My name is Vanessa Ebel and I am a fashion stylist. A mom to two beautiful little ones, Jude and Isla. A Pastors wife. An imperfect person in need of grace. I am moved by beauty. I am awakened to life by grace. I am daily amazed and grateful for the life God has blessed me with.
CP: You just launched your own style blog and it’s beautiful! What was the inspiration and motivation behind it?
VE: The dream for Of Beauty & Grace
surfaced over the past year and a half as I was working as a fashion stylist. I really believe that I hit a place in life where I needed a creative outlet. I have always loved fashion and felt like God had given me a natural eye for putting things together. However, I was uncomfortable with the thought of putting myself out there. By nature I am more shy and I don’t like to draw attention to myself. Blogging would require vulnerability. A huge risk. I kept going back and forth with the idea until I read a really inspiring book by Jennie Allen called “Restless”
. The book was one of many ways that I felt confirmation to pursue this dream. So after much prayer, hardwork (building a website is no joke for the tech challenged!) and a lot of pushing through my own discomfort I launched Of Beauty & Grace. I have been humbled and amazed to be able to work with professional photographer Rod Foster
. A dear family friend, Rod, and my husband keep me highly entertained during our shoots.
CP: You’re a mom of two and a pastor’s wife. How do you find balance in life?
VE: Balance is something that has absolutely been difficult to navigate in my very full life. I find that I have to be proactive in seeking it out. Balance doesn’t come without intentionality and prioritization. My husband and I have a weekly morning meeting at our favorite restaurant Ellie’s Table so we can go over our weeks together and make sure that our time reflects our hearts priorities. I would highly recommend doing this with your spouse if you are married. We find that it helps us feel connected and allows us to be better stewards of the life and little ones God has entrusted to us. Weekly exercise gives me the energy and stress relief to face the days demands, and I attempt to schedule that in as often as I can. I also try to eat a healthy diet but I have the most insatiable sweet tooth. I am continually trying to go sugar free. Inevitably I fail, pretty much everyday after the kids are down. But I do keep trying! My family will ALWAYS have top priority! My son Jude has a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis that gives him learning delays and special needs. He alone requires over 15 hours a week of in home therapy and a busy schedule to orchestrate. My husband has a full plate as a Pastor so it is important to me to keep him covered in prayer, well loved, and championed. Again I fail at this all the time too. Grace is abundant in our marriage as we both are quick to recognize our inabilities and brokenness. Having a son like Jude, the biggest gift ever, keep us keenly aware of our need for Jesus. We know we cannot parent he or our daughter Isla well out of our own strength. We seek God for it on a daily basis. Needless to say I definitely don’t have it all figured out but I am trying to improve always!
CP: As a pastor’s wife how do you remain true to yourself when so many look to you as the example of perfection?
VE: Pastors wife! Oh how it means so many different things to different people. The expectations or ideas of what that is and how it looks vary so greatly from church to church. God has been gracious to me in allowing me to realize early on that I will never be or can be all that some may expect of me. My approval and value all come from Jesus. I am only of use to anyone as I keep close to him. He alone knows my heart, my motives, and my intentions. I do feel exceptionally blessed to be a part of such an amazing church, The Shoreline,
because they really model that same heart. The freedom, love, support, and encouragement I receive there is refreshing.
CP: How would you describe your style and what inspires your look the most?
VE: My style is ever evolving. Count me among the millions who find inspiration from the cool effortless style of Blair Eadie, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alexa Chung, and Kate Bosworth. I love creating a statement with an outfit. I love playing with colors, textures, and silhouettes till I find just the right amount of drama. I enjoy taking risks all the while achieving a look that is effortless. As a stylist I love creating a mood and telling a story that can be captured in a single moment.
CP: What are Favorite stores, brands and products?
VE: Favorite Stores: Bloomingdales
, and of course Anthropologie
. Favorite brands: Some higher end ones include Maje
, Alice and Olivia
, Current Elliott
, Rag and Bone
, and Frame Denim
. The more affordable brands I like are Madewell
, Bailey 44
, Free People
, and good old Target
. Favorite products: YSL Touche Eclat, clarisonic, Shu Umera eyelash curler, coconut body butter from TJ’s, ice cubes gum, and my Maui Jim sunglasses.
CP: What do you hope your reader gets from following your blog?
VE: I hope that readers who come to Of Beauty & Grace find the inspiration to lead their most beautiful lives.
CP: What has been your biggest struggle as a mother?
VE: The biggest struggle I have faced as a mother was getting my sons diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis and seeing him struggle as an infant for 6 months with up to a hundred seizures a day. The lessons of surrender, hope, suffering, grace, brokenness, and redemption that came from this time in my life are unparalleled. I am forever humbled and grateful for Gods provision through out such a trying time. An ineffective brain surgery and a miracle soon following, my sons seizures stopped. The relief we felt was tremendous. Life with my little guy is a daily joy, however it is still very trying. Tuberous Sclerosis comes with a host of behavioral issues that we are always working on. As a result patience and daily surrender are my life’s lesson.
CP: What has been your greatest joy as a mother?
VE: I find the greatest joy as a mother when I see Jude and Isla play together and enjoy each other! Years and hours of therapy have been built into such a simple task, so when it happens and I get to see the ever blossoming love between those too develop I just melt.
CP: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own blog?
VE: Do it. Stop talking, thinking, and analyzing it. Yes, it is tons of work, way more than I thought. However, it is worth it. You will grow as a person and see the world differently. Plus you will meet tons of cool people with common interests.
CP: What is the last act of kindness someone has shown you?
VE: My husband Seth, waking up with the kids, bringing me coffee in bed, editing my blog post all the while getting our kids ready for summer school this morning. He is and always will be the greatest gift God has ever given me.
Check out some of Vanessa’s looks from her blog “Of Beauty & Grace“.