“There is a term in carpentry called Sistering. This is how one Momastery reader defines it:
Sometimes an existing joist, which was designed to handle a certain load, becomes too weak. Maybe it was damaged by water or fire. Maybe it still has structural integrity but an addition is being constructed and the new load is going to be a lot heavier than before. Either way, now it is not as sturdy as it needs to be.
When a builder needs to strengthen that joist, she puts a new member right next to the original one and fastens the two together. Sometimes, two new joists are needed- one on either side.
Do you know what they call that?
A Sister Joist.
And builders use “Sister” as a verb, like, “We need to Sister the joists in the east bay about four feet.” Even better is the nonsensical: “Sistering” as in, “Are they finished Sistering the roof rafters?” ~ Glennon Doyle Melton, Momastery blog author
I am drawn to this concept of sistering, and it isn’t because I am a woman... although, I think that is part of it. I have personally experienced some difficult times in my life. During those times, I have had the privilege of being "sistered".
Well, that is after I gave up trying to do it all on my own. I think we sisters can be a bit stubborn sometimes, and a fair number of us suffer from a Superwoman complex. We feel we can do everything by ourselves. Back off, I got this!! But the reality is we don’t, and we can’t. I think that is why I love this idea of "sistering".
It is my understanding that "sistering" is the dance of supporting someone else when we know they need it, and then reaching out when we admit we need to be supported, too. It's an ebb and flow. That is how life works: sometimes we are the strong ones and other times we need someone else’s strength.
I believe "sistering" greatly applies to the work we do at Cancer Patient Services every day. We are here for our local cancer patients when they need something or someone sturdy to lean on. And, it turns out, we have had clients become volunteers, Board Members, Committee Members or donors, as they take the opportunity to then "sister" CPS.
For more information on Sistering and Glennon, check out her website and video.
Be a “Sister”. https://vimeo.com/143054338