what I do

what I do

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I am a master designer


For years, even long before I became a professional interior designer, I struggled with the job. When I was in my 30's, my father who was an architect, asked me many times why I wasn't pursuing what was clearly my gift and I would respond that I didn't really think it was a worthy (i.e. change the world) profession. At the time I was a dental hygienist and had regretted not going to medical school and felt I wanted to help humanity in a different way then decorating the inside of houses. But why then did I have such a passion for design and the natural gift for it?


There was a period of time, after my first daughter was born that I actually longed to be a designer. It sounded glamorous to me and I remind myself of that with a smile when I am schlepping samples around or tied to my desk for hours on end researching furniture on the computer  ... but for many reasons I put that desire aside and raised my girls while working part-time as a dental hygienist. I knew I was on borrowed time and would not be able to continue cleaning teeth forever; it was brutal on my back and it was never a job I enjoyed working at full-time. For years I searched and prayed (and prayed and prayed) for an alternative way to make a living. And quite by accident, if you believe in accidents, I had a dream one night that prompted me to become an organizer. Really. I started that very day. I put all my energy into that business and yet it just never really took off. Instead, I was constantly asked to help people decorate their homes. It is a long story how I actually got started designing and how I knew when it was the right time to quit my 'day job' - a story that is amazing and God directed but way too long for this post so I will save it for another time.


My business grew and all was great but there has always been a nagging underlying problem for me - balancing the materialism and the sometimes waste and greed in this business with my beliefs. I would read passages in the Bible, like Matthew 6:19-21 ...
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth or rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 
... and would feel awful about spending day after day doing nothing but shopping for more "things".  In the early years, I cried out to God many times asking for confirmation that this was really what I was supposed to be doing and every time got a huge and undeniable, "Yes!". But it is hard sometimes to stay balanced. I am exposed to so many beautiful things. New things. Tempting things. Not things I need but want nevertheless. And it has been a good challenge for me.


So when I saw Darlene's blog series this week about balance and being a master designer, it resonated with me so deeply that I had to be part of it. Darlene states it much more articulately than I, and I would encourage you to read her post. She is also an incredibly talented designer (all photos I have shared today are her design), and you will love her blog, Fieldstone Hill which you can read here. Here is her manifesto:

“I AM A MASTER DESIGNER.
I LOVE BEAUTY;
I SEE POTENTIAL AND I WANT TO FILL IT WITH BEAUTY.
I AIM TO CREATE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL THAT IS WORTHY OF JOY.
DESIGN IS A HIGH CALLING, ONE THAT CAN IMPROVE THE LIVES OF OTHERS, BE A MEANS TO FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS, AND ADD MUCH JOY TO MY FAMILY.
I APPRECIATE FINE AND LOVELY THINGS, BUT THEY ARE NOT MY TREASURES.
I KNOW WHAT IS TRULY IMPORTANT, AND
I DO NOT AIM TO “STORE UP MY TREASURES HERE ON EARTH.”*
I LIVE TO BRING GLORY TO GOD, THE ULTIMATE MASTER DESIGNER.
HE CREATED BEAUTY.
HE CREATED ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS.
AND, HE CREATED MY PASSION FOR DESIGN, AND SET THAT JOY IN MY HEART.
EVERYTHING THAT I CREATE,
AND HAVE CREATED,
IS BECAUSE I MYSELF WAS CREATED BY A MASTER.
I AM A MASTER DESIGNER.”
*{VERSE REFERENCE, MATTHEW 6:19}

All images via Fieldstone Hill Design

14 comments:

amy walters said...

Beautiful post Sherri. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
I struggled with this very thing for a long time - balancing a career in interior design with my values and desire for a "purpose driven life". It's only when I started blogging and writing about design that I really felt at home and at peace with what I was doing. I love sharing my passion about design with others and take so much joy in using my blog to connect with people and hopefully in the process bring them a little bit of joy each time they visit.
xo

Holly said...

I really enjoyed this as well and I was recently introduced to Darlene's blog as well. I've been working in financial services for over 10 years and I came to the realization that I wanted to be using the creative talents that God has given me. It is so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest, but I truly find the joy in being able to help others plan a great vision for their home and giving them ideas that they wouldn't have thought of on their own. Hope you're having a great weekend!

17 Perth said...

Thank you for your honesty--and God is so amazing. I love your story about how you came to be a designer. I can imagine being divulged in design day in and day out can be tempting---however, I love how that poem pointed out the God was the original designer and He loves for us to enjoy beautiful things. A Christian therapist once said to me--that life is about keeping God on the throne, doing His will, and enjoying the beauty He puts in front of us along the way. :)

{darlene} @ fieldstonehill said...

Sherri! Thank you so much for this beautiful post and for sharing your heart! I love what you had to say here about your struggle for balance, but also your knowledge that God, indeed, has called you to design!
And thank you for your sweet words about Fieldstone Hill Design. I am so glad to know you in blogland!

Marianne {Style For Living} said...

Sherri, what a wonderful post! Yes, as a designer, it is so hard not to want every pretty thing we see for our homes or want the next latest and greatest. My favorite part of my job is seeing the joy on my clients faces when my job is complete. It truly makes my heart sing! Blessed that this is my calling in life!

Ann said...

Nice post...
so sincere and inspiring.
Go for what you really love doing and good luck!

Laura Trevey said...

Wonderful post Sherri - Very inspiring !!!

McKae @ Kaes Corner Design said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. It is very inspiring. I feel the same way a lot of the time.

A Perfect Gray said...

that is lovely, sherri. love the sentiments and the images from darlene. someone recently described decor and design as "hollow" to me. I didn't quite know how to respond. now I do! thanks, donna

PriscilaPetersDecor said...

Sherri,

This is incredible!! Thank you for sharing.
I understand when you talk about doing something meaningful, and that is how I feel right now working at the humane society. However, I want a career. I want to have my own business as designer.
I think you're doing great, helping people create functional homes = happy life.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

You're just amazing... I wish I could talk more w/ you. I simply adore your words, your wisdom, your "Light".

Matthew was playing with his favorite toy (the one you sent to him) and I missed talking to you...

Lots of love to you, my dear friend!



Have a wonderful day!

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com


PS: If you a minute, please drop by to enter my Giveaway! :-)

Carol@HouseandHomeDefined.com said...

Hi. It's been a while since I've visited. I think I was meant to read this! Did you write it just for me? Ha! When your passion for this line of work is true, it is most definitely not about material things. It is about joy and appreciation and making people happy though things they cannot do themselves. I wrote a post about this once, same struggles as you. I concluded that while I wasn't solving the worlds problems or creating world peace, making things beautiful for others really is a worthy calling :)

SHERRY HART said...

Amazing....and you know what.....no body ever really gets that excited about having their teeth cleaned, but dang if people don't cry when you make their space beautiful!!! So there!

Lisa Mende said...

Sherri, I just found your blog through Patricia van Esche. I am so happy I did! I will definitely follow you! we have so much in common. I was pondering this morning these very thoughts. I hope you don't mind that I borrow this for today. Please feel free to go read my post about this....I will give proper credits...