A lump had formed in my throat as I looked at the shiny, bright-colored winter boots that my high-school classmates wore. As they moved into adulthood with “average” sizes, I could imagine the fun they had going shopping for cute shoes, having the time of their lives! That could never happen to me. Only combat boots or men’s high-top tennies (not fashionable at the time) had been in stock in my size. Nothing else.

Fortunately, when my big-footed growing spree came to a halt, it reined in at “baby battleship.” In conversion charts, my shoe size translates to size 44 or 273. But I haven’t needed those numbers as I haven’t yet visited those countries.

“Don’t feel bad, Jo!” my good friends had assured me, “John Wayne was taller than you, but had small feet. You might trip more often if you had cheerleader-sized feet.”

But I still pined for having “average” sized feet, hoping I’d get them in Heaven, along with cute shoes. Lately, I have reconsidered, realizing that God does not want us to be average.

What is average anyway? How does the average American family give birth to one and a half children? What about “average intelligence?” Aren’t we glad that standardized test scores are no longer printed in the newspaper along with I.Q.s? For parents wishing for their children to gain entry to fine colleges, “average” is a label that ranks right down there with fungus and black mold.

I considered my sons. Born with complications common in three of every ten sets of identical twins, the “average” outcome would be death of one or both babies. Both thrived and grew to over six feet. They are above-average in sensitivity and thoughtfulness, persistence, love, and achievement of goals.

God did not create us to be average, but amazing! With that in mind, I can now celebrate my big feet and anything else that makes me stand out in a crowd.

So can you! God creates each of us as a truly unique combination of all of our features, talents, abilities, skills, and experiences. Think of a few of the Bible characters that the world might consider average, but how God nudged them into becoming amazing people: (Old Testament) Moses, Esther, Ruth; (New Testament) John the Baptist, and Peter and the apostles.

For none of us is average, but gifted! Have you accepted God’s plans for your extraordinary life?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

That can't last. Listen in on four talks of Jo's to banish those blues:

How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?