the joy project november 13Today, you were  playing with your cousin Cha Cha  when Aunt BB stopped by unexpectedly. I was super excited to see her; I always love whenever we get time to visit. I noticed immediately that you began to act in an unkind way to your other cousin. In your own words, you explained that you were already playing with Cha Cha and wanted to play with her alone. You didn't want to share. I explained that this wasn't a nice behavior and I apologized to Aunt BB. I was embarrassed and disappointed that your heart was so selfish at this moment. It didn't take long before all three of you were playing and the conflict was behind us, but I have thought about that afternoon a lot. It really bothered me that you would act so unwelcoming. I never want anyone to feel left out or hurt because of your behavior.

This weekend as I was thinking about that afternoon, I came across a post by Lisa-Jo Baker entitled How To Get Over Cliques and Get Real Community. In her article, Lisa-Jo discusses how as women we often want nothing more than to be needed and invited in by other women. She shares how we often feel left out and not a part of the inner circle.

She shared this quote from C. S. Lewis. “The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it.”

Lisa-Jo continues, “But friend, just blink. Blink and see that it’s a mirage. The illusion that there’s an inner circle we've been left out of; the lie that we've been left out on purpose. We’re built for friendship, yes. We have community in our bones. And when we’re desperate and blinded by the taunting mirage of the inner circle we will end up drinking the sand- angry, gritty, bitter and confused. We can fight to find a way in or we can love on the women where we’re at. We can obsess over who didn't talk to us or we can focus on the woman we’re talking to. We can keep looking for a seat at a more popular table or we can pass the bread basket and an introduction to the women sitting right where we already are. Everyone is on the outside of something. But that is only half the story. We are all on the inside of something often without even realizing it. Do you see? Blink. Do you see them? Your people. Look around. Wipe the mirage out of your eyes. Now, who do you see?”

As I read this, I thought about you, only 5, unknowingly creating  your own “inner circle” of sorts and how damaging these behaviors can be the older we become. I thought about the many times I have felt left out of one “inner circle” or another. And then I realized all the times I have unintentionally left others out as well. Who haven’t I seen?

I really want you and your sister to grow into women that can be confident right where you are. Women, not seeking the inner circle, but loving everyone around them. There wasn't anything wrong with your desire for  one on one time with Cha Cha, but Christ’s desire is for us to love all of those around us, not a select few, at a select time. This is a reminder to me to open my heart to each woman God has placed in my life right now. It is a reminder to me, the next time I feel left out, to stop and see who is already sitting next to me.