Being a big sister means so many different things. It comes with a billion emotions, experiences, memories, and responsibilities that are impossible to prepare for. If you're an older sibling, you know that your life changed the minute that kiddo was born. Some were too young to remember it, but when my sister, Reese was born in the middle of a snowstorm on January 26, 2004, I was 6 years old and remember everything about meeting her. I ran into that hospital room in a pink sweater and got up on the bed with my mom and I opened my "big sister gift", a bracelet that, of course, had a charm that read "sister" attached. We drove home and I sat in the backseat with my mom and stared at Reese. I was totally excited but had absolutely no idea how much of an impact she'd have on my life.
Just the other day, when Reese started 8th grade, it hit me that she's a teenager and not a little elementary school cutie. She was always so fragile to me. I wanted to protect her from anything and everything to make sure she didn’t get hurt. These days, Nugget (my nickname for her) constantly shows me that she doesn't need that intense protection anymore. She's strong and brave. She can do 10x more than I could when I was 13 years old. The other day, I started listing the things that she has taught me as well as the things that have been on my mind that I want her to know. I felt inclined to share this on the blog since this is my sanctuary and my favorite place to share the things that are heavy on my heart whether it's easy to share or not. AND recently Reese said "so, when are ya gonna write a post about how awesome I am?" Well, Nug, today is the day.
Thank you for teaching me...
...to stop rushing all the dang time.
For years I always thought you were the slowest person I knew. Finally, my senior year of high school, I saw that you take your sweet time to appreciate and soak in all of the great moments in life. The small ones that seem insignificant, the ones that I'd never pay attention to. Do I think that you still like to make me wait around just to get to me? Sometimes, but sisters are meant to push each other's buttons, right? But seriously. I love that you take your time and give others the undivided attention that they deserve.
...to be confident and tough as nails.
One of my all-time favorite things about you is that you will walk into a room and talk to anyone. You have no fear when it comes to being on your own in different settings and it makes me so proud. I always feel like I need to have someone next to me whenever I'm trying something new, or talking to a stranger, but you've shown me to just be sure of myself.
...take endless amounts of photos.
I swear, every time I look at you, you’re taking photos. Whether it’s a mirror pic, or just a photo of what’s going on around us, you document everything that’s going on in your life. You have a photo or video for every memory and that’s really special.
...drive around and sing at the top of your lungs if a bad day comes around.
One of my favorite memories of my senior year of high school involves you, Nuggie. I am so grateful that we had that year together at the same school. We spent so much precious time together, and even when we spent some of the time fighting, it was still special to me. You taught me that other than retail therapy, the best way to get over a rough day is to turn on the Hairspray soundtrack, roll down the windows, and sing at the top of our lungs. It’s freeing— it’s cleansing. I miss these moments together, and it makes me really soak them in when I’m home with you.
What's on my mind...
Never let someone, something, a specific event make you feel unworthy.
It's so easy to let different moments in our lives scare us away from so many possibilities. I’ve experienced rejection after rejection and soon enough, that feeling that comes along with rejection began to defeat me. That feeling of being unworthy is a lie from Satan. It can be overpowering and can even scar your mentality— don’t let it. Your worth comes from the Lord. He loves us and tells us that we are everything to Him. Anything we go through is just preparing us for something better than God has for us. So keep pushing through. Keep on taking chances. Repeat after me, “Not today Satan!”
Make every decision based on your faith, not what's popular or easy.
The best decision I have ever made was to come to Liberty University. I picked the school because I knew God was calling me here. It wasn't easy though. I had people everywhere telling me that I was making a huge mistake. That I wouldn't have the "typical college experience" at a Christian college. There were many times that I was doubtful and almost disregarded where God was telling me to go. If I had let others influence me and followed the popular opinion, I wouldn't have experienced the beautiful journey of my time at LU.
Boys have cooties.
Just stay away from boys. You're not allowed to date until you're 50 years old. I'm sure Daddy would agree with me. No, but seriously, guard your heart. Be careful when it comes to who you let into your life. Love is a scary but awesome thing. It's complicated and messy. You're allowed to make mistakes, but don't let anyone take advantage of you or make you feel less than amazing.
Momma & Pops are the most incredible humans.
Nugget, we have the most wonderful parents on this planet. They give so much of themselves for us-- it's amazing. Dad is the best example of being a faithful, loving husband, and mom is our #1 fan. We have the coolest examples of parents who give 110%. It's easy to get used to them always being there for us and providing us with more than what we need, but never stop loving on them for it.
Thank you, Nugget, for being my best friend. You are everything to me and I cannot wait to see what else God has planned for us as sisters. You're so beautiful, strong, and smart. Never ever stop being you. I love you.