There is something important about having the space to be alone with your thoughts

There is something important about having the space to be alone with your thoughts


Leeanne and I finished painting my shed yesterday and as I sit inside it writing this I realise that it’s hard to communicate the importance of a shed.

This shed was a gift from my wife for my 30th birthday. I was away for a long weekend and she worked with my parents in law to line it and install the massive window.

Two years ago, when we returned to Poatina, my shed was in a bad way. It hadn’t been loved and the floor had rotted.

I am very grateful for my mother-in-law who worked out how to replace the particle board floor with pine floorboards, and for my father-in-law who actually did the work (under the close supervision of my mother-in-law).

I can’t describe the feeling when the furniture went back in, the bookshelves were re-loaded, and I had my space once more.

This shed is not like the shed of more practical blokes. It is full of books and papers and computer bits. It’s walls are covered with photos and artwork and quotes and certificates. If you walked in the door and allowed yourself the time to let your eyes wander over all the bits and pieces crammed into this small space, I think you could tell a lot about me.

Partly the shed is important because its where God and I have conversations. Every morning I stroll outside to my shed no matter what the weather, cappuccino in my hand and enjoy what Daryl Kerrigan called ‘the serenity’. I pull out my journal, my bible and whatever devotional book I happen to be using and read, pray, listen and write. This daily oasis keeps me sane.

The shed is also important because its where I create. I don’t think my book would have happened without my shed. I certainly wouldn’t have the University Graduate Certificate that is hanging on the wall behind me without the space afforded me by my shed and I don’t think my blog would have survived without it.

My shed is also a great place to chat deeply with people, cuppa in hand, with no fear of interruption.

I think Leeanne has a love/hate relationship with the shed. She loves that I have the space and that my books are not cluttering our bedroom, but sometimes gives me a look that says “What are you still doing in the shed, there are other things to do?’, particularly when the kids are out of control. I think there is a part of her that would love a shed too.

There is something important about having the space to be alone with your thoughts. My shed is where that happens.


One thought on “There is something important about having the space to be alone with your thoughts

  1. Have just read all your January entries in one hit. I love the journey you are on, despite the discomfort it must often have for you. Working through what it means to not be in leadership, the responses that rise in your heart and in your head, wondering what shape moving forward will take. At one level I envy you. You could be poised on the threshold of a whole new adventure in ministry, take the time to listen to God, don’t rush it, use this time as a Sabbatical, not easy for one used to being in the thick of everything I know. See this time as a blessing, not a judgment. Oh, by the way, a shed for Leeanne? Now there’s a great idea.

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