Thursday, October 23, 2008

A heart revived...same chapter, 3rd verse

My final (I think) major reason for being at the Revive Our Hearts women's conference, at least that I'll blog about, has to be my favorite. Ready for it? It was my sister. Karina Franklin aka J. (pronounced Jay-dot) Alcorn. Laughing with her, crying with her, talking for the first time in years without interruptions (named Jake, Ty, Matt, and Jack) and most of all learning to appreciate how different we are.

I've always known we had different personalities. From the moment she started creating secret clubs where she was "President" and I was "member", or playing office where she was the boss and I was the secretary. We used to play Little Orphan Annie and she was always Miss Hannigan while I wore the red curly wig. She was the oldest and I was the youngest, and we fit that stereotype quite nicely. She was academic and I was social. She was organized and I was scattered. She had brown hair and I was blonde. She was responsible and I She talked theology and I cracked jokes. Somehow we hardly ever fought. We knew we were different and that was fine.

I have told many people that I think as we've grown older we've grown more alike. We got married 7 weeks apart (the Franklins were first, even though Dan and I had been talking about marriage before J. & her Dan even got together, but you can tell I'm not bitter at all). We had our first babies 3 months apart. Being married and having kids forced me to become more organized. It forced Karina to be more flexible. Our differences aren't as obvious these days. After all, we're at the same stage in life. We live in the same city. We're both raising two young boys. And we're both married to guys named Dan for goodness sake.

I think it took a weekend away together for me to once again realize we will always be different. And I that absolutely LOVE this! Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought it would be better if we were more alike. That we would appreciate each other more if our personalities were somehow morphed into one. But God showed throughout the weekend how much we can learn from each other because of how different we are. Now I have a decent self-image, but if I would have been talking to myself the entire weekend, I probably wouldn't have learned a darn thing. I don't want her to be me, and I'm sure she doesn't want me to be her. We are unique individuals who may have had a lot of the same life experiences, but God was and continues to be teaching each of us different things.

And now I will celebrate our differences. I feel like I'm in some sort of diversity parade when I say "celebrate our differences" but I can't come up with a better phrase than that. Anyway, here's some examples of how different we still are:

  • At the airport we were choosing snacks to take on the plane. I got Cheez-it Snack Mix and she got Organic Nut and Seed Mix.
  • At the Cheesecake Factory she ordered pear and gorgonzola salad and I got chicken carbonara dripping with butter, cream, and bacon.
  • She took pages of notes during the conference and I never took out my pen except to write my name on our name tags.
  • She bought approximately 47 books and I bought 2 CD's and one book.
  • I went to bed with my makeup on (I figured my excess weeping had washed most of it away) but she cleansed, exfoliated, moisturized and repeated.
  • She woke up early in the morning and did yoga before getting ready, and I woke up with barely enough time to shower, only because I couldn't really say with a clean conscience that my tears had deodorized my entire body.

There you have it. Two different Alcorn girls became two different women. Shocker. God reminded me how good different really is. Being different doesn't mean we can't appreciate each other. In fact, I think it makes us appreciate each other even more. Wouldn't it be a boring world if there were only one type of person?

Two sisters. Each seeking to follow God's leading in their lives, and each being lead to different experiences. My sister is trying to walk the walk. I'm trying to walk the walk. And it is going to look different. You know why? Because we're different. We don't need to be the same. Just because we have the same God doesn't mean we have to look the same. David was a king. Joseph was a carpenter. Peter was a fisherman. Same God. Different people.

Thanks, J. for the reminder. I sure do love you. I hope you can learn half as much from me as I have from you.


Anonymous said...


I found your blog update from Greg and Andrea's blog, and Iusually just read updates quickly anonymously and move along. But I fel I needed to tell you how well I think you write, and how touching the last 2 updates were.

PTL. Viva La Difference

Matt Moffat

Greg and Andrea said...

Another great post. When are you writing your next book???


Jenne said...

Yeah, I hear you about how wonderful the differences in sisters can be. Megan and I are so very different and from those differences we really can encourage each other. I need to hear her say "lighten up on those boys" and every once in a while she hears, "those girls can take more than you think." I can't speak for Megan, but there have been many-a-time when I have wished I had more of her in me, but really, God created us to be different and it is good.

Sisters are the best.

Karina said...

thank you Ang! I'm thankful for you. Another difference you could have added is:
Ang is a clear, concise and awesome communicator and Karina tends to ramble and try to include every last little detail to the point where it gets really excruciating... ;)

Randy Alcorn said...

Well said, Ang. I love you and your sis so much.

K (J dot) was telling me earlier tonight how much she enjoyed the time with you, and great stuff she learned at the conference. She told me some of the same things you did, and different ones--unity in diversity, something beautiful that I have always seen in you two.

Thank you, Lord, for the best two daughters I could ever imagine.


Marla Taviano said...

Okay, you and your sappy posts these days...

I have 2 sisters. I have 3 daughters. I loved this. It made my heart feel all tingly.

I'm with you on your whole list except for the pages of notes (then I'm with J.) And if Daddy-O had given me spending money, I'd have bought 47 books. too. :)

Thanks for your e-mail. I like you a very, very lot. :)

Amy Guerino said...

Thank you for the preview into the conference speakers and what you have learned. I say preview because I'm taking the downloads of the main conference speakers on a solitary retreat to the coast this weekend. And for someone who is much more like Karina than may not understand why I would want an entire weekend away, alone! That's okay. I wish we could get to know each other.

You are right: Karina doesn't need someone more like her in her life....otherwise she would exclude me. I celebrate the differences in the two of you too!