I have two loves.
Discipleship and Decorating.
I was a senior in college when I realized I had a heart to invest in women and see them grow in their walk with the Lord.
When I was a senior in college I had someone invest in me and believe in me. She would meet with me regularly to help me navigate my relationship with the Lord and teach me how to apply scripture to my life. It was then that I realized that there were probably other college girls out there that needed the same thing....someone to believe in them. So I started a Bible study on campus and started meeting one-on-one with them to help them navigate life and learn more about God and His plan for their life. I have had a passion for discipleship ever since.
It was years later that I realized I had a passion for creating cozy spaces. But along my life journey I went through a very difficult divorce that left me questioning everything about myself....my ability to lead women, my ability to parent two boys, my ability to contribute to this world. I was left totally empty and in despair. However, the Lord used a very rough time in my life to redeem His design for my life. He drew light out of the darkness and He breathed new life into my bones. He revealed Himself to me and showed me who "Kerry" was. And then He brought me a friend who would continue to nourish what He had started in my heart and help me flourish.
That friend is my husband today. His name is Craig. I call him Craigers! We have a blended life....boys, dogs, giftedness, talents, heart for God, and a knack for décor and creating spaces.
My two loves collided when we decided to open up a coffee shop/furniture store. The idea behind it was having a coffee shop to provide a space for discipleship to happen organically....by provide a cozy space for community. I could envision people sitting at tables or couches drinking coffee and having conversations. Something that is a lost art today.
We would also create a place people could walk around with a cup of Joe and take in all the sights, sounds and feels and shop for furniture to create cozy spaces in their own homes. A welcoming homey feel to shop and get inspiration as well as a way for Craig and I to display our creative side.
I can remember Craig saying when we were dreaming it up, "Imagine a place where when you walk in you feel an overwhelming welcome with the coffee aroma and the visual stimulating decor. It will be a different experience every time and it keeps you coming back again and again because you never know what you will find or feel in this space."
Our creative juices were flowing and through God's guidance, Backroads Market and Designs (now Backroads Market) came into being.
An extra perk that I wasn't anticipating is the sweet relationships that were built with the employees as well as the customers that frequented. Discipleship was happening organically and my heart was full.
We are no longer owners of this sweet place, but the new owner (Melissa McCay) has carried on our vision and has become a very dear friend.
You will still find Craig and I on a Saturday morning walking around shopping and sipping on coffee. And during the week you will find me at Backroads Market several days a week sitting at a table sipping coffee and discipling women.
It is a place we will always cherish because it is a place God used to continue to teach both of us about how He created us. He revealed to us our ability to host and gather people, and our eye for making spaces cozy and comfortable, and most of all...our heart to see men and women come to know God and experience all He has created them to be.
The truth is...God has created each of us uniquely. You may not have a knack for decorating but God has put something in your heart that He longs to use to reveal His glory. You have something in you that He desires to use to create order out of chaos, to bring light out of darkness and to breathe life into the hearts of men and women. He has graciously given you the ability to contribute to building His Kingdom!
This is what I love to share with women when I meet with them...helping them see their place in this world and use all God has given them to make much of Him.
"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men."
The biggest revelations for me is realizing that I can do both (discipleship and decorating) and still be doing the will of my Father. It is how He created me. So you will see both come to light in everything I do. I am always seeking out ways to display God's glory with my whole being.