So I’ve been trying not to write lately. And I’ve been pretty good at it! It’s been two months since my last post. Sometimes to be successful, you just need to change your goals, right?
Since I have a houseful of kids, a long list of daily chores, plus homeschool for Sky and Micah, I figure it’s best to be “all in” with the kids when it comes to my focus. I decided to say no to all the extras this year. I’m not in a formal Bible study and I’m not in MOPS. I rarely spend time writing anything more than our grocery list. I’ve been on a break from volunteering at the Women’s Pregnancy Center since before Isaac’s birth and I’m not sure when I’ll get to go back. I really, really miss it. I miss all of those things. But I’m okay to let them go for a little while. It’s just been such a relief to start most days with a blank square on the calendar. We still have a lot to do, but we have all day to get it done.
There are some nice perks that go with a simple calendar. Less hair washing. Less clothing-related stress. Less clock-watching and more hours with the kids in the yard. It also means more barefoot time.
Which brings me to something I’ve thought a lot about lately: feet.
Are you still reading?
I’ve always had old lady feet. Even as a teenager, my feet hurt. Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of different shoes and inserts. Sometimes they helped a little, but I always had pain. It got so bad during my pregnancy last year my doctor wanted to do steroid injections, but said we had to wait until after I had the baby.
Then I stumbled across a beautiful little blog called Katy Says. (Warning: if you click the link you just might lose the next few hours.) Katy Bowman is a biomechanist who runs an alignment center and writes about the mechanical causes of disease and chronic pain. And she says the very best thing a woman can do for her feet is to go barefoot as much as possible. Did you know there are twenty-six bones and thirty-three joints in each foot along with loads of small muscles? Apparently, constantly wearing stiff shoes is like putting casts on your feet—they cause all those tiny muscles to atrophy.
I have been told repeatedly to never, ever go barefoot, even in my own house, but I decided to give it a try, and to also work through Katy’s alignment exercises and stretches. And guess what. My feet feel amazing! I can’t get over it. I mean, really. All I have to do to fix twenty years of foot pain is take off my shoes? I’m sure the alignment stuff has helped too (always point your toes straight ahead like wheels on a car), but mostly I think going barefoot has made the biggest difference. It’s now my mission to keep my kids’ feet bare as much as possible. Another point for homeschooling!
Of course, we need to wear shoes sometimes in our modern world and I’m sure not every foot problem is so easily solved. But now that I think about it, it makes sense my feet work best the way God made them, plain and bare. It makes me wonder if there are other areas of my life I’m over-complicating. Lately more than ever, I appreciate simplicity.
A month ago the kids and I were taking a break on the living room floor (barefoot, of course!), when Isaac shuffled his hands and knees forward and officially started crawling. It felt like a gift that Isaac would start crawling at just six months old, earlier than our other three babies—God’s reassurance once again that Isaac’s different hand won’t necessarily hold him back. And once Isaac figured out crawling, there was no stopping him! We spent a long time there on the floor that afternoon with Isaac, cheering him on and taking videos. There was nowhere else we needed to be.