Happy Birthday to My Main Squeeze, An Open Letter.

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Dear Jesse,

You turned 41 years old on Monday.  I’m so thrilled to celebrate your birthday.  Don’t worry, I am not at all concerned about the fact that I married such an older man.  41 looks so good on you!  Babe, in the midst of life, and my spiritual gift of being critical of you it may come across that I am not totally over the moon in love with you, or that I don’t get on my knees everyday and thank God we are together, but trust me, I love you more everyday, and I am so thankful for you.  I decided a good way to show you how grateful I am for you would be to come up with 41 things that I love, admire, and like about you.  I added like because as I typed 41 I thought, well that is a long list I better put like just in case I run out.  Now I will warn you, some of these you may read and think, “Is that a compliment or a roast?”  In those moments I will refer you to the 101 times you have “complimented” me by saying something like, “Yeah, I love those shoes they look like something Jesus would wear,”  or “Yeah that dress looks good, it looks like a couch.”  So let’s get started:

  1.  I love the way you love Jesus.

  2. I love the way you love me, and would do anything to be sure I am not feeling any stress at all.  (I do suspect that your devotion to this is more about your well-being than mine)

  3. I love the dad you are to Brock and Sydney, they hit the dad jackpot with you!

  4. I love that you hid behind “all those are Sarah’s animals” but I find you out with the dogs, chickens, ducks and goats more than anyone else.  It says something about the tenderness of your heart that you love animals.

  5. I love that I can let you sleep in on Saturdays, make sure no one wakes you up, and with that one day of sleeping in, you are a new man.  It is your recharge for the week.

  6. I love how mad at me you were when I told you I was kidnapping you this week to take you out-of-town for your birthday.  I love that you were so mad because you did not want to miss the first Monday Man Night at church because you were the one who organized it and you wanted to be there to be sure it all went off without a hitch.  It makes me proud of you when you take ownership of stuff, it means you give a damn.

  7. I love that when you take a shirt off a hanger you hang the empty hangers with all the other empty hangers in your closet.  This makes if very easy for me to put your clothes away.

  8. I love that you love cars, all cars; remote, muscle, fast n furious type, trucks and minivans.  But don’t every try to buy me a minivan again.  Lara Croft Tomb Raider does not drive a minivan.

  9. I love that your car is always so clean but your desk looks like the zombie apocalypse went by.

  10. I love how I have learned that it takes you two hours to wake up.  I now know that I can talk to you after 8AM and you will be sweet Jesse, before that you are jerk Jesse.

  11. I love how you thanked me the other day for asking the waiter to sit us outside because we needed to be away from the busy, crowded, kid filled restaurant.  I got your back babe, I know you don’t do crowds, I will protect your introverted soul.

  12. I love that you told me this birthday get away was your perfect birthday party.  Just you and me, and the quiet, with no schedule.  (Just a side note, that is not my perfect birthday please refer to Ashley, Kelly and Cheryl for more info)

  13. I love watching you fight for structure in your life.

  14. I love watching you try to figure out how to love the Lord, serve in ministry and find time to work on cars, fix up your shop and build and R/C track.

  15. I love that you ask yourself 100 questions before taking a step forward.  I will admit that I did not use to love this about you, but in the years we have been living life together I see how your meticulous planning has saved us from many train wrecks.

  16. I love how you approach money, budgets and family business.  You do it with ease because you know it all comes from God anyway.

  17. I love that saving money is more fun to you than going to Groovy’s and getting a new Umgee shirt.  I love that for you, but not so much for me.

  18. I love that you are always in the moment, always.

  19. I love that you never tell me no, but you say, “Did we budget for that?” or “Lets sit down and plan out how we would do that.”  These are also things I did not love about you for a while but now I see the value in them.

  20. I love that no matter the situation, the crisis, the problem you have a gadget in your backpack specifically for that problem.

  21. I love the mystery that is your backpack.  Is it Marry Poppins’ carpet bag or is it Pandora’s box.  I don’t know.  All I know is that it rides in the car with you buckled in like a baby.

  22. I love that you are always researching how to do things on You Tube, especially when you could have your own You Tube channel on how to do things.

  23. I love that when you got the job of Building Maintenance Man at church you literally came alive.

  24. I love your heart for our church.

  25. I love that you make sure everything is all set up and ready so that people have the best church experience they can have.  Example: Filling in the gap in the worship center doors so that the sound from the lobby doesn’t interfere with service.

  26. I love that you are so worried about Doug being hot on Sunday that you actually go up there on Saturday and early Sunday morning to make sure the thermostats are set.

  27. I love that it drives you crazy that you can’t get the church cold enough for 11:30 service.  It means you give a damn.  I love that you care.

  28. I love the way you talk to service guys on the phone.  You are so kind and caring even-though I am sitting next to you yelling, “NO IT CANNOT WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW TELL THEM TO GET THEIR ASS HERE NOW.”  That is most likely why people prefer to deal with you and not me.  Whatever, I have other gifts.

  29. I love the way you care about maintaining our house.  It reminds me of Papa Johnny.

  30. I love that you told me the other day, “Doug is going to have to bury me in the church because I am never leaving Cornerstone.  I don’t care if I have a job there or not, I’m still working there.”  I love that you love our church that much.

  31. I love that I got this text from Ashley after VBS:

    “Btw your husband was a total gift to me today too. He literally pushed a broom and took out trash all day. I love the way he serves! He just shows up and fills holes. Such a gift to me. Make sure he knows that. Didn’t know if that would be weird for me to tell him ”

  32. I love that you will do any job for any one even if it is taking out the trash.

  33. I love that you come home all the time and say, “Hey I heard _______ talking and he needs money to go on his mission trip, I think we should give it to him, where is the check book,” or “I was talking to _________ today and they need a car but I don’t want them to go into debt, lets help them out.”  You have become the most generous person I know.

  34. I love that you come from a banking family and you hate debt–YOU ARE SUCH A REBEL!!!

  35. I love that we share a love for all things Dave Ramsey.

  36. I love how you would pour yourself out to get people out of debt.

  37. I love how you have this ability to get people to do stuff without them even knowing you were insisting they do it.

  38. I love how much you love the people who come to our Dave Ramsey Classes.

  39. I secretly love that you tell me you are not scared of me anymore.  I love that you stand up to me.  Just don’t let’s get carried away with all that.

  40. I love that we share a love of all things Texas Tech and that you let me devote a whole room to Tech in our house.  Lord please be with the Red Raiders today as they play in the College World Series.  (And please be with the football team this year, cuz where were you last year?)

  41. I love you, just you.  Everything you are, all your idiosyncrasies, your introvertedness, your love of beef jerky, your love of Weird Al Yankovic, your love of the 80’s, your love of 80’s hair bands, and your love of  meaningless trivia.  I love all of it.  I’m so grateful you are mine.

Looky there, 41 things I love about you and I didn’t have to use “like” at all.  I love you Jesse Griffith, you are my favorite part of the day.  I wish you could see yourself through my eyes because you would be so impressed with yourself.  You have no reason to doubt yourself or to question yourself.  You are the bomb. com to me.  I love you babe.  Happy Birthday!!

Love from our much younger wife,

Sarah