I've been a big sister since just before I turned 4. When my parents brought Daniel home from the hospital, I was a little disappointed that his blanket was blue - not pink. But, that disappointment was short lived and I stepped into my role as big sister.
It's a fun job. I had the opportunity to witness a milestone in the life of my brother last weekend - a milestone that highlighted the role of siblings in each other's lives. On Sunday, we had a baby dedication for Ansley Katherine in which we had the opportunity to commit to help them raise her in the ways of the Lord. It was a precious, precious time.
As I stood and watched my brother sit there with his wife and little girl, I couldn't help but think of the other milestones I've witnessed in his life.
I remembered when he really came to understand the power of God in his life. I was in awe of a middle school boy who boldly presented the Gospel to his friends. I remember being challenged by the way he held to his convictions and spoke boldly to friends who were making poor choices. The stance he took cost him much over the years. But, he was laying up treasures in heaven.
I remembered the night he bodyslammed someone who was harrassing me. When my guy friends thought it was funny, my brother stood up for me.
I remembered the night he worked out his plan to ask Katie (now his wife) to the prom. I happened to be home from college that weekend and helped him spell out his question in roses as he practiced in the living room.
I remembered how hard he worked to make the baseball team at Georgia Tech as a walk on. And, I remembered how proud I was when he succeeded.
I remembered waiting anxiously for him and Katie to return from their engagement trip so we could celebrate the coming expansion of our family.
I remembered standing in a church and watching him commit to love, honor, and protect his bride. I remember the joy on his face as he joined his life with hers.
I remembered the first time I really saw him as a husband and protector. We were travelling overseas and I simply observed the way he interacted with Katie. I was so pleased by the man he had become. He was so protective, intuitive and loving towards her. It warmed my heart.
And, I remembered rushing to the hospital last Christmas Eve to be one of the first to hold his first little girl, Ansley Katherine.
All of these things came to mind as I stood there while the minister challenged all of us to help show Ansley the ways of the Lord. There was a moment when Hugh asked for all of the siblings to come forward and lay hands on our brother and sister and pray for them. It was beautiful.
I am so proud of my brother, Daniel, and his beautiful wife, Katie. Since they began dating in high school, I've had the opportunity to watch them both grow up, go to college, get married and now become parents. Being "Aunt T" to their little girl is one of the greatest joys of my life already. I love that she recognizes me and gets excited when I enter a room. I love when I get to sing her to sleep at nap time. I can't wait to teach her all about Disney princesses and about being a daughter of the King herself. I know that my aunts and uncles have played an enormous role in my life. I hope to do the same for Ansley.
Having brothers is something special. I know those of you with sisters would say it's special too. But, I didn't grow up with a sister. (Although, I now have one in Katie and soon Eddie will also give me a sister). I grew up with brothers who picked on me and who were rough with me, but who would destroy anyone who tried to hurt me.
Daniel, I am so proud of the man you are and you continue to become. I am so honored to be part of Ansley's life and I take the responsibility very seriously. I'm proud of you and Katie as you step into the roles of Father and Mother. It's been amazing to watch the milestones of your life and see my little brother become a godly man. I love you!