My talented artist friend, Jennie Schut captured the essence of the twirl so beautifully.
If you’ve had a chance to listen to this week’s episode, you know we use the term “sistering” as a verb…. Well, what if you aren’t blessed with any sisters in your family? Like me- I have no sisters in mine…
But having had one foot rooted in an ancient society all my life where women are experts at “sistering” has shown me how valuable it is. I explain this in depth on Episode 000- go check it out.
My Indian aunties have the art of “sistering” down. Even though I’ve lived here in the United States since I was 5, I was immersed in the old ways of India every few years for weeks and months at a time…. There, it would be unheard of for a woman (especially a first time mother) to be home alone all day with a newborn baby. Just would not happen. You’d also never see a woman work all day at a desk job, shop for food, come home to fix dinner for the family, bathe the children, pay the bills, fix the toilet and make lunches for the next day…But here, it’s no only considered “normal,” it’s expected in many circles.
It’s not that women aren’t capable of doing it all and doing it well, at that… This is not about whether or not a woman should work outside of the home. I’m not against that at all. I’m also not against a woman choosing to stay home while her kids are little. Or big, even. It’s what ever works; what ever she feels led to do. (This can include women working FROM home or not… because really, ALL women are working whether they’re getting paid for what they do or not.)
What I am saying is this- Women are designed to NEED each other.
We were born with “sistering” in our wiring. Whether or not you have sisters in your immediate family of origin is beside the point. “Sistering” is a practice which can be learned. We need to be sistered and we need to be learning how to sister others too.
So what does it mean to “sister” well? Here’s what it means in carpentry (where the term originated.) When a floor joist is weak, two stronger beams are connected on either side to support the weaker one in the middle. This process is called “sistering.”
The women in my culture, especially, have always been excellent at caring, nurturing, supporting and showing affection to one another. For someone who’s not particularly a “touchy” person, it might be a little disconcerting, but to me, it was delightful. I’ve always loved watcing the women working together at the clinic, doing chores togehter around the house, playing with each other’s hair, walking hand in hand to the market, sharing each other’s burdens…
If you’re a living, breathing person with a pulse, you’re embraced as part of the family and you’d find them committed to you forever.
Most certainly, you were not alone much of the day unless you chose to be. Many of the tasks these women do in pairs or groups; washing, cleaning, caring for the children, we do every day of our lives, alone.
I read a parenting book when my kids were little. In it, the author made a suggestion; more like a command- “Never run errands alone on Saturday.” It’s easier, sure, to go without the kids hanging on your pant leg, but the case was convincing. “Take at least one child with you every time.” This, he explained, would do much to build relationships with our kids. I say the same is true for us as women. Don’t go it alone. Take one with you when you can.
If you don’t have any sisters in your immediate family of origin, I’m in the same boat. But I have, at different seasons of my life, had close friends I can call on for help with any thing at any time of the day or night.
Do you have any “sisters?” Are they your blood sisters? Or close friends? If you answered “No” to each of these questions, you may be wondering where sisters of this sort might be found. I implore you to begin praying about this matter.
Write out a short list of qualities you’d like to have in a sister.
Next, lower those expectations. 🙂
Then, pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to someone in your midst who can teach you how to sister well.
We will be talking about sistering in more detail in an upcoming episode. In the mean time, practice being the kind of sister you wish you had to one who needs support.