It’s like my smartphone knew I needed a little walk down memory lane so one day, randomly, it lit up showing a photo it was storing for me (does your phone do that, too?) This was one of the first I took as I was beginning to settle in to my new 60ft (6m2) church office three years ago this month. (I do want, again, to thank our incredible church army who rallied that December to get us moved out of our rented facilities. You swept in like worker bees clearing out 17 years of accumulated ‘stuff’ and in very short order! I’m still in awe as I revisit those days!) Well, the new office came with a desk, chair, small file-drawer cabinet and a waste basket; no window but a full-glass door provided  a view to the hallway. Otherwise, a blank space much in need of TLC. In the last 36 months I’ve added a filing cabinet, a small bookshelf and our copier, replaced the uncomfortable (non-reclining) office chair, added some artwork on the walls. I am the happy interim custodian of two, comfy leather chairs for guests when they come (thanks, Gwen!) Management was offering to put a stenciled logo on the door for free, so now Vineyard Church of the Peninsula is proudly decaled on the door glass (thanks for the pro job creating it, Amelia!). Sue has affectionately dubbed my rented room my T.O. (tiny office) because, as we all know, everything needs to have a name! If you haven’t visited yet, please drop by. Just call ahead as I’ll need to escort you, masked, of course, to my petite suite.

Settling into a new house, a new job, a new marriage, requires work. Settling in to a New Year likewise requires focused energy. Choosing its priorities requires sorting through a sometimes long list of commitments and activities, maybe numbering them, then courageously culling the bottom thirty or so, finally zoning in on the remaining top four or five. This exercise is called Finding your Freedom (in case you’ve never tried it you might want to give it a shot!) Hopefully near the top of this rigorously-trimmed stack will be friendship with Jesus. But our nature, our families, our culture, all converge to urge us further along, to rise to today’s occasion, to always show up at the party, to create what are often unsustainable, overly burdensome to-do lists with wall calendars and phone calendars slammed full of appointments and projects and endless people to care for and please. The final result: not much availability in this crowded space for soul care, for Jesus time, for getting our spiritual oxygen tanks replenished. Maybe since God gets mileage out of everything,  he’d like us to take advantage of this quieter, pared-back season (winter/COVID) to re-calibrate, to regroup, to re-think.  I’m pretty sure he would.  If you need help with it, y’all come on over to the T.O., and set a spell, y’hear? Let’s settle in to this New Year, this new rhythm, together!  PD

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