Tag Archives: Home Office

Takin’ Care of Business

Then the high priest Eliashib set to work….
Nehemiah 3:1a (NRSV)

[cue: Takin’ Care of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive]

You get up every morning from the alarm clock’s warning…”

…walk through the kitchen and head upstairs.

I have labored in a non-traditional work environment for the past 22 years. My company has never had a traditional bricks and mortar location for our business. Every member of our group works from home. It has always been this way since our founder started the company in his own home. Our staff meetings began around his kitchen table.

Over the years we’ve had many group members who have struggled with working from home. Some, after trying it for a time, have opted to move on to a traditional job where they “go to work” in the morning and “come home” at night, which I totally get. I have had to forge a more non-traditional approach to finding the balance between work and personal life when they co-exist in the same space.

One of the qualities I’ve had to develop in my life is self-discipline. Our team operates on weekly, monthly quarterly, and annual project deadlines for our clients. The work has to get done and his has to get done on time. If I don’t set to work on a regular basis then I’m going to find myself in a world of hurt. And, I confess that a certain amount of my self-discipline development has come from learning the hard way.

In today’s chapter I was struck by the sheer number of people who were mentioned in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. The project took a host of people who “set to work.” Many took responsibility for the sections of the wall near their homes and/or businesses. It wasn’t left for others. It wasn’t hired out. The work wasn’t placed on the back of slaves. High priests, rulers, officials, businessmen, and laborers all set to work.

This morning I’m reminded of the value of setting to work. I observe a world and a culture that is constantly trying to get out of having to do anything. The temptation to procrastinate never goes away, and there is so much value in the simple discipline of getting the job done. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but there aren’t enough people willing to do the work.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have some business to take care of.

Top Five Quiet Places


Speaking of quiet, this week’s Top Five Friday are my Top Five quiet places. The places where I like to steal away:

1. My home office. I grew up having a room of my own and, as a child, I retreated there to play, imagine, create, and rest. Some days my room became the bridge of Star Trek’s Enterprise. Other days it was a courtroom, or a battlefield, or a football stadium. Now that I am grown, I still retreat to my room which is my home office. While the primary focus on the space is work, it is also the place for my quiet morning conversations with God. I still find myself playing, creating, and letting my imagination run free.

2. The Playhouse. We intentionally have not hooked up a television signal here. There is a television and DVD play for movies, but we’ve chosen to hold back the intrusion and constancy of the noise. Here at the lake the house, the deck, and the dock are places for quiet.

3. My car. I spend a fair amount of time on the road. The trip to Des Moines for work meetings is an hour each way. A trip to the Twin Cities for client meetings is roughly four hours each way. While I don’t always love the long drives, I’ll admit that I sometimes look forward to some windshield time. Sometimes it’s nice to turn off the radio, let the white noise of the road rumble on, and let my mind go.

4. The Des Moines Art Center. It’s always quiet. It’s free. There’s amazing artwork to inspire me no matter what my mood or mindset. What’s not to love?

5. Coffee shops. I don’t have a favorite, though I’m particularly fond of unique, out-of-the-way coffee shops which offer a one-of-a-kind ambiance and a slower, quiet neighborhood type of pace. There’s something I like about sitting alone in one place with my coffee and my journal, newspaper, or book and letting the rest of the world buzz in and out past me.

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crossroadsabc via Flickr
crossroadsabc via Flickr

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1 (NIV)

Wendy and I love our little house. Because we both work out of home offices, this house is where you will find us most of the time. With the exception of stay-at-home parents with young children and those who are retired, the average person spends most of their waking hours away from their house in school, in an office, or on the job somewhere. He or she only comes home to eat and sleep and maintain some of the other necessities of life. It is the opposite for Wendy and me. We live together in this house most all of the time. We may go out to church, go out to socialize, and go out to recreate. I am required to make business trips to other cities and we will visit our dwelling at the lake. But, when we’re home we’re generally right here in our house 24/7/365. We eat, sleep, work, rest, and recreate right here with one another pretty much all the time.

The lyric to Psalm 91 recognizes blessings and benefits to those who dwell in God’s shelter. I thought of this in light of Wendy and me and our little house this morning. I tend to believe that most of us approach God much like a convenience store or fast food restaurant. We dwell someplace away from God 99 percent of the time, but we pay a visit once or twice a week for spiritual supply and provision, or perhaps simply out of a sense of obligation. But this is an altogether different paradigm and is exactly opposite of the word picture painted by Psalm 91 which calls for us to co-habitate with God day and night. The picture presented in Psalm 91 is us dwelling in God’s presence. We are present with God and God is present with us in our work, our sleep, our meals, our recreation, our hanging out, our chores, and our rest.

Today I’m grateful for my life and the blessing of getting to live and work the way we do. I want my relationship and life with Wendy, here in our little house, to be a reflection of my relationship and life with God…dwelling together.