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An Answered Prayer. OR just a BIG Life Update!


Yes, those are my awkward feet in the picture above surrounded by clovers.

I have started about 20 posts in the last week or so, and I naturally start on a particular topic but, before I know it, the topic quickly fades and I start rambling about why I've been absent from blogland. It isn't because I'm lazy and it certainly isn't because I don't have the content. Trust me, after this year, I have enough content to write a book and that is not a joke.

What is important though is having the faith and the constant prayer to get you through tough times. Never giving up I say. Getting up when life kicks you down. Getting up over and over again when it holds you down and plants your face in the mud. I just get up and thank life for the facial.

That said, something really, really, AWESOME happened recently.

I got a new job.

As in... I. GOT. A. NEW. JOB.

And not as in ANY JOB...but a JOB that will LOVE. It will be FUN. It will be CREATIVE. AND I get to work with three really awesome people.

As most of you know, I am a photographer and that occupies all my evenings and all of my weekends. For the last three years (even before I started the photography journey) I have been working for a marketing company in Austin Monday through Friday 8 to 5. On the side, I have worked as a wedding coordinator for a small little wedding venue, as well as an assistant creative photographer for Be Inspired Events & Design with my dear friend Nycia. On top of all that, I still have networking events, meetings, e-mails, social media, etc going on...AND the important things like family & friends who actually like me and want to spend time with me. ;) Needless to say, I'm pretty busy...and seriously exhausted. I don't know how many nights I stayed up til' 4 in the morning trying to meet deadlines, only to wake up at 7 and get to work at 8 and then TRY and be productive at a semi-stressful job. Way too many to count. Trust me, the wrinkles on my face are PROOF. *WOOF!*

I have been tired. I've lost my sparkle and I was going through the motions day in and day out. I almost lost sight of the true meaning of LIFE and LIVING IN THE MOMENT. I've been so wrapped up with just doing, that I forgot to live.

Most days I go to work with a wet bun on my head and not a lick of make-up looking like a zombie. Friends and family would see me and say, "SHAY! You look awful!" or "SHAY! You have to take care of yourself sweetie!" or "Shalyn Lanaeeeee, you look dead!"

Not kidding y'all. I've received a lot of stares and "You look tired" comments this year. On top of the work related stresses, I've had a bad string of luck and a couple of serious family emergencies that have without a doubt taken me through a loop hole of stress.

I've had talks with Drew this past year about just quitting my job and taking that leap of faith to be a full-time photographer. However, with the curve balls life has thrown our way, there was just NO way financially to float on his income alone. Drew works so hard, and I work so hard, surely we could figure SOMETHING OUT right?

All I wanted was my life back. My sparkle. My smile. My zing for life to just come back.

I've been wanting to take a leap of faith for a really, really long time, but we just haven't been dealt the best financial cards, which left me with the three jobs.

Eventually, I told Andrew there was just NO way I could keep the three jobs, and thankfully, the wedding venue didn't really need me anymore since they ended up hiring someone full-time for the weekends.

So, then there I was. With two jobs. One job that paid the bills...and one job that I without a doubt loved with my whole heart.

Starting a business isn't cheap, and well, the bills still have to be paid. We've had our share of hardships come our way and there just isn't anything we can do but continue to work our butts off and make ends meet.

That's when I handed it all over to God.

Y'all...I've been praying so hard. LONG and HARD for A REALLY, REALLY long time for an answer to all of this. Do I quit this job that I knew wasn't my dream job and not pay our bills and solely focus on photography and hope and pray that the business takes off? Or do I stick it out and just hope and pray something comes my way that will bless me in more ways than one and allow me the opportunity to LOVE my job again?

About two weeks ago, it was about 3 a.m. and I was sitting at my laptop at the kitchen table. I had cried a lot that night because things just kept going wrong and I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel that I so desperately needed.

Drew was in bed, my Mom was sleeping on my couch, and Piper and Furlee were sleeping next to me on the bench.

I was playing around on Facebook and I saw a Facebook post that Hey Sweet Pea had posted and I remember thinking to myself, "Now that would be a FUN job. How cool is it that she gets to brand people's dreams?"

I browsed her Facebook page a bit looking at all of her logos and designs (feeling inspired because I am rebranding my business right now) and just thinking, "SHE ROCKS!"

I left her page, and kept scrolling around other friends status's from that day, liking the ones that made me smile or laugh, etc.

At about 3:45 a.m. I went outside to let the dogs out. I don't know what made me want to sit in my chair outside and look at the sky and pray at that moment. But I did. I prayed HARD. I asked God for forgiveness for being impatient with him and constantly WANTING things that I didn't even know if I deserved. I mean, I thought I deserved them, but I felt selfish for WANTING them. I prayed for peace and understanding for all these lessons he's given me this year. I prayed that I get my soul back because I was tired of living this lifestyle.

I walked back inside, watched the rest of my photos export, and yawned my way to my bed.

That next morning, I woke up late. I had an emergency with my Mom, and I had to text my boss to tell her that I would be late. I drove my Mom to my brother's house, and while I was waiting for her, I sat there with my phone in my hand. I was crying at the time because it was a really rough morning and it seemed that everything was spinning out of control. More tears flowed down my face (this was becoming too normal for my liking) and I just remember looking up and saying, "I NEED YOU."

I have never felt more helpless in my life. I really wish I could expand on things right now, but I just can't. Some things need to be private but just trust me when I say things have been downright HARDDDDD. I tend to get on my phone a lot when I'm nervous or bored (I'm normal! haha) and I hadn't been on twitter in awhile, so I opened up that little white and blue bird icon on my phone.

*Scroll* *Scroll* *Scroll*

I see a tweet going on between Ruthie & Elise about Elise and her husband Scott relocating to Austin. I remember thinking, "Wait, is that Elise from Hey Sweet Pea!?"

Sure enough, it was. I didn't think much of it, so I continued scrolling with my finger tips and then BAM. At the very top of my tweet deck, there she was:

"We are also looking for a Project Manager so if you know of anyone, send them my way."

At this moment, time stood still. What are the chances!? I was just looking at her Facebook page the night before!?? The tears on my cheek dried up, and I felt like I was having a moment in a movie where the clouds cleared out and the sun came out to play.

Corny and dramatic, I know, but when I saw that, for some reason, it sent chills down my spine and I KNEW that this was my job.

I worked for a creative company when I lived in College Station part time when I was working for a Bridal Magazine and I LOVED IT. I have always LOVED design and I am obsessed with helping people, inspiring people, and I am extremely organized.

I immediately texted Ruthie the screenshot of the tweet and said, "PLEASE TELL ME YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS!? OMGGGG!!!!"

Ruthie then replied immediately, "OMG SHALYN! YES! I will e-mail her immediately, CC you on the e-mail and introduce y'all.

I drove to work, with HOPE of PRAYERS being answered. This had to be an answered prayer. It had to be. I was so scared it wouldn't work out, but when I got scared I knew that if it was in His plan, then this would be it.

When I got to work, I realized that I hadn't received an e-mail (it had only been 30 minutes haha) so I got brave and I messaged Elise on Facebook about the position.

Shortly after that, I received the e-mail of introductions from Ruthie, and Elise responded, I responded, she then Facebook messaged me, and I messaged her, and then she followed up with an e-mail about the job position that was MUSIC to my ears.

SWEET BABY JESUS I thought. THIS JOB IS PERFECT. BEYOND PERFECT. It's exactly what I've been praying for to a "T" y'all. Everything it required, I could do. I felt my fire come back. My eyes sparkled and my heart was pounding through my chest.

I e-mailed her back my resume. Everything just fell into place. We interviewed over Skype and y'all...I LOVE ELISE AND SCOTT. I just wanted to reach through my computer and hug their necks.

They offered me the job on a Thursday via Skype, and as soon as I got off the interview, Andrew was eavesdropping in the hallway and we just bolted for each other and screamed! He picked me up and I just screamed and jumped on my couch in excitement. You think I'm joking, but I'm really not. I put my two weeks notice in that Friday at my company, and thankfully, everyone is super happy for me. People have been coming up to my desk this past week telling me Congratulations and that they will miss me, which is a good feeling knowing that I've made some really great friends. I even had one of the directors at the company take me aside and he hugged me and got teary eyed because he was sad to see me go. He has been a fatherly figure for me at the company since day one. As sad as it is to say goodbye, I feel at peace. This Friday will be my LAST day at my marketing company. It's bittersweet because I am going to miss my friends at work and interacting with them on a daily basis. I will miss them so, so, so much. However, I know this is the path I need to take. I'm walking on Faith and I just can't imagine all of the wonderful things that are to come. I'm jumping and I'm going for my dreams. :)

I feel honored and I feel blessed. Who would have ever thought I'd find a dream job via TWITTER!? See y'all!? Social Media ROCKS! There is a little more I'm not elaborating on (probably wouldn't have thought that since this is already a novel post), but seriously, it's just crazy how everything fell into place. As of now, I will be working for Hey Sweet Pea and Shalyn Nelson Photography. This opportunity will allow me to work on photography and contribute my heart and soul to the things I love the most: BEING CREATIVE. I may even get to join the cool kids club and go to bed at a decent hour!??! OMG my eyelids are so happy. I will be working FROM HOME (PERFECT) until Hey Sweet Pea has their studio here which literally makes me want to break dance like a fool! Noooo lie! :)

I can't help but just shake myself and ask, "DID THIS REALLY JUST HAPPEN!?" It really could not have happened at a better time. It was a true gift from God, I honestly believe that. This job is going to be awesome and it will allow me the chance to do what I love. What is better than that!? I am so thankful and so blessed. Want to know something crazy too!? Elise told me that she was PRAYING for someone who used smiley faces in their e-mails!? Um, I'm the queeeeeen of smiley faces (I overuse them in fact, no shame!?) and I ended my Facebook message with a "P.s.) I am sorry for all of the smiley faces! I tend to do that when I get realllyyyy excited!"

Tell me this isn't fate!? Or just an awesome answered prayer.


post circle 55 comments :

  1. Congratulations on your new job! Sounds like it fits your passions perfectly and you will really enjoy it. Way to go girl :)

  2. I am a regular follower of your blog, but I don't think I've ever commented. This post brings me out of hiding. :)

    Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you, I got all teary eyed.

  3. sitting at my desk doing a happy dance for you!! EEEE i am so so proud of you and like i said, if anyone deserves this more than anyone its YOU YOU YOU!!!!!!!! ive been prayin so much for you these past few months !!!

    i dont like to hear you lost your sparkle!!! makes me sad and now i know you will be all sparkly and shiny again like Edward Cullen makes me OVER THE MOON EXCITED AND HAPPY!!!!

    I CANNOT WAIT to hear all about this new fantastic job AND AND AND AND to toast to it with DRINKS when you all get here and i get to squeeze you and love you and hug you all!!!!!

    so so so so happy for you words cant even describe!!


  4. This is soooo amazing Shalyn!

    God never lets us down and you are a testament to what faith can achieve!

    Wish you all the best in your new ventures, and may every day be a whole new adventure in itself!

  5. Wow, what an absolutely amazing answered prayer and blessing from God!!! It is incredible how He can work in our lives to remind us He is there and not to give up!! So excited for you sweet girl!

  6. So incredibly happy for you Shay!!!!! You deserve this so much! So do your presh eyelids and hubby to having more time with you :) xoxoxoxoxoo YAY!

  7. what an awesome story! we serve such an awesome God!

  8. I couldn't help but smile while reading this post. GOD. IS. GOOD.
    So happy for you and the exciting opportunities that trusting Him has led you to! Congrats!! :)

  9. This is entirely amazing and I coulnd't be more happy for you. You clearly deserve a break in life and it seems that this not only will be a break, but will fulfill you in every way!

    Also, I tend to think "full circle" and I whole-heartedly believe that the marketing job you're leaving... and sad to leave.... Well, that's the position that someone else out there has been praying for. And you just opened up that opportunity for them to fulfull their dreams!

    Truly amazing. I've hope you've been sleeping better knowing that everything's slowly falling into place!

  10. so happy for you! this is a truly amazing story and glad you are getting your "sparkle" back :) SMILE FACES ROCK!

  11. i am so, so, so happy for you! you truly deserve it! God answers prayers! Congrats on your dream job!!!!!

  12. God's timing, girl! I am learning all about that, myself right now. ;) This story made me cry. I have no idea who you are, just found your blog recently, but I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU. I know what it's like to be run ragged and have the life drained out of you and you just wake up one day wondering what happened to YOU. Good luck and congratulations! :)

  13. Congratulations, beautiful! First and foremost, don't you hate when people say "you look tired". You and I both know that's a nice way of saying "Wow, you've looked better!"

    Anyway, I think this is a great opportunity for you and good things DEFINITELY come to those that are patient enough to wait (even if it's through a storm...) I am so happy for you!

  14. Ah I am so so so happy for you!!! This is such a great job for you and I LOVED how you told the whole story, I got all teary eyed just picturing you guys dance on the couch!! Can't wait to ear all about it!! Congrats!!!!

  15. OK, wow. I read this thinking we are living a somewhat similar life right now. I don't know if you saw my post or not, but I got my dream job in Las Vegas and Friday is my last day too. And I move next Thursday (crazy).

    I actually found out about the job because my BFF saw the job posting via facebook. AND my interview was over Skype. Seriously, crazy! I wake up every day still thinking "is this really happening to me?" It's sad, but I feel like something this good and great cannot be happening because I'm so used to things not going my way.

    I am so happy for you! And I wish you the best. I know you don't have to move to another state for your job, but new adventures can sometimes be overwhelming too, so good luck. I know you'll be great!

    This experience in my life has just reinforced to me that EVERYTHING happens for a reason and there is a plan bigger than we know for us. XOXO Shay! So thrilled.

  16. SHAY! I'm so happy for you!!! :) I know you've been having an incredibly difficult year, and I have been waiting patiently for this kind of post to happen for you! I'm so excited for you to start your new job and to continue making your photography business AMAZING (you're SO TALENTED!). I know you're going to do amazing things, and I'm seriously so excited for you! You deserve the best of the best in this world, and I think you're on your way to getting it! :) :) :) :) :)

  17. This brought tears to my eyes! Tears for you & my heart hurts knowing that whatever you & Drew are going through, has really taken its toll. But, tears of joy as well! Congratulations on your job! That is so very exciting!!!

  18. I just cannot wait to wait you get your sparkle back at Hey Sweet Pea! Props to twitter for bringing it all together, didn't know God was into twitter?? Thanks for being a positive encouragement and sharing your story of how with prayer, you can overcome! I am so so so happy for you !!

  19. God is so, SO good!! And I am soo happy for you! This post is going to bring encouragement to so many people, of that I'm sure :)

  20. I am so proud of you! You DESERVE this little bear and it couldnt have happened to a better person!!!

    I LOVE you to the moon and back and then back to the moon again! AND DDHP too!!


  21. Oh I am just SO happy for you. You deserve this.

    This post is really inspiring too. I love it. It gives me hope that the right job will come to me eventually too. It just sucks being in the middle, just going through the motions while you're waiting for something else, and that's now how life should be.

    You are awesome and like I said before, I am so, so happy for you! CONGRATULATIONS!

  22. I adore Elise! You are a perfect fit for them:) Congratulations!!!!

  23. Many many many congratulations to you! Always so wonderful to hear when a dream job works out for someone and just the right time. Enjoy your new job!

  24. Shay this is amazing! I am sooooo so happy for you!!! It's awesome what prayer can do :)

  25. Shay! I'm so happy to read this post this morning! I've been thinking about you and wondering how you've been because I know you've had some rough patches over the last few months! I loved reading about the synchronicity of your new job offer (woot woot- congratulations!); it really does sound like everything fell into place as it should have. I'm so happy for you and so glad to know that you're pursuing your passion!

    Finally, God deserves so much credit here. He is so faithful! As I was reading this post, I got goosebumps at the thought of you praying to Him fervently under the dark sky; I love that He does whatever He needs to do in order to get our attention...and wow, does He deliver!

    So happy for you, Shay. Now go and kick some butt! :)

    Much love to you! xoxo

  26. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! and SOO SOOO excited for you!!! Couldnt have happened to a more perfect or deserving person. they are LUCKY to have you

  27. Congratulations! That's is so exciting Shalyn. I am so thrilled for you!! It's so nice to hear that the dream jobs are out there and they can be found. I can't wait to hear all about it.

  28. Congratulations!!! He is pretty amazing, isn't he?! I love seeing prayer in action, which is exactly what happened here. I'm so excited/happy for you. What little I know about you, you are going to do great! It's just in you and who you are!

  29. This post brought me to tears! I am beyond happy and excited for you!!! Best of luck in your new role! So jealous you get to work from home.

  30. So very very excited for you! I know it's hard to be patient (Lord knows that I know), but look where it got you-- the perfect place! (This gives me hope!) Congratulations, Shae. I know this could not have happened to a better person!

  31. So happy for you sweet girl!!!!! You deserve this! :o)

  32. I love you sweet friend, my creative photographer, most of all my sister in Christ! I am so happy for you! God is taking you places that you could never imagine! Continue to follow him! SO PROUD OF YOU!!xoxo

  33. GOD IS SO GOOD!!! So extremely happy for you sweet friend!!! Jeremiah 29:11 <3

  34. ah!!! congratulations!! you SO so SO deserve this! you will do AMAZING at this position.

    i've been following your blog for awhile and i feel really connected to you even though i realize this is "just blogging". i've read about your struggles financially with your student loans/life and just trying to make it. THAT IS MY LIFE! honestly, it is. i'm struggling a ton and a lot of the people i know IRL can't relate to working hard to make ends meet and working hard to move on to something better. i've lost touch with my relationship with God the past few years. i don't know if i felt more confidence in my decisions without him or what happened but until a few weeks ago i hadn't prayed in almost three years. THREE YEARS. i recently started praying for guidance and peace in my situation a few times a week. and i already feel like a small weight has lifted off my shoulders. i know i can't expect changes over night but i know that God will take me where i need to be. reading your blog has been so inspirational to me. i can't even begin to tell you. this post and your posts in the path motivate me to keep trucking, make me feel like i'm not alone, and to try my best. in a way, this post is a sign of guidance for me from God. thank you for sharing so much with you readers and being an open book. i don't have the courage to do the same a lot of times, honestly. so yeah, thank you thank thank you! i am so so excited for you and it's been great to see how God works when it's the right time. if success was easy, we'd all be successful right? your hard work is payin off girl!

  35. I'm so happy for you girl! What an amazing answer to prayer. I love how God can use even something like social media to get our attention! Best of luck on your new adventure!

  36. SHAYBAYBAYBAYBAYBAY!! This just made my heart so so so so SOOOOO happy for you! You, my dear, deserve this opportunity more than anyone I know and don't EVER doubt that!! I'm so excited for you!! You are going to do GREAT things in this world!! I love you to itty, bitty, teeny, tiny little muffin pieces! MWAH!

  37. Good things come to those who wait. Romans 12:12. Congratulations and I hope your doing better! More time for what really matters!

  38. i seriously got a little choked up reading this!! how amazing is He. answered prayers are simply beautiful blessings. i'm very very very happy for you, shalyn! i pray and wish you all the luck in this new chapter :)

  39. AMAZING! Congratulations!!! :)

  40. Congratulations. This is such wonderful news. You deserve it/ :)

  41. Congrats! I got teary eyed when you found out about the job! So great for you!!!

  42. shay bay you are such an awesomespice writer!!! i love this and i am so over the moon happy for you!! you are going to the sparkliest shiniest little work ever!

    love love love you!!!

  43. I'm so so sooo happy for you Shay!! God is so good!

  44. Congratulations on the new job! That's so exciting!

  45. That quote was oh so true for me, thank you for posting it! Congrats on your NEW job and how things are going these deserve it all! Yay social media too! Love how you express yourself too! :)

  46. Congratulations and best of luck! Isn't it wonderful when things fall into place...especially when it seems like everything around you is falling apart. I was in a similar situation this year and I just started a GREAT job in July. I'm a believer that everything works out. You have to go through tough times sometimes and you always come out stronger!

  47. CONGRATULATIONS! I am very happy for you. I feel like I am in the exact same place you were in. I needed to hear this. I need that "sparkle" again. There has got to be hope for me. I have faith there is!

  48. Yay, that's amazing! God is good :)

  49. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, but I cried like a baby through this whole post!! I am SO SO happy for you, Shalyn!!! What a true blessing from God!!! You deserve it!! Congrats!!

  50. So awesome. So happy for you :) sweet sweet post.

  51. I read this whole thing and loved EVERY single word! Congratulations to you!!!!!!!! I can't even begin to tell you how much respect and admiration I have for you. I have struggled so hard this past year. Between finding myself, re-building my life, chasing my passions, and spending the majority of my time at a job that does nothing for me. It's been tough and I've kept feeling that push. The push to just take the leap of faith again and chase my dreams.

    Life is too short. You are such a passionate and talented person and I can "hear" it in this post how truly happy you are. God has His plan for you, and this is His path :) Best wishes as your new journey begins! I'll be thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers, sweet Shalyn! :) xoxo

  52. That is such an amazing opportunity and wow how the stars lined up for you. Congrats girl, I'm so happy for you.

  53. Wow!!!! That is SO amazing!!!!! CONGRATS!!!! :)

    I do believe everything happens for a reason but I also do believe in the power of prayer!! That you for sharing this story, it really is inspiring!! I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes while reading!!


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