Let's Talk

Develop a Design – Step 5

Leaves Floating on Water

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

How do we go from vision to design?

My husband and I had dreams of building a house in a community with a marina. We found our dream lot sitting on a hill overlooking the water.

But before we could design and build a house, we needed to clear the lot of overgrown shrubs and scrubby trees. Then we could focus on the house design itself.

We spent hours poring over drawings and design lay outs. What would the foot print of the structure look like? What accommodations would be needed for lot constraints   Design consideration took into account not only placement but ease of entrance to the home, driveway, height restrictions, how many levels, etc. It was an exciting time.

With the basics in place, we made a list of all the things we wanted to have within our home: as many rooms as possible taking advantage of the view, placement of kitchen, living room, office, ease of movement, traffic patterns, windows, skylights, etc.  With the interior design in mind our focus went on to organizational issues, placement of cabinets, storage areas, etc.

Each of the wants and needs were considered based on the lot, finances, time and energy.  Because we could do a lot of the work ourselves while hiring experts for the rest, we could cut costs and make appropriate adjustments to our design without sacrificing the most important things.

Your design – Your Dreams

You may think, that’s way too much work for me!  But in reality, it wasn’t “work” at all. Yes there was the manual labor involved in clearing the lot, painting, wiring the house, overseeing the construction, but it was energized by the bigger picture.

Thinking about what we wanted, how we could make it happen and putting the pieces together was exhilarating and exciting.

Because we kept our overall vision in mind, we could go through the steps required, do the work and bring about the outcome we wanted.  And we ended up with a house we absolutely loved.

IMG_0751Your Life – Your Design

You can apply the same process of design creation to your life.

First you have to have a vision, then gather information, remove obstacles and then develop a plan of action. Perhaps even more important is a belief in yourself and your abilities to bring it about.


Your life design includes both short term and long term costs and benefits.


In building our home, short term costs was the hard work of clearing the land, actual construction, etc. The short term benefits were seeing our home come together bit by bit.

The long term costs was time spent in design and completion.  The long term benefits were overwhelming.  It gave us a home we loved and could not have had without the vision, design and plan of action.


To be part of creating something you had envisioned, developed and constructed is exciting and invigorating.

Where do you start?

You want some changes.  You have some dreams.  You can envision a different result to the outcome of your hard work.  But where do you begin.

  1. First, gather information.  What is working?  What isn’t?  What are you satisfied with? What are you dissatisfied with?
  2. Second, create a vision. if you woke up tomorrow morning and you were living a life you wanted, what would you be doing?  What would it look like? How would you feel?
  3. Third, what obstacles are keeping you from developing your vision?  What needs to be removed?  What needs to be put in place? Taking those steps towards a meaningful design requires looking at all the things in your life keeping you from that design that have to go.
  4. Fourth, how would you design a plan of action to begin putting the pieces together?  What would be the first step, the second, etc. How would you motivate and encourage yourself moving forward?
  5. Fifth, are you prepared to go to work constructing a life that has meaning and purpose and contentment built into it?  Before taking that next step, you need a commitment.

Anything of value requires work.  But it is joyful work energized by your vision. When we help to bring about what we want versus what we wish we could have, labor is not considered hard work. Instead, It is an exciting purpose.


Marlene Anderson

If you enjoyed this blog post, share with your friends.

Sign up today to receive the entire series:  http://eepurl.com/baaiQ1

To Receive a Free Consultation for putting together a Personal Plan of Action for yourself,  fill out the contact form beside this blog or send me an e-mail.  I am also available for speaking engagements, retreats or teaching workshops for your church, clubs or women’s groups on a variety of topics that affect our lives.

Leave a Comment