Accepting Love & Anne of Green Gables

I’m an avid pursuer of themes in my life. Maybe it’s the counselor in me, or maybe it comes with my love for reading. Themes can clarify perspective. In the last five days, the theme that’s been evident in my life has been to “accept love.”

To further explain, I may need to take a step back and let you into my recent world. This fall, I’ve been hiding out in Green Gables with a character I loved and admired as a child. Anne Shirley from L. M. Montgomery’s book Anne of Green Gables was always the person I wanted to be.

It would take me too long to explain the depth of this, but here is one quote from the book that captures the essence of my longing to be like her. 

“Her mirror never revealed to her the exclusive, ever-varying play of feeling that came and went over her features like a rosy illuminating flame, or the charm of dream and laughter alternating in her big eyes.”

Anne’s physical appearance was always the second thing people noticed. Who she was on the inside was stronger than any physical attribute. As I’ve spent this fall with my nose in those books, my mind continued to wander to the type of person I want to be.

Although, I’ll still fantasize about being a sassy redhead with a big imagination and an even bigger personality wandering down Lower’s Lane in Avonlea in the fall (yes, that specific) I know God’s placed me in Fort Wayne, IN to be exactly who He calls me to be.

So five days ago, I had a wonderful Friday. I got the house cleaned (it’s already dirty by the way), went out to eat with my sweet family, went to Friday Night Church, and then stayed for a concert at The Perk. Coffee House. As I sat listening to the music with my toddlers snuggling around me, I thought this has been a wonderful day.

Then one of the Coffee Team Leaders at The Perk asked me “to talk.” Ugh. Don’t get me wrong, I love to talk to people, I really do, but the disclaimer of “we need to talk” never sounds like something fun is coming. She even asked me if we could go upstairs. Oh, great, this is going to be really bad.

We climbed the stairs (which is no easy feat at 7 months pregnant) and she looked over at me with a smile as I saw the party. There at the top of the stairs was a shower set up for my little one and me.

Can I be honest? My first thought was, “They shouldn’t have done this. These people give so much to me already and here they are showering me with gifts and food.”

Seriously, these people give and they give and they give. They’ve teamed up with me to make The Perk ministry a reality and I feel ever so indebted to them. And here they are giving even more. Tears fill my eyes as I think about it.

In that very moment, I felt something inside of me say, “accept love.” That night I allowed their love to come in close.

A couple days later on Sunday night, the flu hit me hard. Pregnant is enough for my body, but this really knocked me out. My dear friend and babysitter came over and I unlocked the door in all my ugliness. She gathered up my boys and took them out for the day so I could sleep. I felt horrible having her risk my germ-infested house to get them.

Later that day, she brought the boys home and they ran to the side of my bed with flowers and a balloon that said, “Get well soon.”

First thought? “Kendall, are you kidding me? You should not have done that. You saved my day, I should be buying you flowers.”

Side note, Bowen, my son, took full credit and loudly stated, “That was so very nice of me” after handing over the flowers.

That theme came up again in my mind again, “accept love.”

I’m not sure why accepting love can be so hard. But that’s the kind of person I want to be. I want to be a person that can accept love well. I don’t want my pride to get in the way. I don’t want people to have to work hard to show me love.

Not everyone shares his or her love in the same way. My husband shows me love by taking care of the little details that always slip my mind. My older brother shows love by teasing me ruthlessly. My two-year-old shows love by giving me imaginary ice cream with the rest of his baseball team. My friend shows me love by asking me how I’m doing and not letting me gloss it over with a simple answer.

If I’m known for anything, I hope it will be as a person who loved and accepted love well. Isn’t that part of our agreement with God, not first that we love him but that we accept His love? Can we love without first accepting love? There is an obvious verse that might come to mind for this thought. I’d like to share a different one…

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12

God’s love is made complete in us. That’s more majestic than any dream Miss Anne Shirley ever dreamed up. His love. Made Complete. In us.

What about you? Do you accept love easily or is it hard? Does it make you a little squeamish when someone tries to show love to you?

And for my Anne of Green Gables fans, here’s another quote I loved from the books.

“I’ve loved you since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.” -Gilbert Blythe

I’m thankful God blessed me with a man that loves my crazy side just like Gilbert loved Anne’s.

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