the inspire shop

not so shiny.

tiffany garza
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Some things make you feel a little more you than you may have been before.

For our anniversary this year, my husband and I did a little shopping and came across a pair of Converse in my size and for a third of normal retail price.

Converse were my jam in high school and early college until my feet started bothering me and shoes with words like comfort in them filled my closet and were reminiscent of a grandma, as my sister told me.

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By God’s grace my feet have mostly stopped bothering the last few years and I wore Converse for the first time in perhaps a decade, though I cannot recall exactly, on our family outing to celebrate my father in laws birthday this past July. He treated everyone to a local theme park. On the way there, as my in laws caravanned alongside, commented on the amusement of the progression of my feet on the dash, a bad habit I try not to do.

The comment made me laugh as I had been shoeless until our nearly two and a half hour drive came to a close and then the familiar laces made their way through the loops and it felt a little like channeling my sixteen year old self. Though my sixteen year old self went all over looking for pink converse because black ones were too common and when the pink faded, fabric markers revived them and kept good company with the song lyrics and quotes already on the rubber.

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Something about new shoes never feels fully comfortable to me. Especially Converse. My friends and I would purposely make them dirty to break them in. Taking away a bit of the shiny, white soles as we laughed, stepping on each other’s feet.

Wearing new shoes all day around the park felt a bit off. A bit too clean. A bit too shiny. Lacking character and miles walked. No indents marking the corners but with each step, sweet memories of the kiddos swarming their grandpa as they headed to rides and attractions, slowly but surely helped break them in just a bit.

Growing up, things always were physically neat and tidy in our home. Organized and in its place. But sixteen found me without a stable home and life was anything but clean and organized. Perhaps that gave way for my lack of taste for clean shoes. The desires to match the messiness of my heart and life echoed on them, too.

Even after the Lord has healed the broken years, there is something comfortable about dirty shoes that makes me breathe a bit easier. Feel a bit more free and are reminiscent of an old friend, ready to go even if years have gone by since the last conversation. No obligation to upkeep them because the mess is their upkeep. That is the way they look their best. To the person who likes pretty shoes, you may never understand and that is perfectly okay.

As we come to embrace who we are and are comfortable in the way the Lord has created us, there is freedom. I do not speak of soaking in our sin, rather who we are as people, people who feel and have emotions that sometimes look grimy due to things in our past that have occurred and are hard to understand how it affects us like it does and soaking in God’s grace as he continues to renew us day by day. People who love themselves and love God and are cultivating hearts of compassion for others. 

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// REFLECTIONS

+ What is one physical thing that brings life and a smile to your face? Take a moment to thank God for it.

+ How have you seen God use a person, place or thing to aid in your understanding of how He has worked in your life?

 // PRAYER 

Praying you would have the freedom through Christ to be yourself. Praying you would enjoy the things you like and that God has made and said are good, despite what others may believe. Praying the Lord would show you how he created you and how you are wired and that you can live life to the fullest because of His love for you.

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Originally posted in The Inspire Monthly newsletter, October 2018. Join the adventure to be the first to get it straight to your inbox, along with other fun tidbits from the shop.