I think I was born loving shoes. In a box somewhere in the attic, I have a pair of white leather baby shoes with my name in gold-leaf on the soles. My habit throughout childhood was to go to sleep with new shoes placed in their box, the lid off, by my bed so that they would be the first thing my blurry eyes would see in the morning. I had a growth spurt during middle school, a few short months after my mom bought me exactly the pair of Nikes I wanted. My shoes were still sparkling white when my toes started complaining. My flabbergasted mom took me shoe shopping again—back to the same store, back to the same Nikes with a purple swish. I loved those shoes—both pairs!
This shoe love made my decision to walk out of a shoe store without a purchase this summer feel crazy.
We were shopping for hiking shoes for our adventure into the Wyoming Rocky Mountains. Because we would be carrying all our belongings in backpacks for a week, our feet would be our most important piece of equipment. This required good shoes. My husband, Scott, had hiking shoes that were worn out. Our girls had never been hiking. They all clearly needed new shoes.
I still had a solid pair I had worn on three previous hiking trips. They bore scuffs, scratches, and soot marks, but plenty of life was left in them. I waffled between the allure of new shoes and the tried-and-true comfort of my old pair. A big sale made my decision even harder. Although I tried on many pairs, admiring them in the tilted knee-high mirror, I left empty-handed. I chose to go home to my old friends. I was confident they knew my feet and would serve me well. That night Scott asked if I would like to prop up my trusty, well-worn hikers by my bed. I took him up on the offer so they could greet me in the morning!
This time of year, we fixate on all things new, for good reason. If we never rolled up our sleeves, charted a new path, turned over a new leaf, or made New Year’s resolutions, many tasks and good intentions would remain undone in our lives and souls. There is a time for the new; new habits and resolutions serve us. But there is also a time when the old is working just fine, and we risk an unnecessary blister if we trade the old and faithful for something new.
As you look forward and revel in the possibilities of a new year that has just begun, don’t forget to look back. Peek into the rearview mirror and take stock of what you see. Test and mark systems and habits that are serving you well. Relish and savor them. Determine to let them roll on and celebrate the muscle you have strengthened. Resist the urge to change course solely based on the sparkly draw of something new. Remember, every new thing comes with a price, demanding consideration. New habits require the exercise of muscles not accustomed to work. The learning curve will require time and pain. That’s a small price to pay for needed progress, but a high price to pay for shiny newness.
You may need a couple of new habits this year. They sparkle like a new pair of shoes and can take you places you’ve never been. Embrace the newness and make your resolutions. At the same time, you undoubtedly need to continue doing some of the great things begun during Januarys of your past. Those resolutions have become habits, and they now serve you every day. Resolve to notice them this year. Pull them out, in all their comfortable goodness, and set them next to your bed. Give them a place of honor next to your shiny hopes for the new year. When you wake in the morning, you’ll see and celebrate both.
Lori Florida’s life is all about her people. She’s convinced that being Mrs. to one and Mommy to eight will be her most significant way to serve Jesus. She wants to use her life to cheer on and coach the women coming behind her. Lori blogs at loriflorida.com.
Photograph © Paul Dufour, used with permission