To my sister on her 16th birthday

Dearest Joy,

16 years ago tonight, my life changed forever. No longer would I be an only child, but I’d have a sister who everyone thought was really my daughter! That’s pretty awesome when you’re a sophomore in college, just sayin’!

Over the past year you’ve become more of a friend. I’m so thankful to finally have that special someone who gets our crazy family and loves it just the same! Life with the Pastor, right? hahahah

Earlier today, we sat in church and listened to dad tell his story of being called into the ministry. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate God’s perfect timing in our lives. No one knew back then all the twists and turns ahead in the journey of our family, but I’d do it all over again – including the part of adding you. What a joy you have truly been to us!

There have been so many ups and downs and there have been some really tough days. You’ll have plenty of those as you grow older. Our family’s heritage of faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that has held us together. Hold tight to that legacy wherever you go and never let go of the hand of God. 

These next few years will bring temptations you’ve never imagined and the peer pressure may seem unbearable. It won’t be. Mark my words (you know I had to pull some Bieber into this), you are stronger than you think you are. You have parents and grandparents and a sister that have prayed fervently for your path. You, my darling, are blessed beyond measure. You have me, you lucky booger, you!!

Let’s talk for one minute about boys. Don’t do what I did. Please. I dated the heartbreakers and had some really long detours on the way to finding Brian. If I could give you one piece of advice (and I can because this is my blog, ha!), I’d tell you to find someone that #1 – has an unquestionable passion for God and #2 – knocks you off your feet because he’s so stinkin’ nice. I mean like open all the doors, carry all the groceries, calling dad to volunteer at church just because kind of nice. 

Lastly, here’s my advice on friends – since you asked and all. Don’t let anything come between you and forever friends. The boys will come and go. The popularity will fade. College will change everyone. Stick close to those that know you best and be there for each other always. Be the friend who is honest when it hurts to be honest. Be the friend who doesn’t stop caring and loving. You and your friends will need each other. And you might be tempted to give up at times on forgiving each other. Don’t give up. Be first to say you’re sorry and put the past behind you. Before you know it, you’ll be where I am thinking how in the world did all these years pass by so quickly?

The days are long, but the years are short. That makes no sense whatsoever now, but one day it will. 

You’ll be tempted to always wish for the next thing to hurry up and get here. First, you’ll be sooo ready for high school to be done. Then, you’ll be sooo ready for college to be over. Then, you’ll be sooo ready to get married. Then, you’ll be sooo ready to start a family. And one day you’ll look back on those memories – wishing you could go back. I promise. This will happen. 

I’ve said enough and it’s getting late. Always remember you have my love. 

God gave me you, and that was His way of sending Joy into my life. 

Happy birthday, sweet Joy. 



14 replies to “To my sister on her 16th birthday

  1. Happy Birthday. Wow. 16. Time has gone by fast love y’all. She’s such a Blessing. God Bless her love the pictures

  2. I have 4 sisters and I’m sad to say I don’t have a relationship like yours and Joy! I have always wanted one but it seems other things were more important in their lives! Always hold onto what y’all have because it’s special and you two hold a special place in my heart! Love you both!

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