The year was 2011.
My first baby was 8 weeks old.
And I’d just left my job at a bustling office full of other girls my age where we lunched and laughed, giggled and gossiped, and created inspiring work that turned into real, tangible results.
Instead, I now spent my days (and nights) bobbing around a tiny track in our one-bedroom condo, from kitchen to living room and back again. Nearly wearing a path in the carpet and cork tile floors with the repeated padding of my bare feet.
Sometimes, between nursing sessions and bouts of colic screams, we’d bounce through the Christmas displays in Fred Meyer instead to get out of the house.
Though we did meet up with the moms and babies in our beloved birth class, and my friends from work did graciously stop by with dinner…
Many days the only sound I heard was my own voice cooing and singing and that of my baby — usually crying.
While those were magical first moments, the ones where the number of days and weeks still count, and everything is new, I could, after all, only take so many DSLR pictures of my darling infant.
So somehow, despite being nearly delirious with exhaustion, or maybe because of it, I found the time and brain space to start a blog.
Those were the days of link parties and blogging carnivals where we shared one another’s work.
When bloggers formed real relationships with their readers and each other via the comments section, email, and Facebook groups.
I loved that I could connect to a virtual community when I couldn’t easily plug into a physical one in that season of four (or zero) sporadic naps a day.
But what I loved most of all was my ability to help my readers experience a shift in perspective, and the resulting life transformation.
The ideas didn’t have to be new, but if I shared my authentic experience with them, it could help someone see their life and potential in a new light.
Like blogger Stacy Meyer did for me when she guest-posted about how she and her husband had paid off 100% of their debt.
Until that moment, it never occurred to me that paying off debt was possible in our lifetime, let alone in less than a year.
The trajectory of my family was forever changed. All of a sudden there was a whole new world of possibility laid out before me.
And I loved (and still love) helping other moms shake up their long-held paradigms to create something more spectacular than they ever dreamed possible.
So whenever my wee boy would finally exhaust himself, it was curled up on my chest as I sat in our hand-me-down of a hand-me-down pink Lazy Boy and dared not move.
In those long hours of holding my little one, I’d sit clutching my first smart-ish phone and learn the art of blogging, while wondering when he’d wake up so I could finally go pee.
Blogging wasn’t something I ever really thought about; it was more of a compulsion.
There was no other way.
I had to write.
Write about all things I was learning in this strange new world of motherhood and homemaking I was suddenly immersed in.
And broadcast it to the world.
I wrote about making my own natural cleaning products, cooking granola from scratch, knitting a hat for my baby, saving money in our budget, and managing my life as a working stay-at-home mom.
Most of which I knew almost nothing about, but I was so fresh and new I didn’t even know what I didn’t know.
Somehow back then, fear didn’t hold me back.
I hadn’t yet been beaten down by the nearly continual waves of stress and grief that life can bring (that’s one of the beauties of being 27).
Because somehow I innately knew what I hold even more deeply to be true now, that…
When we tell our story — any story with honesty and vulnerability — there’s always something our fellow humans can relate to, learn from, and be reminded that they’re not alone.
Since those early days, more than 9.1 million people have read my work on my website alone.
Over time, I gained a following with 25,000+ readers getting my emails each week.
And I’ve had the joy of coaching thousands of women and couples to budget, pay off debt, and save money.
Along the way, my baby grew up into a grinning, green-eyed young man who nearly looks me in the eye (and he even sleeps through the night now), and his sister’s doing her best to keep right up with him.
What I’ve lost in wide-eyed exuberance, I like to think I’ve gained in solid writing and coaching skills.
Now my kids go to school all day and often the only sound I hear is my own voice talking to the dogs.
It’s now almost 11 years to the day since I started GrowingSlower, and I’m still here, clicking away at the keyboard, sharing my life with you, and loving every minute of it!
Who’s it for?
GrowingSlower is a publication and community for frazzled moms trying to figure out faith, family, and finances with more focus and less frenzy.
If you believe deep down that your family is your deepest and highest calling in this season of life. They give meaning to your days and light to your soul, and yet —
If you have to tell them one more time to chew with their mouths closed, take their fingers out of their milk, stop licking their plate, and for heaven’s sake take their dirty socks off the table (all in the next 3 minutes), or you might just have your very own grown-up temper tantrum
If you are breathless as your kids are growing up way too fast, you see the days slipping by and realize this is your one and only chance to raise them right, but-to-be-honest-most-days-I-feel-like-I’m-failing, and they still can’t even remember to put on a new roll of toilet paper, how will they ever hold down a job?!
If you’re overwhelmed by trying to keep up with everything coming at you and some days, the most satisfying thing you do is clearing off the dryer lent trap (it is so satisfying, isn’t it?) and wonder if you’ll ever feel happy or content or close to God (or your husband for that matter) again
Then GrowingSlower is for you, my friend.
Let’s journey together toward more calm, connection, and creativity.
To tap into the power of God in us and with us
To savor the stillness a bit more, and unclench the to-do lists from our grip
To trust God with peace and joy for our futures (and even more so for our children’s)
What you’ll find here
Here you’ll find all the ways I’ve fallen and gotten back up, and what I’ve learned along the way.
The ways God has pursued me and slowly stripped away who I thought I was and who I wanted to be.
A memoir flavor served up with a little gentle info and inspiration on the side.
What you won’t find are the sterile, corporate articles Google serves up these days that sound like they’ve been written by AI (because many of them have).
Instead, GrowingSlower is something more warm and squishy.
We’re real humans who happen to be connecting via the internet like way back in the good ol’ days of 2011.
Where we’re reclaiming a place where we can show up as our whole, tender, human selves
Where you walk away with a small nod and a smile and say, “Yes this,” and remember you’re not alone
Where you get encouraged and equipped to grow in your faith, work, health, creativity, purpose, motherhood, marriage, time management, and finances
Because these are the things that ultimately work together to bring meaning to your life.
Subscribe Now (& Pay What You Can)
Subscribe to GrowingSlower to get all the best new posts and podcasts delivered directly to your inbox so you can get the encouragement you need on the regular. You can also comment and chat with the community as we encourage one another.
But here’s the thing…
We all value what we pay for.
If you’re committed to your growth in the areas of faith, family, and finances — let your brain know how important this is to you and raise your hand for the Annual or Founding Member Subscription.
You’ll be a lot more likely to read, listen, take action, and get results over the next 12 months and beyond.
Plus, your paid subscription helps keep GrowingSlower free for moms who might otherwise struggle to pay for a membership.
It also helps this publication remain an ad-free, distraction-free zone, so you can stay focused on what really matters. Thanks in advance for supporting the work I do here!
GrowingSlower with Shannon Clark is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts, support your commitment to your own growth, and keep this an ad-free space — consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.