Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Eve of Surprise

Isnt the element of surprise and wonder amazing.. almost magical. Or shall we say supernatural! It is really the eve of the surprise that is so wonderful... the anticipation, the dreaming, the thoughts that play... God is the Father of this continuing gift of surprise. Life is full of it, love seems to be marked by it, and Christ invented it! Christmas Eve night is the topper of all! It is so glorious and serene feeling. Sipping cider in wine glasses by out fire and letting mom and dad open all their gifts follows our 5 Star steak dinner. Cappy, our precious pup, helps in the unwrapping as he eagerly awaits the next paper to rip or box to grab. There is such simplicity and sweetness to this season. Yet all the tree, tea cups brimming, and tree trappings would not exist had it not been for my sin and my Savior. There is no Birthday party nor Going away party that beats that of Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birth, but we also remember His last supper with His disciples, illuminating the reasons behind the baby in a manager. He came to die that I might live. Oh the wonder of Christmas... the wonder of Him.

A supernatural wonderous joy flows from genuine hearts, and my family is no exception. I am so blessed with the family I call "mine". They are the greatest Christmas gift and yes, surprise. They continue to surprise me through the years, because the older I get the wiser I view them and love them for who they are, not for what they can do for me. The childness that Christmas evokes is healthy and beautiful. I love the traditions and memories that makes all my Christmas stories awe filled! The waffle smells tomorrow morning along side the crackling fire. The perfect set table with coffee mugs and matching plates. The Steve Greene Christmas album ringing loud on the surround sound as our alarm clock tomorrow morning. My brother and I will creep, fully awake, down the stairs just like we did when we were of crawling age, and be greeted with lights, music, and The Gifts! The couch is mine every year gift wrapped itself in presents, and Seth gets the chairs! It is marvelous. The element of surprise as to what is under the shiny and shimmery papers! The element that is in this eve as we await the morning. I love mornings, but Christmas tops them all. As all the wrapping paper paints the floor, gasps fill the room, and hugs mark and unopened gift.... my stunned heart cries every year!

My heart cries "HOLY"... "what am I that You would even let me share the spotlight, by giftings, in the season when this is ALL about You"! My heart cries grattitude and overwhelming humility. How could You love me to provide now but even more so provide over 2000 years ago? Muslims know no exaltation and wonderment. Buddahist speak none of joyful surprises found inside or paralyzing grattitude found outside such a Loving Active Savior. Christianity defines Christmas...declares Christ's reality....describes Life's meaning...depicts love and otherness....and demands attention. And it is the very attention of Christmas that is forcefully exiting people's minds. In certain parts, no carols, no "christmas" break, definitely no "merry christmas", no anything with CHRISTmas...Now, our Christmas is under scrutinzing eyes and unbelieving hearts. However, they will never be able to steal our memories, sabatoge our traditions, or silence The Truth of Christmas! Merry Christmas to all on this Eve..... Let His surprises come great and small! For Truly the greatest Surprise of all came in the Smallest package on an eve in Bethlehem...will we open (up to) Him this year?!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Divine Simplicity

"The mundane little happenings in life mark it with Grace and Glory", has been recorded in my head but found more recently true of my heart! I find Him in the smallest or common overlook...and it fulfills voids that I did not know were present. Practicing His presence admist what others find expected, common, normal, or exactly the secret to never knowing a dull moment.

So..sit back, simmer down, and stew over the Simple: the smell of coffee brewing, a cup of that coffee by a fire, a world of color and changing temperatures, fabrics that all feel different, the ability to design a meal and the gift to eat it, old leather chairs that tell a story, lines in a freshly mowed lawn, chips and dip, vaccuming, slippers,home libraries, candel light in daytime, cheaper gas across the street, King sized comforter on a twin bed,rough skin turned soft with a miracle called chapstick, hardwood floors that echo footsteps of company, the meaning of having a true friend, clocks-they anticipate future fun, snooze button-it prolongs wearied waking, mom's voice, daddy's hug, answered prayer-even giving us our daily bread every day...He really does it, anything puppies-their feet, breath, run, scarfs, big ceral spoons and deep bowls, dishes in general, the perfectly sharpened pencil that never breaks, the first day of life and the last, people watching, the sound of wheels hitting a runway, fireworks, the way the muscles move on top of your hand, hot showers with a cold rinse, biscuits, an old mattress, good feta cheese, cold crisp apple, the first spoonful of peanut butter from a new jar, tummy laughter, chipmunks, handwritten letters, a good massage, blinking, sleeping in a cold house with a heating pad, oversized sweatshirts, the flip flop noise, the sound of typing, seat warmers,the ability to record the random, a new day, the reality that Life is more than the seen...the Extraordinare that we cannot see makes this life's "seeables" glorious....add more to this list as you take note of all that is around is endless, priceless, is all simplicity originating from divinity! Fix your hope on "God, who richly supplies us with ALL things to enjoy!" I Tim.6:17

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Remembering the Forgotten

It is astounding at how many prayers I forget I spoke and how many more I forget He has remembered! Truly, every time we pray He not only hears, but records. What an amazing Ear we have in Him. He listens, remembers, records, sifts, and answers our prayers with His precise faithfulness and technique. I was sitting on a plane overlooking the sunset, just dreaming to Him. He brought to memory prayers I had once only pondered and presented to Him. It encited me to remember those prayers and raise up praise for His answers. At that moment, the verse, "He inhabits the praise of His people" took on knew meaning. As I remembered in my mind what He was reminding in my heart, I began to praise Him! With the rememberance of those past prayers, I could see Him presently alive in my life to utterly praise Him for His answers. He instigated my memory and inhabited my praise! Jog my memory, Lord, of what has been a running record to You all these years.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Whispered Words

I am learning much of the voice of God. It is not the tonality of Him as it is the tenacity of Him. He speaks to me through anything, anyone all the time. He wrote the first written word and created the first correspondence. Would He not always be speaking then? It is the opened ear, the ready heart, and the enlightened eye that can find Him and His sweet voice. His voice patiently whispers to me some days and intensely directs on others. However, He speaks. He talks to my heart not to my head. He speaks to my spirit not intelligence. Though He uses the mind, the rational, and the emotions to show me His will and way, it is truly His Word that whispers. He enlivens it daily. He defines it nightly. God is a perfect communicator. I love when He not only speaks direction, but listens to my heart's words, sometimes groans. The most powerful Lover, the most precise Communicator, and the perfect Lover...this is the Man that talks to me. Why should He even communicate with me at all? Dare I not communicate back? The most simple, yet overlooked way of communicating, is listening. Though many call my name and a myrid of voices I is Him I listen to and locate in my friends. He affirms His love for me through the voice of someone dear and close. One of his many voices in my life can be defined as the trusted faces and friends that I call "mine". Thank you friends for speaking your heart to my heart. Even more than that, for speaking His heart every time. As His Words, through their many voices, continue to speak... may I remain hearing. "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening". Why should He even communicate with me at all? Dare I not communicate back? The most simple, yet overlooked way of communicating, is listening.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

In memory of Me

Thanksgiving for me embodies food,yes, but mainly rememberance. Remembering the 'deeds of old that His hand has done' echoing the words of David, the God hearted man. Remembering His involvement, daily salvation, and glorious whispers to me. Truly He has provoked tears of joy and bottled tears of pain this past year. With every growing year so does my understanding and love of His ways grow. Psalm 25 asks the Lord to teach me His ways, not just a distant existance. It is more than knowledge of Him, but it is actually a deepening of experiencing His ways. His ways of loving depsite an unlovable human. His ways of intervening inspite of myself. Oh I love food, but I need His ways more. In fact He told me that I cannot live on bread/good food alone, but must devour the very Word of God with my appetite. So with every morsel of the good food, well great food here at the Ott household, my memory was marked with the Man. The Man who deserves and defines "Thanksgiving". Not just the season, but the lifestyle called "thanksgiving". Interesting, every time we eat and enjoy we are "to do this in rememberance of Me". That Me of God trumps this me in my tummy. I do not want to be mindful of me, but have a mind FULL of Him. Jogging my memory of His greatness and goodness is a running theme of my life, that God started all ago. May I never stop eating, enjoying, remembering, and thanking Jesus Christ simply for who He is!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Crossroom

I am learning much of childness in faith. Teaching preschool is taking me to preschool. How daunting life can be when it is braved with my own efforts and my own faith strength. These precious children have their whole lives ahead of them. Heartaches,football try outs, best friendships, first kiss, travels, college life, love, dreams, and careers of choice. They know no other way to approach life than with reckless abandon and excitement. They have no idea and joys and sorrows that await them in this world. Neither did I. But my Father did before I was born. When I was yet unmade, He fashioned all my days, the good and bad ones. He knew all the tears of pain and tears of joy that this little girl would cry. What a comfort it is to know that "it is not in a man to direct his own steps"... for truly "the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord". Though I never thought I would be teaching preschool right now, nor would I have ever thought I would be back in preschool learning "christianity" as life not was fashioned this way by Him. I would have it no other way. My children walk into my classroom daily just as I walk into my crossroom with my Teacher daily. It is sweet and intimate to let Him break and teach me all over again with His school of choice.