Settling In

Joining the Lauras very late this week – yes, it’s been that kind of week. Oy vey.
On In Around button

May I introduce you to…
…my office.
The one in my home, that is.
The one that has been sadly piled with box upon box,
memento upon memento,
for most of this year 
as I have slowly been moving
fourteen years of life and work 
out of the church and 
into this small space. 
 I love this room.
In 2002, we decided to add on to the home 
we had bought four years previously.
And we discovered that one of the city’s finest architects worshiped with us every Sunday morning.
So Don came and talked to us and walked around our house and our yard and about a week later, 
he came back with this amazing, 
genius design for a new master suite…
and a room we hadn’t asked for,
that I had never even dreamed of asking for –
“I want to do a study for you, Diana.
Just a small space, but we’ll put in a big window
so you can read and study
and write those sermons I love.”
 A space for me??
A space just for me??
When the framing went up, I actually wept 
as I walked between the studs. 
I had not had a room that was just for me
since I was seventeen years old.
I went directly from my parents’ home 
to a co-op of Christian women during my college years, 
to a small apartment in Santa Monica when I got married, midway through my senior year at UCLA.
A room of my own.
 But it has literally been unusable 
for about six months now,
and it was time.  
Past time, actually, to make a stab 
at integrating the detritus from my church office
and forming a space for me to sit 
and think and read and pray and write.
And a space to greet directees when they arrived.
So last week, I finished sorting.
And somehow managed to create a welcoming space – 
too cluttered, yes! –
but a room which reveals a real slice of my life,
and a place rich with reminders of my journey with God, reminders literally everywhere my eye lands.
 Yup, that’s pretty much me.
This framed card has come with me through
two church offices and now makes me smile at home.
This beautiful mahogany desk and chair were made for us by my husband’s cousin, a gifted furniture maker.
I asked for the two ‘bread boards’ on the sides because I never have enough spreading-out space.
And I asked that the center drawer have a drop down front so 
I could put my keyboard there when I had a PC.
Now, it holds my laptop. 
I am sure that the way-t00-many pictures and other assorted bric-a-brac will be thinned in months to come,
but at this point, I am not yet ready to part with any of it. 
 The always popular traveling pony-photograph that was ubiquitous in homes during the 50’s.  I was four.
The two women’s groups who have played 
such a key role in my story – the BBC  (the birthday group from my home church that I wrote about last week),
and the YaYas (a group of women pastors who have been soulmates throughout my professional life.)
  And an amazing collection of tiny scallop shells my kids and I gathered after a winter storm about 25 years ago.  
And the Weeping Savior, 
a wood carving brought back from Lithuania by a former boss. And that small basket with the five loaves and two fishes, which I bought at a local gift shop my first week 
on the job here in Santa Barbara, 
when I was so frightened and overwhelmed 
by the life changes we had just made.
A visible and tactile reminder 
that we serve a God of miracles 
and deeply personal provision.
The wooden spoon I used to hold the salt I would place on our confirmands tongues during their ‘big day’ in our Sunday morning worship each May.
Each piece holds a memory, a story, a reminder of grace.
It is so good to be back in this space again,
so good to see the next phase coming into focus.

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  1. So glad you are finding your way around your beautiful office. Thanks for sharing some of your special pieces/memories.

    Are any of your sermons on line?


  2. Hi Glenda,

    Thanks for your amazing faithfulness in stopping by this place! You are such an encourager.

    I have some sermons on this blog but I could not find any at our church site. They’ve completely redone the website and it is gorgeous, but the old podcasting system has disappeared and it looks like there are only about 3 months of sermons available for listening. So, no. I guess there are none on line in that way. One of these days, I’ll organize this blog a bit and if I can figure out how to make ‘departments’ across my header, I’ll make a sermon list. Thanks for asking.

  3. Thank you for sharing your special space. I have an office leftover from the years I ran my own business from home. It’s just an extra bedroom but it was redecorated for the purpose, the closet equipped with floor-to-ceiling shelves for storage, and track lighting added. There’s something very satisfying about having my own space… a place in which to retreat whether the need is to write, study or just read in solitude. Your space looks beautifully personalized. I can see why you love it.

  4. How fun to see your beautiful office! I can now picture you there, busily and happily at work. Lovely.

    In my blog this morning, I put a link to your blog post “The Eyes Have It” — hope that’s OK.

    Have a good weekend!


  5. Stunning! I would love to sit a spell, with a cup of tea, sharing time there in His presence.

    It truly looks like a welcoming place.

  6. Thanks to each of you for stopping by – and special thanks to Linda for her shout-out about another blogpost in her post today. That’s a first for me. It’s been interesting trying to explore this wide, wide world of blogging and I appreciate your faithful voices out there in cyberspace! And here on my own blog most especially.


  7. What a lovely space! I miss having an office. Mine is packed in boxes, some in storage, a couple in my garage. I’ve dug in them once or twice in the last year and half to share resources with some of our college students. There are books, pictures and knick-knacks I;d like to find a place for. I’m sure you know how many books a minister has, now times two for my house!

    14 years is a lot of time to have to move. Be gentle with yourself, as you have been. Slow and steady, and it’ll get done. A friend who retired 3 years ago is now having a used ministry resource give away–opening his garage full of boxes to the local clergy for picking through, his gift to us. His library stretches 40+ years. Can you imagine the quantities?!

  8. Thanks for your note, Grace. I actually left most of my books at church – my husband and I moved 3/4 of them out of my office and into the long hallway that is lined with bookshelves. Soon, I hope to get back in there and label the different categories and make up some sort of lending library sign up sheet. There’s some great resource material in all those books – I brought as much as I could get into my little office home, but there are still about 7 boxes to make space for elsewhere in the house. Oy vey!

    Hope you can unpack those boxes of yours someday soon – in a space that is exactly right for you at this point in your own journey.

  9. And I almost missed you because I’ve been out of town for–ironically–a preaching class! So many treasures here. What a gift to have such a lovely place to write and study! Your architect friend did a wonderful thing. I can’t imaging how hard it must be to “unpack” the years you served your church. I feel so blessed to share this transition time with you. You lend it such grace and such a discerning eye. Much to learn from your example. 🙂