Of all the amazing gifts God has given me, I think the best of them all is my brothers.
I have awesome friends, a darling little sister, great parents, but when it comes down to it, I think God has used my brothers to make me most of who I am.
For those of you who didn't know, I have three older brothers and four younger ones. They each have very unique and individual ways in which they've taught me how to live, but they've all been part of making me who I am.
Isaiah is almost 21. Until recently we weren't really close. Actually, I don't even feel like I really knew him very well until a few years ago. I mean, we knew each other, but he was always very grand in my younger sister's admiring eyes, and until I realized I would be losing him before too long, we weren't really close. When it finally hit me (and perhaps him) that he would be starting a life of his own before we even realized it, we grew much closer, and got to know each other better. And when he left for his first year of college, we grew even closer by writing lengthy emails to each other once or twice a week.
Isaiah is one of the few people I know who I can talk to about anything- really truly anything. Isaiah is constant, supportive, reassuring, caring, and really the ultimate big brother. Although our opinions differ on many things (particularly guys' hair) he is always ready to compliment my recently made outfit, tell me I look pretty when I'm not feeling pretty, and support me in only the way a guy can. He makes me feel totally at his level despite the fact that he's six years older than me.
Isaiah and I often seem to have the same thoughts about a subject at the same time. We are often pushing through the same spiritual and emotional struggles at the same time. We can sympathize with each other, help each other with our insights (though I must admit, it's usually just him helping me) and grow together.
He has taught me what it means to be an excited child of the King, and what it means to be living for Him. I love him to death.
Josiah is 18. He'll be 19 soon. Too soon. Although Josiah and I are in some ways the farthest apart of all my siblings, we're also close in unapparent ways. Though he might not always realize it, we often feel the same way emotionally about ideas. Josiah is one of the coolest people I know. He has his own extremely unique style that in some ways is so different, but in such a way that you wish you knew his fashion designer (being, of course, himself).
Josiah is a writer, and because I think a little bit like a writer, I sympathize a lot with him. He is passionate and when he commits himself to something he commits himself. And I mean his whole self. One way we are similar is the way that we'll be adamantly against something, then end up doing that very thing and enjoying ourselves immensely. We are also similar in the fact that we very much dislike admitting that we are enjoying that very things which we so adamantly protested against.
To understand Josiah you have to know him very well. I don't know Josiah nearly as well as I very much want to, and I don't understand him half so well as I should like. But despite that, I love him so much that it sometimes hurts.
He's the kind of person who begs loyalty without saying a single word or even wishing for loyalty, simply because he's cool like that.
Josiah has taught me many things through his writing, like "Life is a battle you only win when you die." Or, "Consistency is a fundamental part of the most important components of any relationship." And, "Change in any person can only accepted over time, never immediately. And time means patience, and patience is the hardest of all virtues, of this I am sure."
Josiah is awesome, and to really understand how awesome he is, you have to know him. I value his praise more than almost anyone else's and when he compliments me I feel the luckiest girl in the world. I have the unspeakable privilege of being his sister.
Zachariah is 16. He'll be 17 eventually. I guess he'll turn 17 before Isaiah turns 21, and since I said Isaiah is almost 21, I should also say Zachariah is almost 17. ANYway...
When we were little, Zachariah and I were closer than anything. Actually, he declared he was going to secretly marry me someday. (This is, mind you, when we were 4 and 2).
Zachariah and I don't always understand each other. That might be an understatement. We think very differently from each other, and our ideas and opinions are very different. Part of it is that I think like a writer, and Zachariah thinks more like a scientist or mathematician. He sees things quite practically, while I view things very emotionally. I also get very upset about various things, and he stays cool, calm, and confident. We both had to (or have to, because we're still learning) learn how to get along with each other despite our differences. And it's hard work, because, well, our personalities don't necessarily go together naturally. But the hard work is so worth it. When we get along, we have so much fun together. We laugh together as we share our inside jokes, we shake our heads at the same wacky people in the pick-up truck behind us, we remember the same movie quote and repeat it at the same time, the list goes on and on.
Zachariah is a jack of all trades. He is a chef, a gardener, a wine-maker, and many many other things. He basically is into doing things completely self-sufficiently, and going back to basics.
I learn a lot from him practically speaking, and when we both decide to talk to each other, we have amazingly interesting and fun conversations.
As much as I used to wish for more sisters, there are many advantages to having mostly only brothers. My older brothers support me that guys and only guys can. They keep my self esteem from being too high, but most of the time they know how to make me confident. They teach me how to be a man, and they teach me how to be a lady. They are each awesome in their own way, and I love them more than I can ever tell them with words.
They have all taught me, in their own way, oftentimes simply by being themselves, to live life more fully, and have helped me decide what to do in the time that is given me.
I wish I could really tell you how I feel about each of them- this barely scratches the surface. In any case, they each mean more to me than I can ever express, and I don't thank God enough for them. I love you all!