The tale of a little sister

Once upon a time there were three little girls.  The older two were more shy and would make the youngest one redeem their tokens for ice cream at the local Dairy Queen.  She wore a constant smile that young one and was a most darling little thing.  These three grew older and fought over clothes and other silly things.  They forged their own paths and discovered who they were.  The oldest sister and her boyfriend used to hang out often with the four years younger sister, great times were had and a friendship was forged that would last forever.

Youngest sister meandered into some circles of friends that were older and shared very different values.  Their pull was strong.  The temptation of a different life drew her far and fast away.  Hearts broke and the prodigal one wandered far.

Oldest sister started to journal and pray (parents did too, for certain) about the little sister.  Pages were covered with tears and words poured out.  Years passed.  Agonizing choices were made, truly things you might not be able to imagine.  Life’s consequences followed.

Love was given in the ways everyone knew how to give it.  Hope ebbed and waned.  The way the heart hurts watching one you love so much walk away burns a deep pain.

A slow, lengthy journey home began.  It has taken years for Redemption to weave His way back into her life.  The ones closest to her watched and loved and waited under what sometimes felt like unbearable weariness.

The oldest one often wrote letters to that youngest one.  The journey was a foreign one to her but she had, literally, seen the scars and sometimes didn’t know how to choke out the right words.  So she just wrote.

The young one let sleeping dreams awaken and pursued her hopes of becoming a nurse.  She pressed on, though academics were not her strongest suit and all the family (minus two brother in laws) was there across the country when she walked across that stage and received her diploma. The oldest gave her an engraved butterfly necklace that day.  It said simply, dream. Because she had.  And we got to watch.

After a couple of jobs in her field that were less than she’d hoped, she landed one at a local, excellent hospital where she has been stretched beyond her imagination.  But she’s done it.

Her story isn’t finished.  There were times those close ones thought it might be.  The ways her Father has sheltered her and saved her might be a forever mystery.

And now? She’s finding Love and she fell in love. Last week, that baby sister (though she’s almost 30, still a baby sis) married a sweet, strong, genuine man.  There were a few moments when middle sister and oldest sister shared a glance and tears brimmed.  Hard to believe it was really happening and in such a beautiful way.

My list continues…

#489 – the God ordained concept of marriage

#490 – a dry, sunshine filled evening for a wedding after weeks of summer rain

#491 – grass stains on ring bearer knees

#492 – how it feels to dress fancy and get gorgeous

#493 – a heart full that just wants to keep saying ‘thank you’

#494 – tiny baby Ruby toes painted cherry red

#495 – our mama extraordinaire without whom the wedding could not have come together

#496 – the look on his face when he saw her first

#497 – the children that surrounded my legs and covered my lumpy parts for wedding photos (and how much I wouldn’t trade them for a more lovely figure!)

#498 – the story God’s still writing

#499 – a front-pack-clad daddy who went way above the call of duty this day

#500 – a littlest sister that I love more than words could ever say

Thankful

#477 – #488

deliciously plump, warm baby fingers rubbing my arms while I type

little boy grins and dimples

“I love you so much mama” out of the blue from the not-so-little boy who still holds my hand

help, just the right kind

a brimming full house and so much laughter

the euphoric high from the delight of so many people being happy here

a day of rest and not feeling guilty about it

the joy of sharing

how God’s hand shows up in even the smallest thing

just 70 miles this morning and we’ll be in one favorite place with one favorite family just for one day

two mamas and eleven children and a whole lotta food!