I tried to put up a photo of Allie's lovely face, but for some reason blogger won't post it. Anyway, here she is!
I got an e-mail last night from my enormously successful and powerful brother. He kidded me that his new au pair was more thrilled by the fact that he had an author for a sister than anything on his own high-powered resume.
I giggled for half an hour.
Sometimes it’s hard to explain how my brother and I emerged from the same womb. Only eleven months apart, no less. Our ONLY mutual characteristic is that we look alike. We are polar opposites in every other way. We fought constantly as kids. Now that we’re both adults—and more importantly now that we’re both parents—we get along much better. As our own parents have both died, we’ve now managed to see the value in each other—after all, we’re all we have left. We want our kids to know and like each other. We want our spouses to know and like each other. And, thankfully, they do.
I don’t think of myself as competitive with him, but my reaction to his email revealed that for the lie it was. As a matter of fact, my tiny slice of sibling superiority tickled me to death. It is not essential to my happiness that a teenage German girl finds me cooler than my power-broker brother. Still, I smirked all the next day.
The truth of the matter is that my brother and I have chosen vastly different paths in life. We can’t use the same measuring stick—we’re human apples and oranges. I’d venture he is as pleased with his life as I am with mine. I’d also venture he’d be as miserable in my life as I would be in his. His version of success is not mine, although on the outside most people (and most of our relatives, I bet), would call him the more successful. He looks powerful. He talks powerfully. People respect him, and not just because he’s well over 6 feet tall. He’s “the respectable one.”
Me, I’m “the artsy one.” 99% of the time I’m thrilled with that. I’m a multi-published author. I’m the mother of two amazing children. I can knit socks (socks, people! Those are hard!) and I work at my kitchen table with a 8.2 second commute (the walk from my bedroom to the coffeemaker). I’ve done things like walk a tightrope, roasted coffeebeans, learned the Chinese tea ceremony, spoken with actors, bought tiaras, and drove sports cars…all for my very cool “job.” I get letters from people thanking me for characters and stories I have pulled out of thin air.
But show up my big brother’s career with my own? Even to someone I haven’t even met yet? Sign me up!
In MY SO-CALLED LOVE LIFE, Lindy ultimately realizes that people love her for more than her voice. “Maggie is what I do, not who I am,” Lindy is fond of saying, not even realizing until the end of the book that she didn’t really believe it. It’s a trap we all fall into. Far too easily. And when we stay home to raise kids, or get laid off, or experience a career setback, often God will use that time to show us how valuable we are. No matter what our resume reads.
Today, as you read this, may you know that you are valuable: Priceless.
Jamie here: I am so excited to run out and buy this book! But it is Love Inspired, so that mean you have a limited time to grab it up. I have a lot of success finding them at Target, and of course you can link below and pick it up from Amazon. You all know how I love Allie so you know I wholeheartedly trust this one will be as great or better than the rest.
See more at her website www.alliepleiter.com.
I met Allie at ICRS. She is an absolute sweetheart! And I agree with her brother's au pair. Authors are a TON cooler than any ol' businessman. :)
Jamie, I'm so glad to finally find your blog! I was looking for it because I wanted to post a link to it on my blog, but the URL I had was old or incorrect or something. Anyway, email me!
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