Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Amazing Sheri Burns

Today is my wife's birthday, and I enjoyed reading her blog today, and she remained logged into blogger account which afforded me this opportunity to make a few comments about Sheri that she would never tell you or say about herself.

Sheri is an amazing person. We go way back. I first met her when she was 14 and I was 16. Even when this picture was taken back in 1976 I knew that she was an extraordinary person. She is amazing for many reasons, but one is that she doesn't age. Doesn't she still look the same as in this picture. Her maiden name is Henness which was changed from O'Hennessy.

She grew up in a home with 3 brothers so she learned at an early age how to stand her own ground and not be pushed around. When I first met Sheri, I was attracted to the mystery that surrounded her. At 14 I noticed that she was extremely intelligent, somewhat secretive, opinionated and exceedingly knowledgeable of the world around her.

As a young girl her favorite place was the Library in Paris, Illinois. She claims to have read so many books, that she was disappointed there were no new ones to read.

She grew up doing what most kids do, fishing, boating, competing in beauty pageants, sports, church, playing in the marching band and doing chores around the house. Getting to know Sheri was a challenge. Even as a young teenager, she was a deep thinker, determined, knew what she wanted tomorrow and every day in her future. She immediately told me that God had revealed to her that she was either going marry a minister or a farmer. (I'm both...now) Getting to know Sheri then was like getting to know a philosopher. She seemed to always know what I was thinking, the motives behind everything I said, my strengths and my faults from my short conversations with her. It was intimidating but so compelling.

She was able to observe me for a few minutes and then read me like a book. At a young age she was strong, fearless, bold, outspoken and adventurous. She wasn't a tom-boy, but just someone who wanted to know everything and do everything. That's what was so mysterious about Sheri, I wanted to know how someone could be so purposeful, so determined, so intelligent and yet so personable and beautiful.

She is the daughter of a Navy veteran, fire fighter and meat cutter who built his own house with his own hands and a mother who valued staying at home and raising her family above all else.

There is very little that Sheri cannot engage in a discussion about. No matter the topic, she is knowledgeable, well read and able to debate the subject.  However, her compassion compels her to withhold such debates if it means the other person may be discouraged or offended. I've observed her not engaging in a conversation even when she knew more on the subject than those discussing it simply because she did not want to sound like a know-it-all.

You can present any situation, any ordeal, any problem to Sheri and within minutes she can express the solution with pin-point accuracy and insightful revelation. How she does that is still mysterious to me.  She is decisive, direct, and takes little pleasure in meaningless small talk or superficial talk. Her uncanny spirit of discernment can be a burden for her at times, being able to see through people's problems and yet unable to right the wrong or change a heart.

She doesn't wast time, words or thoughts. Everything she does is productive, meaningful and lasting. Oh, she likes to play, relax and she is still very adventurous, but her life is like a meaningful painting. No stroke of the brush is accidental or unintentional.

5 or 10 times a day, she will tell me amazing facts, stories or truths she has recently discovered. She might tell me what Vitamin D3 is so important and exactly how much to take per day or she may tell me a true story of someone who overcame adversity. She once woke from a dream and told me to use mentholated cough drops in my bee hives. I listen to her weeks ago teaching our 17 year old (we homeschool) about the CIA and she was going into great depth about the number of people in our state who work for various departments that gather information for our own protection. She is simply amazing.

She hungers for a simple and self-sufficient life, one that we work toward daily. So as you've seen in her blog, she loves the earth, the soil, nature, gardening, and cooking. She's traveled to several countries on mission and humanitarian trips.She's walked the garbage dumps outside of Mexico City and the streets of Haiti. Sheri and I spent a week by ourselves in Israel once and she was so burdened that so many people in the very place that Jesus walked, lived without knowing Him.

She has her college degree in Leadership and Administration (H/R). She earned that degree while working full time and a mother of 5. She's ran non-profit organizations, Day-cares and preschools. There is nothing she cannot do and so much more that she has accomplished that if I mentioned would embarrass her even more. But people who really, truly know Sheri, they too find her astonishing, unbelievable. At times I've teasingly asked her to tell me if she is human or an angel, but maybe within my teasing  I was hoping she might confess why her life is so different that most of ours.

And yet after all I've mentioned to you about her, if you were to spend an hour with her, she would make you feel so good. You'd find her to be such a friendly, warm and genuine person, just so average and down-home.

Sheri eventually saw something in me, I do not know what, but something that eventually caused her to fall in love with me. We have three sons and three daughters. Of all of her greatest interests and treasures on earth, it is the 7 of us.

She still has a huge interest in adventure. She wants to spend time in Italy, France and Greece. And she will. Some how she will. Because she's just amazing.

I love you Sheri!


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