A Wise Old Owl

Finally we are settled into our new home! It’s good to be settled. It’s good to be in a place and feel like it is home (well sort of). Pictures are hung. Our fridge no longer looks like a 19 year old college bachelor’s fridge. We even have a kitchen table. The past month or so has really been one of getting settled in and adjusting to our new city. The thing is that even though our physical house is beginning to take shape into a home, we are still very much foreigners to Golden Hill. But there’s something pretty cool about finding your way around in a new place. Slowly we are beginning to get the “feel” of San Diego and Golden Hill. It’s kind of funny, but when you live in a place for a long time you almost begin to take the daily rhythms of your city and neighborhood for granted. It’s easy to look past what happens day in and day out around us because we are so consumed with our lives, our homes, our jobs, our fill-in-the-blank. I feel like the longer we are in a place the easier it is to fall into that pattern if we’re not intentional. Nowhere is this more glaring than in a new place. A new place is full of new sounds, new people, new homes, new weather, new conversations – new everything. It kind of hits you smack dab in the face when you’re used to life a certain way and your “new place” does it a little, or a lot differently. We’ve quickly re-discovered that moving and entering into a new season and a new place in life requires an ability to listen and take in what is happening all around you. If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time connecting with the people around you. Jenifer and I are becoming more and more aware of the need to listen to the world around us and begin to understand what the rhythms of our new neighborhood are telling us about it’s beliefs, it’s values, and where the gospel needs to be brought to bear in its midst. The more we listen, the more we are able to speak grace, truth, and love into our neighbors’ lives.

Praying over one of the apprentices.

About three weeks ago now Jenifer and I began the formal training part of the NieuCommunities Apprenticeship. Each Tuesday night we, along with 10 other apprentices, gather to learn and be trained as leaders who will be sent out as salt and light to cities and neighborhoods all around the world. The apprenticeship has begun by focusing on our need to listen. Here in NieuCommunities we call this taking a “posture” of listening. We are learning more and more each week how very important it is to listen to God and hear from through His Word, through prayer, and through the counsel of others. We are learning about the need to listen and understand how we best connect with God and to be in tune with how He has created us to serve Him. Finally, we are learning how to listen to our neighborhood. This requires us to ask a number of questions. What are the rhythms of life that are happening day in and day out? What are the beliefs and values of those around us? What are the needs and hurts of our community here in Golden Hill. As we listen, it is our hope and prayer that as a community of believers we may be instruments of love, grace, and reconciliation in this neighborhood we call home and in the world around us. That is our prayer right now – that we would listen more and speak less. A little while ago I posted on facebook an old english proverb I had come across right as we began the apprenticeship – how fitting it is for us right now, I felt I should repost it here:

A Wise Old Owl
A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

That’s really where we are at right now. Speaking less allows us to learn and to hear what is happening around us. Our neighborhood is telling us a lot about itself each day; we must listen and do so well if we are going to be effective people on mission for God. We are thankful for the reminder of how important it is to learn, understand, and listen to our neighborhood. If we truly desire to see lives transformed by the gospel we should probably know as much about those lives as possible so that we may love well, serve well, and proclaim the glories of God well.

Emerson’s first baseball game!

We are thankful that as we’ve transitioned down here we have had time to simply spend together as a family exploring different areas of San Diego. One thing we got to do recently was bring Emerson to his first baseball game!! We’ve explored beaches, parks, and all the different neighborhoods around the city; it’s been great! We’re thankful for this time together as a family!

Moving forward here are a couple ways you can specifically be praying for us:

  • Pray that we continue to transition well here in San Diego (we are still learning and getting used to living down here).
  • Pray that God would provide all the finances we need for ministry. 
  • Pray that we would be good listeners as we learn from and interact with our neighbors.

-The Otts