"Leap and the Net Shall Appear"
Hello, my name is Terry Grahl, and I'm the Founder, Visionary and CEO of Enchanted Makeovers. I'm also a wife, mother to four wonderful adult children, warrior, storyteller, believer, co-author, lover of all things handmade & vintage, and a passionate woman on a mission to inspire people to dream while they are awake, follow their heart, and most importantly, to see each other truly as an extension of one's self.
"A New Chapter is Written"
A polka-dotted pillow changed my life and my journey.
When I tell people this, most will say, "what?" and then envision a pretty, feminine, polka-dotted pillow, trimmed with a big flowing ruffle. Well, that is exactly what my heart saw when I viewed the old, worn, tattered bed (photo below), but clearly not what my eyes saw. That vision was the beginning of my personal transformation.
Opportunities present themselves all of the time. We just have to be awakened enough to see them. I feel blessed that God opened my eyes with the vision of the polka-dot pillow.
You see, in December 2006, I received a call from a gentleman asking for help. I was an interior decorator, and he was a volunteer for a local shelter.
He said, "we would be so grateful even if you just painted one wall." Honestly, at the time, my first reaction was fear. I was fearful of going. I really didn't know what to expect. I had never been to a shelter.
I decided to make the visit and, as with all of the consultations I conducted with my private clients in my decorating business, I took photos to assist with any necessary planning and visualization. That is, if I would actually accept the volunteer job. I still wasn't sure, and was leaning towards a "probably not".
"A Dream Remembered"
A week had passed since my first visit to the shelter. I hadn't given it much thought. All I know is that I had this lingering feeling of despair knowing the living conditions of the women and children. I began to reflect upon my own expectations for my life and the dreams of a child. I was a big dreamer; my mother instilled this upon me and my siblings.
Had I forgotten my own dreams?
My mother taught me that decorating didn't need to be motivated by money and that by relying on your own creativity and vision – each home improvement was a selfless act of love. For my mother, making a home where her five children felt safe and where our spirits could soar was as important as keeping us fed and clothed.
How could I have forgotten my own big dreams, given my stable circumstances. But, more importantly, how could the women and children in the shelter realize that they were worthy of so much more? They too had dreams, but where could they be found again?
"The Whisper Became Louder Until it Roared"
"The pictures, the pictures — I must look at these pictures."
As I downloaded them to my computer, there it was, THE picture. There amongst black metal used prison bunk bed, a stained mattress and an unfinished sheet rock wall was an answer.
There amongst the harshness was something dear to my heart: a polka dot, a safe pattern that has no sharp edges. There on that seemingly ordinary pillow was an answer. It was an answer from within me but not directly from me.
When I saw the polka dots in that picture, I heard, "Trust me." I raised my right hand in the air and said, "YES". From that moment, I knew I was prepared to do whatever I could to bring hope to those women and children.
Soon, I was back at the shelter presenting them with a design plan and a vision of what was to come. There was no turning back. I vowed to see this project to completion.
With no funds and no volunteers lining up at the door, I had only to put my trust in God, keep the faith and, most importantly, I needed to step away from my ego. The women and children must not be disappointed again.
"She is ME"
As I presented the plan to the group of women and staff, I was overcome with emotion. I again was that vulnerable child wanting their acceptance. I realized the thin wall that separated our lives. We all deserved and desired the same things. It was simple, but seemingly so complicated in its simplicity. I would find a way to break through this thin wall.
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Thank you New York Singer & Songwriter Michelle Clearly for listening to my journey and saying, "YES" to transforming it into a song. Terry #sheismemovement