Saturday, June 11, 2011

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... 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.