Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sibling Spotlight: Elijah John

Elijah is the 5th child in our family, and the closest sibling to me in age. He will be 20 in September, and I am very blessed to have such a special man as my brother.

When I think of our growing up years, I have many happy memories. I think of our rock collections and the hours spent building things indoors or out. I think of the books we read and the many cassette tapes we listened to while playing. I think of tepees and trails and many visits to the creek. I think of make-believe games and times together with friends close in age. I think of Beebe guns and boardgames (especially Risk!).


Elijah is not only my brother; he is one of my best friends. Because we're so close in age, we grew up together, and he is the one in my family that I'm probably closest to. These past two years have been hard as he's been away at college and, this year, a summer job. However, we've kept in touch through email, chatting, letters, and now, thanks to our new family plan cell phones, phone calls! I always cherish each letter he sends and get excited to see his name pop up on my cell phone.

From an early age Elijah has been interested in technology, and he is now quite the computer expert! If I have a question or something's not working, he's readily available to give me answers and help find solutions. Without Elijah, I never would be able to do half of what I do with computers and the internet. He's also the reason I'm able to blog. For my 15th birthday, he created my website Danceranna.com as a surprise gift. Soon after, he showed how to start blogging, then helped me set up "A Graceful Maiden's Memoir" a few months later. When Miriam and I started "Maidens of Worth", he was the brains behind it, helping design the template with his HTML prowess and setting up all the things needed for it. Thanks to his help and lessons, I can now do the basic editing, but I still have to ask him for help, which he always gives so readily. Soon after I started The King's Praise Ballet, he set up another website for me, which was great to point prospective students to and to organize pictures on. He's also set up many websites for other family and friends, and keeps a great one of his own! He has been and continues to be such a blessing in the computer realm! His major of "Computer Science and Engineering" has been perfect for him.

Elijah is also very gifted in the photography and videography. He has videotaped nearly all of my dance recitals and musicals, and has taken pictures for many of them as well. His willingness to do it has been a blessing, and he's preserved many memories for our family. He's made many DVDs of the presentations, then passed the knowledge on to me. He also enjoys taking pictures of events and daily life, which has been wonderful for his scrapbooking sisters!


However, his gifts aren't limited to technology. Although he enjoys it a lot, he's doing well in not letting it consume his life. He's a great writer and has become an engaging conversationalist. He played trumpet for many years, and though he hasn't touched it in a while, played well growing up in homeschool band. He's quite handy in fixing things and working outside. In whatever he does, he does it very well!

Whenever I think of Elijah, I can't stop thanking God for him. It has been wonderful having him as a big brother. Yes, we did have some tussles and quarrels growing up, but our relationship has remained close. In many things I've done, it's been very helpful to watch Elijah walk through them before me. He's been a ource of strength in trying times. When I was a nervous new teenager, he was my big brother to protect me. He was the one to "chauffer" me for a few years, and I always felt comforted when he was near. At 6'4", he's always made me feel safe and protected when we're out together.

With 5 sisters, Elijah certainly must have had trying times growing up as a boy surrounded by girls. =) However, he has become such a gentleman, and loving, tender-yet-strong brother. The considerate things he does and says make me feels so special and loved. I so enjoy serving him and making him things, and he's so kind to notice and thank me. He's ever the gentleman, holding doors for us and helping out.

I've always said and will continue to say that if I can marry someone like Elijah, I will be happy indeed. Having him as an example has set my standards. Of course, he's not perfect (no one is) but I can see him growing and maturing day by day. Little ones enjoy him, and its a joy to see him play with our nieces and nephews. The girl who gets my brother will be a blessed one indeed.

Our close relationship has helped me learn how guys think and let me practice relating to them. We've also been a true source of encouragement to each other. When I'm going through a hard time, I feel safe to write or tell Elijah, and his encouragement always strengthens me. It's comforting to know that he's praying for me. His letters, emails, phone calls or chats are bright spots in my day. He's ever ready to listen to my ideas and hopes or discuss with me things I'm puzzling over.

Elijah has also been an example to me in how he lives his life. He's opened up a lot recently, and has surrendered his life to God's plans. The way he is willing to go wherever God leads and step out of his comfort zone has been a challenge and encouragement to me. Be it an 8-5 job, the mission field, or a home-based business, I know that Elijah will do well in wherever God takes him. His excitement over what God is doing and living a life for God's glory is contagious!

Thoughtful, kind, and full of fun, Elijah keeps us laughing with his dry humor and makes us feel special with his considerate ways.

Elijah, thank you for the positive influence you've been on my life. Thank you for all of the ways you communicate and show the best brotherly love. Thank you for confiding in me and keeping my confidences. Thank you for being such a good example of a man of God. Thank you for always being there... for me. I love you!


8 comments:

Elijah Lofgren said...

Thank you VERY MUCH for your kind words Anna! You are a very encouraging sister!
I love and miss you!

See you in a week, God willing! :)

Your brother,

Elijah

Sloan said...

Sounds like you have a VERY special brother, and it is obvious that you respect and love him very much!

Sometimes I wish I had a brother,
But I was blessed with 3 wonderful sisters!

Sloan

PoetLady said...

Ron and I often talk about how special you are Elijah. I'm glad I'm related to you.

This post our sister Anna wrote is very true.

Maria

Anonymous said...

I rather envy the relationship you have with your older brother. I have always wanted an older brother, but the Lord is working on me - trying to teach me that I need to be content with the 3 younger brothers that I have, and strengthen my relationship that I have with each one of them. I definitely need a lot of work. Thank you for this post, it is neat to see siblings that have such a blessed relationship, and to know that it isn't impossible to have a strong relationship with siblings. You have a wonderful big brother! :)

~Allie in KY~

sydney said...

SUCH a sweet post, Anna! :-) God sure knew what He was doing when he gave you a brother like Elijah, it sounds like. I have an older brother who is my cheerleader and encourager also. I can't thank God enough for him! :-) I love having an older brother to protect me and show me what being a true gentleman is like.

Elijah: Sounds like you've got a wonderful sister...I know you do! :-)

Thanks for sharing, Anna. God bless you both!

Shalom! :-)

Ella said...

Anna, anyone can see by what you wrote just how special the bond is that you and Elijah share. I know how much he means to you. Brothers do hold a very special spot in our hearts!

thepatriot said...

Awwww! *Sniff* *sniff*.

Anonymous said...

Yes Anna it sounds like you have a great brother Elijah! That is cool that you speak so highly of your brother! I'm from a mennonite family in Pennsylvania, My name is Elijah. I have one brother and two sisters. I know as the oldest how important it is to set a good example for the younger siblings. Good job Elijah it sounds like you have done a fine job as being a leader! May God continue to bless you and your family. I was looking up my name today and i found your blog so i wanted to leave you a message because i don't find to many people with the same name as me Elijah! Have a great day!