by Deb DeArmond

They were candy apple red patent leather Mary Janes. Remember Mary Janes? And at eight years old, I truly loved those shoes. They were special, and I felt special when I wore them. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I felt transformed when I put them on.

I was terribly afraid that they would get ruined, so I began to save them for what seemed like an important enough occasion. Invitation to a birthday party? Maybe not. There could be games outside and they could get scuffed up. Dinner out with my family? A little risky. Someone might step on them in the crowded restaurant.

So I set them aside. I waited for an occasion that deserved such a beautiful and prized selection. A time that seemed special enough. But I did pull them out of the closet often. I just enjoyed looking at the beautiful garnet shine.

And finally, Christmas time rolled around, with it’s special church events and family get togethers. These were in fact worthy of my beautiful shoes. I got dressed, saving the best for last. I took the shoes from the tissue paper in the box and began to put them on. But they wouldn’t GO on. I stood and applied pressure to slip my foot fully in, but no matter what I tried, they simply refused to budge. My mom took one look at my struggle and shook her head. “Looks like you have outgrown those shoes, dear. Put the black ones on instead.”

The BLACK ones? For Christmas? I was devastated. How on earth could this be happening? I had protected them, saving them for special occasions. And now they were too small? I don’t recall crying, but I was so disappointed. All of my careful preservation and now that long awaited special moment had slipped beyond my grasp.

There is a pattern here and a lesson to learn. Too many times, we defer a choice we would love to make. Perhaps we think the right moment has not yet come. Sometimes we feel it might seem selfish. And on occasion, we tell ourselves we just don’t deserve it. Then, without warning, the opportunity vanishes. Just like my shoes, the moment was gone.

How many times have you set something aside to save it for a special time? We treat life moments like grandma’s china, afraid to bring it out too often for fear that it will get chipped or broken. So it gathers dust in the closet and is passed on to the next generation who will follow our example.

I am not suggesting that our happiness or our joy is found in things. The things themselves are not the point. The shoes were not the issue. I was afraid of damaging them. I felt undeserving to wear them unless it was special enough. In truth, I did not feel special enough for something so wonderful.

We are so special to God. Individually, specifically and uniquely. Special enough that He paid a price beyond anything we can understand. He sent His very best. And he did it because He loves us. How would you feel if you carefully selected and wrapped a beautiful gift for your child and although he delighted in it, he set it aside to keep it safe, afraid to play with it because it might get broken? Our heavenly father is no different.

Father God delights in seeing His children happy. Although not all of life will be without loss or sorrow, His heart is blessed when we are living life in a way that reflects our understanding that every moment is special – because He is in it.

“This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Ps. 118:24. Living in the moment prevents what my friend Laurie Dodds writes about with regard to regret. If you don’t get started today, a year from now, you may look back with a heavy load of “wish I woulda”.

So, what have you deferred? What are you saving for just the right moment? What dream, idea or wish have you placed on the shelf because it seems too special for today? None of us is promised tomorrow, so stop putting yourself on hold. Come one girl, it’s time for you to put on those shoes!

Deb DeArmond: Deb is wife to her high school sweetheart, Ron, who showed her the path to become a Christ follower 38 years ago. Mom to three incredible sons. Gigi to two perfect grandboys. But Jesus is her favorite, and the guys have learned to live with it. Speaker. Author. Entrepreneur. She is a transplanted Californian who has been a proud Texan for almost 8 years and she Ioves the Lone Star state!

She is optimistically mid-life and excited about the next stage of life and what God has for her now. She longs to see experienced women find their passion and place in the body of Christ, show up and finish strong. One of Deb’s favorite quotes comes from author Agatha Christie, who said, “I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming… suddenly you find – at the age of 50, say – that a whole new life has opened before you.”


  1. 11-21-2011

    DD thx very much for this article.
    God bless you and yours,
    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. 11-21-2011

    Received by a friend Via email from York, PA: My daughter is in vet school in Cayman.  She is really struggling with funding.  We are working really hard with different ways of finding funding to keep her there next semester.  Somedays she thinks she should just give up on vet school but this is something she has dreamed about and worked towards since she was 14 years old and she is doing very well!  I forwarded this article to her.

  3. 11-21-2011

    Rejoicing with you fully thankful for His Love.
    Kindest regards,

  4. 11-24-2011

    Deb, well said. The things I most often have saved over the years for a special occasion are words of praise. I’m learning to “seize the moment” by expressing those words. At times they still seem awkward, but I am learning to trust Father for the outcome. I will keep the red shoes in mind as I celebrate Thanksgiving today with family members I only get to see once a year; I may have a lot of encouraging to do! Happy Thanksgiving friends! Cindy

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