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Big Shoes to Fill…Part 2

I felt it only appropriate to pull out this post from August 2014. Ms. Dot finished her race well, leaving a legacy behind her that we all can aspire to. So happy to have known her, so proud of the grace which flowed through her husband of 61 years yesterday at her funeral, and her daughter who has cared for her these last many months. I hope Ms. Dot knows what a profound effect her life has had on me and countless others. I hope you enjoy once again…

The text I received went something like this, “Hey I’m cleaning out my mom’s shoe closet and I was wondering if you knew of any ladies who might wear a 9 or 9 ½.” What I heard was, “Is there a lady you know who could possibly have a foot this large?” I contemplated for a moment wondering, “Do I tell her I wear that size? Will she think of me as freakishly huge? I’m 5’10” for heaven’s sake a size 6 would look strange on me. But still it’s never fun to whisper in the middle of Macy’s—could I just try a 10 in this boot? These must run small.” But my mind goes back to the text, there might possibly be really cute shoes at stake here. So I swallow my pride and reply, “YES! I wear that size.”

As I drove to her house later that day, I began to contemplate these shoes. You see, these were not just anybody’s shoes. They belonged to a woman who in 1958 boarded a cargo ship (A CARGO SHIP!!!) with her husband, said good-bye to her family, her home, and her life, and devoted the next forty years to loving, reaching, teaching, and mentoring the wonderful people of Africa. She sometimes lived in conditions too painful for us to imagine. She was pressured to put her children in boarding school hundreds of miles away. She lived a selfless life, totally and completely counter-cultural to what women are taught today. She did it all because God asked her to and she was obedient. She chose things like staying in her marriage and not ever considering divorce an option even when things got hard, and all marriages at one time or another get hard. She chose things like sacrificial service instead of promoting herself. Today she is reaping the benefits of her Godly choices.

At 87 years old, her body is reacting naturally to nearly nine decades on this earth, but her mind is intact, her marriage is happy and intact, she has a beautiful home, two children who adore her, love her, and both serve the Lord, and an army of people who seek her out for wisdom, great stories, and genuine love. Her obedience, although hard at times, has brought great blessing into her life. Her selfless love has transformed countless individuals and families not only here in America, but in Africa too through a ripple effect still going on as I write.

As I had these thoughts on the way to my friend’s house, I was getting the privilege of filling these very large shoes both figuratively and literally! To be honest I didn’t have my hopes up really high that I would walk away with any chic or trendy styles. But when I saw the Steve Madden and Sam & Libby labels I knew I had hit the jackpot, so I took four pair of the coolest shoes from this 87-year-old shoe connoisseur.

When I got home I pulled the shoes out and have them sitting in my closet. I have yet to put them on, as I feel a certain gravity about them. Call me dramatic or say I’m over-thinking but when I look at these shoes I can’t help but hope that I too can live selflessly. I pray that I may walk out my days in service to others, that I may see my boys love and serve the Lord deep into an old age. That my marriage will remain blessed and intact because of Godly choices I make, and that I may never hesitate to be obedient even when obedience is hard. This is a prayer I pray for all of us. May we strive to fill the shoes of the giants of faith who have walked before us and may we forever endeavor to fill the shoes of greatness like my 87-yr-old shoe fashionista friend, Dot Webb.

You can get the full story of Dot’s memoirs by going to Amazon.com and typing in, “A Harvest of Joy” authored by her daughter, Tammy Webb-Witholt. You will be glad you got this book and learned from this incredible woman!

Who are your people?

My husband and I just drove in late last night from Louisville, KY. The National Right to Life Convention is going on right now so we went (just 2.5 hours from Nashville) to meet some of my pro-life friends for dinner. We met at 6:00 and so I figured my husband and I would be back on the road headed home around 8:30. Well…after meeting in the hotel lobby, talking, then configuring vehicles, talking, driving to the restaurant, talking, waiting on our reservations, then sitting at a round table for 12 and talking, we did not get back on the road to head home until 11:00. I tell you all of this not to complain but because today although I am really tired, I am still on a kind of “high” because the night and the dinner were so enjoyable. Some of these folks I haven’t seen in years so that was nice to get caught up, but the real reason behind the joy of the dinner is because all 12 of us were completely like-minded. There was one topic at the table and that topic was abortion. These people included the ex-president of the NRLC and her husband, political activists, abortion counselors, abortion recovery leaders, etc. These were my people! We talked about everything under the sun regarding healing, condemnation, the state of mind of men and women suffering after abortion, the role of the church, the forward momentum of the pro-life movement, politics, etc. It was some of the greatest conversation I have had in many years. I could have stayed another four hours and talked with these people as they were interested in what I had to say as much as my interest in what they had to say. I left there “full” not just on a delicious dinner but saturated in love and support and the knowledge of being reminded how not alone I am in this fight. I wanted to share my evening with you to remind all of you of a very important factor. Although it is vital to be around others who we can influence, bring to Christ, change opinions regarding life, it is just as important to be around those who are like-minded at times. We need encouragement, we need to be reminded of the vast resources we have at our fingertips in this movement. With so much spiritual warfare surrounding this subject sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves and just remove ourselves from the battle at times to get filled back up. I need this, you need this. It’s okay to just rest at times so you can recharge your batteries and keep going. So I encourage you today to find “your people”. Get with them, vent to them, talk with them about your vision, your focus, your needs, your wants, and your prayers about your ministry. If you are currently teaching SaveOne or are interested in knowing more about how to teach SaveOne at your church or pregnancy center, then we are here for you. We want to encourage you. We want to know how to pray for you. We want to help you every step of the way to be as successful as possible because together we are so much more powerful than each of us on an island by ourselves doing our own thing. Please write info@saveone.org and let us know you saw this blog post and we’ll get you hooked up immediately. Don’t put this off. We all need friends, and especially with this subject, we need each other! Love you all to pieces and hope you have a happy Fourth of July here in America! And for those of you outside America will you please say a prayer for our country to return to the One who can set us back on the right path? Blessings to you!