Suddenly hearing a piece of metal clanking around in your engine? Bad problem. Suddenly hearing your friend recovered so well you have to cancel your evening plans to bring her home from the hospital? Good problem!
Today I have a very good problem. In thinking about who I really owe a lot of gratitude to (a rather enjoyable pastime), I’ve wanted to do a post on my sisters for awhile, but I felt you needed a break from me thanking my family. Well, break’s over people. I’ma share with you about my older sister Kristi first, but my problem is picking specifically which thing to thank her for. If I really think about it, there’s quite a bit. You can see she taught me the fairly important skill of how to eat—or at least survive while someone forces a large metal object down my pharynx—but besides that it’s pretty tough to choose. So I’m busting out an acrostic (booyah!) of selected favorites instead. Love you Kris, and thanks for the many ways you’ve taught me, challenged me, and cared about your little bro!
Kristi was the only family member I can recall who asked how things were going with the ladies back in my single days. Didn’t really have much to report to be honest, but it was nice for someone to ask!
Recommending me for my first job. Sure, it was cleaning up other people’s half-eaten food and carrying heavy loads of glass around for 7 hours, but she got me into Damon’s (The Place for Ribs, I’ll have you know) and what eventually became the best college job ever with some wonderful people!
Involuntary piano lessons (she made me let her teach me—older sib privilege). But guess what? I can still play those video game songs better than Beethoven. Mostly because Beethoven never played video games.
Sewing a Charlie Brown doll for me. I told her I didn’t want it (yes, there is lingering guilt) when she gave it to me decades ago. I still have it, and my boy Trevor gets a lotta mileage out of it! Poor Charlie Brown.
Teaching me by blazing the trail first. The oldest has it rough, because they have to learn lessons before their sibs. Her experience taught me why it’s a bad idea to skip school by walking all the way home on a (literally) 10 degree day only to be brought right back by a wrathful mom, how parents respond to breaking curfew (she gave me a lot of experience there!), and more recently how to prioritize people and commitments in loving and productive ways. But she also teaches me by challenging me, one of the very few people in my life who will do so and do it well (only my wife can do it better!). God only knows all I’ve learned from her!
Investing the time into reading Healing Hereafter and going out of her way to share it with others. No amount of encouragement, accolades, or promises compares to someone who proves they got your back, especially when throughout my life she’s so often been out in front. Thank-you.
Has anyone blazed the trail for you, so you didn’t have to learn everything the hard way? Make it your good problem to have to choose what to thank them for today!
I try to share with you all something that has been significant to the person I’m thanking, and Kristi would like to share this excellent encouragement: “If anyone wishes to come after [Jesus], he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). To be “responsibly reckless,” means to sacrifice and be selfless out of love for our Savior—to ask God what He is calling you to and then obey, no matter what. It also means to be responsible—to pray about God’s leading, to be patient and wait on the Lord for answers, and to seek out the counsel of other godly people. This kind of living is not for the faint of heart, but I am learning that it is invigorating and life-giving. As Kevin Harney puts it, “it is the adventurous, white water rafting kind of Christian life, not the luxury cruise liner life.” I think that all of us deeply yearn for that kind of living, but as author Ted Tripp says, “God’s ways have not proved inadequate; they are simply untried.” Although I am still learning about how to apply these principles to my life, I have tasted this life and it is good. Kris, I wholeheartedly agree!