I Want to be Like Janelle

I talked to my little sister last week.

She’s not so little anymore. (I still can’t believe she’s seventeen.)

Her name is Stephanie and she is pretty beautiful. 

That’s her on the right. (The other girl is beautiful too. That would be Hannah. She’s nineteen.)

Stephanie and I used to share a bedroom. We shared from the time she was a baby until I got married. At first she had a toddler bed, but eventually we shared a bed too. I remember lots of nights, pushing her back to “her side of the bed”…two or three in the morning.

(There was an invisible line that divided my space from her space. I could share a bed, but I needed my own side of the bed.)

She says I took all the covers, but that could be considered a matter of perspective. (I mean, she wiggled around a lot. Maybe she just pushed them off herself?)

We write letters. In one of her last letters she told me that I have to share a bed with her (for at least one night) when we’re visiting in August.

I think she misses me. (I miss her a lot too.)

We don’t talk on the phone very much, but last week we chatted for an hour one afternoon. She told me about her latest shopping trip, with a church friend, Janelle.

Meet Janelle:  late twenties, married, mother of three children, friend to my seventeen-year-old sister.

Since Janelle’s husband had plans for a 2-day business trip, she thought shopping for a day would help her not miss him so much. She invited my little sister to join her and as Stephanie recounted the details of her shopping trip, I felt inspired.

They went from shop to shop for nearly twelve hours (now that’s a day of shopping!) and treated themselves to a nice dinner at Olive Garden.

Stephanie had a blast. She was so delighted to go along and she told me how Janelle feels like the older sister she doesn’t have living close by. (All of Stephanie’s older sisters, besides Hannah, live far away…at least by a couple of hours.)

It’s always easy to invite your close friends to go shopping or hang out with you. I am sure Janelle could have chosen someone closer to her own age to go shopping.

Instead, she chose Stephanie.

She blessed her and inspired me.

I want to be like Janelle.

A gracious portrait of real, beautiful community.


2 thoughts on “I Want to be Like Janelle

  1. Renee, thank you sooo much! That was really special what you wrote and i’m gonna keep it forever! I love you sister and you mean alot to me! love Stephanie

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