The Dream I Wasn't Looking For


I’m taking a break from the home design posts today to invite you here into my “office,” my chippy, painted-five-times, kitchen table — and into the soul of it all.

There are many days that I sit here at this table and wonder, “I can’t believe I get to do this… I can’t believe I get invited into homes with the mission to transform them into havens. I can’t believe I get to paint and recreate old furniture while my baby naps or plays in the same room. I can’t believe people actually buy my completed projects. I can’t believe I get to serve recovering women by renewing their spaces…”

I guess it’s all hard for me to believe because this ministry wasn’t in my ten-year plan — it wasn’t even on my radar until a life-long dream of mine was burned to the ground a couple of years ago. And I was left sorting through the ashes of so much loss right here at this kitchen table.

I remember praying, “What should I do now, God? I’m not good at anything else…”

I was so lost, so broken into pieces. Everything I had leaned on and trusted and pursued for years was gone. The only voices in my head were sharp and abusive. I couldn’t find the energy to even start again. During this time, the Lord so sweetly brought me into the shelter of His nearness so that I could begin to heal. He became my safe haven, a hiding place for my weariness and failures and trauma to relax around hope.

And as my mind renewed and my heart healed, so did my surroundings.

Decorating had always been a passion of mine, but never had it felt this cleansing, this helpful, this healing. My walls went white and clutter was gone. I made purchases and picked colors out of joy instead of insecurity. I loved being home and recreating this inner-haven-like feeling in every corner.

Other people took notice too.

I had several people encourage me to do “this” for a living to help other women turn their homes into havens. I finally overcame a lot of self-doubt and took the leap — and launched Homes & Havens in late August 2016. And it wasn’t long after launching the “business” side of things before the Lord unfolded the heart of it all, the “ministry” side of things.

My heart has always been pulled toward women recovering from crisis, whether that be abuse or addiction or homelessness or grief, I feel called to walk beside them. And after having our son in February 2016, I didn’t have quite as much freedom to be available to these types of situations. However, the Lord began to unfold a way I could help — and that was to create a space in their home that felt like a haven.

It literally gave me the most INCREDIBLE JOY to do this for them. And I couldn’t believe that it made such a difference in their lives! God was transforming my loaves and fishes into more than enough for these incredible women and their homes.

How crazy is this all?! How awesome is Jesus?!

So here I am today, living an almost surreal dream that I never could have imagined. God allowed what I thought would be best for my life to “die” so that this crazy mission could be “reborn” and now I’m just living in awe. He brings beauty and life from everything that feels ugly and dead.

If you are reading this and feel led to pray — I would greatly appreciate your prayers. The ministry continues to grow and I am figuring out what the next steps will be. More and more opportunities for partnerships and connections are surfacing, and it’s seriously exciting and terrifying at the same time!

Stay tuned!