Don’t Always Believe Your Big Sister

So I asked my sister, (Glenda) if she read my blog and she gently reminded me that she is very busy raising 3 children and doesn’t always find time…

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..then she added at the end…”plus they are always so serious. “

Now I enjoy a good serious blog just as much as the next person-but I realized that she was right in the sense that I don’t often incorporate my humor too much into Bit o’ Betty (BOB for short)…(no that is weird)  which is a big part of who I am! So here is my attempt at not always being so serious.

So this is for you Glenda 🙂

I’ve entitled this short story: Don’t Always Believe Your Big Sister 😉

When I first moved in with the family who ended up adopting my brother and I, Glenda was almost 16 years old. She went from being an only child, to being the on-call babysitter, entertainer, chauffer, and blame-receiver to a wild 5 and 7 year old.  We turned her world upside down, and wreaked havoc on her once peaceful living situation. Despite us ruining her things, and seemingly stealing her parents, she tried hard to love us (though often unlovable!) and was a quite champ! She would bring us to her room, escape out her window, dress up like a clown, climb back into her room from her balcony no longer as Glenda, but as “George the Clown” and entertain us for hours!

Though don’t put this super sister on a pedestal quite yet. She had a dark side. A very dark side. And that dark side was knowing-that-I-was-and-still-am-super-gullible-and-would-convice-me-of-all-sorts-of-things.

The most memorable of things being this: The first summer I moved in, Glenda convinced me that children were not born with a butt crack. That’s right. They were butt crack-less, smooth bottomed, and had to be shipped to China where they have a special butt cracking machine. They would slide the babies on, and then like a giant paper cutter, *shhhfiinnggg*, (that is the best sound effect I can think of), and then the babies were shipped back home to their families.

Well, trusting my new big sister got me in trouble that next fall in Mrs. Nani’s second grade class. We were having a sort of cultural emphasis week, where we were to bring in foods and artifacts and facts from different places around the world. A time came when my dear, sweet, teacher asked the class if anyone had been outside of the country. This was my chance to inform my fellow peers of the wisdom my older, smarter, big sister had bestowed upon me.  Hand raised as high as I could, and wiggling it to show my excitement, I was finally called on, “We’ve all been to China!” I proudly proclaimed!

Mrs. Nani didn’t miss a beat, “You visited China? How lovely! Did you see the Great Wall?”

“No, no, no. We have ALL been to China!” I waited, a second, excited to share the news, “When we were born, we were all shipped there to get a butt cracks!”

Mrs. Nani’s eyes enlarged, and the 2nd grade giggles around me urged me to explain further. “When you are born you don’t have a butt crack so you are shipped to China because they have a very special butt cracking machine where the baby…”

“ENOUGH MISS HAMPTON!” (name prior to adoption)

I pursed my lips, and furrowed my brow as I watched her walk to the front of the class to write another note for me to take home to my parents.

Needless to say, I got in trouble-I’m pretty sure it was a spanking. Supposedly “I knew better”. Doubtful. But do you know who did know better?

My big sister.

And you know who didn’t get a spanking?

My big sister. (okay so she was 16 at the time, I still thought it was deserved!)

You know who you can’t always trust with facts concerning medical procedures with newborns?

My big sister.

Love you always and forever Glenda!! Hope this isn’t too serious for you 😉

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(Aunt B and the 3)

True Friendships

Journal Dates. I don’t know if other friends do this-but Amy and I do. We take our “Jesus/Prayer/Devotional/Church/Thoughts/Quotes Journal” to any nearby coffee house and pour over the pages together. We swap quotes and prayers and heartaches. We reflect on lessons learned, and lessons needing to be learned. It takes a special friendship to be able to go through a journal together, and that’s what Amy and I have.

We are different in a lot of ways. You see the blonde vs. brunette thing we’ve got going. Amy is an introvert. Me? I am an extrovert. As a gifted artist, she almost always has paint either on her hands, or on her clothes. I, on the other hand, can barely draw a straight line with a ruler. She loves snowboarding and conducting. I am scared of snowy mounds and am rhythmically challenged.  But for whatever reason, despite any differences, God has ordained and allowed Amy and I’s friendship to blossom and honor Him.

What is truly fantastic about my friendship with Amy is that it points me to God. How so, you may ask? Well, part of it is through our God-centered conversations. But another part of it is that I feel so secure in her friendship, it is impossible for me to ever doubt her love for me. Her heart breaks when mine breaks, and rejoices when mine rejoices.  She has seen me at my absolute worst. She knows things about me, I would have rather no one on earth know-but yet, for some unknown, inexplicable reason-Amy still thinks the best of me. She values, encourages, and praises me. The deep loyalty and admiration I see in Amy, I know is a reflection of what I have in Christ. So I walk away from each interaction with her wanting to love and serve the Lord more joyfully and wholeheartedly.

In my 24 years of living, I have been blessed with some AMAZING friends. Friends that have loved me well through the thick and thin, that I cry with, laugh with, and grow with. Glenda shows me how to pray with hope, Cathren infuses in me a love for missions, Kia gives me a heart for motherhood, Kristen teaches me (so patiently!) about the gift of hospitality, Emily encourages me to modesty, and Amy propels me to slay my sin no matter the cost.

What have I done to deserve such great, blessed friendship? Not a thing.

When it comes to staying in contact, I am a pretty horrible friend. I’m bad at returning calls, inconsistent at emailing, and will often mentally respond to a text without actually physically responding to said text.  So if friendship was based on attendance and consistently-I’d have failing grades for sure.  Not only that-but I (like all humans) am selfish, and prideful, and sinful, and a host of other unattractive things. But the beauty about friendships rooted in the gospel is that they are rich in grace, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. So we all learn and grow and apologize and forgive and move on and love and love and love.

If you are struggling with a friend right now, can I just encourage you to love them? Love them ridiculously. Show them grace. Encourage them to godliness. Shower them with truth. Whatever that may look like.

And if you are reading this thinking, I wish I had a true friendship, I encourage you to do 2 things. 1.) PRAY for it consistently and with faith. Ask your small group to be praying for it, ask your mom to be praying for it! 2.) Be on the lookout for it. Be in places and have eyes that see people who could be your iron to sharpen iron. And be willing to take the first step. You don’t always have to be the one pursued-maybe God wants YOU to be the one to start the friendship, to share your testimony, to pray with them.

Friendships are a WONDERFUL (and difficult!) blessing from the Lord. Thank Him for them today; invest in the right ones today!

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
1 Samuel 18:1-3 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.