December 6, 2011 at 6:25 am, by Carl

Yesterday, December 5th, was my big sister’s 50th birthday.  I know, I know…not supposed to talk about such things, especially for a woman.  Well, if my sister wasn’t so beautiful and, trust me, you’d never know she’s a day over mid-30s, I might worry about it.  You just hope you look this good when you are 50.


My sister, Christina Denise, is the model every woman reading this should strive for.  And, any of you men won’t find a better example of the kind of woman you hope to marry.


Tina and I had a normal childhood.  We fought a lot.  I thought she was bossy.  She thought I was a pest.  We played together a lot too, until she hit 13 or 14 and, well, I didn’t really know what happened but she got weird.  I later found out that all girls do that.  We drifted a tiny bit–I mean, we were close enough, but those teen years of hers didn’t really include me much.  But then she left for college…and we got closer.


We wrote letters to one another.  Spoke on the phone.  She matured and realized she needed to help me mature.  She had already paved the road for much of my high school experience.  I knew things to do and not do because of her and, in general terms, I had an easier time of it as the “younger brother” because of her.  In high school, I had her high standards to live up to….”oh, Carl, your sister was an excellent student so I can expect a lot from you.”  While I may not have appreciated it much at the time, it did help to know that I had something to live up to.


Spiritually, she remains a rock of faith even as she has worked through the normal challenges of life that can upset one’s spiritual perspective.  Today, she and her husband, Clay, are into their 25th year of marriage, having shepherded five children through childhood (with the two youngest into their high school years).  She cares for our parents deeply as well as Clay’s parents who live next door to them.  She and Clay have served in their church ministry for almost three decades, helping many college students transition from the teen years to young adulthood.  In that way, Tina has “parented” far more than the five children.


I often counsel young parents that their job will be a success when they are friends with their adult children.  The same can probably be said for siblings.  I consider myself blessed to have my wonderful sister as one of my closest friends, confidants and counselors.   She is graceful, mature, sweet and kind.  She changes the lives of those she comes in contact with.  I spend my life trying to help people become successful in their lives, through this blog, through my position at the College, through my church.  I usually use words, but sometimes a life-model is the best.


My sister is that model.  If you are fortunate enough to know Tina, then take a good look.  Then, go and copy how she does what she does.  Your life will be better for having done so.


I love you sis.  Happy Birthday.