Hello friends! Let me tell you a little about Design4Living Ministries and the new direction that God is taking me.
For many years, the ministry God called me to operated under the name Design4Living. During those years, we held conferences, women’s half days and were committed to encouraging and equipping women of all ages. Equipping and encouraging women is still the desire of my heart and now Design4Living ministries is in the process of upcoming changes and repurposed direction.
It is at this time that I am sure God is calling me to create a team interested in equipping and mentoring women. The initial focus will be on women empty nest and beyond– for a life of growing older as disciples of Jesus Christ, embracing a bolder, braver and repurposed life as the seasons of life change. As women growing older receive fresh vision for walking along younger women, the ripple effect of discipleship through every season of a woman’s life will be experienced in 12 groups and the 12 sisterhood of faith. This is a work in process and prayer and more information will be forthcoming.
For now, just know that every woman, regardless of age or season has value and purpose. We were meant to walk the sacred journey of following hard after Jesus, until our every last breath. And we were created to show up for each other.
For those that have supported Design4Living over the years–Thank You!
Here is the story of how Design4Living came to be. Though this is a new season, the way God worked then encourages me now, so I wanted to keep it on this page. God Bless!
It was 1983, and as the senior pastor’s wife of a large and growing church, I was given the responsibility of defining and leading the women’s ministry. I was a young mom who was filled with a growing interest in learning what it meant to follow Christ and know him more. I longed to understand who I was, why I was here and if my life had purpose. I noticed that people in the work place had training events to help them learn the skills for their careers and began wondering who would train women to live in God’s design for their lives. Soon a vison was born. I gathered local women who, like me, wanting to know how to follow Jesus as a woman with our full lives and many daily responsibilities. We had a heart to study scripture, commit to transformed lives and commit to loving and encouraging other women. We called this ministry within our church, Design for Living, because the word design means—a plan, intent and purpose. We became passionate about the truth that God indeed had all three for us as women—a plan, an intent and a purpose. A weekly gathering was birthed, and the ministry grew quite large, meeting both morning and evenings. But in 1988 my personal life began to unravel and before long, after thirteen years of marriage, I went through an unwanted divorce.
As I stepped down from the ministry, the women of the church gave me a going away luncheon where I was presented with a package that held all things created for the Design for Living ministry.
Through tears I was able to squeak out, “Oh no, this isn’t mine, it is the women’s ministry of the church, you have leaders and experience, keep it going… “
“No, Debbie it was your vision and God will use it again. He isn’t done with you or the vision he has put within your heart to train women.”
Not wanting to make a scene, I gracefully took the envelope in tears. Later that night I tossed it all in the trash, positive that I was a failure and that God would never use my life again.
Fast forward many years—after much healing and renewed passion for Jesus, I began speaking again. Before long I was offered a position on a church staff as Director of Women’s Ministries. I served as the director of women’s ministry at Cornerstone Fellowship for almost 14 years and through that ministry, I began writing and developing studies for women to learn who they were and how much God loved them. These studies were later published. Soon, a life change, that was never a thought or dream to me, because a new path. In my forties I was published. But, before the books were released I needed a business license. My friend and I drove to the county offices not certain what the business name would be. But God has a way of speaking to us…
Stuck in California freeway traffic, I couldn’t help but notice a large white commercial vehicle next to us. Across the side was the business name, Design for Living Interiors. My mind flashed back to the women holding out that large envelope to me years earlier and their insistence that God would use me again one day. I instantly knew without a doubt, that the business name would be Design for Living.
But when I went to apply for the license, Design for Living was not available. But Design4Living was. Perfect! After all, God used 4 core truths to rebuild my life and those were the foundation of what he was calling me to move forward with. Those four truths out of Psalm 139, are:
* He Knows Me
* He Protects Me
* He Made Me
* He Values Me
Fast forward again—Design4Living is now ministry that is committed to equipping God’s people for lives of faith. Our goal is discipleship. We do this by providing
resources that equip, strengthen and train. Learning to live biblically is a whole new way of relating – to God, to others, and ourselves. Our team’s desire is that every person know Christ and experience his love, his sustaining grace and his all surpassing power. Every Design4Living resource, gathering, event or retreat is developed to draw people closer to Christ, equip the believers for lives of faith and encourage intimacy with God.
I am humbled and grateful that God didn’t throw me in the trash when my life fell apart. No, instead he drew me to himself and restored my life. He will do the same for you. His love is great, and his grace is all we will ever need.