I finally decided to through away my raggedy, old TOMS shoes. I didn’t realize a pair of shoes could have so much meaning. But these old shoes sure do.

My old TOMS shoes have empowered me become someone, have carried me unique, world-changing places and have served me in one specific way best. But most importantly, they are evidence of one fact relevant to all of us. Let’s find out how…

Who I’ve Become in These Old TOMS Shoes

These old TOMS shoes have supported me as I became a mother. They carried me light. They’ve carried me heavy. Three times they cushioned my feet with the weight of both mama and baby. That in itself is a huge feat, holding my body upright as my form changed over the years from wild and young, to the mama I am today.

These TOMS shoes have supported me as I became an advocate. They were one of my first introductions to ethical clothing brands. Thanks TOMS! There was always a lot of debate started by TOMS, as they changed the donor model with their “One-To-One” concept. Some advocates thought giving the shoes was hurting the growing economy in the developing world. Some viewed their short-term solution as having greater value. Others saw value in marketing to rich, giving them an avenue to do good in their everyday purchasing, guiding them down the path to caring deeper. Regardless of what TOMS shoes (and the market they represent), they’ve done a good job helping myself and others think about what helping looks like when it isn’t hurting.

Where These Old TOMS Shoes Have Been

These shoes have brought me to a lot of unique places or into cool connections with people. In fact, many of these changed the world in little ways. Here are a few places these shoes have carried me:

These shoes have carried me to nonprofit start-up meetings.

They’ve walked with me into schools, delivering weekend packs of meals to kids in need.

They’ve been with me in church staff meetings, small groups and mentorship circles.

They’ve dropped off furniture and clothing at the homes of families of refugees and immigrants.

They’ve sat at the table of friends as we’ve prayed and cried.

They’ve traveled all around D.C. and San Diego, exploring with kids in tow. 

They’ve been my shoes at a protest.

They’ve been my shoes in a little black dress for Blackout Trafficking for nine years.

They’ve been my shoes as I’ve picked apples and lemons. 

They’ve gone with me on road trips around the country, doing acts of kindness.

They’ve even respectfully stayed off my feet as I walked in the rain for TOMS One Day Without Shoes.

How These Old Shoes Have Served Me Best

But honestly, these shoes have served best simply by being ready.

For they mostly sat in my closet as I did my most important jobs of all: taking care of my home, teaching my kids, processing in my journal with God, resting on the green couch with a good book, and sleeping cuddled with my husband in bed.

Sometimes being present is the best way for an item (like shoes) or a person (like me) to change the world.

These Old TOMS Shoes Are Evidence

If there are anything these falling apart shoes can teach us, it is that everyday day people can change the world. I haven’t done anything any special, or at least, nothing more meaningful than any of you could do. Let my shoes remind you that as long as you rise up to make a difference in little ways, you will change the world.

These shoes have been there for me a lot. Now it’s time for me to move on to a new pair. Who can say where those ones will carry me?

Tell me in the comments one place your shoes have taken you this week!

Learn more about TOMS brand here.

You can also buy a pair of men or women’s TOMS shoes here at amazon.com (where I am am an affiliate and could make a couple cents on your purchase)

Ready for action in another item? Although your item can definitely be a pair of black TOMS shoes! I invite you to join us for Blackout Trafficking in March, wearing one item, for one month, for one cause! Register here.