Monthly Archives: July 2014

Let’s All Be Brave

Let's All Be Brave, a review | Faith and Composition

I almost hesitate to tell you how I met author Annie Downs. In truth, it’s a little bit crazy on my part and a lot of goodness on God’s part. But because the opportunity mirrors the message in her newest book, Let’s All be Brave, I’ll share it with you.

A few months ago, I downloaded and devoured the first few sample chapters of Let’s All be Brave (download your sample chapters here). From the first page, I felt such truth in Annie’s words. She spoke with beauty and conviction about finding the courage to pursue the God-given gifts, the hope-against-hope dreams planted deep within.

When I finished the sample, I felt the strangest tug in my spirit to reach out to her. Because there’s this book project on my heart, and frankly, I’m terrified of pursuing it. Terrified I’ll fail, terrified of the critics, terrified that it will take so much more than I have to give. So I’ve shelved it. Year after year it sits in the back of my mind and collects dust, imprisoned there by fear that enslaves.

But Annie’s words were like a breath of fresh air blowing into those dark recesses, brushing away the dust. Those first few chapters of Let’s All be Brave lit embers of courageous faith in my spirit. I was at a point in my dreams and with this blog that it felt like her words were written directly for me.

Let's All Be Brave, a review | Faith and Composition

So I took a deep breath and reached out to Annie. And through coincidence, God’s providential timing or a combination of both, she and I sat down together just one night later to discuss writing, publishing and the importance of being authentic. After the stage lights had dimmed on a Girls of Grace conference, and the crew began loading the bus to take the team to the next city in their tour, we sat on a bench and chatted like old friends. Because that’s what you get with Annie; she’s a real-deal, full-of-life, vivacious personality who blends the right amount of humor with a heaping dose of honest authenticity and a whole lotta truth.

Crack the spine of Let’s All be Brave, and you’ll see what I mean. Annie uses scripture and real-life anecdotes to share the powerful truth that God made you on purpose, He made you to be brave, and He will equip you to do that which you’re called to do. She then cheers you on as you discover those truths in your own life. Each page is written to inspire God-given courage. Just listen:

My prayer for you today is that you will open the eyes of your heart to the map and the next brave thing and the step you need to start. Tell someone your dream. Maybe even at the bottom of this page, or in the margin, you can write that first step. Make that first move to research or learn or pray about the thing that is like a God-struck match lit on your insides.

Maybe for you, it’s writing a note. Singing a song. Making a phone call. Having a conversation. Composing a story. Writing a check. Booking that trip, Sending an e mail. Going on a date. Reading a book. Signing up.

I’m trying to list as many options as possible, but you know the thing God is doing in your life better than I do. It’s time to get quiet before the Lord and ask him what it looks like for you to live a life of courage today. To start.

Just start.  (excerpt page 30)

And that’s just the beginning. Throughout the book Annie will encourage you to step out in bravery as she shares stories of her own journey and gives you the courage to do the same. This book will light a fire within. I promise.

But don’t just take my words for it, hear it straight from Annie. And after you’ve listened to Annie’s heart, click here to purchase Let’s All Be Brave now!

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All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted.  

Art Print GIVEAWAY and Welcoming Baby C!


An Art Print GIVEAWAY with Faith and Composition

This giveaway is now closed. The winner as selected by is Jamy Smith. Congratulations Jamy! Please e mail me at shalene(at)shaleneroberts(dot)com with your address, so I can get the print shipped out to you!

On Thursday, July 17, my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first child into the family. We couldn’t be more excited for them, and I can hardly wait to meet little baby C! I’ll be taking his newborn photos soon, and I’ll share a few pictures from the session later, if they’ll let me.

In the meantime, I designed a nursery art print to adorn the little guy’s room. And now, I’m thrilled to share one with you! The 8×10 art print is the perfect way to deck a little boy’s nursery or the walls of a playroom. The tone-on-tone design features a hand-drawn deer, with a scripture from Jeremiah 1:5. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

An Art Print GIVEAWAY with Faith and Composition

The gallery-quality Giclée print is available for purchase from Society6 in a variety of sizes. It is printed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100-percent cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper. The piece is also available as a stretched canvas.

And because I appreciate each of you so much, I’m giving one print away to a lucky reader! Hang it in your son’s room or a nature-themed little girl’s room, or frame it and gift it to an expectant friend or new mom. Wherever it hangs, the art piece will be a visual reminder of the goodness of God! Entering is easy!

An Art Print GIVEAWAY with Faith and Composition


1) Subscribe to this blog. (Submit your e mail address and then click “I Want to Follow F&C” on the sidebar at the right. If you’re already a subscriber, then skip to number 2.)

2) Leave a comment telling me you subscribe!

3) For additional entries you can:
– Follow Faith&Composition on Instagram
– Like Faith&Ccomposition on FB,
– Share the contest to your own social media accounts.

Each separate entry requires a separate comment telling me what you did, so be sure to come back here and leave a separate comment for each entry. The lucky winner will be selected from the comments via

Good luck, friends! 

This contest will close at midnight on Sunday, July 27. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 28. Please note that the giveaway art print was printed by Miller’s, not Society 6. The giveaway print is printed on high-quality Fuji Pearl paper with a linen texture. The Society 6 prints are printed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100-percent cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper.

Faith and Composition

To receive more encouraging posts like this, follow F&C on BlogLovin’ or enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!”

All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted.  

When God Interrupts

I’m sharing a story today of an event that happened earlier this week. It was an immense encouragement to me! I hope it blesses you as well, and shows you how God’s interruptions are better than our best-laid plans. 

When God Interrupts | Faith and Composition

I’d gathered the kids and loaded them in the car, arms weighed down with sippy cups, packed lunches and two tag-along baby dolls. We headed out, a bit late, but with enough time to slip into church for Bible study … or so I thought. The drive was uneventful. But a couple hundred yards shy of our exit, one of my rear tires went flat.

I hobbled the car onto the shoulder and reached for my wallet so I could call roadside assistance, a bit dejected that we would miss Bible study and a little frustrated to be dealing with the hassle of auto maintenance. That’s when I saw it: one hundred feet ahead, a truck with a flatbed trailer was pulled over. I never saw him maneuver off the road. Immediately, I sensed that he had stopped to assist us.

“I think he’s going to help,” I told the kids.

Sure enough, white tail lights signified that he was reversing. Kind eyes set into a tan face topped with blonde hair jogged up to my car. My spirit was immediately at ease.

“I have a flat,” I said, stating the obvious.

He ran back to his truck to grab a jack and gloves and returned, saying something to reference God. Then he immediately set to work, searching for tools to unload the spare. Meanwhile I stood on the shoulder, watching cars careening by, signaling some to move into another lane.

As I stood there, I shot up a prayer: “God, what are you teaching me here ?” I asked. “Help me to see what you want me to learn.”

A few minutes later, as he wrangled to free the spare tire, he introduced himself as Billy. He told me he was retired from AT&T and now provides transport services for oil and gas. It was also in those brief minutes of dialogue that he told me he had been listening to the book of John while driving. My heart leapt … God was not only providing me with immediate provision, but He was also using this seemingly inconvenient interruption to minister to my spirit.

Nearly half a mile behind us, a courtesy patrol car was pulled over onto the shoulder. Within a few minutes, he had pulled up behind us. Billy poked his head from beneath my car with a smile. “Good,” he said. “I prayed he would show up, and here he is!” He slapped me a high five.


When God Interrupts | Faith and Composition

With courtesy patrol assisting, they had my tire changed in a matter of minutes. And as quickly as he’d appeared, Billy began gathering his things. I thanked him, gave him a hug, and confirmed his name. “Billy, right?” I asked. “Billy, with Vision Transport,” he said with a smile. “We transport more than one vision.”

Still reeling a bit from the obvious revealing of God’s provision, I walked toward the driver’s side door … and then Billy prayed! Right there, on the side of the interstate, this man lifted my family and I up in prayer to The Lord. He prayed for protection, for blessing, that we would be a light. And as his words spilled out, tears filled my eyes.

Looking back, I wish I had echoed a prayer to bless he and his family, but I was still so surprised by the events that I could hardly utter an appropriate “thank you.”

And then with hardly a moment more, he was jogging back to his truck. I quickly snapped a picture of his license plate so I might be able to find him and send him a thank you later. And then he was gone before I could even maneuver my car back onto the highway. (Mysteriously, when I viewed the picture later, the license plate number was completely smudged and unreadable.)

When I returned home later that day, the events and God’s goodness still fresh on my heart, I opened to John 1 and began reading:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-14)

Billy was a physical manifestation of the light to me today. Whether God ordained his path, or he just happened to be passing by at the very moment I needed him, I don’t know. But I do know that Billy spoke the Word, he testified to the light, and he revealed truth and grace to me and my children in a very tangible way.

Given the choice, I wouldn’t have chosen the circumstances. But God had other plans, and His interruptions are better than our best-laid intentions. They always are. God interrupted Moses’ in the desert with a burning bush, Mary with an angel, and Paul with a blinding light. He plucked David from the field and set him on a course to kingship, and He interrupted the life of Esther to eventually crown her queen. When God interrupts, lives are changed.

Billy may never know what an immense blessing he was to me and my kids, but God used him to reveal His protection and His provision in the most unexpected way. May you too, be encouraged today, when you encounter interruptions and inconveniences. When your day doesn’t go as planned, when unexpected circumstances arise, I pray you may handle them with truth and grace. And I pray that you may have eyes to see God’s hand working in the midst of it all.

Proverbs 16:9 | Faith and Composition

I feel I should add that I don’t know if Billy was an angel. I think he was probably a flesh-and-blood Christ follower who saw a need and met it with grace. That’s what my mind says. But there’s a part of my heart that thinks otherwise. The book of Hebrews tells us that angels are sent to minister to us, and that’s exactly what Billy did. Maybe, just maybe, Billy was an angel sent to minister to us in our need.

Faith and Composition

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All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted.


Unmasking the Mess: How to Invite Others into the Heart of Your Home

Unmasking the Mess: How to Invite Others into the Heart of Your Home | Faith and Composition

Dear sweet friend, you stopped by my house today, and I welcomed you in. There were a few piles of clean, need-to-be-folded laundry on the dining room table, a couch fort in the living room and none less than five baby dolls, a few balls, and a ride-along haphazardly abandoned in the hall.

A few years ago, I would have feigned a headache or pretended to be late for an urgent appointment instead of opening the door wide. Not so long ago, the mere thought of letting you right into the imperfection of my home—so common and normal in this stage of life—was a cause of anxiety. Because the pressure to be Pinterest-perfect was loud … the well-intentioned blogs, the best-face-forward Facebook updates, the polished mom-next-door.

So I’d vacuum every room, sweep the floor, set coffee on a tray, arrange homemade snacks for the kids, light a candle and spew a few short words at my children if they so much as misplaced a toy before you arrived.

I’d clean up for you, dear friend, because in a world of glossy magazines and styled Instagram images, it felt expected.

But even more than that expectation, I have to admit that I like preparing for your visits. I enjoy creating a space that shows I care, expressing tangible appreciation for your time and conversation. I like the arrangement of little details that communicate the fact that I care about your friendship. Details like flowers, candles, coffee, swept floors and picked-up rooms.

There’s nothing wrong with that; creating a space of beauty can be a gift you give someone. But here’s the thing … in polishing my home, I’d often hide my heart. Because it’s not easy to be honest about the reality of this life with littles when surface appearances betray any hardship.

Unmasking the Mess: How to Invite Others into the Heart of Your Home | Faith and Composition

Parenting is glorious, but its also hard, and in the midst of the little years, it can be pretty messy. That’s both the grit and the glory of it. And you know what, dear friend … I want to invite you into the heart of it all. Because I long for honesty, transparency and authenticity.

And I think you do too. 

Perfection puts on a mask. It hides hardships, and pushes struggles beneath the rug. It builds walls of isolation, and I’m not interested in building walls. I’m more interested in tearing them down.

I want to be honest and transparent as a mom; I long to be authentic as a friend. The mess of sticky fingers and toy-strewn floors is a reality in this season of life for an average week-day morning, and I don’t want that reality to hinder friendship. In fact, I’d like to think it will strengthen it. Because when I remove the mask of perfection in my home and my heart, it gives you the freedom to do the same. 

Unmasking the Mess: How to Invite Others into the Heart of Your Home | Faith and Composition

The great C. S. Lewis said: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

So if you stop by on any given weekday, I’m going to throw caution to the wind, open the door wide and welcome you in with a little dose of honesty and a big heaping of warmth. You’ll likely find handprints on glass, Legos littering the floor, crayons dropped haphazardly and tiny fingers needing help all.the.time. But I’m pulling the curtain back on perfection. So come in, take off your mask and kick up your feet. You may have to push aside a couch fort, but you’re welcome as you are, right here in this beautiful mess of parenthood. And who knows … as you take a look around, you might just find that you laugh and say, “You too? I thought I was the only one.”

You still have until midnight to enter the quilt giveaway with Phoebe Flock. Click here for all the details!


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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Now available on Amazon

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A Quilt GIVEAWAY with Phoebe Flock!


A year and a half ago, I started this little blog as a way to merge faith and motherhood with my creative passions for the written word and photography. I followed a longing in my heart and the echo of a still, small voice, and the result has been an immense blessing. But perhaps the sweetest, most surprising gift has been some of the relationships I have formed through this little online space. And today, I’m excited to announce a giveaway that has the added bonus of introducing you to five such women! These like-minded bloggers have all teamed up to bring you a can’t-miss giveaway, and I’m thrilled to be a part! Sound good? It’s going to be fun! So click on the images above to explore each beautiful space, but first, let me introduce you to Joanna.

An enthusiastic momma and inspiring creative, Joanna is the kind of gal that will change your life in one conversation. She has a contagious enthusiasm for beauty and artfully draws you in to her perspective on life through her BLOG and CRAFT.

And now, Joanna is opening her heart and giving you a chance to win one of her handcrafted quilts! This quilt is sure to be an heirloom for years to come.

TO ENTER: Simply click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link at the end of this post. But first, a little bit about Joanna.


Faith and Composition Revisionary Life And Babies Don't Keep Pencilled Daydream Phoebe Flock On Neutral Ground

Why did you start Phoebe Flock and where does the name come from?

i started it because i love creating things. and i was running out of space in my house and people to give things to.

phoebeflock was actually first my blog name, then my business name. i love birds. and i also love the name phoebe. if our first born had been a girl, he would have been “phoebe.” one of the reasons i started my blog was because i really value community and blogs are just that: community. i thought of a group of birds. a flock. a community.

so, there you go. phoebe flock.


What got you started with sewing?

i had an idea for what i wanted the nursery bedding to look like when i was pregnant with my son, samuel. i had pictures in my head and no idea how to make them a reality. my mom came to visit and she helped. she gave me tools. she listened and instructed. we sewed and sewed, and soon i had finished pieces in my hands. my ideas had become tangible and i was hooked. i had more pictures and concepts rolling around in my head and i wanted to hold them in my hands too. so i dug in.

What or who inspires you the most?

definitely stuff that God has made. i love seeing the color combinations He has put into place. dark grey tree bark with aqua lichen and an orange mushroom. the way a tree bends in the wind–toward the setting sun. the 5 blues on a bluebird. all of that. and the list is never exhausted–you’ve never seen it all. He made such cool stuff.

the need is also inspirational. my daughter wants a sleeping bag for her doll. hmm … how can i use half ideas i already have in order to make something useful for her? without the need i’m sometimes stumped.

a need or a picture. one of those things has to be present in order for me to be inspired.


Tell us about your favorite project ever.

so difficult to choose! i think i’d have to pick the first quilt i made. i made it for samuel, including scrap fabric from so many places–jason’s shirts, and auntie’s shirt here and there, some left-over things from his crib bedding. it is not a well made quilt at all, but it has a whole pile of love in it. and i remember how satisfying it was to see all of the tiny squares become bigger and bigger pieces. we all somehow end up under that quilt when we’re sick. it’s a good quilt–already falling apart, but good.


What would you say is the purpose of creativity in our lives, your life?

God is the Creator. He created it all. everything around, and in, us. when we create something, we are echoing His creative work. not only are we using gifts and materials He has given, but we are reminding ourselves, and the world that, yes, we are made in the image of God. He created–and, on a much lesser scale–i create.

the day-to-day purposes of the creative process is fleshed out in so many different ways in each of our lives– mine included. putting my creativity to work brings me joy and satisfaction.

i love creating. i think it’s one of His best ideas.


And here is the quilt you all are playing for! Thank you so much for supporting the lovely Joanna! Don’t forget to check out her SHOP.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest ends at midnight on Monday, July 14.

Faith and Composition

To receive more encouraging posts like this, follow F&C on BlogLovin’ or enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!”

All content on F&C is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted.