"Show me Your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking Your help against their foes. Protect me as You would the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings as You hover over me." Psalm 17:7-8

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Father's Day Abba

What follows are a couple of my journal pages devoted to unpacking who my Abba really is!!  I want to dedicate this post to two great Dads in my family:  G-Daddy (aka., Bill Slattery) and Chris Otts.  I love you guys so much – and I will dearly miss you and your family, Chris, as you set out on an adventure with God to Wheaton.  May the Lord bless and keep you all in the very center of His will and purposes for the Ott’s Boys (and of course their precious Momma Christie!!)

Who is my DADDY?  He is warm and kind and powerful and gentle.  He is undistracted, patient, timeless, interested, concerned.  He is wise, always right, always truthful, selfless.  He is a Giver – delights to give, cheerfully gives, and gives, and gives…  He knows how to get to the hurting places, the deepest needs to pour in healing, Gilead balm,  oil of gladness.  He loves to just cuddle – He doesn’t view it as a waste of time.  He loves everything about children – their sticky fingers, toothless grins, wiggles, velvet heads next to His cheek, their playfulness, their wonder, their artistic expressions (silly songs, pictures, explanations), their tiny hands reaching up, tracing features on His face, their sparkling eyes, their tired bodies giving in to sleep in His arms.  He loves to laugh with His children, to tell them stories, to take them on adventures.  He never tires of carrying them everywhere.  He is proud of them – they are His – each His personal favorite. 


He has special rituals tailored to each individual child – special love language, knowledge He acts upon to particularly delight His little ones.  He kisses away tears like a Mom who can make any injury better with her lips.  He loves to celebrate, to feed His child and enjoys providing nourishment for the whole person.  He loves to share His heart, His affection, His wealth, His life, His home with them.  He loves to build His children up, to empower and enable them to do what otherwise is impossible, and then clap over them, and rejoice with them over victory won.  

He cloaks Himself in mystery and yet in His arms I’m ever safe.  He is big, REALLY BIG, and yet I never feel lost on His lap – I am right next to His heart there and His arms wrap around me in a perfect fit.  I hear from this place His heart beating, the inner workings of His body, and best of all His small voice (its loving tone, well-chosen volume to every situation, and choice of words honey sweet).  That voice that spoke into being worlds, universes…that voice that tells me who I am and who I forever belong to.  He makes Himself just right for a relationship with one so small and totally in need.  He lovingly lowers Himself in every way because He enjoys doing it.  He stoops to pick up, bends to kiss, makes of Himself a divine cradle, a tree to climb, a horsey to ride upon, a bird to fly upon, a chariot to transport.  He takes form though formless so we can receive the love and joy of His infinite heart supply.

He makes all things new and all things right.  He knows at all times just what to do.  He defends me, shields me, surrounds me.  He sings over me, dances over me, and with me.  He accompanies me everywhere and at all times.  He adores me.  And I love Him because He first, and forever, has and will love me!!!

Abiding in Abba’s Breath and Shadow,

For more inspirational reading, please visit Spiritual Sundays at the following link:  http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paradise Remembered

Beautiful Breanna
In the past two weeks I’ve enjoyed as many weddings.  This evening my son and I drove only a few miles to a neighboring “homeplace” on the Brazos River.  It felt as though we had traveled far from home for great oaks astir with winged violinists towered above us, the hills rolled and horses ran for joy in the bordering pasture down to river’s edge.  Their streaming tails like banners proclaimed bliss!  The bride and groom married beneath a stately tree, their faces shimmering in sunset glow.  A warm breeze teased leaves into joining locust in the bridal chorus.  Declarations of the couple’s love for Jesus came first; His presence gloriously palpable in the night air.  Communion with Him in this open air chapel set the stage for an evening of enjoying divine romance!!

After the couple exchanged their vows we descended into yet another grove of trees encircling a fairytale reception.  God shared His pleasure in the wind as He carried scents of heaven, rearranged draped cloths into gorgeous folds, and blew on the strings of lights twinkling between the trees.  A grasshopper couldn’t resist the netting on the flower girl’s dress playing inside the layers until I exposed him.  Bridesmaids, barefoot in teal dresses, carried lacy hydrangeas and each wore a silk butterfly on her finger.  Every woman present bloomed.  There were age-old windows and a lacy metal screen framing engagement pictures.  Rocks served as tags with messages written on their surfaces, and empty frames left room for imagination to fill them depending on the angle of the viewer.  I thought to myself repeatedly, some experiences in life are simply delicious!!

A striking pair of chocolate blue cowboy boots on a brown sugared tray, in truth the groom’s cake, stood atop a table near a white terraced hillside blooming turquoise – in truth the bride’s cake.  Laughter, sway of trees, lemonade splashing inside my cup – these were some of the sounds contributing to my happiness this night.  Behind them all He stood splendid, my LOVE, my GROOM!!  I virtually surprised myself by how comfortable I felt, how at home and content.  Turning to my son I said, “I’m really a country girl, did you know it?”  He looked at me, head half-cocked, grinned, and drawled, “What do you mean, Mom?”  I couldn’t find words for the communion I was enjoying in that place with the Lover of my soul over a cup of lemonade.  There, under the trees, my Lord courted and found pleasure in me and the two of us together took in the simple beauty of all surrounding us.  Twenty years widowed, sometimes when alone with God in a crowd He draws me so close to make known how deeply in love He is with me.  It is this experience of Him that I’m endeavoring to breathe out onto the page for your enjoyment.

I’ve come to better appreciate that I’m indeed a country girl!  Paradise memory tells me so.   For in the country where I’m from there are cottage mansions with tin roofs and stone walls tucked back into groves of singing trees on milk and honey acres that slope verdant down to the River of Life.  In this place so reminiscent of home, God kept company with me for a few hours, and I felt more alive and more myself than can be told.  Night crept into the valley of love, and all the guests formed a living aisle filled with shimmering bubbles for the newlyweds to depart through.  They headed for their blue mustang where God waited to whisk them both off into the beautiful land of man and wife.

Charlcie, (Jaxon in utero), BJ, me, and Matt

Overshadowed by Him,

For more inspirational reading please visit Spiritual Sundays at http://bloggerspirit.blogspot.com