I Love You More

I haven’t been feeling very thankful. If it wasn’t for preparations for the first annual “Hagerty Turkey Feather Hunt” that we’ll inaugurate, I’m fairly certain I’d be drowning my sorrows in gravy tomorrow.

Although I haven’t spent a Thanksgiving with my dad in years, something about his absence feels more pronounced this week. And I’ve just been in a funk.

But tonight I slipped away to intentionally lift my eyes up. I’m at a coffee shop. And I’m working on coming up with verses that will be affixed to turkey feathers (not real ones, at least not this year) we’ll scatter around Nate’s parents’ yard for the kids to hunt down. (Yes, I know …this reeks of cheesy, jumper-wearing mom. Maybe my kickin’ boots and hand-me-down skinny jeans will trump all other signs of school-marmy-ness. Probably not. I think I’m too far gone.)

As I look up these verses to glue on the feathers (I know, the whole thing sounds strange — just bear with me for the greater point), I try to engage with what I’m writing.

I spend so much time staring at myself. Thoughts of … what I have done, what I haven’t done, how I’ve failed and fallen short, who I’ve let down and the great chasm between what God wants me to be and who I actually am. They fill my mind more than I want to admit. I want to get lost in the father-love of God, yet 70% of what I think about (couched in good “pressing in”, knowing-God sort of thoughts) is really about how much I fall short.

As much as I can tell, the onset of these thoughts have paralleled our bringing the children home. Motherhood has uncompromisingly tied me to these two little ones, which means many many other things fall to the wayside.

I think I’m ok with the majority of these priority shifts. I didn’t need to spend 2 hours on email every day and, honestly, I’m happy with no makeup and hair-that-does-what-it-wants after a shower. My “long runs” are now 3 miles, and there are times when I wonder if our dust bunnies will form a coup and overtake us–but none of these things are really phasing me. The hardest piece of this transition is letting go of who I was “in God” then and embracing who He is calling me to be now.

I’m having a hard time not looking back.

I used to spend hours alone in prayer each day, and now I’m fortunate to have a full, uninterrupted hour (and by “uninterrupted”, I mean uninterrupted by my own mental gymnastics). I used to “find” Him in the secret and now it seems most of my time has been spent seeking, with not a lot of finding. I end most days wishing for more of Him than I had and resolving that tomorrow will be different. To no avail.

So I’ve been a little lost. Not because being left seeking is bad, but more so because God has moved me into a different season in my life and I seem to be dragging my feet. And then, thoughts of my dad and grief end up getting filed away into that bank of “things I used to know how to process with the Lord but lately can’t seem to figure out how to bring before Him when He’s there and I’m here.” Hence the funk.

But praise God for the turkey feather hunt.

‘Cause I fumble through verse after verse that call me to remember His holy name … and the fog parts. It’s not about my love for you, but Your love for me. It’s not about my failures, but His successes. Not my inadequacies but His sufficiency.

And this truth makes moving with God to a new season so much easier. He is unchanging and I’m a stick in the mud. But I don’t set the pace nor do I determine the season. I’m just called to look at Him. More than look, stare … get lost in the looking.

Recently the children have picked up the bantering we initiated when we talk about our love for them. We both often say “I love you more!” in response to one of them telling us they love us. Lately they’ve been saying “No, mommy, I love you more.” We go back and forth until Nate or me wins. How could a two-year-old’s love possibly compare to the love I have stored up for almost a decade in waiting for them? Eden loves pancakes, dress-up clothes, her “beautiful” (totally impractical) shoes …and mommy & daddy. I lay awake at night overwhelmed with love for her and her brother.

I wonder if God thinks that about me. I want to show Him I love Him more and I’m realizing I spend a lot of my time disappointed in how I’ve failed in that. And all He wants me to do is see how much He loves me. I’ve become obsessively distracted with my own shortcomings, and He wants me functioning in an entirely different realm, caught up in His love for me.

I want to memorialize the past, the place and time when I deemed I was the most “spiritual” … the most connected to Him. But He’s moved on and wants me to come along with Him. And, I suppose, that’s the only way there is to take my eyes of my most favorite subject–me. Tough. But just a few minutes of it tonight has been a deep drink.

I think I found him in the turkey feathers.

Stay tuned for pictures from first annual hunt… 🙂