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Faith It Til You Make It

Faith It Til You Make It

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For most of my twenties, I was lost in possibility. So many hobbies and career paths piqued my interest, but I tended to burn out not long into my pursuit.

A common request in my prayers and meditation was to recognize what I was put on this earth to do. It was my mission to find a passion/talent that I could capitalize on.

When I unexpectedly became pregnant with my first son, I assumed that was God telling me to put aside myself and my silly endeavors(dance, art, bodybuilding), and fully devote myself to my son. Don’t get me wrong.. I fell wildly in love with my son and the wonder that is motherhood, yet deep down, I knew something was still missing.

erica van slyke designing vibes

A few months later, on one of my whims,  we sold our new construction home for a fixer upper and I never looked back. I decided to listen to that voice in my heart and take a risk ( you see…I am not one to take risks).

Shortly after moving in our fixer upper, I ,once again, became pregnant with my second son. Right around this time, something inside me told me to start a blog. Maybe it was just pregnancy hormones, but I interpreted it as God speaking to me.  Funny thing is that I am really not much of a blog reader….but I decided to obey that calling deep in my soul.  Did I really have time being a mother who worked from home as a marketing professional while also renovating a home? Not really, but I had to give it my best shot. It was something I could not shake.

Fast forward 15 months, and I am slowly phasing out my day job as a marketing consultant to further pursue my career as a blogger and interior designer. This decision definitely has not come without some major prayer and anxiety. Am I doing the right thing? What if my blog fails? Can I live without the extra income? But I like to believe God gives us signs along the way that we have his blessing. That we are fulfilling are life calling.

designing vibes in cityscope magazine

Such a sign came recently when I was featured in Cityscope Magazine. For those of you who do not live here in Chattanooga, Cityscope is a high-end, local publication that features businesses, artists and local happenings.

The feature could not have come at a better time for me. You see, as of late, between contractors ripping us off and surprise projects snowballing out of control, our fixer upper has turned into a bit of a nightmare . Not to mention, the day-to-day challenge of raising two small children while working from home, “mom guilt” has become an all too familiar feeling- overshadowing any progress I have made with my blog. Fuse these trials together on top of someone naturally prone to depression and anxiety,  and you have a recipe for destruction.

Why can’t I just be content being a mom?

Maybe I have too much on my plate, and I should set aside my dreams until my children are old enough for school.

Life shouldnt be this exhausting.

And while I feel overwhelmed a good bit of the time, I feel so compelled to continue popping out content for you guys to read on my blog. I feel “whole” challenging myself to create and think outside of the box…always looking for a new way to approach a common problem. Maybe I am just a glutton for punishment.

designing vibes magazine feature

I guess what I am trying to say in this long-winded ramble, is that sometimes we just have to “faith it til we make it”. We cannot predict the future, but we can find peace in giving a dream our best effort…trudging on with blind faith until we achieve our goals. And if our dreams don’t come into fruition, at least we know we gave it our best.

Perhaps God has placed a dream in your heart, which may or may not seem feasible. Well, I encourage you to place one foot in front of the other, and start on your path to the life you envision for yourself. Trust me, you will have your doubts and even grow weary at times, but continue on in faith. As far as I know, you only get one shot at life.

Learning the hard way, I realize the rat-race is not for me. I am determined to make a living doing what I love…what excites me and gets me out of bed in the morning(although I think I have the getting out of bed part covered with my natural alarm clocks-my babies).

And to those of you who haven’t found your “calling” yet, be on the look-out because it often reveals itself in the strangest of places and at the most inconvenient times(I actually kind of resent that my passion was not discovered until I was pregnant with my second son.Can we say bad timing?).

Is blogging my calling? I cannot say for sure, but I feel like I just got a nod from the man above. If anything, I feel that I am at least headed in the right direction.

Further confirming my convictions, I received some crazy exciting news last week…the prospect of recognition on a national level. While I do not feel comfortable sharing details so early on, I hope to officially announce the news in May.  And for those of you wanting to check out my Cityscope feature, here is the digital version.

In the words of Bob Marley…

Love the life you live, live the life you love.

Now get out there and design some good vibes.


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Mary-The Boondocks Blog

Monday 20th of March 2017

Erica congrats on being featured in a publication. That should be enough confirmation that you should follow your passion and that you're on the right path. You are insanely talented and you should cultivate it. Doing what we love wards off the anxiety and depression. I pulled myself out of a hole when I started blogging and since then only good things have come my way. I wish you all the luck in the world and remember if you're happy the kids will be too. That is the greatest thing we can give them, our best selves. But to achieve that we need to trust in God and look in our hearts. You are on the right path and I see great things for you in the future!

Designing Vibes

Tuesday 21st of March 2017

You have no idea how much your continued support has meant to me, Mary. Thank you for all the encouragement. It truly means the world.

Karrie Trowbridge

Thursday 16th of March 2017

Girl!! I get this more than you know!! The struggle(s) are real and multifaceted! It's no small task to raise kids at home, it's equally hard to have a career while doing it! I think it just goes to show how amazing and gifted you are that you CAN juggle these things, create beautiful content and raise your babes! I'm excited to hear about your next adventure! I believe in you wholeheartedly and you need to just keep plugging away. My advice, after being a stay at home mom myself for years, is... make sure you make some time for yourself to do the things you love that get you out of the home. Dance, art, bodybuilding, girlfriend time! You need to fill your cup, and your family will thank you! Anyway, not trying to write a novel here, but I just wanted to encourage you! You're amazing girl! I see so much good in your future, keep your chin up and keep the faith!! ? So glad to know you!

Designing Vibes

Thursday 16th of March 2017

Karrie, you have just about brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful that our paths have crossed, and I find you and your work so inspiring. I look up to you and hope I can balance it all as beautifully as you seem to do one day. You are rocking it...beautiful on the inside and outside. Love ya, girl!

Pam Smith

Thursday 16th of March 2017

Thank you for sharing your story of faith in God in your life. With Him there are no coincidences. I'm excited to see how your story continues to unfold through your blog. I love all of your design ideas and so happy to hear you are doing what you love!

Designing Vibes

Thursday 16th of March 2017

Thank you for the words of encouragement, Pam. I completely agree...there are no coincidences.

Meg|Green With Decor (@greenwithdecor)

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Such a great post, and congrats on the local feature! You have such great design ideas, I always love seeing what you're up to!

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Thank you so much , Meg. I really appreciate your encouragement. Thanks for always being so sweet.

Philip R. Johnson

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Have I told you lately how proud I am of you? Love, Dad

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

Love you! Thank you for the support.

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