During one season in my life journey, I wasn't sure if being a designer lined up with my belief system. My faith in Jesus was an integral part of my life, and I didn't know how God could use interior design as an outlet or expression of His love. I spent a lot of time in prayer asking a lot of difficult and honest questions. When I was just about ready to give it all up and search for a "more noble" direction, I felt a very real peace and awareness that God chooses to use us where we are, and that He is most certainly not subject to limits or obstacles. He operates outside of all of that. It was then that I began to seek out ways to merge who I was and what I was good at with the call of the one to whom I owed it all.
I know that God not only values beauty, but he's actually the one who created it. I also find great awe in knowing that in the great artist's eyes, a part of the majestic beauty is us. This is so unreal to me. Yet my heart felt a deep ache each time I imagined a child growing up in a cold institutional building without mother or father. Their environment was not displaying the nurturing love we were born to desire. Working in the design industry all of these years, I've seen a lot of waste. Perfectly good things being tossed to the side for one reason or another. Suddenly, I had a eureka moment. What if a very part of my purpose was to use this waste for good. To find a way to provide spaces, nurturing environments, for people who find themselves for one reason or another tosses aside. It was not on purpose that I came this conclusion but my work was now filled with purpose. It was God breathed, and inspired my work in a whole new way. I was ready to get to work with a new sense of direction.
There are those moments in life where it suddenly hits you that, "this very point in time is, in fact, a part of my destiny." If you haven't experienced that space in time yet, I do believe your day is coming. More often than not, it seems to come out of the blue when you least expect it. Right around the time you are feeling like there's just no point to whatever it is that you are doing. Don't give up. The world is full of world changers, and you are one of them. For eight years I had been looking for opportunities to transform spaces to impact the lives of orphaned children. Almost a decade of dreaming, and I couldn't seem to find the right trusted connections to make it happen. All of that time, I had been saving a portion of my business proceeds in a fund I named "the orphan fund". Creative, I know. Then, on a day like any other, I got a phone call from a friend with an invitation to join a team going to Romania to serve the vulnerable orphaned population. You'd better believe I jumped on the opportunity. I called the organization, and quickly found that there were certainly environmental needs that I could work towards meeting starting with updating furnishings in a private girls home where the young ladies were outgrowing the furniture they started with.
An immense community of love and support rallied around me to make it all possible, and in June of 2015, my heart became part Romanian. The funds donated by a wide net of loving people as well as the funds my business accumulated up to that point met all of the needs that we had hoped to fulfill during the trip. In addition to the furnishing project, we also partnered with dozens of women and their sewing machines to sew over 500 custom pillowcases to gift to the orphans we met. Each child was given something to call their own. A symbol that would serve as a reminder each night. They could sleep knowing that they were in fact deeply loved, and made for a purpose even though their circumstances may not always serve as evidence of this truth. Watching them cling to their new (and likely only) possessions with such joy was indescribable. The pillowcase project was most certainly a success.
My business continues to work towards bettering environments for those without spaces of refuge. If you are interested in the impact of this work, I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to get you involved in the awesome things God is doing. In the days of Noah, it was his job to create a place of refuge from the storm. Today, that's my job. And yours too if you feel inspired to join me.