It’s my birthday.
I don’t say that to garner well wishes or point a spotlight of attention on me. I don’t like being the focal point of anything.
I’m old enough to know better and young enough not to need three fingers to say how old I really am.
I love celebrating other people. I enjoy making a fuss over others as they turn another year older. But somewhere back when, I determined I didn’t want that for me anymore.
Hang the fuss and celebration.
But I have four amazing women in my life right now, gals I get to work with this year, who thought differently.
We’d finished our staff meeting Wednesday afternoon, and I’d planned on going for coffee with Allie, one of my coworkers. As we walked outside, these four lovely ladies were standing to the side, grinning as if they’d swallowed the Cheshire Cat.
Holding a birthday crown and sash.
This was the very definition of fuss.
I put on my sash and crown–made for the head of a six-year-old, not someone who has an oversized noggin like mine–and they drove me to the cutest little tea shop I’ve seen in central Florida.
For a very lady-like celebration.
It was a lovely place, owned and run by a young gal, Micah, and her mother-in-law. Women who loved people and wanted to make customers feel special through what was served and how it was presented.
And the fuss got fussier. Three different kinds of tea, butter cake, cobblers–the food was amazing.
It didn’t stop there.
Each of the four then shared what they appreciated about me.
This was the fuss hitting the fan. Fuss upon fuss.
I felt so loved.
And so ill-equipped to receive their kindness well.
Somewhere in the course of my story, I developed a habit of not gratefully accepting compliments. Folks would say something really encouraging, very kind, and the first words out of my mouth would typically be, “Yes, but…” I saw what I could have done better, how I could have improved on what I’d attempted.
I tend to shoot for perfect. Ha.
It’s not hard being self-critical. I know when I can do better. My expectations of myself are high.
Carry that to its natural conclusion and my expectations of others are also high. That self-critical pointer finger turns towards others.
That kind of attitude can keep me from valuing others as I should, from recognizing the worth of others.
Made in God’s image, we’re all packaged differently. With particular giftings, talents, personalities and stories that make each of us unique. There’s no one else in the world exactly like us.
God calls it fearfully and wonderfully made. He celebrates who we are. Not because of what we do for Him.
If I’m willing to see the value in others, I may get to the point of recognizing the value in me.
Ames, Kar, KaterB and Chels–thank you for the incredible gift of appreciation and love. It meant more than you know.
Let the fuss and party begin.
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