When I was expecting my second baby, people sometimes looked at my firstborn, a daughter, and told me, “Now you just need a boy . . . then you’ll have a balanced family.” 

I didn’t bother to tell them that with me as the mom, our family was never going to be “balanced”. I usually gave the stock but entirely true response, “We’re just praying for a healthy baby.” 

I would, in fact, have been overjoyed to have had a son. But I also remembered the summer day when I was six years old and my dad pulled my younger brother and me out of vacation Bible school and knelt on the linoleum floor of the church hallway and told us, “Mommy had the baby. You have a sister.” I remembered loving that word “sister”. I knew what a gift having one had been my whole life. And so when my doctor announced for a second time, “It’s a girl!” I already knew what a gift it would be for my own daughter to have a sister. 

I love that I have the privilege of raising sisters.

I love seeing my girls in their roles as sisters.

I love that they love each other. (Particularly since I’ve been “encouraging” them about this their entire lives. “Your friends will come and go, but your sister will always be your sister! Love each other! I mean it! Do it! Do it NOW!”)

I love that they are not only sisters, but also friends.

I love that they choose to spend time with each other.

I love that they never seem to run out of things to talk about. 

I love all their inside jokes.

I love hearing them laugh together.

I love watching them do each other’s hair. I love that sometimes they make “appointments” with each other. (“Can you do my hair before dance Thursday night?”)

I love that they care about each other’s happiness. 

I love that they share clothes. (Even if the emotional climate of our home is disproportionately affected by whether or not “The Gray Shirt” Daughter #1 technically owns is available when Daughter #2 wants—needs— to borrow it.)

I love that they trust each other’s fashion advice. (As in, my older daughter comes to me and asks if her outfit looks cute. I tell her, honestly, that it does. Five seconds later, I hear her knock on the door of our family’s most opinionated but also most fashion-savvy member: “Sis? Does this look cute?” Which is fine. I know my role here.)

I love that they miss each other when they’re apart. 

I love that they have so many shared interests. 

I love that they make plans with each other.

I love that they cheer for each other. 

I love that they encourage each other.

I love that they can be honest with each other. I love that they are honest with each other. (Sometimes brutally, but still.)

I love that they know each other. I love that when my younger daughter’s dance student wanted to get her an end-of-year gift, her mom approached my older daughter and asked, “What does your sister like? I’m sure you know.” And she did know. (Hello, Sour Patch Kids, Goldfish crackers, and Chick-fil-A gift card.)

I love that they have a lifetime of shared memories to look back on. 

I love that they have a future of new memories to look forward to making.

Years ago, I gave my sister a birthday card that showed two little girls giggling in the backseat of a car, their heads close together in some shared joke. The card read, “I’m so glad mom and dad had both of us.” 

To my sister: I’m still so glad mom and dad had both of us. And to my girls—my very own live-in set of sisters: I’m so glad your dad and I had both of you.

You may also like:

How Lucky You Are To Be Growing Up With Sisters

So God Made a Sister

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading

Sometimes a Kid Just Needs a Sick Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy outside, color photo

My middle son stayed home from school today. He said he was sick. I’m not sure that is the truth. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was an amazing caretaker, especially when you were sick. She pulled out all the stops. A cozy clean space to be, a thermos with ice cold juice by your side, Mrs. Grass’s soup, and Days of Our Lives on the screen while she tidied up the house. It was the best feeling in the world to be home and cozy with my mom when I was sick. It felt cozy and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes We Need Someone to Just Sit With Us in Our Struggle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sad woman sits on floor, black and white image

Early this morning, I told (yelled is more accurate) my sons to get up with the same furious ferocity I use every morning when I realize they should be ready to go, but are still unconsciously snoozing away. One son lazily said, “I’m up, Mom” (even though he was very much not up). The other son, who typically has no problems getting up, had overslept and immediately freaked out, thinking he would be late to school. He proceeded to have a mini-meltdown from the dark recesses of his bedroom. That overflowed into the hallway where I found him lying face-down,...

Keep Reading

Daughter of Mine, Do Not Let the World Extinguish Your Fire

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter, color photo

Daughter of mine, I see the fire behind your eyes. Do not let it die. Daughter of mine who runs wildly and loves freely and whose anger is always whipping silently just under the surface like a pilot light, ready to ignite with one tiny spark. Do not let it die. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine Daughter of mine, one day you will become a woman, and the world will try to steal you and mold you and tell you who to become. Do not let it. It will try to fit you in...

Keep Reading