Quit

In a house full of women, there are bound to be shoes. This sounds sexist, but in my home, it’s the truth. I had a visitor come in the door many years ago and say,

“How many people live here?”

“Just three of us.”

“By the looks of it, I would say at least ten based on the number of shoes you have on that rug.”

What’s funny is that I don’t buy myself many. At times, a pair or two have been put out into the garage as my “lawn mowing” attire, but they often pile up and, unless I make an effort, tend to stay longer than they should. I never throw them away.

Much like some of the relationships I have let into my life.

The other day, I walked in a melted snow puddle on the kitchen floor and realized that most of the rug by the door was taken up by footwear designed for summer. It’s January, and flip-flops and sandals occupy space. If we are lucky, they will be used again four months from now, but until then, they have become a nuisance, not allowing what should be there.

My daughter and I began the removal process and designated the spot next to the door for boots only. When I walked in the next time, it was nice not to trip over all the shoes. I slipped off what I had on and didn’t end up with wet socks.

It’s the little things like this that can make a difference. Removing what didn’t belong made it easier to enter. I didn’t make a mess that I would have to clean up.

I recently heard a speaker say people give up on situations like bad relationships too early. They think it’s too much to take, and they bail out. I have seen that happen, but what are the consequences of staying too long? I don’t hear this one talked about as much.

There is this idea that most people get uncomfortable and flee. What about those of us who get used to the discomfort? We make a comfort zone in the misery, and soon it feels normal to struggle. We don’t know or understand that by removing ourselves, we could have more freedom and less to step around to keep the peace.

I went out of my way to shove all the out-of-season ones as far away from the door as possible. Every time I came home, I went through this process of kicking a tiny space where I could remove my boots. I used up my time going around the problem instead of dealing with it.

Until last week, I couldn’t take another second of it. I took a few moments to put away the ones that were not being used any longer. Instead of continuing in the madness I partially created, I wanted better.

From experience, this is a universal truth that can also be applied to dishes in the sink. Don’t be that person to leave something that can go two inches into the dishwasher. It starts with one fork, and suddenly there’s an entire day of utensils and plates piled high. What would have taken one second now takes up more seconds.

It makes me wonder. What else am I overlooking and allowing? Where else besides my rebellious shoe piling do I need to become aware so I can have it easier?

I realize we have a coat problem. It’s not that we have an overabundance of them. We can’t seem to catch a break on where to hang them. I have a wood railing by the stairs, and my favorite spot is to hang them all on the post. Every moment counts at times as I’m going out the door. And more often than not, I have to unearth my jacket from underneath those that have been hung on top of mine.

I know I have done the same to the other parties involved. I’m not innocent in any of this.

We really could use a coat rack.

We have one.

So why do we continually go back to the post to disengage our jackets? We have a place designated for them, yet they return to our old familiar ways.

Once in a while, one of us will haphazardly throw it over the back of a chair. I can’t stand it, so I hang it on the post as I walk past the coat rack while tripping over the flip-flops from summer.

For this, I have a good excuse. The rack is broken. It was purchased with the high expectations that it would end our plight, but when we went to use it, the hangers couldn’t handle the weight, and threw our jackets to the floor. Someone always scraps their coat off the floor, and who wants that?

What should have allowed us to use multiple hooks and live a life of luxury ended up only with two functioning holders that work if we fast and pray. It proves beneficial for a lightweight hat on a good day, but we hardly wear those.

So, why don’t I throw it? Because I just have made it part of my existence, trying to make it work.

In every self-help book I have read, the most significant advice is that a person should throw away anything that is broken or not of use. I have known people who give things that should be thrown away. That’s not the idea. Either pitch it or donate it if it’s still decent to give to another to relieve their burden.

The point is eliminating what isn’t helpful to make room for better. I have realized that if something is taking up a space meant for an upgrade, a higher manifestation cannot occur until the room is made.

God’s idea of better is probably at an elevation grander than mine, and I think we cling to what we know instead of being brave enough to let the outdated or nonfunctioning thing go.

Isaiah 55 includes this reminder:

“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.”

While God is trying to give us a blessing of more significant proportions, we keep throwing our shoes in a pile and stacking up our jackets, wondering why He has forsaken us.

I hear a lot about how we must become “awake” to global issues. Like, take up a cause. Get out into the streets and fight for justice. Meanwhile, I’m battling my self-created coat and shoe troubles. Isn’t that humbling?

Your junk drawer speaks volumes about who you really believe God is.

It’s not God’s nature to condemn any of us. We tend to shove something into a far, dark corner and put up with it. But, if we allow it to be brought into the light, we can be free of it, whether it is materialistic or involves self-destructive behavior patterns.

I was shocked that shoes have “miles” on them. I had no idea they should no longer be worn after a certain amount of wear, as this can damage your feet. If they no longer support you, they can hurt you. This is where a decision must be made and can involve your self-worth.

Are you worth God’s best? And when were you told that you weren’t? What circumstances made you believe a lie or who convinced you that you didn’t deserve to have good? Those are the questions to examine. What worn-out thing takes the place of something greater or people you can help? What new thing does God want to add that can make your life more meaningful and happy?

It might involve transferring to a better job, moving to a new location, or finding a new circle of friends.

It was highly ingrained in my subconscious mind not to give up anything. Whether this was a class in school, a new hobby, or an old worn out shirt, this action was marked as a failure. So it’s a high probability that I will hang on to the coat rack until I have met an invisible rule regarding the length of time I have to suffer along with it.

When is its time up? I don’t know.

As I become more aware of how I go through life, allowing what stays and what goes, it’s okay to throw away your old pairs of underwear that are stretched out way too far, your socks that have holes in them, and your toothbrush that is down to its last bristle.

If it’s not working, somebody needs to say it. It’s okay to quit.

It’s a team effort….

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