Stand Firm.

I ran around the house grabbing elements to piece together a stylish outfit for the evening. For the past week I'd spent days on end working in a pony tail and yoga pants which left me feeling less than tres chic so I figured some serious effort in my wardrobe be a solid pick-me-up. I cinched a gold belt tight around my waist in hopes of the illusion of appearing thinner, ducked into our overloaded shoe closet to slip on my favorite black sandals and darted out the door to into rush hour. As I scooted into the small side room at church, greeting my fellow mission trip members and introducing myself to the prayer team, I hugged and kissed past cheeks apologizing for my tardiness. The group began discussing how the prayer meeting works, explaining we will be asked a series of questions, given the opportunity to release anything we need to let go of and then be prayed for. Just before it was my turn I happened to glance down to my partially bare feet noticing one wasn't quite like the other. In my hurriedness I had put on two different shoes! EMBARRASSING!!! At least I had on a left and a right (right?!? I then double checked) but I quickly crossed my ankles praying that no one else in our seated circle noticed. I was first to answer the questions and volunteer to let go of some things when I decided to note to the group "and someone pray for my mind...I've done put on two different shoes!!". My confession elicited a roar of laughter from the group when one of the prayer members quietly mentioned that maybe they should pray for the feet. I didn't think much of it other than I no longer could go shopping afterwards...I can't go in public wearing two different shoes! 

Later we stood back-to-back, linking arms as the warriors took turns praying over each of us. The first member, soft spoken as I struggled to cling to her words, opened my heart up like a machete piercing through a coconut. It was like the Lord had read my mind for the past few days and was talking directly through her. I got it God, I got it. Stop being so concerned about how I look and loosing weight... As much as I wanted to chalk it up to coincidence I knew better so instead I committed to opening my heart as the women went past, praising God for their compassion, prayers, and for His never-ending grace. Moments of quiet went by as the next prayer warrior approached. Immediately she grabbed my hand, laughed and whispered "I know you're crying right now, but I really feel there is an anointing. God really does have a sense of humor (girllll you ain't gotta tell ME!) and I just spilled anointing oil on the ground by your feet..." as she began to pray for the full armor of God, in particular, my tootsies both physically and spiritually so that I may stand tall. I felt a calmness rise within me as energy rushed through to my toes, tucking back my shoulders I stood with a grounded stance as if I were in yoga.  As we wrapped the prayer meeting up I felt lighter, closer to God and motivated to continue on strengthening my relationship with him, taking much needed time to put my wordly obsessions of work and physical appearance aside to simply spend time reveling at HIS feet in praise. But I did still ask if I had mascara smeared all over my face. Our team leader Bob gave us some notes and suggestions for the trip requesting that when we feel like we don't want to read the bible or pray is when we actually need it most. I took the sentiment to heart adding it to my iPhone notes and divvied out my hugs, hitting up TJMAXX for some late-night retail therapy. Turns out no one really notices that you're wearing two different shoes when in public. Or, at least no one says anything.

This morning as the inevitable tugs to immediately sit down at my computer to edit/email/blog/answer to Facebook/network battled with the desire to commit serious time at the gym I wanted to just skip my time in the bible. Promise myself to cozy up and read it later...after all I've got more important things to do (ha!). But I heard Bob's reminder and cracked open my blue book to continue with my readings. And wouldn't you know it the yet to be highlighted words of Peter said everything I knew I was meant to acknowledge this morning:

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith." - 1 Peter 5: 7-9.

No less than three times this man mentioned our stance in faith and the Lord, in essence our feet, and it couldn't have been more apparent.  I just need to clear of being distracted by constant busyness and knock out the clutter because He has plenty to say, to guide and to direct, and He's got jokes...I just need to continue to listen  "stand [ing] firm in this grace"...wearing a fabulous pair of shoes as I do it. ;)