Who’s Walking in your Shadow?

 

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In life, we always have a shadow.  And we always having someone walking in our shadow.  Who’s following in your shadow?  Where are you leading them?

As an older sister, this realization didn’t hit me until I was seven.  Of course, once it hit me, I naturally rejected it.  I didn’t want anyone copying me.  I wanted to be the original Amie who was as free as that tumbleweed you see tumbling about.  But, the Bible teaches us that God didn’t design our lives to be like that.

God has a reason for putting you in your family.  If you’re an older sibling, you’re put there to make a difference in your younger sibling’s life.  Whether that difference is for good or bad, it is in your power to decide.

If you don’t have younger siblings, you probably have some young person looking up to you.  I’m very popular in the nursery at our church, and I often have to keep from smiling when I hear a younger girl saying she wants to be just like me when she grows up, or a little boy saying that he likes me best…Next to his mommy, of course.  But when I start to think of that, what a huge responsibility it is!  To have younger people looking up to you, ready to follow in your footsteps, and say what you say, is very sobering.

Mark 9:42 says,

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. (ESV)

This verse often causes me to pause and consider.  Didn’t I cause my little sister to sin the other night?  Didn’t I do something stupid that might cause a child to sin?  It’s something that can drive you crazy, watching your every move as you think about these little people’s futures.

I remember being five.  A teenager was just so cool.  If they noticed me, or talked to me, I was in raptures.  I wanted to imitate them, to be like them, and to be liked by them.  Often the girls I wanted to imitate weren’t the ones I’d imitate today.

But I want to be that girl in the five-year-old’s life that can lead them to the Savior from sins.  The one to take them by the hand and draws them to those sacred Scriptures so full of wisdom, stories, and everlasting love.

But we’re human, and we mess up.  And that’s another thing we have to teach them.  It’s okay to apologize to a child.  In fact, you need to tell them you mess up, and that you didn’t mean to tease them, or hurt them.  We’re all human, and the Bible says,

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)

We’re supposed to admit our faults to each other.  Even to that little child that looks up to you with admiration.  Or your sibling, who you’re sure will gloat over your failure.  Honestly, every time I’ve told my siblings that I’ve sinned and I’m sorry, it’s brought us closer.  They usually don’t rub it in, plus they already knew I blew it.

Where are you leading those walking in your shadow?  Are you leading them down the narrow path?  Or are you walking down the wide road with them?

~~Amie~~

 

Board of Blogging Ideas…

I stared at my board of blogging ideas before slamming my head against the table.  “What should I blog about?” I ask sadly.

“I don’t know,” Emma says, as she returns to her animal cracker.  “You should make a blog about me and my questions.”  She laughs and grins at me.

“Um, I don’t think so.”

“Why?  Please?”

“I don’t know,” Rose says, shrugging and interrupting Emma.

“Teasing Rose,” Bilbo, my younger brother, declares.

“Okay, Rose, I need help.  What do you think?” I ask Rose, ignoring Bilbo’s idea intirerly.  I don’t tease my younger sisters!  (That much…)

“Nothing.”  Rose stuck her nose further in her book, and turned her shoulder on me.

“What do you think I should blog about, Bilbo?” I asked, deciding to ignore Rose.

“You should blog about someone getting hurt.  Maybe tell them you sprained your arm.”

“But that’s not true!” Rose objects.  “It would be a lie.”

“Agreed,” my older brother says, before returning to his book.

“Well, Emma, back to you.” I sigh, looking at the empty page in front of me.

“You should say you and me like to play violin together,” Emma says, as she takes another bite of cracker.

“Mmmmm, no.  What else?”

“Yes!”  Emma declares, continuing to devour her cracker.

“Okay, Rose, are you sure you don’t have any ideas?”  I don’t give the silent treatment very well…and I happen to be very free with second chances.

*Crickets*

“All right.  What about you, Bilbo?” I asked, feeling rather shunned.

“I think you should write about your competition!” Bilbo says.

“Then thousands of people will want to enter, and I don’t want to judge a thousand people,” my older brother says.

“You should blog about someone who burps so loud their head falls off,” Rose says, as she shuts the book she was reading.

“I don’t want to blog about any of that.  Hmm, where’s the other board members?”

“One’s asleep, and the other’s doing art,” Bilbo informs.

“Okay, next idea, Emma?” I decided to return to the one that had the best ideas so far.

“Hmm,” she deliberately thinks hard.  “What about pictures?  Maybe on a wagon?”

“We don’t have a wagon,” I remind her.

“The red wagon,” she patiently says.

“Any more ideas?” I ask, not interested.

“Maybe a post about me and Rose wrestling!” Bilbo says.

“Eh,” I shake my head.

“How about jump ‘n play?” Emma asks, as she still is working on her cracker.

“Um, any other ideas?”

“Nope,” Emma says, getting up.

“Um…” Bilbo thinks hard.

“Well, I guess I’ll just do another writing post.  What should I say in my writing post?”

“Um, I don’t know!  How about cats, and dogs, and bunnies!” Emma exclaims, sitting back down.

“Mm, okay!  That’s a good idea.”

“And hamsters,” Emma adds.  “I’ve never seen a hamster before.  Have you seen a hamster before?”

“Yes.”

“Where?”

“At a friend’s house.”

“Oh, and add more small rodents, okay?”

“All right.”

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Today I’m doing a writing post on how to write animals in your books!  It really all depends on you, and how you want your character to respond to animals.  If your animals aren’t—

“What can we do together, Amie?” Emma interrupted my typing.  “I want a hamster.  Do hamsters have teeth?”

“Yes,” my older brother says.

“Do they bite?” Emma asks with a bit of fear.

“Yes,” my older brother continues reading.

“Well, then I don’t want them!” Emma cried.–

If you’re animals aren’t mean, make them cute.  It they aren’t cute, make them mean.  Maybe add a talking animal every now and then in there to add a bit of excitement.  It might just—

“Amie, can you buy me a hamster?” Emma interrupts again.

“Uh, Mom probably won’t let us have one.”

“Oh, well, I want one.”—

It might just make your book famous.  You probably will have an easier time writing the book if you make the talking animal be funny, or snarky.  Either way, it’s all up to you.

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A round of applause to my siblings who kindly were in this post as board members.  Only amazing bloggers have a board of blogging ideas. 😉

Do your siblings inspire you? Do you enjoy hanging out with your siblings?

~~Amie~~

What about Siblings?

Maybe I’m a bit late.  Okay, I’m always late.  If I had know that yesterday was National Sibling day, I would have written this post earlier.  But…It’ll come around next year, right?

I’m one of seven children.  Wow?  Did your eyes pop out?  Haha, I’m used to that reaction.  Do you want to know a secret?  Lately I’ve been wanting even more siblings.  Why?  Well, I love my siblings.  They’re my best friends, and my work team.  We work together, talk together, laugh together, and live together.  Without my crowd of siblings, I’d be lost.

Since I love my siblings so much, does that mean we get along perfectly?  Of course not!  I’m often fighting with my little sister, or getting upset at my little brother.  I even get annoyed with my older brother!  (I’m second oldest.)  But if you ask them for forgiveness for getting upset, it doesn’t matter in the long run.

What ticks you off about your siblings?  For me, it could be my toddler sister scribbling on my laptop.  Or my other sister cutting my doll’s hair without asking me.  Or maybe it was as simple as my book going missing and I know one of my siblings took it.  Didn’t my sister Rose say she wanted to read it?

How do we resolve what ticks us off?  First, we must stop assuming it’s always their fault.  One of the wisest things my mom tells me is, “Blame yourself.”  Two words that are so hard to live out.  How can I blame myself?  It was their fault!  Maybe because it takes two to argue.

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Fine.  I’ll just keep my mouth shut.  I’ll let my anger bubble up inside.  Don’t do that either.  One sure way to injure your relationship with your sibling is to harbor anger.  Before long, you  get angry and start throwing around hurtful words.  The longer you simmer on your anger, the angrier you will become.  Trust me, I’ve tried it.

What if you have blown up?  What if your sibling won’t look at you?  What if they’re hurt…because of you?

My advice is the hardest, and yet must rewarding thing you can do.  Humbly stand before them and tell them you’re wrong.  Because you were.  Whether they had provoked you to anger or not, you got angry and sinned.

In First Corinthains 13, Paul says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;”  Do you really love your sibling, if you’re looking at this verse?  Are you patient and kind with your little brother?  Do you strive to be respectful to your little sister?  Do you always insist on your own way, or do you let your sibling pick their way?

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Paul doesn’t stop there.  What?  He’s already given us enough to do!  But, no, he keeps going.  “It (love) is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”  How often do we snap at our siblings?  Or are resentful because they can do something better than us.  Do we ever rejoice when our brother finally makes the wrong choice?  Mom will finally see he’s not the angel child!

We can’t do the things above in our own power.  We need the power of the Spirit working within us.  In our own strength, we will fail–miserably.  But, Paul said in his next letter to the Corinthians, “for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  Why?  We are strong in Christ, for He is our strength and our song.  Our hope, and our rock in the time of storm.

Without Christ, our life, our relationships, and our world would be hopeless.  Thankfully, Christ came to earth to save you…and your relationship with your siblings.  Stop now and pray that you will have the strength to do what is right.  Go to your sibling, and ask them for forgiveness if you’ve wronged them.  Start on a new slate.  A good relationship with your siblings will pay off.  I’m sure of it.

~~Amie~~