It was Colby's, my husband, birthday this past Saturday. As the butcher paper card stamped with a large, bold 38 listing 38 reasons why we love our precious daddy hung a bit crooked on our living room wall, we celebrated a day of being together. We like to display our cards in our family. It is worth the grief of hearing the Indian Jones and Superman theme songs and the melodies of dogs farting the birthday song over and over again, as it is always amongst the old man cackles of our 6 and 8 year old boys. Growing old is an honor in this place, and we love the days that bring minimal rules for most is justified by the simple statement of "It's my birthday". But within the opening of gifts, I watched our boys bring their own cards to their father. Coen, our 6 year old, in his simplistic yet black and white way began to read to his dad that he "loved him more..." He loved him more than football cards, the Longhorns, and his "stuff" animals. If you knew Coen you would know that he was declaring true love for his father in the most humble and honest way that he could relate. This kid is a seeker of truth. A lover of discovering the simple within the confusing. He doesn't love his dad because of the things that he was declaring, he simply was saying that I choose you dad because I love you more. And then our 8 year old, Carter, began to read his letter. He wrote his card by himself in his room one day after school the week before. It was after we finished our "38" wall décor card and he quickly realized that there were more than "38" reasons why we love this man in our life. Speaking all of those truths about his dad stirred what the Lord is beginning to reveal in Carters' very heart, that he is one who sees vision in His promises. And in his found freedom of speaking truth, he began to write down who his dad was in the spiritual and the promises of God that follow. "A dreamer of God never fails Him. A dreamer of God says yes to all of His commands. A dreamer of God helps people. A dreamer of Jesus never gives up. A dreamer of the Holy Spirit is honorable..." Even though his voice stopped, his words continued as if echoing in each of our hearts. He was just speaking God's heart over Colby.
The weekend has past and it is Monday again. Monday is one of my mornings that protect so that I can be with God. With age I have figured out some things about myself. One of those things is that I have to be outside. So I took my usual jog around our neighborhood's beautiful trail. Spring is here and with the signs of life budding on the trees, it is no crazy coincidence that there are things that the Lord is asking to grow in my spirit as well. In complete honesty, this Spring they are the things that are hard for me to say ok to. I haven't quite been able to put my finger on some of my angst, but as I jogged the Holy Spirit reminded me of the birthday cards. It took me a mile or so to choose to enter in the conversation, but as I began to give the Holy Spirit permission to "go there", I began to find myself praying out loud...
"Lord I love you more than knowing where we will live in a year"
"Lord I love you more than knowing how you will continue our new business of using energy management with funding justice missions"
"Lord I love you more than knowing where the boys will go to school in the next year"
"Lord I love you more than all of this crazy stuff I feel about writing and worship"
"Lord I love you more than being right or wrong, perfect or ridiculous, charismatic or simple, able or completely and totally inadequate."
"Lord I love you more. I choose you."
And as I spoke those simple yet game changing truths, vision began to come. I began to feel and see that as I bring you my faith and repentance then YOU, in your grace, can do what you have declared to do...bring freedom. Freedom to speak truth. Freedom to speak your promises. Freedom to speak your hope. So Lord, as we all sit on the verge of being another year older, we say that we love you more, we choose you, we love to speak who we are in YOU. Holy Spirit continue to reveal to us the simple in the confusing, your vision in your promises.
Thank you for Birthdays. Thank you for Birthday Cards.