I was going to post a bunch of photos of my sister and I to commemorate her birthday today, April 1st (the joke of her life has been that her birthday is INDEED on April 1st. It is no joke ha!) but after looking through endless photos of us and remembering all these special times I've had with her, I realized that this one encapsulates us perfectly...

Most of you know that my sister (or as I like to call her Stac, Sis, Sissy) is 10 years my senior. Growing up, this had it's number of benefits. In high school Stac was a star basketball player, involved in many clubs and activities, who was well liked by all her peers. This meant that when I eventually made it to high school, I was referred to by many as "little Komae" and walked around with an extra layer of confidence thanks to my sis. When I was a pre-teen, I watched my sis graduate at the top of her class with a degree in Communication studies from Vanguard, and I knew I wanted to follow suit. I saw how she excelled both academically and socially, so when I majored in Comm at APU, I knew I wanted to thrive like she did. Then, there was the time Stac went on missions with YWAM in Australia when I was a teenager. She sent me this box of cool things from AUS and I remember thinking at that moment, I'm gunna do this one day too! Travel the world for Jesus and explore new places! That came to fruition when I spent time in Uganda, and then the moment I got my job in Japan and she was the first one I told. 

When I moved to Japan, I had a slight fear that it would be hard to keep in touch with her and that we would drift apart in a way... but praise the Lord that didn't happen! Our friendship and sisterhood has actually strengthened! I guess distance really does make the heart grow fonder. We chat all the time, I send her updates of my life here and she sends me pics of the kids and how things are at moms. Not only has she been with me through the best days and most exciting experiences I've had here in Japan, but she has also been with me the rough days...the moments when my heart was heavy and I felt like I had fallen on my face. Throughout my entire life, Stac has always been right there to pick up my phone call, provide wisdom and guidance, and point me back to Jesus. How blessed I am to call her sissy.  

So today, I celebrate my sis and all she means to me and to everyone else that knows her. She is an amazing sister, wife, mother (+one on the way!), daughter, leader, party-planner, greeter, encourager, and child of God!!

I love you tons sissy. Thanks for being my lifelong role model. Thanks for always lifting me up and pointing me to Christ. I know Him more because of you. I am grateful for your life today and everyday! Happy birthday! 
Love, Chanie. 

okay, one more pic for kicks..

Follow Stac's blog HERE - MRANDMRSMAD.COM

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
The LORD's lovingkindness indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion", says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."
Lamentations 3: 22-23