Dear Mrs. Stiemann -

Dearest Mrs. Stiemann - Happy Birthday!!! 

I stole Darby's Instagram photo from Dec. '12 because I know she'll still love me. haha. And because for some really crazy reason, I don't have a pic with Mrs. Stiemann. Next time I'll get one. :) 


I know, I know, your birthday was yesterday. We have to drag these things out, though. It's part of the code. ;) I was trying to think up something that would make you cry....hahahhaa, just kidding. I was trying to think up something that would be special for you, and I thought, what would it be for me...and other than a parachute filled with goodness that was kicked out of a chopper and landed in my backyard...I came up with this - A Name Chart Birthday Card. (yeah, I just made that up, I have no idea what it means either) Basically, reading the first letter all the way down will be your name. As in...Sheryl, because you threatened us to not call us by your other name. Which is adorable, btw. ;)

You are:

Super sweet. One of my first off the bat impressions of you. Which, by the way, I don't remember anything these days, so I'm not sure when I actually met you. I just know that either I was crying or laughing. Or both. You are so sweet, and are sweet to be around.

Hysterical. Definitely hysterical. Even if the conversation has nothing to do with me, I've laughed until I've cried and can't breathe. I mean, add a Stiemann to a Sproul and we will get kicked out of anything for laughing too loud and hard. You are sarcastic and honest and SO much fun. If anyone is even close to choking, you announce "Is she/he choking?! I know the Heimlich!! I've waited my whole liiiiife to use it. Are you choking? Are you sure you aren't?". Hahahaha. And you've introduced me a dozen times to Kirsten Z. - "Hey, do you know Kirsten?"..... "NOT AGAIN." HAHAHAHAA.

Encouraging. I've watched you encourage the Sprouls with all your heart and still have some left over from your family and friends to encourage me as well. I've never felt unloved or discouraged or let down in sharing with you. You meet people right where they are, and you lead us to the cross and pray for us and you remind us that He loves us the best.

Ready to serve. Facebook and Instagram and anyone with eyes can see how full your life is of serving. And you don't do that serving because the Sprouls are famous, and you want a crown later. You do it because you love them, and want with all your heart for them to be taken care of and okay. You care for them and give your whole heart and self to serving them, wherever God takes them, you trundle right along with. You have won my heart with the way I've seen you serve in humility.

Young at heart. This falls right in with hilariousness, and it also falls right into place with how quickly you can be friends with anyone, at any age. EmilyBrower is right, you are kind and "comfy to be with". You are approachable and down-to-earth and I instantly wanted to be friends with you. I love that we are friends, when we are separated by a few years in age difference. ;) 

Loving. Oh boy. I'm crying already. Everyone who has met you for 5 minutes knows this one is true. But it's not the kind of "Oh, I love you because you give me....." kind of love. It is the "Reilly is sick and down with the flu, and I'm taking care of him because I love him" kind of love. You have an incredible love for others, that I know is from the Father. You display it in your words, in your actions, in your serving heart, in your hugs, in the way you look at Mr. Ted, the way that you love your kids. You love deep and strong. You are love in action, and it is very easy to love you in return. :)


Special. Special like chocolate mixed with chocolate and more chocolate kind of special. ;) I've never met anyone like you. You can make me laugh hysterically hard, and then flip! goes the conversation and we are quiet for....3 seconds, and then right back into the laughter we go. You make everyone feel like THE most important person in that moment, and even though you hate shrimp, I still love you.

Tender. From the way you hold Donovan to the way you look at Mr. Ted and your kids to the way you write e-mails, you are tender to others. With every loss that came my way, you were right there with your prayers and hugs and the biggest thing - you understood me and didn't make my grief small. You displayed a tenderness to me when Avery died that still makes my heart glad. I know you are safe ground to talk to, because you know grief and you know it is a time to be tender.

Illustrative. Ok. This one makes me laugh. Because sometimes your phone autocorrect fails and sometimes you don't put in periods, so your sentences all run together. And sometimes you are re-telling a story, and it's even more hysterical hearing it for the 10th time. And sometimes the way you and Darby react to things just make all of life better. Spiders and snakes. HAHAHA. A story in detail from you will keep me entertained for quite a long time. ;) I love that about you.

Emotional. If anyone could cry harder at Les Mis than Darby and I, it would be you. In fact, you proclaimed the end of the world as we know it if Mr. Ted didn't cry at Les Mis. hah. And if I'm crying through this post, there's no way you are making it without tears. ;) It goes with being tender and loving so hard, and there has been many times when we've just shared some silence and cried together, when there was nothing left to say, and when life fell apart and didn't make sense anymore. You get teary over little things that are really the big things, and I perfectly understand. :)

Mischevious. hah. This is you introducing me to some very trusting girls: "Jean Marie is really shy. She is very, very shy. It's hard for her to talk to people.". HAH. What. Put you together with Darby or Delaney and it's like waiting for the fireworks to go off on the Fourth of July. I'm never quite sure where our conversations are going....and I really can't eat around you, I don't want to end up choking. Although....you'd have that taken care of. Heimlich and all. hahahaha.

Anticipating. Anticipating Heaven. Anticipating holiness. Anticipating reunions. Anticipating JOY. I know we both hold onto memories with a fierce grip, but also look forward to what the Lord will do in the coming days, and years, and look forward to SEEING Him one day when we leave this land for our Home. We know that this life is a short breath, and all will be made right some day.

Never too proud to laugh at yourself. Ok. One of my favorite FB moments was hearing that you were watching your kids jump in the freezing water in y'all's pool while you sat reading....in your heated snuggie....which was plugged in....by the pool. I mean, it's a whole recipe for disaster, but the hilarious thing was that when we all got a huge kick out of it, you laughed right along with us. And whenever someone is teasing you about something, you make just as big of a deal out of it as we do. So we all end up laughing together. I just love it. You are soooooo hilarious.

Near to the heart of God. You are His beloved, daughter of the Most High. I can see this grace flow from you, because you often remember how much we have all been redeemed from. When you say you will be praying, you do, and you check in on us to see if we are okay. Your heart for others and your love and all these special things I've just been talking about....God has loved you so much and made you this way to bless and encourage and uplift and be a GIFT to us all. Darby is right -You are a Titus 2 woman. You have embodied a servant's heart and a love for Christ and others. And in turn, you can understand how much we love you too. :)


I have been very, very blessed, friend. Thank you so much for all the ways in which you've blessed me.
 I'm praying God's clear guiding hand in your life, and the sweetest joys and riches and mercies poured upon you and your family this year and always.
I love you, Mrs. Stiemann. :)

~ Jean Marie ~
(Who is NOT from Texas, hahaha)

Comments

Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday week,
JM's Mom
Emily Brower said…
I've only met her once, but she was definitely one of the most kind, hilarious and "comfy to be with" people I've ever met! No judgement, no hesitation, you're family right away.

Happy birthday, SupersweetHystericalEncouragingReady*waitwhere'sY*LovingSpecialTenderIllustrativeEmotionalMicheviousAnticipatingNevertooproudtolaughatyourselfNeartotheheartofGod!!!