God is described in many ways, as The Great Physician, The Alpha and Omega, and the list goes on.
The Almighty has also been described as the Master Designer, as one may find in the Bible. Genesis 1:26 talks about God making mankind in His image in the course of creation.
It is in that vein that author Victoria Duerstock has woven God’s designing nature for the universe with our desire to design a home that is attractive and reflective of ourselves.
In “Heart and Home: Design Basics for Your Soul and Your Living Space,” the Nesbit author offers nuggets for a short spiritual devotional, while connecting it with a home design tip.
It is an interesting concept for a book that offers inspiration, but Duerstock said once she did some exploration, it all came together.
“The idea behind it is that there are some basic principles of design, such as unity and harmony, flow, focal point, things like that,” Duerstock said. “As I was thinking through those things, they also related to our spiritual life. As a person of faith, I recognized that those same principles also occur in Scripture, unity and harmony especially.”
Over a 90-day period, Heart and Home offers a Bible verse to consider in short devotional form, along with an application, a prayer and design tips in a full-color volume.
“There’s a verse for every single day of 90 days of devotionals,” she said. “There’s a Scripture verse and a personal application for your heart and then for your home, as well as your family; how to apply that for every day of living. I tried to focus on one point to encourage someone for the day, or maybe help them think of something in a new way or be in awe of how God is our Creator. We are also a creator in the environment we create around us.”
Duerstock said the book, published by Abingdon Press and available through outlets such as Amazon, Books A Million bookstores, Barnes and Nobles and elsewhere, was one of three proposals that were accepted.
“The publisher was so excited about this that they let me participate in putting the layouts and things together,” Duerstock said. “They let me participate in the whole process, giving approval, whether I liked the pictures and how it looked. I didn’t expect that because a lot of times as a writer, we have to write the book, turn it in and then it’s somebody else’s vision of how it comes out in the end.”
Duerstock said she is pleased the way the book came out, but she faced one daunting challenge in its writing.
“The hardest part of it was that it had to be written in 30 days,” she explained. “That was the tough part, with a lot of long hours and a lot of coffee. It occurred in June, which wasn’t a busy time in the way that it all worked out, but it was a challenge to put it all together in a short span of time.“
The God connection, Duerstock said, is how we can reflect on God the Creator as we consider ourselves being the creator of our own little “world.”
“It was really fascinating to me to put all of these ideas together and see how God was always very concerned about the pattern,” Duerstock said. “In the same way, we do the same thing in our home. It was a lot of fun to explore those same ideas in a little different way than otherwise presented before.”
The wife and mother who has also been involved in teaching music, piano and voice for more than 20 years seeks to give readers a place to be encouraged.
“My hope would also be that they would be inspired and that they would be intentional in their homes to build spaces that are peaceful and are calm and places where people feel at home,” Duerstock explained. “They should open their homes up to their neighbors and their friends and then be encouraged at the end of the day.”
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.