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TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL SIBLINGS DAY
MY BIG SISTER AND FRIEND, ASHLEE
After recently discovering that April 10 marks National Siblings Day, a holiday devoted to honoring the long-lasting and deep friendships shared between siblings, I immediately knew I wanted to take some time to highlight the great experiences I had growing up with my older sister, Ashlee. The history behind Ashlee’s name is almost as remarkable as my sister herself. Ashlee was named after a close friend of our family. Because his name was Lee, my parents named (and even appropriately spelled) my sister’s name to accurately reflect their friendship. Six years later, I came into the picture. Due to the age gap, we never really ran in the same circle of friends, but Ashlee and I still got along quite well and managed to forge
to go through anything. This meant that I always had Ashlee to turn to for advice, encouragement, or support. Interestingly, our differences helped our relationship flourish. I was the more athletic one, spending as much time as I could playing sports, while Ashlee was the more creative one. Even from a young age, I was always blown away by how talented she was as a musician. Because we excelled at different ventures, we were able to learn from and appreciate one another in different ways. In addition to her musical acumen, Ashlee was active in women’s ministry. She participated in Impact, a great organization that allowed her to live in a different city every summer. While there, she would work with the locals and continuously
college. We sat on a pair of swings, and she talked to me about the various trials and tribulations that adolescents often go through, such as the stresses associated with school, friendships, relationships, etc. She gave me an idea of the potential pitfalls to look out for while also offering me her perspective. Ashlee was unwaveringly great at fulfilling the “older sibling” mentor role, but this specific memory of sitting on those swings meant and still means a lot to me. I believe it was the significant experiences she had during those summers that led her to eventually pursue her master’s degree in biblical studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Turns out she ended up marrying a pastor, so they share a ministry background together. They also have two beautiful children, Annie and Ethan, who I can’t wait to introduce to their cousin — Rachel’s and my son, Noah, who is due on June 28! My hope is that, regardless of the age gap, Noah will be able to grow up and share the same closeness with his cousins that I enjoyed with Ashlee. I can’t wait to be a part of it.
a great relationship. There is a reputation that goes along with being the youngest in the family, and in my household, I certainly reaped some benefits from
minister to people in the area. These trips always revealed
Ashlee’s gracious and encouraging heart. In fact, one of my clearest memories is of going to visit her while she was volunteering during her last summer before
having been born last. For example, I never had to be “the first”
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