On Thursdays, my kids ice skate with their homeschooling group. They skate, while I chit-chat with other moms.
Matthew is skating this year. He’s still learning and moving slow so my olders (as I call my 3 older teens) take turns with him; skating him around the rink and cheering him on.
Last week, I decided to get some exercise and skate with Matt. Years ago, I skated with figure skates but they’re a little tight, narrow and pinching.
Before we left the house, Dave offered his hockey skates. His skates are wider and since his feet are bigger than mine it might make for a smoother, more enjoyable skate.
Not so, my friend.
I should have known the moment my foot slid into that first skate. The sides of the skates pinched against my ankles and there was no wiggle room. My toes were free and clear….plenty of room for them but my ankles and arches seemed to be in some sort of traction.
His skates looked wider but there was no give! The sides of the shoe skate would not budge. At least with my figure skates the leather conformed around my ankle and foot. I could tighten or loosen the laces, fitting them to my foot.
Now with the hockey skates on, I stood up. Wow! The pain just increased. Some arch part of the skate was pushing up through the bottom of my foot. Sam said her hockey skates hurt as well, so this must be how they’re suppose to feel. She went on to inform me, if I skate faster it doesn’t hurt as much. I tried that but after 3 laps I was ready to drop on my knees, crawl right through the traffic jam of 1st graders and huddle with the momma’s chit-chatting on the bench.
What was I thinking???
There are times we contort, manuever and put ourselves into all kinds of awkward, unfamiliar and uncomfortable stances to prove we can skate with the big boys. We squish ourselves into someone else’s skates….walk someone else’s path…and then uncomfortably live in the mold made for another.
It’s frustrating work, being someone we’re not.
We’re all uniquely made. Knit together with our own personalities; our own gifts and shaped by our own experiences.
Jamming ourselves into a mold meant for others brings only pain and frustration.
So how do we fit into our own Cinderella skates?
- Recognize and appreciate your personality.
There are great personality assessments (DISC; Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholy; Strengthsfinders, or Myers Briggs) which can help you discover how you are wired and how you can work within your strengths.
2. Work with your gifts.
Everyone is naturally gifted with skills and talents uniquely made for them. Some work well with math and numbers (NOT ME); others work well with their hands and some are a combination of both. There are many gifts designed by our Creator. We have a unique S.H.A.P.E. (S-Spiritual Gifts H– Heart’s Desire A– Abilities P– Personality E– Experiences) and working with our S.H.A.P.E. will help us fit in our skates properly.
3. Trust His Plan
We are independent people. He wired us with reasoning skills and logic. Sometimes when we can’t reason it all out or make logical sense of the path we see ahead, we sometimes jump ahead or even jump the track. Yet the security and peace we desire will come as we trust The One who laid the track. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
So whether you’re in hockey skates or figure skates….hiking boots or heels…stay on the path He has for you. Love the you He made. And enjoy the journey of finding the fit ordained just for you. (Psalm 139:16)
And tomorrow I’ll skate again…I won’t give up… yet this time it will be with skates that fit me!