Dear Sissy

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Sisters are pretty amazing.  Today my younger sister turns 18.  I think I may be more excited than she is.  Because this is the day I celebrate that God decided our family needed some extra girl power.  The day God gave me a friend I wouldn’t see just once or twice a week but every single day.

My sister has filled many roles.  From listener to sympathizer, from exercise buddy to relationship advisor, she’s always been there….

Thank you, sister.  For staying up late as I talk about everything and nothing and eventually bore you to sleep (quite literally).  For going looking for me when I go on a walk upset because you know I don’t want to cry alone.  For going places with me because then I’ll never have to step outside of my comfort zone.  You are my comfort zone.  For fiercely defending me when I’m too weak or speechless to defend myself.  For telling me when I have spinach in my teeth, my makeup’s smeared, or I have a stain on my shirt.  For knowing me so well that we can telepathically communicate…kind of.  For being my whisper buddy, my confidant.  For keeping all my secrets safe.  For giggling (or crying) over guys with me.  For telling me when I’m being a jerk or an annoying, immature brat.  For singing off-key and out of tune with me to all the songs we hate and dancing with me to all the songs we love.  For going on walks late at night with me.  Who needs sleep anyway?  For laughing at me because sometimes I forget to laugh at myself.  For not staying mad at me.  For always being the sweet fetcher of refills for your lazy big sister.  For reminding me why you love me when I forget to like me.  For always giving me reasons to hope when there are none left.  For seeing through the smile to the pain in my heart.  For making me laugh when tears are threatening my composure.  For being my navigator when I have no idea where I’m going.  For dreaming big with me.  For encouraging me to be adventurous instead of the timid little mouse that I usually am.  For being my best friend.  Happy Birthday!

Meaningful Friendships

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They’re the friends that you don’t have to see every week but the ones who make you smile just thinking about them.  The friends with whom you can pick back up right where you left off whether it’s been a day, a week, two months, or a year.

The friends who you can share everything with because you trust they won’t go around blabbing your secrets and you know they won’t judge you no matter what you say.

The friends where as they talk you can’t help but jump up and down in your seat and scream “What?!?  I thought I was the only one who felt that way!!”  It’s so great to know you’re not alone and to have someone who gets you, who understands what you’re going through.

They’re the friends where it doesn’t matter if you go to six flags or if you just hang out after lunch and talk about random stuff.  Everything’s fun when  you’re with them.

They’re the friends who make you want to be a better person, who encourage you to grow closer to Christ.

The friends who don’t say what you want to hear but what they know you need to hear.  Even if it hurts.  They’re the friends who will gently correct you or offer constructive criticism.

They’re the friends who know when you’re not okay even when you adamantly insist you are.  The ones who can see through the smile all the way to the tears deep inside you.  They’re the ones who hurt for you because they hate to see you in pain.

They’re not the loud, obnoxious ones who are the life of the party.  The ones who want to be popular but aren’t focused on investing in someone’s life.  The ones who forget your name.

They’re not the ones who promise not to tell anybody but the next day you hear through the grapevine the secret that only they knew.  They’re not the ones who care more about juicy gossip than your heart.

They’re not the ones who would only choose you if there isn’t someone better around.  The ones where the relationship is one-sided and it’s your job to make sure the friendship doesn’t fall apart.

They’re not the ones who laugh about your feelings just because they don’t understand.  The ones who are more focused on their life and their problems than on finding out how you’re doing.  The ones who don’t listen  to you.  The ones who interrupt you if what they have to say is more important to them than what you are talking about.

I have had my share of the not-so-meaningful friendships.  I’ve had more “friends” than I care to admit stab me in the back.  I struggle with the insecurity of whether or not someone likes me as much as I like them.  Whether or not they actually want to hang out with me or be my friend.  Maybe that subconscious worry stems from the past friendships where I was used only to get what they wanted.

But I now have a small handful of real, deep, close friendships.  I feel so blessed to have these amazing people in my life and it’s so exciting to be able to love them without worrying about if or when they’ll decide our friendship isn’t worth it.

I used to be obsessed with trying to be popular.  I wanted to fit in.  I wanted everyone to like me.  After a year or so, I finally seemed to be on the inside of our group but it wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought.  I had a ton of very shallow friendships.  I started realizing that it wasn’t the quantity that was important but the quality.  I am so thankful that God taught me that important truth.  Now I try to focus on investing in a few people who are like-minded with me, who also seek to grow closer to God, and who care as much about me as I do about them.  It’s so rewarding and I can’t tell you how much they have blessed me.  I love you guys!!