They have been such an encouragement to Jim and myself over the years. Their love, faithfulness and devotion to one another is truly inspiring. I watched them as they became Christians and then Jim and I have watched (and learned) as they stepped out in obedience to their Lord through childrearing, teenage years, Claire and Dan's college years, the marriages of their children to godly mates, the handling of their empty nest and finally, their grandparenting stage (four, as of now, and I am sure, still counting).
Through it all they have faithfully served our Lord during a military career and then, stepping out in faith, when God called them to serve full time with the international military community.
My sister has nurtured our relationship (she being older by 8 1/2 years). She has made me feel so loved. I can remember her teaching me to outline in coloring when I was four years old. We were sitting at the dining room table one afternoon coloring, and I distinctly remember looking at her picture and how much neater it was than mine! I commented about that and she, with patience, showed me how to outline. When we moved from NY to VA we rented a home with 3 bedrooms. One of the bedrooms was a big attic room with a window looking down over the side of the house. The other was a much smaller room where my brother was going to sleep. To this day, I do not know how she did it, but she gave me the choice of rooms (like she was ever going to share a room with my brother, who was only 4 years younger than I) and I chose to share the room with my brother! And, I felt great about it!! LOL! One of the bargaining chips she used was that she would invite me up to spend the night in her room. What a treat that was for me! She had so many nice things that she would let me play with! I can truly say that my sister and I have never had a fight or disagreement. There was one time when I pestered her and she chased me around the dining room table while we were living in Germany. We look back on that and laugh. She was obviously the more 'mature' of us! :) The sun rose and set in my sister and so you can imagine when Vic came on the scene! But, I couldn't have picked a better husband for my sister if I had tried! Vic was the perfect match!
They met in Germany one summer. I can't remember if it was the summer before she left for Vasser or a summer between her college years. Vic was fabulous! He was in school at the Air Force Academy and would go on to graduate and become a navigator. Theirs was a long distance romance through letters. Not only did they communicate with each other by letters but Vic wrote letters (plural) to ME (all of which I still have)! He shared of his love for her and how they looked forward to being married and how he would love it when I could come visit them in their new home.... He told me about his old Model T (?-it's an old car) that he had restored and the events that were going on in his life, all this while at the Academy and then early in his career. I look back on that now, as a parent with a son in flight school, who has NO time, and I just marvel how Vic saw a little girl, who adored her sister, and took the time to cultivate a relationship with her! They weren't long letters (but I didn't realize that until much later--LOL) but they were long enough to show me that he cared about me.
Both of them have been instrumental in developing and cultivating Jim's and my Christian walk. The Lord has used them over and over again for prayer support, for wisdom, and encouragement as we stepped out in marriage, childrearing, college and then releasing our son into the military. In fact, Vic was the person who James chose to swear him into the Air Force when he was commissioned last year.
So, I hope as they go about their day, they know how much we love them! Here's to many, many more wonderful years together!
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 "Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised."