I'm so glad I don't live in Macon, GA, where it's already reaching 100 degrees and the humidity hovers near 100%.
This last week has been the absolute best I've had in forever, even though I did spend it in Macon. Macon is a beautiful town, full of lovely Victorian homes, lush landscaping, fun eateries. And home of the kazoo, of all things. But it's horribly hot and humid in early June, which you'd think, having lived in Florida for eleven years and grown up in southern Louisiana, that I'd be accustomed to heat and humidity. And it was really nice and familiar - for about the first 8 minutes.
Macon is also the home of one of my favorite cousins, Mary Elizabeth Meeks - now Spires. I had the extreme pleasure (I do not use extreme lightly) of flying out to Atlanta last week (thank you Aunt Mary Anne!) and helping to set up and decorate for the wedding. Which took place in one of the loveliest old homes I've seen in a while, a 1910 Victorian turned Garden Club headquarters. Exquisite. And not well air conditioned.
Best of all was the opportunity to catch up with family I hadn't seen in eons. I have absolutely wonderful family. My Aunt Mary Anne goes with out saying as the best of the bunch, but I visited (and roomed) with Aunt Resa, my big sister. We were up well past midnight every night, chatting like school girls.
Most of the Percy side of the family came, people I barely remembered from family reunions 20 years ago. I wasn't allowed to say that I was any older than 28 (isn't family wonderful?), but neither did any of them look even close to their ages. Percy women age well.
Now that I'm home I find myself wondering why I can't think as highly of myself as my family does. Why am I not a valuable person? I felt like a princess this weekend, even tho the wedding wasn't mine. I felt loved and appreciated. I allowed myself to feel loved, without rejecting any of it. Then I came home. Honest to Pete, it's not my family here that makes me feel unloved. It's me. Where did the princess go?
So I'm reading this book that Chris picked up for me last week, Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, and I run across a part at the end that helps me to understand where I am, how to feel differently about myself. He's talking about being in a relationship and he doesn't feel loved by the girl, even tho she keeps saying she loves him, telling him how great he is. It was tearing him up that he couldn't feel loved. She finally broke up with him. How sad. Not being able to receive love. He said it didn't feel right, receiving love, like he wasn't being humble. We're supposed to be humble, right?
That's when it clicked. He heard God say, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Here, I'll let him tell it:
(God) was saying that I would never talk to my neighbor the way I talked to myself, and that somehow I had come to believe it was wrong to kick other people around but it was ok to do it to myself. ... I wouldn't receive love because it felt so wrong. It didn't feel humble and I knew I was supposed to be humble. But that was all crap and it didn't make any sense. If it is wrong for me to receive love, then it is also wrong for me to give it because by giving it I am causing somebody else to receive it, which I had pre-supposed was the wrong thing to do.I feel like this! So here I am, learning to be at home, to be content, and now I'm learning to be loved. Isn't that fun?
Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller p. 231
Until I write again ...