Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some of My Favorite People

Can I introduce you to a few of my favorite people?

It's not often (in fact I think it's really rare) that siblings, after growing up and getting through all of the teasing, awkwardness, and rivalry issues, turn out to be just really, really great friends. But such is the case with my brother Mark and I. Here's a few highlights of our history together. Let's start at the beginning . . .

As children, Mark was the sweet, non-confrontational, mediating middle child. He didn't want anyone to be unhappy. He often encouraged me not to fight with my mom (something I did rather frequently as a young woman, I'm ashamed to say). He was also concerned about equality. How many pieces of pizza came in the box? How many does each person get to eat? Who had a larger portion of Cheerios? Whose ice cream had more chocolate sauce on it? These were things Mark thought carefully about. A favorite refrain from my childhood: "Dan, don't eat it all!" (Since our oldest brother, Dan, was in fact liable to eat it all.)

Then we grew up. Highschool and college were fun with Mark because we shared a year together--my freshman and his senior. I almost idolized my older brothers and even broke up with a boyfriend once because Mark and Dan didn't like him! Thankfully, they liked John--his goofy sense of humor, athletic interests, and love of the Lord were all things that Mark and Dan shared and could relate to.

After John and I were married, we had a small apartment that had a second room that worked perfectly for Mark to live with us for a school year. He was saving money, dating a wonderful girl that we loved, and during that year they became engaged! I couldn't have been happier with his choice of my dear sister-in-law, Beth. We have very similar personalities and interests, and really conect well together!

The following year, Mark and Beth made their first home in an apartment just a floor above ours, literally only about 15 steps away. That was to be the only year we lived close to each other, but it was wonderful! We often were able to spend time together, sharing meals, watching the Vikings and Twins on TV, and playing our own versions of football and bocce ball in the backyard. Beth and I did a Bible study together that year as well. All these things really cemented our friendship and though we were all busy with our various schedules, it was still such a blessing to live so close to one another.

Now, obviously, we do NOT live close to one another. But Mark and Beth are the kind of friends that (and I hope you have a friend or two like this) we can see each other after a long absence and it is as if no time has passed. There is no relational distance, we can be in a close and deep conversation within moments. There may be lots of things to catch up on, but our hearts are still knit together. I truly praise the Lord for His work in giving Mark and I such a strong relationship. For those of you who know that we lost our brother Dan to cancer in 2003, this also really drew Mark and I closer together. I feel sort of protective of our relationship now, even more so than before, since he is the only brother I have left.

All of this to say, it was so wonderfully exciting to get to see Mark and Beth and their girls when I was back in the States! They took time from a busy schedule to drive down and spend some time at my mom and dad's. It was a huge blessing! We stayed up way too late every night talking, but it was so worth it! I felt like I was smiling the whole time they were there.

Lunch on the deck on a beautiful sunny day!
I snapped this photo and warned Mark, "Hey, that's going on my screensaver!" That grin looks like he's about to eat the last of the Oreo Cookie Dessert!

Marin and Annika are about 15 months older than Clara Anne and 2 months younger than Clara Anne, respectively. They are sweet, sweet girls! I am so excited for all five girls to get to play together next year when our whole family is (briefly) back in the States.

So great to be together!

I needed a few extra hugs that week since I was missing them from my own girls! Marin and Annika happily obliged.

Thank you for your deep and abiding friendship, Mark and Beth. You are precious to me, and I rejoice in the Lord's plan of putting us in the same family and giving us such a great gift of a great relationship. We love you!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...


I love how you shared that about your brother and sis-in-law! Siblings are such a precious gift from the Lord, especially when you share Christ!

I also know what you mean about friends that you pick up where you left off when you see each other. I feel that way about our friends who are in Brazil, James and Christen and David and Sharon. What a blessing to have such dear friends in this life, and the joy of sharing a future together with Christ in heaven. Josh and I were just talking to my younger sister about how we long to have things freeze in time because eternity is bound up in our hearts! :*)

Sending you love!