Monday, September 13, 2010

A Room of Their Own

A few years ago, there was a very popular design book called “A Room of Her Own.”  The premise of the book if that the lady of the house should have a room where she can relax and unwind -- one that feeds her soul that belongs only to her.  Sounds yummy. right?  I agree and wish many times that I had a good girlie room in my house (the office is as close as I get to that...)  However, recently my family and I discovered that one of the special families in our lives does not have a place to live.  There is not even the thought of anyone (much less the lady of the house) having a room of their own.  This is a luxury that no one in this family had ever experienced.  A little background....

Last year, my husband began mentoring a 5th grade boy named Dejoure from south Dallas.  Very quickly my hubbie discovered that there was a little brother named Dejuan who always had his big brother’s back.  It wasn’t too long before my husband was mentoring both Dejoure and Dejuan on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.  Being employed downtown by a very supportive company, my husband found that mentoring both boys worked out very well for all of them.

The relationship between all of them grew and eventually the boys would come to our home in the suburbs to hang out and eat.  After a few visits, we realized that Dejuan and Dejoure did not have beds to sleep in at night.  The word “eviction” was even mentioned a couple of times.  The thought of these kids not having a roof over their heads was too much for us to bear.  We met with their mom and her boyfriend and decided to help them get back on track.  Updated drivers licenses, jobs and finding a home were top on the list.  Eventually, we secured a rental house and even managed to help them with several months rent.  All of that was possible with the rallying of our friends and neighbors through donations of money as well as supplies for the new house.

Adrian, Dejuan, Dejoure and Shantayla….

Two weeks ago we loaded up the truck, called the movers, scheduled appliance delivery and took a boatload of friends to help us move this sweet family into their new house.  I’m not sure that my professors ever imagined me working with whatever happens to be donated or sometimes nothing at all to make a house a home.    Believe it or not ..... it all came together beautifully!

We came away with everything (money and items) for me to furnish the new digs. Donations for new appliances, clothing, furniture, food and cleaning items all poured into my garage at the request of my constant barage of emails flying through the airways.  This family was truly excited to be a part of this little bit of kindness --- and it was a giagantic surprise for them to see all of it flooding into their new home. This was quite a different “interior design project.”
Our moving team….

It was both a shock and a thrill to see all 25 plus of us descend on the new neighborhood on moving day.  Except for a few boxes and a couple of pillows, the house was completely empty. The family had no idea that we were going to be doing this for them, so you can imagine their delight!  Every one of the “movers” (aka friends) were assigned a room and a task to accomplish.  Believe it or not, it was all done in 2 hours and looked pretty darn great!
The original bunk beds that started this whole move thing with Dejuan -- his very first room of his own!
Adrian (man of the house) in the entry way.  Matching couches from my neighbor, drapes from a co-worker, coffee tables from friends and even a lamp and books completed the room.
Shantayla (mom) in the new master bedroom.  Matching bedding, blinds and curtains…and frankly it works with the renter red carpeting to some degree.
Dejoure in the second bedroom, with his own set of bunks bed…and the first time for a room of his own.
Implementations are not at all unusual in my business.  However, the one that I did last week might rank as the most influential of my career.  This one held none of the glamour and glitz of your typical design implementation.  This one was completely from the heart to the heart. Forget the usual fancy lighting,  the couch on special order,  or the paint color that had to be perfect.  This wasn’t even close to that….yet so much more.  I’m thankful for the already there red carpet, for the donated furniture and for a roof over their heads.  I am thankful that my husband took the chance to get involved in some kids’ lives.

Towards the end of the hot and steamy day (did I mention that it was over a 100 that weekend?), I was snapping a few pictures with no particular reason.  I went back into Dejoure’s room and he was in there with my son Ethan.  Dejoure wanted me to wait before taking picture of his room because he wanted to make sure that everything was put away nice and neat after playing with Ethan.  (How cute is that???)  I couldn’t resist giving him a giant hug.  He was so excited and said, “This is the best place I have ever lived in.”  I was done,  Finished.  Teary-eyed.  This was all I needed to hear.  The best installation ever.
I know exactly why this one ranks as the best. Sometimes it’s not about the implementation for someone who is paying you but about the implementation for the ones that can never give back to you.  Dejoure and Dejuan will probably never be able to repay the kindness that they and their family have received this last few week.  Yet that doesn’t matter.  It’s about all the parts giving in their own unique way to accomplish the task at hand.  The Bible calls this true religion - to give to those who can never repay you and also states in I Corinthians 12 that all parts of the body are important with none being more important than the other.  In particular, I Corinthians 12:6 “God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”  In other words, perfection through imperfection.

So although to many the new home for Dejuan and Dejoure’s family doesn’t seem luxurious, the fact is that now they each have a room of their own.  A place where each can go to think and relax -- to feed their souls and also refuel from the outside world.  Congratulations to our friends on their new home and congrats to all of you who reached out in love!  They finally do have a place to call their own and it is good -- really, really good.



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