I am the only girl in the midst of 4 amazing brothers. Naturally, while growing up, the one thing my heart always longed for was a sister. To me, a sister would be someone I could share the load of taking care of these crazy brothers with, someone I could day dream with, share interests, clothes and being pretty with. At some point, I realized what a blessing being the only girl in my immediate family was and that the status came with certain perks (i.e. not having to share a room and missing out on the "fun" fighting years most sisters seem to go through.) However, even as I came to realize how wonderful my brothers were, I don't think my heart ever stopped really wishing for a sister.
Then came the summer of 2001.
That summer, I began to fall in love with a certain boy named Josh King while we were leaders for our church's Junior High summer camp. Along with his stunning looks and awesome personality, he had another perk- two sisters! It was at this camp, that I began to taste what having a sister is like through my budding relationship with his youngest sister Chelsea.
Fast forward several years to present day and my beautiful younger sister-in-law, Chelsea, became a wife on August 21st. I had the extreme honor of being a bridesmaid in her wedding which caused me to stop and reflect on who she is and what an immense blessing she has been in my life. At her rehersal dinner, I wanted to make a toast, but the words wouldn't formulate fast enough for me to stand and say them before the moment had passed. So, here's my opportunity:
Chelsea, you were the first taste of a sister in my life. I think back to the early years my relationship with Josh in which you and I made countless batches of cookies together, had little movie dates, and engaged in heartfelt sisterly conversations. Those moments were precious to me not only because I was gaining a sister but because I was able to experience the joy of family with a girl!
As the years have gone on, I have loved watching you flourish in to a beautiful woman. I have seen such immense growth in you. You are a woman of action and boldness who will work hard to achieve a goal set before you. You are a woman of grace, extending forgiveness and support even when it is deemed unwarrented. You are beautiful, which comes not only from your natural good looks (he he) but from your groundedness in who you are as a woman of God. You are goofy and playful, in a way that lets you laugh at yourself and provides others with the freedom to set aside the facade of adulthood and revel in good humor and fun. I am so happy that you have found a man who appreciates and values all of these qualities about you. Nathan is an extremely blessed man to have you for his wife. Speaking of Nathan, thanks for picking out someone I can consider a brother :). I love you and look forward to sharing more of life with you as you become a wife and hopefully some day a mother.
My beautiful sister-in-law, Chelsea (now) Pogue