8 Reasons Why My Sister is Awesome
One of the best parts of growing up was having Kelli for my sister.
One of the best parts of being an adult is having Kelli for my sister.
The ability to truthfully write both statements is extraordinary in and of itself. There are people who had rough relationships with siblings growing up and as adults have reconciled those relationships. The opposite is true as well. But to have been close as children, adults, and every season in between-that is a blessing I do not take lightly.
Two years ago for Kelli’s birthday I wrote about my Sister. Since today is National Sisters Day and because she is a “words of affirmation” person, I think it’s time to write again. I say “words of affirmation” but they have to be the right words. She doesn’t do sentimental phrases like, “The best part of having a sister is that I always had a friend” or “God made us sisters, Love made us friends.” While these statements are true, it would mean more to Kelli to say something like, “Hey, you’re really cool.” In fact, don’t actually say that to her. Just write it down. Or send it in a meme.
Speaking of memes, something that makes Kelli really cool is her passion for ridiculous memes. Reason #1 for Kelli being one of the most awesome people I know: she is on Pinterest just to look at memes. Here is one of her favorites.
Probably one of the reasons she needs memes is because she is a teacher. Of 9th graders. How in the world is she supposed to keep her sanity without memes? Reason #2 that Kelli is cool: She is in public education. Have you ever considered what it’s like to spend 9 months of every year trying to teach and control a hundred children who you cannot discipline or punish or make do anything? Or even give a reward for that matter. Long gone are the days of mommas bringing cupcakes to school. And (bonus!) society has tied the hands of educators to enforce any rules. Yet there she is. Loving. Connecting. And finding a newfound patience for toddler-like behavior in teenage bodies.
Now that I mention toddlers, we arrive at Reason #3 for Kelli’s awesomeness. I happen to have two toddlers which means that Kelli is “Auntie” to two nieces. When Annabelle was born, I watched this new side of Kelli emerge, and it has only grown since Sutton’s birth. There were these voices, expressions, sounds, and smiles that I had not previously witnessed. She crawls around on the floor with them. She does bath time and diaper changes. Kelli is all in. Except when Annabelle asks her to pray.
I’m not sure if I can count this as part of why Kelli is so cool. I guess I will because it’s part of who she is. Reason #4 for Kelli being fantastic: she won’t pray out loud in front of me. Definitely with her friends when they make her but not with me.
Let me explain.
When we were kids, if one of us was required to say the prayer, I would take the lead. I was the older and more vocal one so praying was usually my job (I even try to order for her at restaurants. Hey, it comes with a territory.) As we got older, it kind of became a joke and I continued to say it. So now when Annabelle says, “Auntie say the prayer,” we keep laughing harder the longer that AB keeps insisting. It’s just one of those things.
While Kelli refuses to pray out loud with me, she does have deep spiritual roots. Being close with a sister is a gift but being close with a sister who loves Jesus, that is priceless and truly changes eternity for both of us. Reason #5 that Kelli is awesome: she has a firm foundation. I started seeing this develop in high school and it has deepened ever since. Several years ago her faith called her to Italy where she taught English using the Bible. That experience cultivated a desire to live overseas long-term. After finishing graduate school, she had the option to move back but for a variety of reasons made the difficult choice to stay in Texas. All of this was rooted in her faith. She trusted God more than feelings. And she trusts Him enough to stay put until she is called somewhere else. I pray for her all the time, usually with a PS of, “Please change Kelli’s desires to align with mine so we will always live close.” I don’t think it works like that but I tell God my wants anyway.
Kelli’s roots are deep and so is her desire for coffee. Reason #6: Kelli loves coffee. I’m not sure when this started but was most likely refined in Italy. It was a common practice of the Italians to have a shot of espresso often, even before going to bed. An after midnight bedtime? Doesn’t matter. “Leave the gun-take the cannoli.” And take the espresso.
Why my sister is awesome, Reason #7. She is down to earth and genuine. What you see is what you get. She loves over-sized t-shirts and sweat pants. Flannels are a must. Some of her clothes are mistaken by Annabelle as my dad’s. She takes about 20 minutes to get ready. It doesn’t take long to put on makeup when your makeup doesn’t actually cover your face. The face you see is the face God gave her. She is beautiful. But don’t be discouraged if that beautiful face looks mad at times. It’s not. Annoyed, possibly, but most likely she is contemplating a meme. Or where she can get another cup of coffee.
We will end with one more reason that Kelli is awesome. I love so many things about my sister, but because 8 is her favorite number (She actually mentioned staying in high school an additional year just so she could graduate in 2008.), I will wrap up here. Reason #8: Kelli loves the lost. I have witnessed this with people who do not know Jesus and also with some of her friends who have just made poor choices. She hangs in there with those who are struggling. She is drawn to people with different views, backgrounds, and cultures. Kelli loves them not in spite of the differences; she loves them because of the differences.
All of these reasons can be summed up with this: I love Kelli for being. Just being, just existing. No strings attached. I am thankful for this soul that God gifted to me in the form of my sister. And, like me, I hope you are one who is blessed to call her “friend.” If not, find a good cup of coffee and offer to say the prayer. You will be friends for life. And you may even get a taste of what it is like to call her “sister.”
But the blood sister- that is an exclusive blessing I proudly claim as my own.