It’s St. Patricks Day.
And, although it means many things to many people, it’s always marked the day my sister Rachael was born. I won’t say her age, but being born March 17, 1979 will put you in your late-30’s.
So I thought, as a tribute to Rach, I’d give you 10 things that she’s taught me.
- Necco candies are disgusting.
- I was only 3 1/2 when she was born. But I do remember my Grandma Barringer buying me some candy in the candy machine at the hospital. She bought me some Necco. They’ve been around since 1847 and they taste like they’re that old.
- You don’t have to share the same personality characteristics to share kindness and comradery.
- Rachael and I are, really, not much alike. If you really look at the characteristics of our lives, I can find two things in common: We are hard workers and we are stubborn. Other than that, we are quite different and it’s pretty awesome that way. And honestly, I think that’s been a great thing AND has prepared us for life. If you only have tolerance and kindness for people who are like you, then you really don’t have tolerance and kindness. It’s helped in teaching us social skills plus has made the atmosphere of our parents home a little spicier for mom and dad to deal with.
- A work-ethic cannot be underestimated.
- We get our work ethic pretty honestly from our parents and grandparents. But I’ve never seen it so prevalent in what my sister has displayed in her life. Talent and abilities can get you only so far. Because without a strong work-ethic, you’ll always have a lid to what you can do. Rach has the combination of both talent and drive. Nobody pushes themselves harder for her marriage and her family like Rach does. And coupled with her God-given abilities, there’s not limit to what she’ll accomplish.
- Generosity is not defined by an action but shown in a lifestyle.
- While I’m happy giving a gift card to someone (it’s my lazy way of giving gifts), Rachael puts some sort of meaning behind it. She carries a mindset of expressing value with a gift while also conveying meaning with the message behind the gift. For example, at a recent Christmas, she bought me a Snoopy Sno-cone Maker. It was a nod to simpler times in our upbringing as well as the fun moments of our holidays.
- Children are a blessing and not an inconvenience.
- I’m convinced Rach puts more mileage on her car than most truck drivers put on their semi. Why? Her children are involved in sports, cheer, youth group, etc. and she isn’t about to miss a moment. Whether Hallie, Eli, and Jonah realize it now or not, she’s instilling in them the value of the presence of a parent.
- Friendships are to be valued and cultivated.
- I have made so many mental notes about the amount of times she talks about her friends that she has been in school with and those she works with. Although I am a natural introvert, Rach is a natural extrovert. But she doesn’t just want people around her, she brings value to the people in her life. Rachael legitimately looks for ways to add encouragement and joy to the people connected to her.
- Velvet steel is a way to live
- What do I mean by that? It means if you brush up against her, you sense a softness and compassion about her. Try to run her over, you’re gonna get hurt.
- You’re never too old to get in a punching fight with your brother.
- Seriously, sometimes we act like children when we’re together.
- Brokenness is a place we all visit but it’s not a place we live.
- We are all proof that sometimes “life happens.” Rachael is proof that we don’t have to live as a causality of “life” but as a overcomer to what we face. And for that, I’ll always be proud of her.
- Love never fails.
- Like 1 Corinthians 13 says, “without love, we are a clanging cymbal.” And as opposite as we are, and as much as we have fought over the years, there is one unmistakable truth: She may not agree with me or see eye-to-eye, but I know she loves me and I love her. Imagine if we lived that way in our marriages and in our communities. THAT type of love will change the world.
Love you Rach. Have a great birthday. And hope when others read this blog, they’re see the amazing woman you’ve become and learn from you just as much as I have these past 30-something years (2017 subtracted from 1979).
Thanks for letting me ramble…