A message from a shoe

Last Tuesday I was worried about money.

I was standing at the sink, washing the breakfast dishes, and my husband and I were discussing the long list of what it was going to cost us to move from Massachusetts back into our happy home in sunny Tallahassee.

I could feel my body tense up as I considered the month we would be paying both the high-priced rent for the apartment up north and the mortgage on our house in Florida. Hiring helpers to load the moving truck. Transferring car tags. Buying yard tools, finishing up a construction project on the deck, closing off a room.

It felt like it all had to be done right now and time, money, and energy were on the chopping block.

I turned to put a dish I was drying in the cupboard and felt something in my shoe. Not painful, but noticeable. Something was in my shoe, just under the outside edge of my left foot, and I needed to get it out.

I bent down, untied the laces, tipped the shoe over my palm and out fell a penny.

One cent. With Honest Abe’s profile looking knowingly at me from his peripheral.

A happy tingle went down my spine and the phrase, “all is well” resounded loudly in my ears.

I have no idea how that penny ended up in my shoe. I do not think that money is going to start raining down on me from the sky if I just believe in myself enough.

What I do know is that the reminder was timely. Serendipitous. A calm and quiet reminder that there is always a way to make more money or to better manage the money we have.

And that panic is not necessary. In fact, panic will do very little for me when what I really need is to be thoughtful about our money.

Why am I sharing this you? I am not a wealth coach. I have nowhere near the right amount of experience and education to be a financial advisor. I know just enough to put some in savings, avoid debt as much as possible, and be sure to plan for retirement.

I’m sharing this because I get am often asked what I write about in my journal. Or why I think it’s so important to keep one.

It’s because of stuff like this.

These are the moments that I record in my journal. Alongside the notes about what happened on spring break (much less exciting than college and much more family friendly) and my dearest and deepest wishes and dreams, I write about the seemingly coincidental stuff that happens as I march (sometimes stroll) though my days.

Moments of serendipity get me to slow down and think. Whenever that happens, I know that need to stop and write in my journal.

Do I believe a message was sent?

Yes. Yes I do.

I think when we receive such a clear message it’s a sign or a reminder. A validation. Or perhaps even a cautious exhale.

When pen hits the page to record a perfectly timed event that led to an exact desired place, or delivered the message that most needed to be heard, the stage is set for increased self-awareness.

And thus, more serendipitous events.

I don’t know what the outcome will be of each step that I take, but I do know that the more I use my journal as a tool for reflection, the more I notice little miracles happening around me. Like finding a penny in my shoe.

What have you noticed in your life lately? What miracles have crossed your path?

Messages. Lessons. Coincidences that may not be coincidence at all. This is all great content for a personal journal.

When time is taken to fill in the pages, the process is healing and eye-opening for the writer. And possibly a window into the soul for a person loved by the writer to peek into in the future.

That sounds pretty magical to me.

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit saramarchessault.com.


  1. hyper4reading | 20th Apr 16

    I love such magical moments. I am trying to feel that way about the steps towards finding a new job. I am just following the trail of interest and special moments that keep opening up.

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