survivor of domestic and sexual violence.  The white shopping bag I carried with the words “Handbags & Shoes Paris” in silver, held inside it a pair of lush black velvet booties with gold buttons. As I boarded my flight home from a work trip, I set my bag down and sat in my assigned spot, the very first seat of the airplane. Tears welled up seeing how far God had taken me from the stereotypes of an unwed mother of four who by “popular opinion” would never amount to anything. 

Equally memorable and of deep sentimental value are my purple patent leather pumps.  These were a gift (no special occasion) from my younger daughter.  No one had given me shoes (other than slippers) as an adult, and here was this gesture of love and appreciation in this shiny pair of pumps in my favorite color.  This beautiful gift from my younger daughter, a single mom herself, meant so much to me.  Knowing what it was like to walk in my shoes, she gifted me the perfect pumps. 

Although shoes are part of what equips us on the outside, it is ultimately the synchronicity of heart, mind and soul that inspires the action our soles take. I am grateful for you joining me on this journey of soul and soles, sharing stories, navigating life’s path, step by step…learning and lighting the way, together.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Feel free to share your memories of heart, mind, soul inspiring you to action.

Welcome to Sole Journey!

We are each on our own personal and unique journey. I find the way enriching when shared with others. Whether you are standing still in preparation of that first step toward a new goal, continuing forward in an ongoing journey, or frozen in your stance trying to find safe and solid ground, my hope is to walk with you, navigating life’s path together.

A girl and her shoes
her destination known
before she was formed
took challenges and joys
to get her this far
the next steps
the best, the scariest,
yet nothing to do but
movement being birthed
the open space unknown to her
the gifts just flow
her heart so full.
Jumped right in, not to drown
but to swim and float
no sinking into the abyss
her life now ruled by bliss
victory gives a shout
the lies and defeat drowned out
by the voice of the little girl
who stepped out
connected intertwined
with self destruction
turned into self reflection
and respect
purple heart beating in her chest.
(written by crd)