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Painted Toes - Warrior Mom Wisdom - Week of December 4

Warrior Mom Wisdom Devotional

“I would advise you to take that bright red nail polish off before you leave for Boot Camp,” my Air Force recruiting Technical Sergeant said as he pointed down to the signature line of the four-year enlistment contract.  “What?” I replied as I signed my name like a famous person (sloppy and with purpose) “Why take my nail polish off my toes, who’s goanna see them?” 

“Well, your female dorm sergeant will see them, along with 100 other young ladies, all of whom will be sharing close quarters with you in the barracks.  I’m just telling you that for the same reason that most smart boys and men cut their hair pretty short before they leave for boot camp.  They don’t want to arrive with hair down to their shoulders because they will stick out like sore thumbs, and that will give their sergeant all the more reason to pick on them.  It’s the same concept:  if you show up with bright red toe nail polish they will probably call you ‘Barbie’ for your entire boot camp experience.” 

I briefly wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into! But, I had already signed my name, sloppy and with purpose; I was going.

I had a while before I was going to leave for the four-year career that would pay for my college education one day, so I left the toenail polish on.  I did, however, take the nail polish off the night before I was to leave boot camp, i.e., for SeaTac Airport in Seattle, Washington.  I was appalled at the looks of my toes without their décor, but I figured I could handle it for a while.  Does that sound superficial or just plain silly?  Well, it’s both really, and it was just the beginning for me, of accepting that things were not going to remain the same.  My lavender lace bed in my grandparents’ house (I lived with them from the age of 14 until I turned 18 and left) would soon be just a memory. The comfortable things of my present world were going away - much further away than I was going.  I was leaving for Texas, the Air Force, and my new life.  I was joining the military in order to escape and pay for college.   

That was a long time ago! I was 18 then. Now, I’m 27! I will turn 28-years-old, ten days before I graduate from Georgia State University.  But, just like Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin had to learn to deal without many of the comfortable cares that she was used to (such as condos), I have since learned that “painted toes” were simply just the beginning of giving up my comfort zones in order to get closer to God’s throne.  Oh sure, God knows that even though I want to be a brave soldier down here, I’m still a Private Benjamin inside.  I still want painted toes and pantyhose and heels and nice dresses, but sometimes God must draw the line and point to it with His index finger and say, “I would advise you to take off that nail polish before you leave for battle. You may want to change your focus from your painted toes to preparation.  This next assignment isn’t about how you look or how comfortable you are.  You need to be more equipped, more protected and more heeding to My voice.  You can’t carry around your own wants and desires.  You need your weapons: your belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, because when I say, ‘ready, aim, fire!’  – It’s the real thing.”


Painted toes are nice aren’t they
So nice and shiny
But are painted toes only on women
Who are extremely whiney
Well I’m one of them so I will
It’s just that without it
One’s feet just look a mess
I like to look neat well kept
And in order
So when my Sergeant says Is your chute ready
I feel like saying Sorta
And when I say my sergeant I mean
The demands of the day
Because don’t you feel like sometimes
If the day was a sergeant this is what he’d say
All right let’s go we don’t have time to waste
What do you think this is
A resort vacation place
Get up let’s go up-up and out
Are you moving Private
Or do I need to shout
Tackle the hill climb the bunker
And you better scale that wall
But don’t worry there’s mud below
To impact your fall
I tell ya the day can be mean as
A bear
And I feel like whining like Private Benjamin
And saying
This isn’t fair
But are we really talking
Just about painted toes
No no I don’t think so
We’re discussing comfort zones
Try it one day
Just relinquish some décor
And you’ll find your comfort zone
Is found within the Lord

Warrior Moms, may you find your comfort in God and God alone.


For just as the suffering of Christ flows over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
2 Corinthians 1:5

Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.

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