This past weekend my roommate wrote a beautiful blog post about one of her household sisters, and she inspired me to write about my own household sisters. I am going to be studying abroad in Austria next semester, and so this was my last semester with the seniors in my household. This is extremely bittersweet, because although I am beyond excited to be going to Europe, I am going to miss them terribly. They are honestly some of the most beautiful and wisest people I have ever known. They have taught me so much and I know they will continue to be lights for the entire world. They are a living model of the fact that true beauty – not the world’s superficial definition of beauty – is possible, attainable, and REAL. And so this post is going to be a tribute to them… :)

Danielle embodies true sisterhood through little acts of love. Her beauty radiates especially through her smile. She teaches me the importance of the little things. The Wednesday night hang outs Danielle and I would have were often the highlight of my week, because Danielle and I would have the best conversations. If we all lived with the genuine care that Danielle does, the lives around us would change.

Leah is a model of strength for me. This woman has been through so much in her life, yet she is one of the most joyful and supportive people I have ever met. She shows me the beauty of having a deep interior joy that no suffering can shake. If more people lived their lives like Leah, the world would be a much happier place.

Sarah is pure joy. She is always ready to rejoice with me, cry with me, or just grab dinner if I need someone to eat with. Although she is busy and has lots going on, she has always had time for me. I distinctly remember one night this semester when she had a huge test to study for the next day, but she still went to dinner with me. She just studied at the table as she sat with me, for she knew it was important to be there with me. In a world where time is one of the most valuable things we have, time can be one of the most sincere acts of love.

Allie is genuinely herself. There is something radiantly beautiful about authenticity, and particularly her authenticity. She has shown me that you don’t have to have your entire life figured out to be genuine. Her life is an example that by striving to do what you love, striving to love, you can give the world a taste of authenticity in the face of so much superficiality.

Liz is very much herself. Radically herself. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with her this semester, but one thing that continually strikes me is her confidence in herself. Indecision is a huge problem for many people today. It is truly refreshing and radical to be around Liz who knows she is a beautiful woman of God and lives it.

Christie is continually present to me. We, as human beings, need people we can rely on and Christie is definitely a sister whom I can rely on. Whether I have a joy to share or something to freak out about, I know she is there to listen. We live in such a distracted culture…even while writing this blog post I have been on facebook…twitter…and it is truly a beautiful thing to have a friend who is present to me.

Holly continually shows me the beauty of simple wisdom. There have been several times when I have written down what she has said to me in simple conversation because I wanted to remember it. Many times just talking to her is a day-changer. She is striving for holiness, and it is beautiful that she allows those around her to join in on her journey. Ultimately, we are all journeying together on this road to heaven.

Jenny brings so much joy to my heart! I would say that I know her better than some of my other household sisters, and as a result she knows exactly how to make me laugh – most of the time until I cry. Sometimes when school or life is stressful, if I see Jenny I forget what I was stressed about, because she makes me laugh so hard. Jenny is a model of how to be a light through joy.

Amanda is a gentle soul whose smile brings me so much joy. I have not gotten the chance to get to know her as much as I would have liked, but every time I am with her I just feel peace. She has a loving spirit that continually reassures me.

Catherine has incredible depth. She knows a lot about our faith and it is such a gift to be able to hear her insights about different Scripture readings, because she usually has something to share that goes much beyond the surface. This world tries to keep things on the surface, but Catherine continually shows me the beauty of living deeply, as we were created.

Lydia has only been my household sister for a little while, but I have learned from her. The very fact that she joined our household as a senior shows me that she is open to what God wants and isn’t afraid to go after her heart. Many people wouldn’t join a household senior year because they think it’s not worth it, but since Lydia had the courage to do so, we are all able to experience her beauty. She has SO much to offer. What a blessing.

Britni is a model of femininity. She always dresses in an extremely classy and feminine manner, which brings glory to God. Through her beauty she brings those around her to Christ. True beauty, including external beauty, is of Christ. We live in a culture focused on the externals, but Britni shows me that even this aspect of our culture can be redeemed, by a simple decision to bring dignity through what we are wearing.

Pom is a light to our household and a light in my life. She has been in household the longest out of all of us, and she brings a light of wisdom that comes with experience. One of the beautiful things about life is that since we are all in different places, we all have different gifts to offer. Since Pom is very experienced, especially being a founder of our household, she offers us so much. She constantly gives herself to us in love.

To sum it all up, true beauty is…
Little acts of love.
A gift of time.
Pure joy.

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