Sunday, April 10, 2016


they aren't my siblings, they're my children. but as a mother on this #nationalsiblingsday, i (of course) have a message for them. it's the same message i've been repeating since they were little and playing out back in the sandbox:

love each other well.

kids, God willing, you will probably have all kinds of friends; old friends and new friends, good friends and great friends. but, for the most part, you pretty much only get one set of siblings.

it's true, some days you'll wonder what God was thinking when He plunked you down under the same roof with this sister or that brother. you'll look at them like they have three heads and they'll look at you like you don't have anything close to a heart. you won't get them. they won't get you. you won't like them and, yep, you guessed it, they won't like you.


and other days will be golden. you'll laugh and tell jokes and climb trees and collect bugs and ride bikes and watch movies and eat ice cream and share secrets and scrape knees and hold hands and play pranks and throw balls and hike rivers ... and grow up ... together.

but that doesn't mean there won't be times when you'll feel like they are all picking on you.
and you'll probably wonder why God had to go and pick them all for you.

but God did pick them. He picked them and He chose you. He designed your family. He determined the number. and, yes, He even knew the challenges. believe me, He knew the potential for drama and difficulties. He was well aware of the hardships and the hurts. (sort of interesting, don't you think, that the very first sibling relationship in the bible ended in murder. unfortunate, but true).

no one ever said that having sisters and brothers would be all sunshine and roses (just ask cain and abel).

but here's the deal ---
though it probably won't be the most perfect relationship, it is one worth pursuing.
though it possibly won't be the easiest relationship, it is one worth embracing.
though it's not always the smoothest relationship, it is one worth cementing.

it didn't happen by accident, it happened with design.

it happened for a purpose.

and kids, let me encourage you ...

look for that purpose.

seek it out.

value it.

care for it.

cherish it.

i know sometimes they frustrate and irritate and agitate. (remember, i am their mother). and what's more, i have siblings, too. i once got so mad i threw a juice glass at one sister. i stole clothes from another and called my brother every kind of bad name in the book. and that's only the tip of our family iceberg. i know it's hard. your dad, even he, with only one sibling to worry about, has stories of tying his sister to a fire hydrant and of her locking him out on the roof. let's face it, kids can be mean. teenagers can be ugly. even adults can have issues.

we all know how siblings tattle and taunt and, sometimes, i suppose, even torment ... but, hard as it might be, try to remember, the design is for treasure. 

that's been one of my greatest prayers for you, kids ... that, even in your inevitable sibling-trials, you would learn to see each other as treasure. as a gift. as something sweet and very good.

when you are young ... and when you someday grow old.

give each other grace.

learn to see past the differences and the division and love anyway. my siblings, we are all in our 40s now and though we haven't by any means achieved the pinnacle of sister-and-brotherly-perfection, we are willing to work together to build bridges to each other.
i wouldn't trade that willingness for anything.

sometimes it's hard work.
sometimes it's holy work.

it hasn't always been easy. in these 40+ years of sibling-hood we've weathered all kinds of things --- long distance. divorce. cancer. alcoholism. religion. politics. parenting. but we love each other and even in our differences we are not willing to dismantle what God beautifully designed all those years ago back on 171st street when the youngest of us came home from the hospital and we became complete.

kids, don't waste time fighting WITH each other, but make time to fight FOR one another.

3 john 1:4 says, "i have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." and, oh yes, this is absolutely true. but for us mamas, just after hearing that our kids are walking with Jesus, comes the joy of hearing and seeing and watching them walk well together ... in love.

my awesome siblings! (don't you want to know which one was involved in the juice glass throwing incident)?