Jennifer is right below me in our sibling pecking order. If I have a memory or a question that goes back thirty plus years, it is Jennifer I call. Jennifer and I shared a bedroom while growing up. She had the top bunk and I had the bottom bunk in our ‘Holly Hobbie‘ adorned room. Memories of dancing to Donny Osmond and Barry Manilow albums even now make us laugh. We got along like most sisters do. I remember making her cry one night as she was climbing in to bed. I had sprinkled crushed Rice Krispies in between her sheets and told her that I saw lots of ants on her bed earlier that day. I used to very slowly, pull her blankets off of her from below so she would wake up cold at night. I also remember wanting to kill her with my bare hands when she lied over and over about not wearing my earrings and sweaters to school. Only to see her smiling face looking back at me in her school picture…wearing both my earrings and my sweater!
Jennifer looks a lot like our mom, with a big dose of our dad’s gift of evangelism mixed in. She is a hairstylist at a salon in a small town where we live and has an amazing outgoing personality. Everyone loves her. Jen says that her hair-chair is her ministry and I wholeheartedly agree. She beautified her little salon space with scripture verses. She doesn’t hesitate to tell others about Jesus when they sit before her, sharing the heartaches of their lives. Though she never forces Jesus on anyone, if they ask her where she gets her peace she always points to Him. She will call me from time to time to ask me to pray for a customer or a customer’s son or daughter. She sends cards and often times brings meals to the broken and hurting people that the Lord sits before her. What an example she is to me of blooming where planted.
Most people outside of our little church fellowship don’t realize all that Jen and her husband Eric have been through in the past couple of years. Eric was diagnosed with a rare disease that rears its ugly head in the form of non-contagious spinal meningitis. He has been hospitalized numerous times. As recently as last year, they were scared that Eric may not pull through. Being self employed, both Jen and Eric were forced to sell their home when Eric couldn’t work his business. With her husband sick, Jen worked at Starbuck’s in the mornings from 5am-10am and then would go to the salon from 10am-3pm. She would then pick up her three little girls from school and work her most important job as wife and mommy to her children.
All this to say that I am so grateful that God gave me Jennifer as my sister. I am so proud of all that He is doing in her life. There is no one that can make me laugh like she does. I can rarely sit by her at church or at our women’s Bible study. She makes me laugh until tears poor out of my eyes, my face contorts in a way that looks pained and I can no longer speak. I return the favor by making her laugh until she pees her pants.
Through both the heartaches and blessings of our lives, she is a light in my life that I couldn’t live without.
Jen, I pray God blesses you and your precious family with a year of blessed abundance, both in health, in laughter and in growing closer to Him.
I can’t wait to see all the He does in your life.
Love, your not-much older…but much-wiser sister.