Monday, May 28, 2012

How to be a sister

One of my sayings is "you can never have too many sisters."

I know people who grew up having very difficult relationships with their sisters. Their home was not a place of peace, but a place of drama due to the female relationships and interaction in the home. Woman can be the worst critics of each other, and a sister even more so since being family removes any barriers that would have prevented harsh words.

But I have come to realize that some of the most important people in my life are my sisters. I have 1 biological sister who is 8 years older than me. Her and I could not be more different. She is extremely social and bubbly, while I tend to hang back a bit more than her. I am adventurous and love to travel, where she is much happier living in the country and never seeing anything outside of it. I thirst for knowledge and am always looking to learn something knew, while my sister doesn't. My sister is extremely empathetic, and connects with people very quickly and very deeply, while I tend to be more reserved and uncomfortable. In many ways we are polar opposites and we definitely were not close for a long time (mostly due to the large age difference between us).

With my biological sister at my birthday celebration around st. patrick's day
Now, however, we have a very tight bond. A lot of it had to do with embracing the closeness that comes naturally with sisterhood and not struggling against it. My sister knows I am one of the few people who has the liberty to be completely honest with her, and vice versa. That is incredibly powerful and puts sisters in a unique position where others cannot be.

God has also blessed me with other sisters: 3 stepsisters and 3 sister-in-laws. 7 sisters in all, and I still think that the more sisters the better. Because I have embraced the beauty of sisterhood, I seek to make my sisters all understand that beauty too, and therefore have developed beautiful relationships with them.
2 sister-in-laws, my biological sister, and my mom with me

So here is a list I put together of things I value in sisterhood. I have found that if you take the time to invest in these women in your lives, whether they are sisters biologically, in-laws, spiritual sisters, etc., you will reap so many benefits.

1) "You make time for things that are important to you". This is another phrase I say often. We often say we don't have time to do things, but I say we always have enough time, we just don't allocate it the right way. If something is important to you, make time. Pick up the phone once a week and call your sister to check in. Send her a text message or facebook message just saying hi. When you give your time to someone, even if it is just to say hello and let them know you were thinking of them, it will bring you closer than anything else.

2) Take an interest in their children. I have mentioned in previous posts how important I believe it is to be a good aunt. I always wished I had an aunt growing up who took a real interest in me and my life. And I know it makes my sisters so happy when I show an interest in their children. There's nothing better than watching other people love on your kids. So take an interest. Be an aunt. My sister-in-law just had twins and I made it clear from the start how excited I was for her. I planned her shower willingly, called her post-delivery to check on her, and ooo and ahh over every picture she sends me.

3) Plan time to have fun together. Even once in a while, plan time to spend just with your sisters. Every year we have Christmas cookie baking day at my mom's house, and we invite everyone to come and join us as they can. I even extend the invitations to my step-sisters who are daughters of my father's wife. My mom embraces them because they are my sisters, and it makes the bond between all of us stronger. We are also planning a girl-weekend soon where we will all have a night together to enjoy one another and giggle like girls:)

4) Don't be petty, and forgive as Christ forgives. Sometimes your sisters are going to hurt you, and because they are family they will often hurt you worse than a friend will. But go to them, discuss it, and let it go. There's no room for pettiness in sisterhood.

5) Embrace as many "sisters" as God puts into your life. There may be none in your family, so pour your energy into the beautiful women God brings to you in friendship. When each of my brother's married, I welcomed each woman with as much enthusiasm as I give my own sister. I immediately showed them by my words and my actions that I loved them and considered them a sister.

6) Celebrate through the happy times and grieve with them through the tough times. When you show that you are willing to be there when things are tough, you will deepen that bond between you. I am not very good at sympathy or "deep stuff", but I force myself into uncomfortable territory often because I know it is important to my sisters.

A few of my "soul sisters"
7) Remember that sometimes your sisters will not have the same capacity to give to you as you have to give to them. You may find yourself reaching for the phone and wondering why you are always the one to call and they aren't. Gently bring up the issue to your sister, then drop it. We all have different capacities. Give what you can, and accepted when you get back, and be happy that you have been blessed with sisters in your life to give to.


  1. This is such a wonderful post. I have 2 other sisters. One that is my neighbor and one that lives far away. I loved your tips!

  2. Wow, I too have a sister that is almost 10 years younger than me. We are again, polar opposites. As I read this post, I saw myself ans my sister. I have never thought very much about the other ladies God placed in my life as being my "sisters" I just saw them as "friends". Thanks so much for an eye opening experience when I read this. I am sure these points will change MY life and the way I see others. Thank YOU sooooooooo much!


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!