This has been an interesting week for me… one of being drawn by the words in several different books; one of enjoying zoom calls, texts, and emails with family and friends; and one that has led me into much reflection about “sisterhood”…
I started reading a Jan Karon book Mom gave me years ago that I hadn’t gotten around to reading until now… The Mitford Bedside Companion and in the beginning is a quote I loved, “You keep your past by having sisters. As you get older, they’re the only ones who don’t get bored if you talk about your memories.” — Deboarah Moggach
I’ve been doing zoom calls with my siblings throughout this COVID time…
Last Friday, I did a zoom call with college “sisters”…
Monday I did a zoom call with my Army “sisters”…
Throughout the week, I’ve texted with my church “sisters”…
In Margaret Guenther’s book Toward Holy Ground –Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life, she has a chapter called “Kinship” in which she talks about all of us being related, whether we want to be or not and we are all in relationship. Christ encourages us to – as Margaret says – “enlarge the garden” … to expand who our family is. That got me thinking even more and it solidified my belief that I have MANY sisters and they all have special meaning in my life and have helped me grow, helped sustain me – especially during these COVID times, and given me love and encouragement …
My ‘blood’ sisters have, are, and always will be there for me and together we hold and cherish the memories and love of our family – past, present and future. We can laugh together, support each other in good times and bad, relate to each other in our family traits of clutter, growing tomatoes, … We can be sentimental with each other, honest with each other, joking with each other… We are tied together always and forever.
My college sisters and I bonded at that time in our lives when we were becoming independent from our parents and siblings, discovering who we are and developing our own opinions of life, sharing dreams of our future, being crazy and silly with each other in the dorm, being carefree and even rebellious at times. Those times were special and looking back… some of the best times of our lives because of our freedom of major responsibilities, our growing independence and ability to just “be” with each other.
My Army sisters and I have special bonds that will be there forever, too. Together we have shared a part of life that included experiencing 9/11, sending our husbands off to war and other deployments, supporting each other through the stresses of separation, the agony of loss, the challenges of moving every few years… and all the while ‘adopting’ and helping nurture and love each other’s kids along with our own.
My ‘church sisters’ and other treasured friends and family who have walked the same road with me at various times in my life are my ‘spiritual sisters’ … my ‘spiritual friends’ as Margaret Guenther calls them. She says, “Our relationship with them require intentional care and nurture. They are those people with whom we speak easily of Christ, whose prayers we ask, and whose discretion we trust…We trust them because we recognize them as fellow travelers who are also growing up into Christ, fellow travelers who will speak the truth to us in love…. They offer a safe place to try things out, to stretch and to grow: we need not fear shaming or ridicule, no matter what we might say.” (pp 26-27) My spiritual sisters are surely God-given, to help me through the joys, the sorrows, the fun and easy times, the tough and challenging times.
I went on a walk yesterday morning and stopped at Spring Lake where there is a beautiful view of the mountains, and as I often do, recited part of Psalm 121 as I like to do in that spot – “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth…” Just then a V formation of geese flew overhead with their encouraging honks to one another and I thought to myself, “I need some geese. I need some encouragers!” And as I finish my little reflection of sisterhood, I realize ALL my sisters are my geese – my encouragers – my flock of sisters — and ohhhhh, how blessed and thankful I am for each and every one!!!
written with much love, thought and thankfulness,
© Cathy Sterling, Jan 15, 2021
About Cathy: I’m a military brat, Army spouse (retired), mom and mom-in-law, Nana, grand-puppy lover, “a sister among my greater sister flock,” friend, weaver and textile lover, pastoral caregiver in Colorado Springs through Community of Hope International (https://www.cohinternational.org/) and volunteer in various other church ministries. I love to weave, create, hike, bike, garden, visit in a pastoral capacity, travel – especially to see family. During these COVID months, I have enjoyed being a “connector of people through ZOOM — such as family, long time friends, weaving groups, contemplative book study, accountability group (SOAR-Support, Optimism, Accountability, Resilience), etc.”
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Nicce post thanks for sharing