I will not be packing ALL of these…. At least I don’t think I will be…

6 1/2 or maybe a 7.  I can squeeze into a 5 1/2 if they are 90% off and  designer.  I can walk with my toes splayed apart like a ducks feet in a 7 1/2-8 if they are 75% off and adorable. (The smaller the shoe- the greater the pain. Hence the dependence on the deal to determine their worthiness of my foot sacrifice.)

To say I have shoe issues would be putting it mildly. I usually blame it on the fact that shoes fit , no matter what day of the month it is. (Clothes do not. Trust me.) I’m ashamed to even post the number of pair of she’s that I own. (I’ve never counted them.  Nor will I. I will, however, be making a large donation of very gently used shoes tomorrow- because seriously- I have too many and thinking about my shoe hoarding is making me think of all the people who duct tape plastic bottles to their feet because they have none.  Not that a pair of silver pumps I’ve worn twice will help them, but at least i won’t have to see my guilt reflected in them anymore- but, I digress. I digress a lot. Consider yourself warned.)

Is there a TLC show about shoe hoarding? I hope not. Someone may nominate me. Please don’t. I’m working on it. No, really! I can quit any time. (See what I mean? Shoe issues: I has them.Classic.)

The truth is: even with my admitted shoe hoard- I spent last night browsing shoe shops online. MOPS convention is next week and I haven’t decided what shoes to pack.  Convention- requires a lot of walking so I will need something comfy. It also will afford me a few hours by the pool so I’ll need something pool appropriate. I’ll be doing double duty as a Board Member and a Field Leader- and those each have their own unique needs. I also signed up for Mom Prom…and have to have the right statement shoes for that- too.I may have shopped in person too. (Found: nada. I already have several potential pair lined up in the foyer.)

I might need an extra suitcase. Or shoecase, to be more accurate. Ugh.

I blame Cinderella.

Every time I pry (or slip) my feet into a new pair of shoes I wonder if they will “Be the one.”  The pair that make me taller- thinner and more beautiful. The pair that communicates my personality- or the one I wish, I had. Shoe’s that fit my life… or the life I (sometimes) wish I had.  (One where pets do the housework and children are always well behaved and  jeans always fit and roots never she and well.. you get the picture.) Shoes that would turn me from a scullery maid, into Cinderella.  A beautiful princess with mice who make my clothes and birds to do my hair, a castle that magically is always clean…something like that.)

I have lots of shoes- and an amazing husband- but the closest I get to the rest is two barking dogs and a hair girl I over tip in fear of retaliation via bad hair. I’m no Cinderella.

Yet, as I type this- I await delivery of a package that might hold “the glass slippers.” (Actually, it’s a pair of leopard print, kitten heels I’m hoping will work for all my meetings and a pair of black sandals I hope will: 1) make my calves less cankly  2) work poolside and for Field leader training and  3) be comfortable. The rational side of my brain knows this is too much to expect from any one pair of shoes- the Disney side is singing, accompanied by birds, bunnies and squirrels, near a wishing well. Wrong movie. But, whatever. You get the gist.)

This morning while checking the tracking number of my  glass slippers, I mean: shoes, I had a little revelation.

It’s not about the shoes. It never was about the shoes.

The shoes didn’t make Cinderella a princess. The prince did. He used the shoe (s?)  to find her…. but they didn’t change her. Marrying the prince did. But even that only made her a crowned princess.  The rest?  The enchanted animals- the gentle, sweet and  patient spirit? Those were already there.She was ben like that. (Cinderella, the original Gaga? Discuss…. Maybe not.)

The truth is- I’ve been a little (okay- a lot) nervous about going to MOPS convention.  I think that’s been making my shoe obsession even more crazy than normal. I’ve had a rough year- physically and emotionally and it shows. My weight is up, my energy is down. My commitment to MOPS hasn’t changed – however my actual fulfilling of responsibilities as a Community Networker? This year, I’d grade myself a C-.

All of  which means I’m feeling even more insecure than normal. To top it all off? Regardless of my shoe choice, I know my most memorable accessory will be: my neck brace. Yup- I’ll be “that chick”  The one in the neck brace. All week. It’s inevitable.

I’d rather be noticed/known for my shoes. If you can’t dazzle them with talent,  dazzle them with shoes, I always say. Something like that.

At least that’s what I thought until this morning. When the gentle voice I know as God’s, reminded me that He has already scoured the earth to find me- and claim me as his own. He didn’t need a glass slipper (or a leopard  print pump) left behind as a clue to who I really am. He knows me from the inside out- because he made me.

It’s not about the shoes. It never was. It’s about the Prince.

Next week, as I go to MOPS Convention- it doesn’t matter what what shoes I wear. (Except I will endeavor to wear shoes that don’t cause damage to my feet. Been there- done that- not doing it again.) It doesn’t matter how fat (or thin) I am or, how perfectly I’ve fulfilled my responsibilities. MOPS Convention is not a pageant of Moms competing to be the most beautiful or perfect parent or  wear the cutest shoes. The Mom Prom is not a ball to decide who will marry the prince.

Nope. Next week is: about the Prince.  The one who loves each of us and calls us by name. The one who brings us together to fill us with love and send us out to fill others. The prince who doesn’t need a glass slipper to identify us, because He knows and loves us. 

As you’re packing shoes and otherwise planning and preparing to join me at convention- or as you kick yet another pair of shoes away from the front door so you don’t break your neck tripping over them, or shop for “just the right pair” for something else.  I’m praying for you as I’m praying for myself- that we can know that it’s not and never has been, about the shoes, it’s about our Prince.

Isaiah 9:6

New International Version (NIV)

For to us a child is born, 
    to us a son is given, 
    and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

1 Peter 2:9-10

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Lord Jesus- you are our Prince of Peace. Thank you for the reminder that the shoes I wear, don’t change who I am, you do.  You’ve chosen me and each one who reads, to be your very own. We don’t need glass slippers for you to find us. Yo come to each of us right where we are. Regardless of the shoes we walk in daily- you have made us princesses in your kingdom. Lord, I pray that insecurities would be set aside and that we would each be so filled with your love that it would pour out of us. Whether you fill us MOPS Convention or at home- I ask it in your name- amen

PS: I’d like to say that after this revelation, I’ll be packing fewer pair of shoes for Convention.  But, I most likely won’t. I will, however,  be packing them with realistic expectations- instead of Disney expectations.