Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy birthday, jenny rigney

Almost a month ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday. My friend Jenny wrote the nicest post that I could ever have imagined. It made me cry. Since she's the easiest person in the world to affirm, and since today is her birthday, I thought I'd write a post just for her.

Here are 29 things I love about Jenny Rigney on her 29th birthday!

1. I have Jenny on a culinary pedestal. Best pasta, best salsa, best sweet potato casserole, etc. In my book, she wins the blue ribbon for every single thing she makes. (And if she needs a judge or taste tester, I would oblige her every time.)

2. Jenny encourages me by her example to be tender towards my children.

3. Jenny is wise beyond her years. (Of course, in my mind she'll always be 25ish and thus will always seem so.) She is sensitive to the truth and unwilling to compromise it.

4. She's slightly intentional when it comes to teaching her first born. At 22 months, he can identify all the letters in the alphabet, he knows his left from his right and he knows a little catechism too.

5. She has modeled to me serving while suffering. While she endured years of infertility, she served friends in need who were mothers.

6. She honors her mother and her father. And makes me cry in the process.

7. She makes the most best lists!

8. She shares her brilliant ideas and recipes.

9. She says she's picky, but she really isn't. For example, if she doesn't like a certain vegetable, she'll find a recipe that makes it palatable. (Most people who actually are picky, don't admit it. boo.)

10. She fights for her faith. She hasn't surrendered to doubt even when the storms have come.

11. She has a beautiful smile. See?!

12. I love how Jenny often asks me, "What are the top five things on your mind?" or "What are the top three things that stir your affections for Christ?" She wants to have meaningful conversation. She's not interested in killing time.

13. She has mad interior design skillz. She (and Joe!) took on a quite the project when they bought their home (just two blocks away from me!!!). It had been uninhabited for two years. It had a ton of potential, but it basically looked like a crack house. And now, it's pretty much the CUTEST house on the block. I love her ability to make a beautiful yet very comfortable environment.

14. She has THE most hilarious stories.

15. My favorite comedy moment with her was documented on her blog. It STILL makes me laugh OUT loud when I think of it. Last October, she went to Old Navy and Target several times to pick a costume for her son Sam. She kept telling me about this banana costume at Old Navy. Finally, one day we met up at Old Navy and sure enough she tried that banana costume on Sam again, but it just didn't seem right...even though the label said it went up to 50 lbs (what?). As we were waiting in line, I saw the costume again and something caught my eye that took my breath away as I laughed hysterically. Apparently, Sam had been trying on a banana costume for a dog all this time.

16. Oh, by the way, she also makes me laugh on purpose. She is so stinkin' funny!

17. Jen challenges me to be a more thoughtful wife to my husband. When our husbands first heard about the flag football league at our church, she said, "I'll do anything I can to make sure he can play! He really needs an athletic outlet." Wow. I usually think, "I'll do anything I can to make sure my husband doesn't break a limb. I really need him to do a lot of things around the house." But, she was right! (And they both play flag football, btw!)

18. She gives. Salsa. Time. Her heart. Her tears. Oh man, Jenny gives!

19. She loves organization. Exhibit A (that's her pantry!)

But she's not obsessed. Exhibit B (that's her toddler after dumping out a container of sprinkles!)

20. I can trust her because she loves Jesus more than she loves me.

21. She's spontaneous. Most times when we hang out it's not planned at all.

22. She loves. She truly loves her friends. She loves people. She loves her family.

23. Jen is ALWAYS thinking of ways to serve others. The most unlikely word in the world I would use to describe her is "self-serving."

24. Jen is a praying friend. She talks to God. And she prays for me and my family.

25. She has taken the most amazing pictures of my family. I absolutely LOVE her photography. I don't understand the craft at all. I know people think that the camera deserves the credit. Well, I have definitely proved them wrong. I have taken pictures with her camera and they were HORRIBLE!!!! She's a wonderful photographer!

26. She's happy. She's joyful. There is nothing Debby Downer about her. When her toddler messes up her home, she laughs. She has a sparkly kind of smile.

27. She gave me Loving the Little Years for no particular reason. Did I mention that she gives?

28. She teaches without giving you the impression that she's teaching. And maybe because she's not. She's just sharing. But, because she is so reflective and thoughtful and wanting to practically apply all things she's learning, I'm learning right along with her.

29. Jen dances in public. No matter how pregnant she is. I love her for that.

Jen, I really could keep going, because you are an amazing person. I am incredibly glad to call you friend and neighbor and sister in Christ.

If you'd like to add to the list, please do! Tell Jenny what YOU love about her!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Jenny

I like that I was able to learn a bit about you through the eyes of a friend.

Jeremy A.

Mandy said...

Such a beautiful post. We should all have a friend like that!

Joe Rigney said...

Absolutely wonderful, and I couldn't agree more. I'll add a couple to the list.

1. Jen combines both a spiritual fortitude and a deep sensitivity and tenderness. She's a rock without being harsh or unfeeling. In fact, she's probably one of the most sensitive people I know. The pain and suffering of others affects her, and yet she doesn't buckle.

2. She listens so well. She asks me questions about things that I'm learning or thinking about, even if she doesn't have a personal interest them. She thinks they are valuable because she believes that I'm valuable.

3. She's not afraid to make a fool of herself for the sake of our son. She'll make faces, act silly, and dance around, all in public, in order to show him that she loves him.

4. She helps this minimalistic, aesthetically-challenged husband not look like such a buffoon.

5. She's my best friend.

Love you Jen,


Becky said...

These are all so excellent, Jenna!

1. Jenny is definitely one of those friends you never tire of being with. I could spend the whole day with her and still it feels as if there wasn't enough time.

2. She understands me. She's listened so well to me, that when I talk to her, I KNOW she knows exactly what I'm trying to say.

3. She's a brilliant story-teller. I find that when she's telling a story, I can't stop watching her. I feel caught up in a moment I wasn't even a part of, but because of the way she's telling it, I feel like I was there. It's amazing.

4. Her house is your house. It feels like home when I walk in.

5. She has brilliant ideas and plans. And instead of just thinking about them, she takes action. Whether they turn out how she wanted it to or not, the point is she actually DID IT.

6. The way she cares for Sam is how I want to care for my children someday. I've been taking mental notes.

7. She always praises Joe in some way when we're talking.

8. When I think of a true friend, only a few people come to mind. Jenny is always one of them.

9. She's always seeking to be better in her relationship with the Lord. I love these talks because they show me where I can be better as well. And I don't think I've ever told her that.

I love you, Jenny!

Becky said...

10. She recommends the best movies, then proceeds to watch them with you or just lets you borrow it out of her majorly big collection. :)

Mandy said...

Also, I would be interested in seeing more pictures of this pantry. Seriously.

Sarah said...

I loved this post...every sweet. so funny! You talk about her so I've got an even better picture of who she is!

Greta said...

I love that you have so many, and such, descriptive things you love about people.

I thought this before when you did a similar list for Brent.

Even though I don't know you, happy birthday Jenny!

Anonymous said...

She makes enough Texas Caviar to share with the whole neighborhood!

Thanks Jenny!

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Jenna- sweetest post ever. Thank you for your kind words, I feel so undeserving! And thank you to everyone else who commented, I feel so blessed!

Christy said...

Am I the only one that wants to be more like Jenny Rigney (and Jenna Scheetz, for that matter)?