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Let me tell you about my boots.

These are not *just* boots, they are my prize boots – a boot above all boots. I’m talking real deal, I-saved-up-for-these boots, good leather boots, solid wood wedge-heel boots, fur and straps boots, style AND comfort boots.

Deez boots.

I purchased them as a present to myself on my 30th birthday. It was a good, good birthday. I was fit and healthy, flourishing in my career, completely and wildly in love and solid in my faith. It was like that. And the boots were like that, too. BOOM.

When I put these boots on, my posture changes. I stand tall and my stride is sure. If it helps, they are made by Jennifer Lopez. Now you get it.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way about a pair of shoes. Don’t deny it.

If you are reading this and you are of the male species, you need to know about these types of purchases. They are for reals – and it would greatly benefit you to understand this, if not get entirely on board with this. I will now say “you’re welcome” for your future gratitude.

Back to the boots…I get compliments on them wherever I go, people are constantly asking where I got them and they wear well through winter, spring, summer and fall. I declare these boots a treasure. And I’m pretty sure Wonder Woman feels the exact same way about her knee-high, red, patent-leather, kick-a$$ boots.

A few weeks ago I turned 39 and I pulled out my treasured boots. A smile of content consumed my face. Over the years I have taken the time to regularly polish, repair and brush them. I stand them upright in my closet. I have even taken them to the boot doctor a few times. A little bit of nurture and a commitment to protecting my treasure – and here we are nine years later still loving the heck out of one another.

Yes, it’s a mutual relationship: Me – I take good care of them – staying on the lookout for scuffs, scratches and dry spots and tending to their needs; They – bring me delight, bolster my posture, inspire steps of confidence and express my style perfectly.

We are a good team. Nine years later and we are still going strong.

I remember when I discovered that I, too, was a treasure. It was shortly before purchasing these boots.

I began to see my body as a treasure. Healthy became a verb – from the foods I ate to the exercise that strengthened me, I began actively living a lifestyle that reflected my beliefs.

Marriage, to me, had also become a treasure. I wanted to meet someone who I loved enough to never feel the desire to talk about in a salon break room.  I raised my standards across the board; identifying and declaring what I value and began actively engaging in a lifestyle that reflected these beliefs.

These things that I treasure, I have learned to keep highly esteemed, protected, guarded and regularly cleaned. I polish them and keep them well maintained.

We either learn how to treasure something by practicing value from the get go – or by experiencing the deep pain that accompanys its brokeness. How we learn is up to us.

I had once “played house” with a man and a baby – but I never treasured marriage. It was, at times, a lonely and painful experience, but what grew out of that pain was a redeemed value of love and marriage.

Health had been taken for granted in my house; a lot of talk but not a lot of committment. It wasn’t until after a victorious battle with cancer that we, as a family, declared health as a treasure and began living a disciplined lifestyle that reflected our beliefs.

Too many times we say what we believe, but we live what we treasure.

Husbands stuck in pornography are not men who do not love their wives, they have just not yet learned how to live out treasuring their marriage.

Women who gossip about other women are not wicked, they have just not yet learned how to live out treasuring their friendships.

Corrie tenBoom talks about “learning to live in the light” with one another. It’s a process – a practice that must be learned. Living in the light is simply bringing hidden feelings/actions/behaviors to the surface, working through them together, and moving into greater unity!

This is what brings about quality – in relationships, in marriage, in community – taking the time to understand one another and express ourselves to one another in order to grow deeper in love, deeper in intimacy and stronger in unity.

Boots may not be your treasure, but maybe you are a runner, so sneakers are. If  you are in missions, maybe your travel gear is; or perhaps you lead corporations in the city and a quality handbag is your thing.

Porn is cheap, gossip is cheap, and talking about what you value is cheap – but love, friendship and living in unity is high quality living.

When it comes to living life to the fullest – and when it comes to shoes – when we choose quality ingredients, quality materials and quality people – we are choosing to live intentionally. This is where we discover a life brimming with treasure.

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