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How a "Shoeless" (or Discalced) Carmelite Goes Shoe Shopping

alec vanderboom

Amy asked me to update her on how the "life without my father's credit card" was going. A few years ago, I wrote a post about using my Dad's emergency credit card to go shoe shopping for my kids and then feeling guilty about it. (Amy, you'll have to send me the link sometime). She asked me on Facebook how it was going sans fast.

Well, we have even less discretionary income than back then, so the sort answer is my kids have less shoes. Hannah has two pairs of shoes, two year old brown leather shoes and dress shoes. Believe or not, these "dress" shoes were in the better shape. I'd been stressing about new shoes for Hannah and Tess for a few weeks, then I just gave up. One night before dinner, Hannah showed her Dad a neat trick--her toe could come out of her "good shoe". He decided that she needed new shoes, pronto.

So at 6 PM he sends me and my daughter out to buy shoes at our local Mall. Easy assignment, right? OH MY GOODNESS. My nine year old had suddenly morphed into an opinionated teenager in between shoe shopping trips. She pulled out shoe choices that were so ridiculous I laughed I pulled out cute American Eagle shoes from Payless and she said "those might have been cool back when you were a teenager....". It took two and half hours. We went through all the shoes at 4 stores. (I couldn't even get my kid to buy a cheap pair of flip flops so we could move the agony of shoe shoping online inside our own private living room).

Finally, we found a pair of moccassins at Bon Ton. Hannah said "I love these." I said "it's funny you picked those because the first Native American, Kateri Tekatwithe, is about to become a Saint this Fall. You can wore those shoes and think about her!"

So shoes. I'm a Discalsced Carmelite. I wear flip flops, and old black Tevas most days. These are my "rope sandals." My four girls are never going to have many pairs of shoes in their closet. since every pair directly comes out of the family's grocery money. In addition, I hate shopping in general and shoe shopping is the worse. But sometimes, after much pain and agony, a new Saint will unexpectedly bring a truce to the Mother/Daughter shoe wars. For that I'm profoundly grateful to be poor and extra beloved as a Child of God.
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