My Better Half

Today is truly one of my favorite days of the year. The reason is two-fold: in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving today, which has always been a holiday that brings me such comfort is spending time with family together, not stressed about gifts. But my primary reason for this being one of my favorite days is because it's my hubby's birthday! I. love. birthdays. There were nights this past week I couldn't fall asleep because I was so excited thinking about and planning for Jordan's big day. Now, he doesn't get near as excited for his birthday as I do. But I love getting to make a big deal out of people and celebrate who they are. Especially my hubs.

I mention him often in posts but today I thought I'd fill you in a little more on why I'm so in love with this man. And some other fun facts you may not know.

  1. He loves the Lord. Not just says that he does or tries to show that in front of other people. But I mean genuinely, passionately knows and loves Jesus. And boldly tells everyone he knows, everywhere he goes.
  2. His servant's heart is remarkable. Jordan goes out of his way to help around the house, do the dishes, make the bed, cook breakfast or dinner when I'm overwhelmed, puts toothpaste on my toothbrush every night, and sacrifices in many ways for myself and others on a regular basis. It blesses me tremendously.
  3. The way he loves our families. He is caring and compassionate, while truthful and Christ-centered with them. Jordan makes an effort to keep in touch with our fams even living thousands of miles away. He is always asking people how he can be praying for them, and then actually prays for them. Which brings me to...
  4. His prayer life. Jordan is the earlier-riser of the two of us, and darn near every morning he wakes up, kneels next to the bed and starts the day in prayer. It encourages me greatly to know that my hubby clings to the power of prayer and knows its importance.
  5. He loves coffee. And we our self-titled coffee connoisseurs.
  6. Reading is a favorite hobby he has. He starts and finishes more books than most people I know, myself included.
  7. When I'm sad or crying for whatever reason, he always starts singing the intro to "You'll be in my heart", which begins with the lyrics, "Come stop your crying, it'll be all right..." And it works. Every time.
  8. This kid's sense of humor, wit, and sarcasm were some of the first things to win me over back in the day. And keep our marriage fun and lighthearted today. Absolutely hilarious.
  9. He is an incredible public speaker. Being on stage with a mic in hand, Jordan is totally in his niche.
  10. Words of affirmation are really important to him.
  11. He gets a big kick out of too-soon jokes.
  12. We're both extremely competitive. Board games get pretty heated.
  13. In January of 2010, he ran a marathon in Phoenix, Arizona.
  14. As a teenager, he was on a hip-hop dance team at his church.
  15. He hated being called "little guy" when he was younger. A waiter at a restaurant asked him, "what would you like to eat, little guy?" Jordan stepped on his food and yelled, "don't call me little guy!"
  16. At 5 years old, his mom reasoned with him to stop using a binky. All by his five-year old self, he concluded that it was time to stop.
  17. For our weekly Cru gathering at OU, Jordan was the emcee for about two years.
  18. He asks insightful, meaningful questions.
  19. Jordan loves to do the Dougie, the clean version of the song, of course.
  20. He loves to travel, hang out with friends, read blogs and just a million other things that make me love this man.

Getting to know him more and more every day is one my life's greatest adventures. What a perk to be married to a younger man (he loves when I say this because I'm actually only 4 months older than him =).

Jordan Jeffrey, you are the best thing (besides Jesus) to ever happen to me. Thanks for bringing so much life, joy, happiness, fun and excitement into my world. You are undoubtedly my better half and I thank God every morning for blessing me with His (in my opinion) greatest creation. I love you babe!

Happy Birthday to Me

24. That’s the age I turn this fine day in July. I'm a big birthday person. July is typically "birthday month" and I love making a really big deal of celebrating birthdays; not simply my own but others' as well. The speed at which life is zooming is astounding, and seems to accelerate each year.You always think about birthdays up until your 21st. And then it’s as though you forget it continues after that. I have been blessed more richly in these 24 years than I ever could have imagined. This list narrows down 12 reasons I am grateful and 12 lessons I’ve learned over the past years (to total 24, of course).

I’m thankful for...

  1. My relationship with Jesus Christ. His relentless pursuit of me even in the midst of my unfaithfulness to Him. Grateful that my God never changes and loves me despite how undeserving I feel of it.
  2. Jordan Jeffrey Shirkman. This man has been the biggest surprise I never saw coming. Marrying him has been the most amazing, fun adventure and I couldn’t ask for a better partner in this life. I love his heart for the Lord, the nations, and people. He exemplifies Christ’s love to me in such a tangible way that has healed my heart and given me the confidence to start seeing myself as Jesus does. And he loves me even when I’m a pain in the butt =)
  3. My family. Each and every one of you holds a special place in my heart. I love how close we are and greatly cherish the time we spend together. This includes the wonderful family I’ve gained through marrying Jordo--you have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like a part of the family from day one.
  4. Cru. Being a part of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) as a student was a life-changing decision for me in college. Now I have the privilege of calling it my “job” to travel the world telling people about Jesus and to impact lives for eternity. The friends we work with are a major highlight as well. Which brings me to...
  5. Deep friendships. I could write pages of who you are and what you’ve blessed me with in life, but to each of you that have touched my life in a significant way, that point me to Jesus and encourage me to pursue all God has for me, I am forever thankful.
  6. Coffee. Any style. French-pressed. Latte. Cream and sugar. You name it.
  7. Books. I love reading and learning. Books help with that.
  8. Travel. The world is so diverse and unique. I love seeing new places in both the United States and around the globe.
  9. Food. New restaurants, familiar ones. Thai. Italian. Sushi. Asian. Steak. Sweets. I just really love food, making me also grateful for my...
  10. Ability to cook and bake. It’s an art to me and therapy as well. With a pretty delicious result to partake of in the end.
  11. Exercise.
  12. New experiences. I love trying new things: new products, restaurants, stores, technology, anything. When in conversations, I enjoy being able to have an opinion on things. My hubs calls me a “marketer’s dream” for this reason.Now 12 things I’ve learned so far...
  13. Life with God is way more satisfying, fulfilling and fun than it ever could be without.
  14. Spend more time planning your marriage than your wedding.
  15. People and relationships are more important than my tasks and to-do list.
  16. Daily time in the Bible is essential for my peace, sanity, and stability.
  17. Be present in whatever moment you’re in.
  18. Be content where you’re at, with what you have; not always looking to the next thing or believing that more _____ or less _____ would make it easier.
  19. Ask for forgiveness quickly.
  20. Extend forgiveness even more quickly. And just let it go.
  21. Loving people like Jesus does will always cost you something; be it time, convenience, resources, you name it. And will always be worth it.
  22. I have nothing to prove to anyone.
  23. Comparing myself with others is not only exhausting, but essentially telling God the gifts and talents He’s given me aren’t good enough.
  24. Cherish each season of life and every change that it brings. The only constant is God and He’s with you every step of the way.

Now for most of those lessons I need to start applying them to my life, but luckily God is pretty patient with me =) Thanks in advance for the birthday wishes!

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Twenty-something follower of Jesus, wife to my best friend, aspiring kitchenista, and lover of handwritten type, all things coffee, traveling and baked goods. Currently in the United States until my husband and I move back to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we are missionaries with Cru.