Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sibling Spotlight: Miriam Esther

Miriam is the third in our family of seven, a vibrant part of who we are. She's 27, 10 years older then me, and a wonderful sister to us all!

Miriam played a huge role in my growing-up years; to the four of us younger then her, she was often like our second mother. In fact, my sister Jubilee called both her and my Mom "Mommy" until Miriam finally got her to change to calling her "Mimi".

To this day, "Aunt Mimi" is a favorite among the aunts and a beloved "Miss Miriam" to all the children she knows. She's always been very good with children, whether they be her siblings or children she babysits.

She's a wonderful older sister, and my memories of her before she left home are special. She was never very bossy, but somehow she always seemed to get us to do what she wanted, and make us think that we wanted to do it! I have many memories of the times she'd have us clean the whole house together. She'd make things fun, working with us, having us scurry and clean as fast as possible and line up to receive orders. In the end, there was usually a fun prize - a treat or a game she'd play with us. She made cleaning a fun sibling activity!

Part of what makes her so fun for children (and those older!) is that she's very creative. With Miriam, you rarely have a dull moment! She kept us and those she babysat busy with fun crafts and games, making paperdolls, creative pictures using toothpicks, and million other things she's find in craft books. She's also very creative when it comes to games! It's rare when there's a game she doesn't try to change or add rules to to make it more interesting. With her characteristic persuasiveness, she'll convince you that her way of playing is better, or that we should really do this. She truly keeps things fun, but you have to watch out for her sometimes! :-)

It was from Miriam that I learned many of the things I so enjoy. She taught me to cook, letting me help her when I was young and setting an example in how to do things as I got older. My taking over meal preparations and running much of the household a few years ago was nothing new; Miriam was the head cook and cleaner in her older teen years as well. She was the inspiration behind my home-cooked meals - in fact, she was so generous that when she left for college, she left behind a freezer full of homemade meals!

She's also a great seamstress, and it was from her that I learned the rudimentals to begin sewing. She made me so many pretty dresses when I was little, as well as matching ones for Lydia, Jubi, and I. When I was 9-10 she helped me sew a dress of my own, and then helped me as I continued sewing on my own. I always knew who to call if I ran into a glitch!

She has amazing organization skills, and has helped us re-arrange things so many times. Somehow she seems to find the best places for everything. She also taught me gymnastics on the trampoline and by example how to scrapbook, play a fast Dutch Blitz game, and read many varied books. She's been a wonderful influence on who I am today!

When I was 8, she went off to Pensacola Christian College to study Mechanical Engineering. Yes, in addition to being a pro in domestic affairs, she's a whiz at math! We all missed her when she was gone. The house just didn't seem to run as smoothly without her! But, we learned to adjust and step into new responsibilities. She became one of my first penpals, for after learning that a spider kept spinning a web in her empty mailbox, I determined to keep it away! Her letters back were always fun to get, with cool cards, neat drawings by her, or an envelope covered in only 1 cent stamps!

The 4 years flew by quickly, with summers at home, visits, and our family camping trips at Fort Pickins on the beach. After her graduation and a very memorable month-long trip out West, she settled in to work around the area. She lived at home for the first few months, then rented a duplex with a college friend. She was still close by, so we enjoyed meals, game nights, and sleepovers at her place. Her friend Tamra soon became like another sister, full of fun. Soon after Tamra moved on to medical school, Miriam moved in with a bright elderly lady in her 90s. Over the years, she's proved very valuable to her company as a very capable mechanical engineer, and is now a great asset to her neighborhood. Mrs. Langston loves living with her, and a family of 5 from her church loves having her across the street! We, of course, like the fact that she's only 15 minutes away!

Miriam has been a big example to me as a single young woman waiting on God. Although she'd make a wonderful wife and mother, the years passed by with no "special someone". However, that didn't make Miriam sit home and mope! Rather, she's been a huge blessing at her church, work, and to us. She runs the sound at church, helps teach Sunday school, and leads a group of Sparks in AWANA. She lends a hand wherever needed, being a true example of a servant. Everyone at her church loves her!

She's also continued to be an impact in her family's lives. She comes over at least once-a-week (or more!) to eat supper, play games and talk, or take a hike or bike ride. She adds a spark of excitement whenever she comes, with a vibrant spirit of fun. She plans and makes Sibling Breakfasts, now set for every Tuesday morning at 6:45 a.m., and she's the one you want to take shopping when you need to find clothes at outlets or thrift stores. If you need advice, she has a wealth to give on anything from schoolwork or organizing rooms or events!

We all like to go places with her; even a trip to Walmart can be fun if we're going with Miriam!

She has been faithful in the place God has put her as a single young woman. Now, we are all excited and thrilled with her boyfriend John!

Although Jubilee has always had a special bond with Miriam, I feel very close and similar to her in many ways as well. We're both middle-child types, being a girl born after an older brother and sister close in age, somewhat secretive at times and n0t always showing our true feelings. She's become a great conversationalist though, and I've tried to follow her example and talk more. :-) Following in her footsteps and running a lot of the household, I'm amazed and inspired at how she did everything with 4 younger siblings to care for! Through her example, I try to be a fun older sister, babysitter, and teacher as well. However, we're also quite different, I being a more "girly-girl" then her. :)

Always ready to try something exciting or new, making special memories, being fun and kind, Miriam continues to be a great sister.

I love you Miriam! Thanks for being such a good influence in my life!


Maria Pauline said...

That was a wonderful post. You love Miriam very much and it shows! Thanks for sharing her excellent example.


Sloan said...

Thanks for this post it was a real inspiration to me. I am the oldest child in our family and want to grow up and have my sisters remember me as the BEST big sister. I mess up so much and this post made me realize how much BETTER I could be doing! Thanks again for ANOTHER WONDERFUL POST!!!
Sloan <><

Elijah Lofgren said...

Miriam is a great sister! It's so much fun to play games with her. She's has many fun ideas.

Thanks for sharing this Anna!

Love ya!

Your brother,


Miriam Rebekah said...

I've always thought it neat that mine and my sister's names were put together in Miriam L.'s name.

Great post! Miriam is a wonderful sister!

PoetLady said...

Miriam is AMAZING. I have never met anyone like her.

Her oldest sister,

Rebekah S. said...

What a beautiful tribute to your sister! I can tell that she's just as blessed to have you as you are to have her! :) It truly brings such joy to my heart when I hear siblings honoring each other, for in this day in age, that's all too often uncommon and unheard of. What a shame that is!

What a godly example you are, Anna, for how siblings should truly be, and how they should treat their siblings!

Miriam sounds like a wonderful sister; you must be really blessed to have her!


Miriam said...


Thanks so much for writing such a nice post! When I tried to think of what to write as a comment, I realized that it would be way too long so I wrote a blog on my site about your post instead. I am so thankful for you Anna! (And thankful too that God allows younger sisters to forget much of the bad-like when I closed you in the cupboard on my bunk bed!-and remember the good!)

I love you!


Steph said...

Hello, there. This is Mrs. Clunn, Sloan's Mom. A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog for Sloan knowing she would like it. I can see why. She is about to embark on making an Eduardian era dress from a link found here. I just wanted to say that what you have done for your sister in this post is a beautiful and precious thing. To pay tribute to someone, especially a cherished sibling, in such a heartfelt way, brings blessing to not only her but to you as well. I imagine your siblings feel similarly of YOU...May the Lord bless and keep you, young hand maiden of God!

Anna Naomi said...

I'm glad you all got to see a picture of my wonderful sister Miriam. =) I'm glad she's been an inspiration to you all.

Miriam: Yes, it probably is a good thing little sisters forget the bad. =) Though I don't remember you doing much that was bad to us - and if you did, we evidently turned out okay!

Mrs. Clunn: Thanks for your encouragement! I've enjoyed Sloan's comments on our blog. I hope the Edwardian dress goes well for her! I've seen but not yet made that particular style. It looks very pretty!


What a sweet post! I enjoyed reading it! :)

Elizabeth said...

This is SUCH a beautiful post! I'm an older sister too. This post is such an encouagement - to keep being the best older sister I can be (even at the 'advanced' age of 23! :-P)!