Last summer I made some life changing decisions. The biggest involved the most daring adventure of my life: moving 500 miles to start a new life in a new town on my own. Being that housing in Orange County is significantly pricier than Placer County this meant downsizing….a whole heck of a lot! Specifically, downsizing from a 3 bedroom condo with garage, to an anticipated 1 bedroom apartment. Downsizing possessions, downsizing decades of life, decades of former relationships, former occupations. I was a pack rat. It’s an inherited gene; it’s in my DNA.
So downsizing was more than just selling a few things, several trips to Goodwill, giving away special collectibles and ultimately renting a big ole moving truck to donate the whole kit and caboodle to First Christian Church, Sacramento. Downsizing was physically demanding and an often agonizing spiritual exercise in facing the past, an unknown future---some good things, some not so comfortable. And most importantly, downsizing was about letting go, opening myself to discover new possibilities.
To support those days and weeks and months of sorting and choosing and boxing and caressing cherished items, some of which I had not seen nor touched in years, standing in my filled to the rafters 100+ degree garage in the Sacramento Valley heat, I daily slid my feet into my Easy Spirit size 8 double wide sneakers. Day in and day out my feet endured standing on cement while I sorted and let go.
By the last days, my feet ached badly. They ached so much that the excruciating effort to reduce my life down to one 10 foot by 10 foot storage room became symbolized in those well worn Easy Spirit sneakers. I could no longer bear to look at them let alone wear them. I never wanted to see them again! My very last act as I drove out of the condo complex that hot August day was to remove them from my hot, aching feet, stop and toss those dreaded sneakers into the dumpster!
Your shoes also have a story to tell. What journeys have they taken you on? What experiences have they supported you through? Are you ready to let go of your gently used shoes for our region’s Soul-full Shoe Drive?
And by the way, I gave 32 pairs of adult women’s shoes and 11 pairs of infant and little girl shoes in that lifetime collection of belongings that made their way to a thrift store donation pile during my downsizing. Seven more pairs and I could have filled 2 full bags for the Soul-full Shoe Drive! Click to learn more about the 2014 SOUL-FULL drive and how your shoes can help your congregation as well as someone in another country.
Always on the journey,
ABOUT HOLLY WILSON: Holly is a fourth generation Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay area. In the 1920s and 1930s her grandfather Wilder Immel attended and graduated from Chapman College, eventually attending seminary and serving numerous Christian Churches in northern California. Her grandparents, Ruth and Josh Wilson built a house in Whittier in 1940. They joined the Whittier Christian Church where her grandfather Josh served in numerous positions of leadership and her grandmother Ruth taught Sunday school for three decades. In the 1980s Holly spent eight years sharing in the life of the San Luis Obispo Christian Church, participating in a variety of regional events. Holly's mother, Clarice Friedline, and her step father, Richard Friedline, have been vitally active in many ministries in the PSWR. The Pacific Southwest Region is excited to have Holly as a regular contributor to the PSWR blog!