How can we use our professional talents to touch lives in our community?
This can be a difficult question to answer, but several interior designers found a way through CityServe Day 2019. Through a partnership with Life Network, who nominated young mothers based on their involvement in the LifeSteps program, five young moms received a complete nursery makeover with the help of their own designer!
“It was beautiful and rewarding for me to use my passion, abilities, and talents that God has developed in me in such a specific way,” says interior designer Michelle Williams. “I could have jumped into any project, but it’s special to work on something that I’m so passionate about.”
Each designer brainstormed with their mom-to-be and asked questions about what theme they wanted for their nursery, or which items to incorporate. For one mother, it was important that her artwork be displayed. For another, it was that her baby’s name be featured.
“It gave her some ownership,” says designer Amy Cullins. “A lot of her life may feel like she doesn’t have control.” Life Network helps young moms feel supported in a challenging season, and these nursery designs were another extension of that care. “We made sure to communicate love with no strings attached,” says Cullins. “There’s not anything that we want from them, we just want to love God and love people.”
Designing the Rooms
The designers faced several challenges going into the makeovers, but each challenge became a place for God to show His provision. For instance, some of the spaces were in rental properties, meaning designers could only paint rooms white, or couldn’t paint them at all. “That was an opportunity to get creative to do something different,” said Williams. “We looked for wallpaper, and that’s where the bamboo decal came in and pulled the jungle theme together.”
Another room had to double as a teenager’s room and a nursery. The designer who worked on this space has three kids of her own. She designed it through that lens to make the space relaxing, functional, and safe. “It was almost like I was walking through it with her,” said Cullins. “Similar to how it might be when one of my kids has a baby someday.”
As each designer sourced pieces for their nursery, God showed His provision. Williams ran a children’s book drive, had a friend create a decoration featuring the baby’s name, and found a matching stool for the rocking chair the mom already bought for the room. “Even down to that level of detail, God’s heart for her went above and beyond expectations,” Williams said. “I can’t take credit. God knows her and pulled all of those things together.”
All of the hard work paid off when the moms got to see the transformation. “She was so blessed by it,” says Williams. “I heard a lot of joy and excitement. She was overwhelmed with gratitude, I could tell that she felt loved and blessed.”
CityServe Day is about serving with no strings attached and building long-lasting relationships with people in our community, so they can experience the tangible love of God. But it’s also a great way to unleash volunteers’ own God-given talents and gifts for the benefit of others. These nursery makeovers are just one example of this impact. One of the young moms connected with some of the volunteers through a local church. “She wants us to meet her baby and still be in her life,” Williams says. An important part of the project was also prayer. “We prayed with her at the end,” Cullins said. “We reiterated that we will continue to pray for her, that we love her, and are excited for her in this new chapter.”
Both Williams and Cullins are excited to serve again next year and reach more young women in the community. “Sometimes it feels like service has to be a grand gesture, or glamorous,” says Cullins. “But doing simple things can encourage others and show God’s love.”