Thursday, October 23, 2014

Day Twenty-Three: Sibling Support

I've spent most of today (off and on) texting with my sisters. Technically, WhatsApping with Amanda, but you get the point. They are awesome, and I like them. The truth is that growing up the way we did, we learned early on that the only constants in our lives were each other, and we made our sisterhood count.

I'm the pudgy one up front.

Sure, there were bumps in the road. But, you know, we never fought. We never engaged in petty rivalry. We never stole each other's books and then wrote our names in them and pretended they were ours. We always treated each other with the upmost love and respect.

Oh wait... Never mind.

This picture says a lot about our personalities.

But the thing was, we had each other's back. I knew if I ever needed them, they'd be there for me, and vice versa. They were my best friends, still are, even when only we see each other once a year. Even when there are other friends who maybe understand our current seasons of life better (pastor's wives who relate to Joanna or military spouses who connect with me or professional nomads who understand Amanda). Even when we forget to respond to emails promptly or cop out on sending birthday packages to deepest, darkest Africa.

We're it for each other.

I think this was Joanna's "bachelorette" party.
Her request was a sister's date, plus Mom.

So when I talk to the boys (and Bee) about the importance of sibling friendships, I know what I'm talking about.

When I tell them that our family has to be a team, I understand what that really means.

When I encourage the closeness of their relationships, it's because I know they're going to need that too.

I know that Littles, Tiny, Bruiser, and Bee are going to be it for each other.

Best Maid and Matron of Honour ever. 

And then I know that years from now, they're going to learn the same lesson I had to: that no matter how close you are with your siblings, no matter how wonderful they are, there will come a season when they will be far away and you're going to have to find support elsewhere, which is where Jesus comes in.

Jo flew up to see me the first weekend after Josh deployed.
Amanda picked her up at the airport
and they surprised me.
I cried.
It was the last week Joanna was allowed to fly.

Seasons of change strip everything away, even sometimes the ones who are it for us. That's why those transition periods are so hard. They would be hard anyway, because change is tough (I'm pretty sure we've covered that), but it's made even more challenging by the fact that our support system typically gets destabilized.

So when you find those people who weather the storm of the in between with you, hold on to them. Let them be Christ for you. Let them lead you to Christ in the between, since He's the only one who will truly never leave you or forsake you.

And those people may not always be your sisters. For me it is, plus the Man and a couple other incredible friends, but the important thing is that they are people who become constants in your life.

The day I got home from the hospital with Littles.
That's my pudgy nephew Amanda's holding.
And look how legitimately little Little is!

That way, when you're hours away from them, and your husband deploys for the first time while you're pregnant with your first kid, you have surprise visitors show up in the form of an even-more-pregnant-than-you oldest sister and a must-have-pizza-now middle sister.

That way, when you're going through your second deployment and get put on twin-nant bed rest, you have one sister fly in from Africa to give you an extra pair of hands and another sister to sacrifice time with Mom so that you don't go into labour mommy-less.

That way, when you're in a new place and still getting your feet under you, you can spend all morning WhatsApping one sister and all evening texting the other.

Find those people who are it for you. And thank God for them every day. They are His gift to you.

Find the rest here!


  1. Beautiful and yes tears welling up in the eyes too!

  2. Well you ARE lucky to have us, but you are also lucky to have better photos of me than the ones that you used...