Already Part of the "In Crowd" {Accepted in the Beloved}

I knew a woman who was part of our church years ago (she has been gone for many years now) who used to tell me...all the time..."I don't have any friends in this church."

But what she was really saying was, "I don't consider myself close to certain, specific women."

And what she really meant, truthfully, was, "I want to be on what I consider to be the inside track. I think the pastor's wife needs to make me her BFF."

(she later admitted to this, that is how I know...)

Meanwhile, I knew of at least two other women in our church that had reached out to her, who were quite available for her, who cared a lot about her. This woman's blatant disregard for her friendships made me angry. I asked her, point blank, "Who is __(name)___________ , then, chopped liver??!"

I had a way with words, in those days.

Today, more than a decade later, I might be a little more gentle. I said might.

Because I see today, more clearly than I saw back then, that everyone...everyone...wants to be beloved. They want to be special to someone who they consider special.

Today, I would be gentle...but not permissive. I still do not respect a woman who does not treasure her own beautiful life...her own friends...her own husband...her own children....her own home (whatever its size or and making the best of four walls makes every home a beautiful place)...

...I do not get along for very long with women who devalue what they have been given, because what they have been given is not what they want. They want what someone else has...maybe what I have, maybe someone else and what they have...someone else's success, their gifts and talents, their friendships, their whatever.

Celebrate who you are!

Never let who you are not, cancel out the beauty of who you are!

Your friends are the most lovely, your life is the most blessed, your children the most special of all, your home is the sweetest, your work the most meaningful, your church the most precious.

And when your child is a dedicated prodigal, your job stressful, your marriage lacking passion, your friendships not "meeting your needs"....

...that is when it is urgent that you begin to see your own life and your own dear ones as infinitely more beautiful than anyone else's.

If you do not consider your own friends to be the very best ones you could ever have, the most lovely, perfect women in the world... if you don't see your husband as the most attractive, your children as the most amazing, your grandchildren as the most beautiful...your mother as the greatest, your father as the most strong and wise...your sister as the most fabulous...

...maybe that's because you don't
treatany of your beloveds that way. Maybe they are not worth the effort in your estimation?

Or maybe they don't treat you with celebrity status, so you treat them likewise.

How lacking in grace and creativity. I am sad for you. Only because I see the same tendencies in me, and I sadden my own selfish-self.

I have come to the conclusion that I want to be the first one to celebrate you. Or I want to be the only one of the two of us who celebrates anything...that is okay by me.

I don't always celebrate first (or even at all) but at least I know for sure I would rather beat you to it. I will smoke you, in fact, if you give me half a chance.

Do you see? It's all in how you choose to see and celebrate your one, gorgeous life, and all who are part of it.

You don't have to be accepted into the inner circle of "those" certain women. You don't have to be one of their "beloveds" to BE beloved...the King is your Friend. God has accepted you into His heart...His inner circle...through Christ. He will relate to you as warmly and intimately and affirmingly as you believe Him to be towards you.

He sets your boundaries...those lines have fallen to you in pleasant places, the Bible says. If you cannot see the beauty of your very own life, it is your thinking towards it that is your problem. You don't need someone else's gift, personality, friends, money, or lifestyle.

You need to treasure what you have already been given.

Celebrating who you are frees you to do the same for others. You become free (truly) to celebrate who they are, without hoping they crown you their "BFF" in exchange for the favor. are doing unto others the way you wish they'd do unto you.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Grace and Peace,
Sheila Atchley
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