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Sister Birthdays

The four sisters in my life share birthday weeks.
Two in February.
Two in July. 
Both within a few days of each other.

This week my sister of the heart celebrated her birthday and so does my real sister.
It's funny.  I've joked with both women about February.  And how much we love it.
It's that short and sweet love themed month.
It fits because two of the most loving people I know begin their story in February.

Heart Sister.
I never knew when I met her that I would become intricately connected to her.
I remember being intimidated by her, but surprised by how kind she was to me.
Of course I was intimidated.  She is stunning. Naturally bright blonde hair and equally bright blue eyes.
Recently, I was at a dinner party and someone asked the question, "Who is the kindest person you know?" It was supposed to be a question to ponder, but instantly I whispered her name.
I didn't have to think about it.  It was an automatic response because it was the truth I've known. 
An experiential truth.
When we were becoming friends I remember an early conversation we had that made me think of C.S. Lewis' observations on friendship's birth, "When one person says to another 'What? You too! I thought I was the only one."
It continues to surprise me how often I can say that.
Sometimes God allows you to be friends in times of sunshine and joy. Sometimes you are friends with someone all your life because of family ties or school. Sometimes God hands you a friend in a storm and you both walk through together.
Storms can fuse you tightly to someone's soul.  And if we are friends with anyone long enough we either wade out the storm together or we part ways. 
I'm so thankful I know her. 
She is the kindest person I know.
I don't know how many times I have asked her what she is doing....
and she is helping out some member of her family
or she is rubbing an elderly lady's feet
or she is taking food or cookies to a friend
or she is running off to school to surprise her kids with lunch
or she is watching someone's children for them to run errands
or perhaps she hands me or someone else a bag of items she scouted out at the thrift shop...just because..
or sometimes it's just me listening to her ideas of how to help someone else
I don't know anyone who is quite as brave as her.
Who is both vulnerable and humble. 
My world is so much better for knowing her.
She has offered me insight from God's Word at just the right time with eyes brimming with compassion, mercy, and love. 

My real sister. The one I shared a purple quilt with for most of my first 18 years.  Even when we had separate rooms and separate beds we still found our way into each other's. 
She's the sister I looked nothing like. The one with chocolate curls dripping a frame around her freckled face.
The sister you grow up beside is the person that watches you in every phase of your life.  You learn life together.
You are the only ones that understand your family. That know exactly what the family language is and all of the hidden family rules and procedures. 
The one you shared clothes with all through high school and all of the same sport teams.
She's the perfect aunt for my kids.  Eliciting cries of delight whenever she walks through the door, "Chica!" my girls yell and baby Mac toddles up to her knees.  She is fun.  :)

Faith has had many challenges this year, but she has overcome them.  She's always been fiercely independent and competitive.
This year I've seen her walk through grief and turmoil.  I've seen her shed a lot of tears and ask so many questions, but I've also seen true joy and happiness lighting her eyes.
One thing that has changed over the past couple of years is Faith's ability to find joy in the crazy schedule she keeps.  I don't hear her complain much anymore.  Instead I hear her hopes and dreams and how she plans to make them happen. 
I've always been proud of my sister.  Always. I felt like I was blessed to have her. Even though we have very different ways of dealing with and looking at the world we fit together.
She's the one I want to share the kitchen with and try out new recipes with.
She's the one I check on daily.
She's the one I want to succeed and find happiness.
She's the one I want to come over on a long and tiring day and share a couch and Netflix with.
I really can't imagine my life without her.  She's the reason I always wanted a set of my own sisters'.  There is nothing quite like a sister to share your life with.

Happy Birthday to my two sisters. 


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