Also for the past three years, I've connected my one word with a pair of shoes. Every Christmas, it is a tradition that I receive a new pair of Chuck Taylors. I use these shoes as a reminder of my one word. Every time I wear these shoes (so, everyday), I am reminded of the word I chose. In the past, I've had:
Cranberry shoes for Patience
Red shoes for Trust
Purple shoes for Breathe
Unfortunately, my word for 2014, Breathe, was not a very big success.
I'm going to be honest with you, there weren't too many moments in 2014 that I would count as a success. It's been a really tough year.
Early in the year, my cat, that I had for 18 years, died.
I was in the mechanic to repair something on my car every month of the year. It cost me a TON of money. I'm talking, I completely emptied my bank account, including the savings, I borrowed over $1,000 from my mom (which I haven't been able to pay back), and I took out and completely maxed out a credit card from my bank.
I worked as many hours as I possibly could (usually more than 50 hours a week) and I still couldn't make ends meet to pay off credit card debt, pay back my family, pay all my bills, and still get everyday expenses in check. This, sadly, resulted in cancelled sponsorships, to to try to get a little bit more breathing room. Yes, it has helped a little bit, but with the Christmas season upon us, I've been absolutely broke. When most people say they're broke, they don't really mean it. They mean it in a "I can't go out to dinner at that restaurant today because I have to buy this instead" or "I don't really want to go see that movie, so I'm going to say I'm broke."
This year, I have experienced "broke" for real. Moments when I have to pay $10 to put gas in my car so I can get to work, as opposed to buying food. Moments when I use my weekly paycheck to pay bills and the money is completely gone the very same day that I was paid. Moments when I have been in tears, sitting on my couch, praying that my bank account doesn't go into the negative, because the bank charging me a $40 overdraft fee is going to literally ruin the month.
Then, to top it all off, a couple days before Thanksgiving, somebody breaks into my apartment and steals my laptop, the only thing of value that I owned.
It's really been rather hopeless.
So, for 2015, my word needs to be HOPE.
I'm not sure exactly what that is going to entail, but I know that my soul needs hope. I need to know that things get better.
I need to know that fighting the temptation to simply cancel all of my sponsored children was for a reason. I truly believe that I am supposed to put my money into the sponsoring of these children, even in such difficult times.
I need know the hope of a better life, that even if I continue to struggle, that there is a God is loves me very much. That someday, I will get to spend eternity in heaven, where there will be no more fears, no more tears, and no more struggle.
I am going to continue to pray for hope, for God to show me his plan, as he sees fits.
Hope is coming, I can feel it. These shoes are going to walk me into hope: