I love my cousins. There are 7 of us. Growing up I thought that was a lot, but then of course my husband has 17... that redirected my thinking:-) We would get together often at Gram's throughout each year, for birthday celebrations and holidays. As kids we were always designated to the other room and the "kids' table" where we had numerous escapades and silliness. We were always our own entertainment, and were content to just talk and laugh. And then we grew up. We each spread our wings and grew into
the people God designed us to be. College, missions, work, marriage, our own families. Gradually, our family gatherings became smaller....
All of us being at Gram's at the same time became rare, non-existent. To be honest, I hardly noticed. I accepted it as an inevitable fact of life. I of all people certainly understand how busy Life can be.
One of my cousins just got married. There we were, 6 out of the 7 of us, all in the same place at the same time! And then I realized that I truly miss the friendship and fun. The fond memories of days gone by. Yet with the sweet comfortable feeling of picking up where we had left off.
My sister is the oldest of the bunch. She is my hero because she is the one who maintains the connections with all family and all her friends from all stages of life. She always makes herself available to help in any capacity she can. I admire her for that. That and how she and my brother-in-law have determined to and are living debt free. She has always been my leader into crusades. She will research different things, and I have always been content to jump in, usually after she does all the work;-)
Second in line is my cousin who has been in California for several years. She is my hero because she has been away from family for several years. God has opened doors for her where she is actively involved in her church, and I know that they have become the family surrounding her. Just recently I discovered she hurt her knee badly back in December, and was unable to work for several weeks. God is doing a mighty work in her life, and she is growing in her relationship with Him through this refining process. She also rocks my world with her dedication to get out of debt and abide by a budget. ( http://liferehab101.blogspot.com/)
Next is me..
Fourth is the cousin who even today I have to do a double take looking at pictures on Gram's fridge. She and I have similar facial structures, and I kid you not, I have to determine if the picture I am looking at is of her or of me. She is my hero because is in my book she is athletic, and hikes and does rock climbing. She has a very sweet personality, and is kind and compassionate. She always has a mischievous sparkle in her eyes, and is ready for adventure!
Next is the Cousin who just got married. She was a beautiful bride, and her wedding was incredibly Pinterest inspired. Love, LoVe, LOVE! Her colors were blush and navy, it was outdoors, and gorgeous! I can't wait to see her pictures. She is my hero because she has always been constant, gentle and steady. When we were kids, she and I wanted to open a veterinarian clinic and we were going to call it Kimberlyn's (a combination of her middle name and mine.)
Her sister is 6th. She is my hero because nearly 3 years ago she had a stroke, at the age of 21. She is a self proclaimed "Survivor" and she is an incredibly strong and determined lady. She doesn't have any lasting physical side effects, by God's grace. She is sharing her story and hoping to bring awareness to strokes.(http://strokes101.blogspot.com/)
Last, but certainly not least is my only boy cousin. He has a dry sense of humor that is super crazy. A lot of the time, he just looks on at us girls with one eyebrow raised. He is my hero because he is graduating high school next week! He stands up for what is right, and is incredibly courageous. Whereas the others can see their adversity in the rearview mirror, and have become stronger for it, he is smack in the middle of a difficult season. I am sure this going to be one of the toughest times in his life. You see, my uncle, his dad, just died. I know that with the Lord's help, he will come through this with a testimony of God's faithfulness, but I know this is going to be hard.
These are my cousins. These are my heroes. They are testimonies of strength when life comes crashing down. They are friends that withstand the test of time. The Lord has blessed me with the best cousins one could ask for.
I love you guys!
Serving the Greater Phoenix Area, AZ