The Author Interview Series is a back with my dear friend, Tracy Steel. Tracy and I will be keynoting at Baker Book House, in Grand Rapids, MI, for the She Found Joy Tour. It’d be fun to see you there. Get your tickets, today!
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. If you choose to purchase through the links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you. See full disclosure policy.
Tracy’s innovative book, A Redesigned Life: Uncovering God’s Purpose When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned is “a mix of wit and wisdom. Tracy proves through biblical examples and personal testimony that God remains true to his plans and purposes, accomplishing them in and through us in every season of life. She helps us recognize God’s design principles, enabling us to embrace our sometimes messy lives, especially when they’re ones we never would have designed for ourselves.”
It was a joy to contribute an essay to Tracy’s book. Look for it in Chapter 3, “Living Out Your Pop of Color.” Now, let’s get started!
Author Interview with Tracy Steel
When did you become interested in interior design?
I’ve always loved art, fabrics, and beautiful interior spaces. My parents also built several of the homes I lived in during my childhood. So from an early age I enjoyed helping my mother pick out wallpaper, carpet, or paint for our new house. During my senior year of high school I shadowed a local interior designer around for a day just to see what a real designer actually does. After doing so I was hooked. Four years later I graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in Interior design.
My life goal at this point was to move to New York City, run my own design firm, and make millions of dollars. While I did work in a commercial design firm for several years, the rest of the plans for my life did not end up happening because I met and fell in love with Jesus and well… he changed everything.
Eventually, God called me into a different kind of interior design that looked a whole lot like youth and women’s ministry. I have never lived in New York City nor made anything close to one million dollars as a stay at home mom, author, and speaker. But I am totally okay with this and blessed by the surprises and detours that God’s planned for my life, even though there’s been times I’ve questioned him or wondered what in the world he was thinking.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, chuckle. This is an example of when I’ve wondered what in the world is God thinking, calling me to write a book! In fact, I never saw myself as a writer until recently! I always pictured writers as quiet types, who sat up in log cabins in the woods, by themselves behind a typewriter for hours.
I am an extrovert. I don’t like isolation and sitting still by myself for any amount of time. So I reckoned I couldn’t or shouldn’t be a writer. I like to talk and be near people, parties, amenities and such. But like most speakers and ministry leaders, I started a blog back in 2012, because that is just what one did. However, more and more people started reading my words, claiming they made sense, and well… here we are! Now I love to wrestle words out onto paper or onto my computer screen and am honored to encourage women with the written messages that God places on my heart.
Your new book, A Redesigned Life, is a fusion of the interior designer part of who you are along with the Bible teacher/theology lover part of who you are. When did you start thinking about how interior design parallels the Christian life?
In addition to writing, I also travel and speak at various women’s ministry events. I started to notice a pattern in some of the conversations I would have with women whether they were 25, 40, or 60 years old. Our conversations would usually include them saying something like, “My life is not going the way I planned. This isn’t supposed to be happening to me.” They wanted to know if God saw what was happening and if he cared. So I became burdened for women, who like me, were living a life they didn’t design either.
So this started my search for a way to encourage women who felt discouraged, frustrated, or confused about their life. I took a good hard look at my own life and what I learned about God and myself whenever life shocked and surprised me. I also remembered that when I was an interior designer, I would use a set of principles to help me design a functional and beautiful space for my clients. Since God is our Master Architect or our creative Creator, I started to wonder if he uses similar principles to redesign us. The more I searched the Scriptures, the more I came to see that he sure does.
Like a human designer or artists uses a set of design principles to guide them as they create, our God also uses the principles of movement, emphasis, pattern, contrast, balance, and space as he is redesigning our lives too. This is how the idea for the book was born!
In A Redesigned Life I have come up with a fun and creative way to help women understand that God does see them and that He has a purpose behind every shock or surprise in this life that we didn’t plan for. The more we notice his use of these purposes, the more we will be able to experience contentment, peace, or courage whenever our life doesn’t go as planned.My life goal was to move to New York City, run my own design firm, and make millions of dollars. God had other plans. @tracymsteel #aredesignedlife Click To Tweet
Can you briefly explain one of the design principles mentioned in your book and how God uses that to redesign the interior spaces of our hearts?
Sure! I really enjoyed writing about these design principles because they make this book a very visual one. Even if interior design isn’t their thing, readers are still enjoying the book and are able to apply these principles to their own life.
One of the principles I mention in the book is emphasis. This principle creates a focal point in a design which brings attention to the element in a piece of artwork or area in a room that is most important. Designers will often use color to achieve this. In the same way, God gives each of us a “pop of color” or an emphasis and asks us to live out our pop of color(s) so that the eyes of the hearts of those around us will ultimately be drawn to him.Use your God-given pop of color to love and serve those around you. @tracymsteel #aredesignedlife Click To Tweet
What is the main take away you want readers to grasp as a result of reading A Redesigned Life?
I pray for my readers to cease wobbling in their faith whenever their world or the larger world around them shocks or surprises them. Good design always brings the focus of its viewer back to a focal point. We need a constant or a focal point for the eyes of our heart, or the interior space that matters most to God, to rest on. We need a focal point that can help us remain steadfast and hopeful whenever life doesn’t go as planned. The ultimate Constant or focal point of our lives is God. The more we remain focused on him, the more steadfast we become in our faith.
I’ve selected six principles then to write about, because I believe they all point back to the personhood and purposes of our God, our Focal Point, who never wobbles. For most of my life I’ve been tossed all over the place, living on adrenaline, I don’t want to live on my adrenaline anymore. I want to live on God’s assurances instead and I want this for my readers as well.The more we remain focused on him, the more steadfast we become in our faith. @tracymsteel #aredesignedlife Click To Tweet
Is there an extra freebie that readers can grab for subscribing to your ministry website?
I would love to send some more encouragement for your heart and home into your inbox. Those who subscribe to my blog will also get two, free downloads that include some bonus chapters from the original manuscript of A Redesigned Life. Subscribers will also receive another download, 5 Tips to Freshen Up Your Heart & Home, straight out of Colossians chapter 3. I didn’t know that the Apostle Paul was into interior design, but he was. So consider his design tips from one of the most poignant chapters in the New Testament and enjoy redesigning your heart and your home!
Thank you for sharing your heart and your book with us, Tracy!
Tracy Steel graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in interior design and has a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies from Phoenix Seminary. Moving from one type of interior design to another, Tracy then worked in full-time youth ministry, serving as the director of female students at Scottsdale Bible Church. God’s true design for Tracy now involves improving the interior space of the hearts and minds of women around her. Currently stationed in Washington, DC, this military wife and mother of two enjoys linking up with other bloggers, leading Bible studies at her local church, and speaking at various moms’ groups and women’s ministries events nationwide. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a 10-week Bible study for young women that focuses on identity, overcoming and healing through Christ, and bearing the image of Christ.
Purchase a copy (or ten) of A Redesigned Life and discover peace in the unplanned seasons of life.
Connect with Tracy:
- Website: www.tracymsteel.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracymsteel/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TracyMSteelMinistries/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/tracymsteel
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