Sunday, February 19, 2012


Our family has issues.

The main issue lately has involved some SERIOUS SHOE DRAMA!  To begin: our entryway to exit/enter our humble abode measures about four feet by four feet.  Add into this equation a couple of stairs, a jam-packed coat rack and another set of hooks sporting a mound of winter hats and the end result when it’s time to get everyone bundled up is nothing short of CHAOS!  In fact, in those moments when shoes, hats and coats are flying through the air as seven people squeeze into a 4x4 foot area, fighting for their rightful coats and even their lives, it resembles that little clown car from the circus.  

Our back door may as well be the door on a tiny circus-bug as little red-nosed, little-feeted people pile out, most of them wearing the correct set of hats, mittens and coats...but not always.  In fact, one Sunday morning, we (being the organized parents we are) didn’t notice that one of our children had made it all the way to church before we realized they weren’t wearing ANY shoes!  Another Sunday morning I noticed (once again, AT church and not before) that one of our daughters was actually wearing her BROTHER’S shoes!  I won’t name the offending party that readied them that morning but I will note it wasn’t me and it was one of their parents...but I don’t want to name names of course.

Naturally, I was just relieved she actually had shoes ON after the last escapade of our little shoeless-Joe.  All this to say (yes, I do have a point here!) the other day when I was in Target I noticed a lovely little bench with ample storage space underneath.  My first thought was: “Shoe SALVATION!!”  I just imagined how perfect this bench would fit by our entryway and how much more SANE our Sunday mornings could be.  Heck, make that ANY time we try to leave the house with all the children!  If we had a nice, organized little area for the kids to sit and get their own shoes on, they would then all line up (at least in the dream-world of my mind, think “Sound of Music” style!) by the back door and we would gracefully exit, hop into our car and have world peace once again.

After thinking, “Shoe salvation!!” and hearing the trumpets of heaven play...the trumpets suddenly ran out of batteries as I looked at the price-tag and felt my shoulders slump.  The Cole family budget pretty much runs like this: if it aint food to survive and it aint something to contain poop (ie, diapers) or to clean up poop (ie, wipes, sanitizer, toilet paper and laundry detergent), then it’s a want, not a need, and we don’t get it...add it to the Christmas List, baby!

So I said a little prayer that in the sweet by and by, we would be able to afford it and then I zoomed my cart past the “shoe salvation bench” and on to the diapers/wipes aisle!

I should note here for the most part I don’t mind these little sacrifices (though sometimes I do pout, I totally admit!!) we have to make to have both a big family and do life on one income.  Who could ever put a price tag of value on a precious child?  Would I ever trade the joy of watching my little EvaLee spin and dance throughout our home in her “Ms. Pretty” ballerina skirt for a brand new SUV?  How could one compare the privilege of snuggling in with my boys to read another super-hero book for a brand new living room set (free of kid-stains, of course!)?!  Although material possessions are both needed at times and just a lot of fun to have other times, if they ever become more important than the things that really matter, we better get our head screwed on straight.

So, although a lovely shoe bench would be nice to the end, it’s just a material possession and I’d much rather have the privilege of buying more diapers for all those cute little bottoms we’ve been blessed with!

What I love about God is when we keep our priorities straight (or at least try to!) and take our needs and even our wants to Him, He’s got our backs...and He loves to surprise us with the ways He will care for us!  Little did I know I was about to get a God surprise via the U S Postal service!

The very next day, I leafed through the stack of mail that had just arrived and tilted my head to see a personalized envelope addressed to me from a friend I hadn’t seen in a long, what’s this?  It’s not even my birthday!  When I opened the card, my eyes widened to see a gift-card to Target that would more than cover the cost of the bench I had been dreaming of!  Her simple note said, “God put it on my heart to do this...”, so she did and it just blew me away!

More exciting to me than the gift-card or even the possibility of buying a shoe-bench that could bring sanity to our clown-car-Sunday-mornings was the great, God-loving friends I have been blessed with in my life and the way God totally surprises me by showing he really cares about the LITTLE things!  
The new shoe bench, we love it!!
To be honest, the prayer I prayed in Target that day was pretty lame...I can’t say I REALLY believed God would put the universe-running on hold to coordinate events that would culminate into the answer to my tiny prayer for a WANT (geez, at least I should be praying for a need or world peace or something more spiritual, right?!)...but, He did.  He did something I doubt I deserved in a way I didn’t expect and once again, He shows me his crazy, unexpected love for us!  

He showed me He does more than provide salvation for our souls (as if that alone weren’t MORE than enough!!), sometimes, he provides shoe-salvation for a Momma’s sanity too!


Carrie said...

um...with that many toes I would say a shoe bench is very close to world peace ;) <3 this post! God is good to us in the little things!!!! I say that all the time about my duplex!

Tara Cole said...

Oh, so agreed: at least there will be peace in our little world (: I am always amazed at the things God cares about too! That's awesome that He has blessed you guys were you are at too in your home and fam!

Zazzy Episodes said...

What a great story!

Tara Cole said...

Thank you, Rachel!