My Sister and Sisters, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom
My parents drove my newborn sister, Sara, home from the Petoskey Hospital in the front seat of a 1977 burgundy Buick Century.
This is Sara. I know. The cuteness is almost unbearable.
The gray Michigan sky spit snowflakes, enough to dust the car, but not enough to cover the dirty side of the road.
My mother held my sister tightly in a yellow quilt as my father stretched his finger toward the push button radio. It was late February in Northern Michigan. Music hummed softly.
Growing up, I had two favorite ways to spend time in the car. The first was performing headstands in the backseat and waving to passing cars with my feet. The second was folding the edge of Cuddles, my green blanket, into a cone and softly rubbing it on my face.
I don’t remember doing either the day we brought my sister home from the hospital. Instead, I poked my head out from the deep regions of the backseat, straight between the driver and passenger seats, and I leaned forward for a better look at my new sister.
People said babies cried all of the time.
Sara wasn’t crying, but if I put my head very close to hers, I could make out small noises. My sister’s noises reminded me of the sounds which came from the neighbor’s puppy. I was certain my parents couldn’t hear Sara’s sounds because they were too far away, and I was pleased that although my sister didn’t know it, she and I already had a secret.
I know it sounds silly, but even then I knew my sister’s whispers would turn into a loud voice. Sara’s birth story includes a snow mobile, and any baby born that far North in the middle of winter is bound to have fight in her blood.
But it was more than that.
Sure, Sara was loud when as a toddler she stole plastic canned goods and toy fruit from my cardboard grocery store, but I knew her voice would grow into a different kind of loud. Sara’s voice would be the kind of loud that speaks up about injustice and then works hard to lead change.
Maybe I didn’t know it that day in the Buick, but it always seemed true.
I knew Sara had spunk and fight for a reason. God doesn’t waste such gifts on just anyone.
Sisters inspire, even little ones.
Another photo of Sara. Go ahead and try to tell me you can’t see her spunk.
Sisters, Corrie and Betsie ten Boom
Today I am talking about sisters because the next Gutsy Girls book is about sisters, famous sisters, sisters who loved people with an incomprehensible love.
Corrie and Betsie ten Boom were Dutch sisters who lived in the Netherlands with their elderly father during World War II.
Betsie, the older sister, worked in the ten Boom home.
And Corrie, the first licensed woman watchmaker in the Netherlands, worked in her father’s watch shop.
Throughout their lives, the ten Boom family was well-respected and an integral part of their community in Haarlem. When the evils of World War II thundered into their country, the two sisters who were in their fifties, and their father decided they would not passively stand by while friends, neighbors, and innocent people were destroyed.
Instead, the ten Booms joined the Dutch underground resistance movement. They provided ration cards, safety, information, and at times, a place for people to hide, but even more importantly, the ten Booms provided hope in one of history’s darkest times.
Our Girls, the ones we are raising (and not just the ones who live in our house)
Here’s the thing. History is full of women who have lived bravely and loved fully for God. The problem is the girls of today don’t know these women.
Let’s introduce them.
Let’s not stand by while our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and neighbors are bombarded with falsehoods about who they are supposed to be.
Instead, let’s tell our girls about the strength and beauty of the women who came before them.
Let’s commit to help our girls grow their small voices into thundering anthems for God.
Book Two in the Gutsy Girls picture book series officially releases Thursday, June 2nd, but here’s the situation, the book is already selling on Amazon. So although I am making the announcement with confetti and hoopla in a few days, I wanted to let you in on the secret now.
I just can’t wait for you to meet the ten Boom sisters.
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ADDED PERK: As a release day bonus, Book One in the Gutsy Girls: Strong Women Who Impacted the World series on gutsy girl and real-life missionary, Gladys Aylward is on sale June 1st (that’s today!) until June 2nd (that’s Thursday!). Consider buying a copy or gifting (did you know you can give Kindle copies of books as gifts?) it to your kids’ Sunday School teacher, grabbing a copy for that loooong car trip which is about to commence, or heck, sending a book to your favorite missionary family.
Your turn. Do you have a sister? I’d love to hear about her. If you don’t have a sister, do you have friends who act like sisters?