God Gave Me My Best Friend, My Cousin

10 Things That Happened When God Gave Me A Little Cousin

Because they're not just family, they're a blessing.

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I lost my Grandma when I was ten years old. She was the woman I looked up to and as I continue to grow up without her, the more I admire her strength. After losing someone so dear to my heart, it felt like a piece of my world had gone missing. A year later, God blessed me with a little cousin, Emma. Here we are seven years later, and she is exactly what I needed after losing my grandma.

1. I felt like I finally had another "sibling"

The day Emma was born, I immediately took the role of "big sister" and not just because we both only have brothers. Yes, I take it upon myself to paint her toes and go shopping with her simply because that's what we do best.

2. I began to spoil her

From the minute she was born, I couldn't help but go through the baby aisle at Target and grab the cutest new outfit for her. Even now, her big and sweet brown eyes always convince me to buy her that unicorn bath bomb or get her a shirt she spies at the store. Of course, every dollar is worth her big smile.

3. I found my best friend

I could talk with Emma all day long. Listening to her chatter about school or her new toys makes me smile from ear to ear. I could tell her anything and I know she would try her best to understand everything even if it's over her head. I see her as much as I can and miss her like crazy if it's been too long. Yes, she takes up 90% of my camera roll and there's nothing better.

4. I knew what pure joy felt like

I'm not sure the first time I realized it, but in the past seven years I have had multiple "Kodak moments" where my heart feels completely full. Maybe it's her laugh when I tell her a joke or the way we share fun memories together. Whatever it is, I'm a lot happier because of Emma.

5. I started to smile more

Nothing makes me smile more than seeing Emma after a long hard day. Hearing her laugh, going on adventures together, and having countless sleepovers is always the highlight of my day/week.

6. I became more selfless

Emma has taught me that sometimes you should play dolls with her even if you don't want to. You do the right thing even if it isn't the easiest and always think about others before yourself. There has been times when I'm crying and she will immediately stop what she's doing to come sit next to me and hold my hand.

7. I learned that she is who I want to be when I grow up

Even though I'm older than my sweet little Emma, I definitely look up to her. You don't meet very many completely selfless seven-year-olds. I'm lucky enough to know one. Emma would do anything for anyone, she always sees the best in things and is full of faith. She's smart, funny, and extremely outgoing - everything I desire to be more of.

8. I changed the way I looked at the world

Kids often show us that life can be a lot simpler and a whole lot less complicated than we make of it. Emma's innocence has shown me that sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and simplify everything I can.

9. I learned a lot about my faith

You've probably heard about the "faith of a child" and having Emma around certainly has made an impact on my faith. She memorizes Bible verses left and right and loves singing hymns. Seeing such a young heart that is full with God's love is truly inspiring. She is a constant reminder that God is certainly good.

10. She became a reason I needed live

When God blessed my life with Emma, He definitely knew I needed her more than she needed me. Struggling with depression makes life challenging, but she always happens to be a cure when I need it. Once I was at an extremely low time and contemplating suicide when someone reminded me that Emma loves me. Emma needs me around. The thought of her never understanding why I died absolutely struck me. Even on the toughest days, a FaceTime call to Emma or simply browsing through pictures of her brings a smile to my face.

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Being Called "Thick" Vs. Being Called "Fat"

Curvy woman look the best if I do say so myself
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Before I get into the two completely different terms, I want to say that all of you are beautiful the way you are! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Now, let's get down to business.

Recently I have been called thick and that got me thinking what is the difference of being called "thick" verses "fat." The answer is quiet simple. The term 'thick' means people carry more weight in their lower portion of their body. The person might have a pear shaped body. Being thick means being curvy. For example, Ashley Graham is a plus-size super model. She is thick and curvy. She embraces her curvy and doesn't give a flying fudge what people think of her and/or her body. Another example is Nicki Minaj. She is gorgeous and your body is amazing. She is thick and know how to dress her body accordingly. The term "fat" means people carry their weight up top and it makes people appear like an apple shape.

I personally think I'm more of an apple shape than a pear but people perceive me differently. Which fruit shape do you think you most resemble? Use the picture below to help you visualize the fruit shapes.

Being one of these shapes is completely okay! I want to make it clear to everyone that it doesn't what fruit you might look like. You are you, which is awesome. You are a beautiful pear or apple!

The issue with calling people "thick" or "fat" is the negative connotation that goes along with those terms. The term fat is normally used by someone who feels that someone has too much fat on their bodies. The term thick is normally used by someone who feels that someone who is curvy in certain areas. Being called curvy is normally a positive term according to our society.

Some women love using the term thick but hate the term fat. Other women believe the term is a synonym with fat. In an article called How 21 Women Feel About The Word "Thick" published on Huffington Post, women commented on how they actually feel about the word "thick" during #ThickGirlAppreciationDay.

"When I hear the word thick used to describe a woman's body, I think strong."

"Strong, bitter, and beautiful. Badass."

AND

"Being called "thick" makes me feel awkward sometimes."

People have to be careful when using these two terms. Only tell a person they are thick because they know they like that word instead of fat. I personally wish that the term "thick" was used more often when I was a child. Everyday I would get called fat or chubby. If I had could go back in time I would teach my little self to be more confident and say, "You're just jealous because I'm curvy."

Cover Image Credit: OceanUp

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To The Cousin Who Is More Like My Sister, I Am So Thankful For You

Here's to a lifetime of dance parties in living rooms and conversations that light up any room that we're in.

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Dear sister,

In the short six months I have gotten to know you, my mind is still blown by how fast my heart found so much joy in spending time with you. There are days where I wish that I would have gotten to know you sooner, like WAY sooner, but God's plan for our lives doesn't always match up with ours - and in this case, I think His plan worked out pretty great. And sure, we could call ourselves second cousins and dabble in all the technicalities, but what fun would that be?

We both know that "sisters" is a much better word to define this beautiful, weird, and spontaneous relationship of ours.

I think about all the beautiful gifts Jesus has given me in my life and you're pretty high up on that list. Yes, even on the days where I've called you a panini head and the times when you threaten to hang up on me on FaceTime because of how I annoy you to wit's end. Even then, I find myself so thankful that you play such a big part in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted a sister that I can share my love for Jesus, Indian food, (specifically, lamb curry), cute redhead boys, cliché chick flicks, and worship music. And now here you are. Sometimes I'm still in shock that Jesus has been so good to me that He would bring you into my life, but He's just that good and is just that faithful to His promises - and you can hold on to that truth for the rest of your life.

I hope you know that whenever you like a boy you can tell me and we can talk about how boys are the absolute WORST and then proceed to talk about how Jesus is WAY better, and then end with scrolling through pictures of our celebrity crushes.

I hope you never get tired of being goofy because that is most definitely one of my favorite things about you. You bring out the goofy side of me and It's the most fun. It reminds me that confidence can be found in being yourself- which sometimes means you just need to break out into a singing and dancing session in your bedroom. I hope you never lose your wonder of getting to know Jesus personally and wanting to pursue a life of chasing after Him because that is the number one thing that will get you through your teenage years. I promise you that.

On the days where you feel so incredibly overwhelmed by all that life is I hope you know that I am always for you. I will always pick up the phone to pray for you, and I will always listen to your rants.

I hope that we are for each other just as much as our moms are for each other. I hope that one day we sit in the kitchen laughing and sharing stories from our time together just like our moms do now.

I hope you never doubt your worth and always appreciate your culture, wearing your Indian dresses with pride because you know that your ethnicity is a beautiful part of who you are and what your story is. Because sister, if there is a life lesson you should learn right now it's that when you walk through life with confidence in who you are it's pretty dang hard for anyone to tell you otherwise. And I hope that no one ever does. I hope you continue to walk through life with your head held high because you know who you are and you are proud of it.

I hope you find joy in the mundane of life because seeking joy in the routine of your every day is what gets you through the hardest of days. I hope you know that joy will be your strength, no matter how old you get. And that finding joy can range from sharing a night of laughter with your family to getting chick fil a one the days you crave it the most (every day).

Even though we don't live in the same state, one of my favorite things is to have our weekly FaceTime calls that usually consist of an outburst of dancing, sharing stories from our life, doing yoga, or having a study session, which..more often than not is interrupted by your brothers walking in or a dance session breaking out.

Sweet friend, It has been such a joy to know you, to see who you are, what you're passionate about, and to already watch you grow into the amazing young woman that you're becoming. I can't wait to cheer you on in every big moment that happens in your life. From when you get your license (yikes, I know) to when you become a Doctor (yes, you will be). I can't wait to watch you grow in confidence and courage and boldness. You are going to be a great leader, someone who selflessly serves others, and someone who treats others like Jesus would treat them.

Sister, I hope you never get sick of calling me sister, because it makes my heart glad to know that we share that type of bond. I hope that whenever you have a day that makes even the smallest things terrible, that you can read this and feel a small ounce of joy in knowing that this is a relationship that will last a lifetime. I pray for you to always know your worth, know that you are loved beyond all measures, and to know that you are and will be resilient in any circumstance that comes your way.

So sister here's to a lifetime of laughing so hard we cry, crying so hard we laugh, and dancing around in the living room because we have so much joy in our hearts - no matter what life throws at us.

Here's too more late night talks in the guest room with the warm lamp lights and more back popping sessions on the living room floor. Here's to a lifetime of joy, adventures, and stories. I can't wait to walk through so much more life with you. I love you.

glowing queens Christina Thomas

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