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A little faith.

I’ve been going to church.

This may not sound like a big deal. But it’s a big deal to me.

I first wrote about my faith back when I shared the news about Everett. He is my moment. He is my sign. He is my blessing. Everything about him has brought me to where I am on this journey right now. I am not sure where I would be if it was not for him. The clarity and desire and open-mindedness is a direct result of his existence. I have no doubt.

During my infertility struggles, I prayed for the first time. Like, really meant it when I prayed. I challenged “God.” I wasn’t exactly a believer, but I had no other hope. Show me I have a reason to believe you exist. I struggle. I have always struggled. Show me I can’t help but believe.

& He gave me a baby.

I prayed while I was pregnant. PRAYED. Give me the gift of this beautiful child and I will give back anything you want to this world. I will do the work you see fit for me. I am not ungrateful.

& He gave me Everett.

And then I didn’t sleep for nine months. & I had no help. & no patience. & no idea how I was going to survive. I had no time for me. No time to do anything but sleep and nurse and cook and clean and care for my babies. And I felt like a total failure.

& yet, somehow, my blog reached record readership.

All while I had tears welling up in my sandpaper eyes hourly and the darkest under eye circles you could imagine.

But this is no coincidence. There is no doubt in my mind. Not for a second, that this is all an orchestration beyond my control. All that time I spent wondering why this blog existed and why I am doing this and what on Earth this was all for is crystal clear. This blog is not about money. This blog is not about photography. Not about my kids. Not about anything I can show you.

This blog is my mission.

My struggles seem to resonate with some of you. Remind you that you are not alone. & hopefully help you find better ways to do things or cope with things in your home. Maybe some of you just pop over to learn how to make a better hard boiled egg, but some of you are struggling, just like me.

This mom job is hard. & this blog is a joy. It felt like less than that for a while, but things are coming full circle.

You see, I was so exhausted that I decided (don’t judge) that an hour of church without a needy baby in my arms seemed like a really good way to spend yet another day without a husband around. So I dropped my kids off with the sweet childcare workers at church & headed in. But what happened was life changing.

“Align your life with the will of the Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit will carry you through” he said, and it all made sense.

Listen. Learn. Go. Do.

I am on a very personal path. I love the church I go to. LOVE. I love going alone. I love seeing my friends there, who have all played a part in this journey. This is MY time to sort out MY feelings and questions in the warmest church environment that I’ve ever experienced. I am moved beyond anything I’ve felt before. The sermons are relevant and poignant and inspiring. I’ve needed this in my life. Big time. This is a season when a lot seems really hard. But each time I go to church, I feel like I can make it through the week again. & I am inspired.

& blessed. So blessed. These two little miracles have shaped me into exactly the person I am meant to be. & this image is the first in some changes around here. styleberry as you know it is getting a makeover. A simplification. A lighter, brighter feel. Right now it’s in my head, but it will make its way out soon. xoxo.

Illustration by Noomie Doodles (so amazing!)

Images by Kate L Photography (isn’t she great?!)

Live stream from Oak Hills Church, home of THE Max Lucado

& I’ll leave you with this. It feels like the OHC anthem. It is so beautiful and I can’t get enough of it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Jenn - Shawna- I think I speak for many of your readers when I say that you have been an enormous blessing to us moms- the tired, the stressed, the determined-to-simplify-and-add-joy at all costs moms. Something about your honesty and your creativity resonated with me as I transitioned into becoming a mom of two and I refer back to your site weekly for inspiration. Thank you for continuing to share your life with us, even with what little free time you have, and know that it is not taken for granted :)ReplyCancel

  • Janalin - Exceptional post! Beautiful photos as always and my heart is full to hear that you have found a church. God Bless you! xoReplyCancel

  • Emily - One of the things we miss most about Texas is Max. He and the Oak Hills family of churches are amazing. So happy to know you are experiencing God in a real, life-changing way!ReplyCancel

  • Annie - Wow. Amazing post as always, but I especially loved this. Made me tear up, I’m such a baby ;) thank you for sharing!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Marianne - Church is my breath of fresh air. Whenever we have moved to a new place, a good church family is what has always made us feel at home. Being apart of a community of believers gathering together, being the hands and feet of God is something I pray everyone can experience. So happy to hear you have found a place to call “home,” and a place to feed your soul.ReplyCancel

  • ellen - just what i needed today. thank you for sharing this shawna. i have been a reader for almost 2 years, don’t know if i’ve ever commented. this post is just so beautiful. i am so happy for you. while i have been uplifted by so many of your words, this was just so perfect for today. thank you and i hope the best for you on this wonderful journey. there are a lot of us right there with you!ReplyCancel

  • Kelley T - I know you don’t know me, but I am one of Erinn M’s friends from WI. She introduced me to your blog back when I was thinking of making my own baby food for my son (who is about the age of your daughter). I am so so grateful for your honesty here. You have been a source of comfort for me when I have been exhausted. I’m so glad you have found a church you love. It really makes all the difference to find people who can see you as you are and love you through it. Thank you also for sharing your faith here. There is a delicate balance nowadays and I admire your courage. We currently work for a Christian camp in CO and I hope that God will use my little bloggity blog to inspire people as you have inspired me. Take care and God bless!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - Shawna I am so happy for you! You are completely glowing in the picture with your two beautiful kiddos. I know we have never met but your blog has definitely been a ministry to me. It has helped me so much and I will be praying for you and your walk with the Lord.

    Thanks for all the wonderful posts!ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gibb - We miss OHC so much ever since we left Texas. This post was so encouraging & I’m thrilled that you’ve found such comfort, encouragement, & inspiration from the Lord’s teaching & friends at OHC. Excited to see what Styleberry has to bring! :)ReplyCancel

  • Joy @ Caspara - This is a great post!! God is so good and faithful! And yes, your blog does resonate with so many! I’m so glad that you are still doing it!ReplyCancel

  • Tara S. - Shawna – I’m so happy to hear that you are finding clarity and inspiration all while taking time to be good to yourself. I’m a mom of two (6 yr. old girl and 4 yr. old boy), and I know how draining yet fulfilling motherhood can be. It’s the constant yin and yang of raising children. And you are basically doing it ALONE. We just did our 3rd move in 4 years, and I know what it’s like to be separated from my husband (only for a period of time) and separated from family. I know how much harder that makes everything. So I have all the respect in the world for your struggle, but most importantly for your TRIUMPH. I have been following your blog for years because I relate to you. I relate to your strength, and I am inspired by the way you approach your life and the creativity you bring to your household. Without even knowing you personally, I know if all comes from the most genuine, real place. You are honest and people know it. So… thank you. I’m so excited to see what comes next on this blog! All the best to you!ReplyCancel

  • alison - I’m always in awe of the way our hearts and lives can be moved. Beautiful post. You are such a strong mama, so glad you’ve found a place to refuel your soul.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Gosh – (wipes away tears..) You never cease to amaze me. As a working Mom (a Division 1 college coach at Michigan State University), I am constantly struggling with such a strong interpersonal battle over whether my TIME CONSUMING career is worth the time I lose with my 21 month old… I wonder if I will ever have enough time to be the best wife, mother, ME that I can be. You and your posts and words always remind me that I am ENOUGH. Between my players, my husband, my son, my family, MY health… rushing everywhere, trying so hard, keeping up around the house, spending time with my husband, cherishing the two hours a day I get to spend with Tyler, finding time to nourish my own health, traveling everywhere in the country for the sport I love… Ugh! But when I come to your website, I feel inspired. I feel like I can do it, and when I need a break, I’m allowed to take it. Thank you for all that you offer to us Mom’s out here… You are right, your mission is to reach those of us who struggle with the same issues you do. THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Tara - So happy for you! I will say, when I start my day praying for strength and praying that Heavenly Father will work through me, I am amazed by the strength I get. Hugs Shawna, you are doing a great job. And I am so excited to see the blog makeover!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn V - you’re noomie doodle is spot on. you inspire. thank you for being so candid and open. us moms are all in this together, and thank you for inspiring us to find that middle ground in the hub-bub of everyday life to breathe and know that we are enough.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - No judging here! Our church has service, and they encourage you to stay for a bible study-esque thing after. I ALWAYS go to both when the hubs is out of town for the week, or weekend, so I can recharge. It is almost more special for me to be able to singularly focus on something.
    Max lucado? Niiiiiiiiice.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - LOVE it! Love everything about this post! So happy to hear where you are in life right now and always happy to see some new pictures. They’re so big! Can’t wait to see what’s next for this blog of yours :)ReplyCancel

  • Anya - While I am not a church-goer (and will likely never be), I am a firm believer in doing whatever makes us feel stronger and happier and healthier. It sounds like you’ve found yet another way to make your life the best it can possibly be. The struggles you have experienced resonate with all moms as I’m sure you know. And as a working mom that has to work more-than-full-time and travel to Asia, your blog has helped me immeasurably with little (and big) ideas, inspiration to take more and better photos of my girl, and above all to try and pause and appreciate this marvelous little person in my life whenever possible. I found you through cloth diapering, and I’ve stayed, lurking, amongst your readers. I look forward to riding along with you on your journey!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - Thank you Shawna. Thank you from a complete stranger. Thank you for inspiring us all. To know that we are enough. As mothers. Or whatever journey we may be on. Continue to be real. It means more than you know:)ReplyCancel

  • Brianna Krute - I love this because although our stories don’t mirror each other exactly, I can relate. In order for me to stay home with my two boys (2&4), I have to run a small daycare from my house. My husband is home in the evenings and is such a big help, but day to day can still become overwelming at times. I, too, started going back to church regularly last October and it has been so important to me. It’s adult time, reflection time, spirtual time. I don’t have to worry about my kids because I know they’re in good hands. It’s my outlet. So… this is my long way saying that I really enjoyed this post ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kristin S - God is SO good. I found your blog a few years back and we have connected via email a few times. Your story, your life, your family, is all SO similar to mine. I always wondered where you were in your faith walk. I have actually prayed for you a few times when I was following you on IG. If you can, keep me in your prayers too. I struggle with doubt and letting go of control. What I wouldn’t give to be able to worship at an Oak Hills Church. Blessings! xxReplyCancel

  • Loretta - Shawna I go to oak hills too! It’s great! I now have two kids: one 2 years old and one 6 days old. Thank you for always sharing and all the information! I’ve met you years ago from Erinn Merritt with triplets:-) again thanks!!!

  • Moriah - Wow, I am so blessed to read this. I have been following your blog, and was following you on IG, and I always have felt so encouraged by you! I am a wife to a general surgeon resident {starting this June} and we have 2 little boys. We are also believers and have grown up in the church. I never knew where you stood in your faith, and can I just say, I teared up reading this post. I can’t believe how much the Lord is working in your life, and in the life of your family. Seeing all of your answered prayers is so encouraging, I never get tired of seeing the Lord’s hand working in someone’s life. The fact that you live near to Max Lucado’s church is also incredible. Even if you are just attending to get a break, it is amazing. God calls people to Him in incredible ways, and if you are seeking truth, you will find it. So happy to read this!! I wonder if your church has a MOPS {Mothers of Preschoolers} group? If so, check it out, it is amazing to connect with other Mom’s in the church. Thanks again for this post and for being so transparent. I will pray the Lord blesses you and does a work in you as you strive to seek Him and honor Him in your life. Can’t wait to hear more!!ReplyCancel

  • Janna - I cried as I read this, it makes my heart so happy to read about your faith! You are an incredible source of inspiration to me, and I’m so thankful for you and your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us, what a gift you are to fellow mamas! God is using you in powerful, wonderful ways. I look forward the Styleberry journey ahead!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Shawna, I am so excited to hear this! It’s so weird to read someone’s blog and to not really know them, but I have always felt that God could use you in powerful ways. I love your quote about aligning with the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit will help you. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Styleberry blog and the places that He brings you.

  • Janna - I cried reading this post, it makes my heart so happy to hear about your faith journey! You are a incredible source of inspiration to me- from chocolate chip cookies and hard-boiled eggs to cloth diapers, baby food and exhaustion survival tips; I am so thankful for you and your blog. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, what a blessing you are to fellow mamas! God is using you in wonderful, powerful ways to touch many lives and I pray that your life is enriched through this as well. I look forward to the Styleberry journey ahead :)ReplyCancel

  • Julie Meier - This brought tears to my eyes! You are a HUGE inspiration – the cloth diapers in my house for my new baby girl, even though I have a 5 & 3 year old are proof! I have been following you since shortly before you announced your pregnancy with Everett. I am happy to see that you are finding purpose, hope and clarity. I have hope, and I since the clarity and purpose around the corner. I think a good church is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another. I am so glad you have one! I have gone to ours with the same need – childcare, (and coffee) and what I get is so much more than that. Thank you so much for your honesty, and for keeping it real. I look forward to see what StyleBerry’s future holds. Much love!ReplyCancel

  • Audra - I made a comment on Instagram a couple of months ago and am sorry in hindsight for the attitude and bitterness I conveyed. I misjudged you and you should know that. I had no idea the struggles that you have faced. You have a phenomenal testimony about how God has proven himself faithful to you.ReplyCancel

  • Aja - This post makes me so happy. What an awesome testimony you have. I am so thrilled for you and your family and what God is doing in your life. Your blog has always been an inspiration to me as a mama and I can’t wait to read and see what changes He has in store!ReplyCancel

  • stacey - this post makes me SO. HAPPY. when anyone finds God, accepts Jesus, my heart sings for them! and in turn, it sings for you {la,la, la!} :) continue to learn and to grow, He loves you so very much! “for i know the plans i have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (jeremiah 29:11) looking forward to seeing His and your plans for styleberry, i’m certain it will be wonderful. much love xoxReplyCancel

  • Erin - Shortly after I had my son 14 months ago (from today actually), I found you on Instagram and immediately connected to the pictures you posted of your brand new baby boy. I read of your struggles of not sleeping, while I was… NOT sleeping. It was so important to me to check in with you and see how you were doing things, as you had two little ones to care for and this was my only. You truly inspired me and I’m so grateful for what you shared. I have missed you (may sound weird from a total stranger, I understand), and I’m excited for the changes you are going to be journeying (is that a word?) through. I’m excited for your continued journey with the Lord. I have stepped back from my journey with him a bit, but I’m working to make things better.ReplyCancel

  • April - SO happy for you! I am going to go out on a limb here…I’ve never done this before…(but I’ve been following for a long time now and feel like I can (ha!)… I really think you should go on an ACTS Retreat in Blanco (just north of Bulverde). I know…I know…but hear me out…this is not from me, I don’t live in Blanco and don’t go to the church there, I have no reason of my own to tell you…BUT when you wrote about how your hubby had found his calling and that meant you would be staying in (not-so-fond-of SA) for a much longer time, I knew God had something in store for you too…just couldn’t wait to find out what it is. I think this is just the beginning :) I know ACTS would mean leaving for 2 1/2 days..3 nights but I truly don’t think you would regret it. You don’t have to be Catholic…I know what you’re thinking. Lots of women of all faiths go. I know I sound crazy, but I’m not. Just passing this along from somewhere in my heart (and you know where Christ lives). It might not be next year or the year after that…but I ask you to stay open to it. You don’t have to know anyone (I didn’t)…this one is just for YOU and your relationship with Christ. (one more thing–the one in Blanco is different than the others in SA–just sayin’)ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Thanks for sharing! As a fellow believer and a follower of your blog, this is so encouraging to see. God is so good.
    I’m a pregnant working mom of a girl toddler, a few months away from the arrival of our son. :)ReplyCancel

  • aubrey - You are loving this and will continue too. In the hard times, Jesus is the Rock. It’s quite amazing. I don’t know how we mother without His grace! Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Hanni - Shawna I am so excited to hear how God is working in your life. He is so good and so faithful! I have actually felt led to pray for you at times in the past year as you shared struggles, frustrations etc. I have a son just a few months younger than yours and a daughter who is 2.5 so I have definitely related to you over the last year. Life with Jesus doesn’t make every problem or hard season go away, but it does often bring purpose and meaning and you will find yourself falling more in love with Him as he reveals his deep love for you and his consistant, never changing character. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Grothe - You.Go.Girl.

    as a side note, I was so sad when you said you were taking some time away from the blog. sniff sniff.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - Thank you Jesus. How he is using YOU! You have such a voice in this beautiful blog that I enjoy reading so much and it is so cool that so many readers will read about the truth you have discovered! So joyful to read this!ReplyCancel

  • Brenda - Praise the Lord! I have prayed for you and your salvation. I am so excited to the Lord’s pulling of you towards Himself. You are an amazing woman, God has some amazing things in your future. Keep focused on Him!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Lynn - Shawna! I am SO excited. I have wanted you to know Jesus SO SO badly! I wasn’t sure if you were a believer since you hadn’t mentioned much about it before – but I am so thrilled for you! I canNOT wait for the blog change and hopefully to see you around a little more often! I have missed reading :) Happy Tuesday, Friend!ReplyCancel

  • Kate B - I cannot explain how this post reflects my own thoughts on my own journey with God. I have been going every weekend as well and have met some really amazing friends. I don’t mind sitting by myself and look forward to the positive inspiration that starts each week. Thank you for sharing. You continue to be an inspiration to so many women and mamas. I miss your beautiful photos on IG as well. Wish you the best. XoReplyCancel

  • Lacee - I’m so sorry I don’t know what happend!

    Shawna, you’re amazing and lucky to recognize you blessings from Heavenly Father! I don’t know what I would do with out the Savior in my life He is my rock and my salvation. I couldn’t get through a day without knowing I’m a Daughter of Heavenly Father. He keeps me going and gives my life a purpose and meaning.

  • Carleigh - What a wonderful and beautiful post. I have been reading your blog for a while and am so happy you have found a wonderful church community like Oak Hills. I go there as well, (my husband Stephen is actually on staff and leads worship!), so I know first hand what an awesome church it is. You have so many talents and gifts, and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing some of your struggles as well. God bless :)ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn Smith - God bless you as you continue on your journey of growth and peace. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - Such a wonderful story of how God brings us to Himself! I love your blog and you are such an encouragement here in Florida!!!ReplyCancel

  • Christie - You have such a strong influence among moms all over the country. I have given your blog to more people than I can count. Can’t wait to see how Jesus is going to use with your life and how it will reach others!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia K - I just want you to know that I’m so happy our paths have crossed down here. You are a joy to have in my life. A daily inspiration and a positive influence. Love you xoxoReplyCancel

  • Tori - Love it. I love hearing stories of faith, and how (especially mama’s) come to depend on and lean into Christ for help in this day-to-day life we live with our littles. Praying you continue to learn much and walk closer with God, and that it makes this season of your life even sweeter!ReplyCancel

  • Drea - Ive been a horrible blogger lately :( – and blog reader. So excited for your blog to take off even more! :)ReplyCancel

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