Pretty much since I first became a homeowner, I've had guests come over and comment on my home. Most would kindly suggest that I should be decorating for other people. It was a nice compliment, but I'll admit, I shrugged it off at first. However, after hearing it over and over again, it became harder and harder to ignore. Slowly but surely, the seeds of entrepreneurship were planted by family and friends and I began to quietly contemplate the option.
Strangely enough, one of the things that I struggled with the most was this notion of purpose. If you know me at all, or have been following along here for a while, you know that I'm a religious person. I view my life as an offering to God and so my life's work, which takes up the majority of my time, is pretty important. You see, I could wrap my mind around the importance of dietetics.
I mean, I worked in school foodservice, planning healthy meals for school kids. Pretty noble, right?
Then, I transitioned to HR and now work as Director of Diversity and Inclusion helping ensure that we ALL have access to the same opportunities to succeed. Also pretty noble, right? However, I just couldn't wrap my mind around the "importance" of making someone's house pretty. It seemed...well, trivial, unimportant, insignificant, materialistic, pretentious... You get the picture. Seriously, I really had a hard time with the thought of that being my sole career.
Thankfully, in January of 2008, I signed up for a new Sunday School class where we'd study Rick Warren's best seller, The Purpose Driven Life. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. While it would be three more years before I made a pivot in the direction of my destiny, that class completely opened my eyes to passion and purpose.
It's been years since I read it, but basically Warren talks about the fact that God has put in each one of us unique gifts (and NEWSFLASH: Not all of them are designed for primary use at the church or on the global mission field). He urges readers to take note of the things that they lose track of time doing. The things that you do without prompting. For me that was creating a welcoming home. It's what I love. It's what I've always loved. In fact, my sophomore year in college, my dorm room was the room they used to tour prospective students. They'd call to give me a heads up and I'd spruce things up and leave soft music playing when I left for class. If that wasn't a hint, I don't know what was.
Fast forward to the early days of Dwell by Cheryl and I quickly began to realize that what I was doing was important. I started to note the major impact I was making on the lives of the people I began to serve.
A couple of clients commented that they use their home in entirely new ways because of the work that I'd done. They now entertain more, spend time with their family at home more, sleep better, cook more meals at home. This is BIG stuff y'all! I began to realize that I wasn't just making rooms pretty, I was changing the lives of those who inhabit them.
This point was completely solidified by a comment I received from a recent client. I completed a redesign of her teenage daughter's bedroom. Shortly thereafter, she told me that every day after she gets home from work, she now heads up to her daughter's room and sits on the settee that I added to the spaces and chats with her about how her day went. Wow!
Think about that for a minute. Do you have any idea the impact that will have on a fourteen year old girl for years to come? Wow!
I now not only consider what I do to be purposeful, I consider it to be my ministry. Yes, I love beautiful spaces and I work hard to ensure that the color scheme, the details are just right and the space is well-appointed. However, what's most important is that I create spaces for my clients that completely change (and improve) their lives at home. In fact, I count it a privilege.
I'm thankful that they trust me with their intimate spaces. I may have struggled with it at first, but I'm so very grateful that God revealed to me the purpose within my passion.