Simplifying & An Opportunity For You!


Hello friends,

This has been a hard few weeks for me.  It seems like the longer I go without writing, the more I lack the desire to write.  I’ve been praying, pondering, waiting and listening — but I’m still searching for words.  I’ve had to surrender this space to Him, at least for this season, knowing that I can trust Him with the desires of my heart.  What I write here is meaningless without Him.  And so, I continue to press in, to seek His face, to linger in His presence.

A couple of weeks ago I began reading Crystal Paine’s new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More and Restore Your Passion for Life.  The title drew me in, because that’s how I feel these days.  I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive.  But I know that I have to make changes in my life and to find balance in order to truly function as God has created me.  One thing that God is helping me to become aware of through reading this book is that I have no margin in my life.

“Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.” – Dr. Richard Swenson, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.

I want to live a life of purpose.  In order to do that, I have to choose wisely where I will spend my time and exert my energies.  I need to create margin in my life, so that when I am hit with the unexpected life event or calendar item, there is time enough to deal with it.  Right now, don’t even think of adding anything extra, unforeseen or not.  There is simply no room.

One of the ways I am beginning to create margin in my life is by simplifying the amount of time I spend on line, as well as the people and pages I interact with.

This has been one of the hardest revelations for me to swallow.  But I know that it is needed.  I am beginning this process rather slowly, because it’s so hard for me.  I am an encourager and I want to encourage everyone.  Realistically though, I cannot.  So some things will have to change.

Over the next week or two, I will be deleting many of the blogs I follow on Bloglovin.  Last I checked, I followed over 200 blogs.  OVER 200!  No wonder I’m tired.  I stopped reading most, only had time to skim the others, and only had energy to leave a few words in a comment.  I am giving myself permission to unfollow all of the blogs I followed due to a contest I entered, or the food blogs (whose recipes I never cook), the homeschooling blogs (we aren’t doing well in that area either) or the other blogs that somehow ended up in my reader that have no business being there.  Just seeing all of the unread posts is causing me great anxiety.

As a blogger, I want to hold myself to a higher standard.  I want to interact with you, get to know you, allow your words to sink deep into my heart and purposefully encourage you on your journey.  In order to do that, I must let go.  Again, it’s about margin.  I am growing more and more exhausted as I try to do it all.  If I am ever going to get back to writing, I simply cannot keep going at this pace.

As far as Facebook is concerned, my blog page will remain untouched, and I hope to get more active there beginning in March.  As far as my personal page, I have allowed so many people to follow me there, people I never interact with, or who never interact with me.  Just seeing their posts come through my wall makes me feel like I need to respond.  So, I will be cleaning it up so that it doesn’t appear so overwhelming.  I will also be busy deleting pages that I follow that I never get around to reading.

I must create margin in my life so that I can hear His voice.  My words, apart from Him, are hallow and empty.

I do not believe God is asking me to stop writing.  But I do know that I’m not ready to start writing again at the pace I once was.  Not just yet.  And while I wait, I am asking Him to give me a new plan — for my writing, for the blog, for this beautiful community of writers that I am privileged to know, and for the next book which is already in draft.  I believe He will awaken me to write again, in His timing.  I don’t want to get ahead of Him.  For now, I will commit to post once a week, for The Weekend Brew, but nothing more.  I will read posts that I feel led to read, and do my best to encourage through meaningful comments, where I can.

An opportunity for you!

During my season of rest, I’d love to keep fresh content here.  I know we are all busy and I do not want to mess with the margin in your own life, but if you would like to consider writing a guest post during the months of February, March and April, please let me know.  I would love to hear your heart on how you create margin in your own life, or any other topic on your faith journey that you’d like to share. Please email me at barbie[at]myfreshlybrewedlife[dot]com and I will get back to you.  

I truly appreciate you friends!  Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.

photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani via photopin cc


Seeking beauty in the ordinary and embracing life to the fullest. Thank you for stopping by and come again soon!

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57 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    Oh friend…I get where you are coming from. I just bought Crystal’s book but haven’t read it yet. I applaud your courage!! Hugs to you!!
    Mary recently posted..A snowstorm, a cancellation and an anniversary…

  2. Barbie – please do not feel guilty if you have to delete me from facebook or remove my blog from bloglovin. 🙂 I have little time to read blogs myself. I am praying for you during this season. I felt a little like this last year. God will be faithful to you. I think you left me a comment on my blog recently that said you were feeling broken over the words you’ve not written. I replied there, but not sure if you would see the reply. I know that when the time is right, you will have the words to write and they will help bring healing. Hugs. I read Crystal Paine’s book and thought it was so great and beneficial. I just wanted you to know that it is okay to say enough. You are human!! God is with you during this time. Just blessings and love to you.
    Jamie S. Harper recently posted..Life: Simplified Project #1 update

  3. Cynthia says:

    Hi Barbie!
    Don’t feel bad about not writing. Sometimes, the words in your heart are only meant for you and Jesus–an intimate personal writing upon your heart that cannot be shared with anyone else–just you and the Father. That may mean that you are led to write a post once a month or every 2 weeks or whatever the Father puts on your heart. You belong to Him and He belongs to you–remember this when you are struggling and He will give peace and contentment. Write when you feel pushed by the Father. He knows best! Meanwhile, write in your personal journal and pour-out your longings, hurt and questions to Jesus. He will answer and lead you where you need to be. Well, I have to get into my studio and fill a few orders. Be blessed, on purpose! Joy!
    Cynthia recently posted..God Has Smiled on All of Us~

  4. {{{Barbie}}}

    We all need to step back from time to time and regroup, renew, revive, ect. Our Lord Jesus took time for himself from time to time. The most important thing is that you follow the leading of the Lord for your life where ever that takes you. We’ll still be here.

    Hugs and Blessings,

    ~ Cassandra
    Cassandra M. Stewart (Renaissance Women) recently posted..Happy Birthday to Me

  5. child of God says:

    Hi Barbie,
    This is totally understandable. You can delete me too, no hard feelings at all. I will hold you up in prayer as you navigate your way through this and am hoping Father will give you a new drive to write. 🙂

    Blessings and love.
    child of God recently posted..Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

    • Barbie says:

      Oh friend, I wouldn’t even think of deleting you. You are a prayer warrior, and I need your perspective on life. Thanks for your prayers!

  6. Dayle says:

    Dear Barbie, I’m so with you on this. I’ve been doing some purging and deleting myself, but I stopped, a long time ago, feeling guilty about not spending a lot of time visiting so many blogs. I’ve learned to do what is comfortable for me and I end up visiting different spaces at different times, all within my own comfort zone. It makes a big difference.

    I always enjoy your space and I pray you will find the direction you need in creating those white spaces in your day.
    Dayle recently posted..There’s Always Room for Love

  7. Dayle says:

    Dear Barbie, I’m so with you on this. I’ve been doing some purging and deleting myself, but I stopped, a long time ago, feeling guilty about not spending a lot of time visiting so many blogs. I’ve learned to do what is comfortable for me and I end up visiting different spaces at different times, all within my own comfort zone. It makes a big difference.

    I always enjoy your space and I pray you will find the direction you need in creating those white spaces in your day.
    Dayle recently posted..There’s Always Room for Love

  8. Carrie says:

    Good for you, Barbie! I applaud you for recognizing your need for margin but more, for actually seeking it! Oh, how many times I’ve examined my own life and wanted to change things, but then never did. You motivate me to try! I’d love to guest post but frankly, words are very hard to come by for me as well. Many blessings as you continue your walk, friend!
    Carrie recently posted..They Make Me Want To Do Better

  9. Wanda says:

    Oh Barbie, once again you have managed to write what has only been written in my heart and mind lately. Lately I feel a sense of dread when opening up by RSS reader. I have hit a strange place in this blogging journey. Thanks for giving voice to what I’m feeling.
    Wanda recently posted..His Unfailing Love

    • Barbie says:

      Oh Wanda, I think there are many who feel the same way. I think I’ve felt this way for a long time, I just didn’t recognize it for what it was. May you be refreshed and encouraged as you wait upon Him.

  10. Sarah says:

    I can totally relate to seeing too many unread posts in your reader and getting overwhelmed. When I went through my social media fast last month, I really felt lead to delete a lot of blogs from my feed reader app. I felt the Lord telling me they were distractions meant to get me off track from my true purpose. So I deleted the majority of craft & hobby blogs I followed. For the most part those blogs only ever made me feel bad about my own life & journey. Now that they are gone, I have time to read more encouraging blogs like yours! Ones that truly build up my faith & bring me closer to Jesus instead of farther away. I want to encourage you to take your time! Your loyal readers will still be here when you’re ready to write again! 🙂

    PS – thanks for signing up for my newsletter! I was so encouraged by that!! 🙂
    Sarah recently posted..A Big Announcement!

    • Barbie says:

      I follow a lot of DIY and home blogs, which also can tend to make me feel as if I’m not measuring up. They are the first to go! Blessings to you!

  11. Debbie G. says:

    Thanks for your honesty and I applaud you for doing what needs to be done in your life to bring about balance. In fact, “BALANCE” is my One Word for 2014 and most days, at least once I find myself thinking if what I’m about to do will bring balance. I’m trying and with God’s help I’ll get there.

  12. Rosann says:

    I love you my friend and I support you in whatever you need to do to make life more joy-filled and simplified. I’ve been doing a lot of that myself, lately. Although I haven’t read Crystal’s book yet, but plan to. Continuing to lift you before the Lord in prayer every single day.
    Rosann recently posted..How to Write a Love Letter to Your Husband

  13. Denise says:

    Praying for you.
    Denise recently posted..Little Man

  14. Joan says:

    It sounds like you are setting boundaries, and that is a good thing to do! We can’t accomplish anything worthwhile if we are stretch too thin. I think that God must be preparing you for something special and He is actively using this time to prune you. I’m excited to see what comes of it!

    I’d be more than happy to be a guest writer sometime over the next couple of months. Just let me know if you have a spot for me and I’ll write something just for you!

    Blessings & love, Joan
    Joan recently posted..Sharing His Beauty Blog Link Up

    • Barbie says:

      Thank you so much Joan! I am anxious to see what comes of all of this too! I would LOVE to have you guest post. I will be in touch just a soon as I’ve gathered the other writers and put together a schedule. Hugs!

  15. Barbie-You are one wise woman. I don’t know how so many women seem to be able to do EVERYTHING and do it so darn WELL. I know I can’t. Hope you get clarity soon!

  16. Aileen says:

    I somehow know how you feel, Barbie. Since December, I have also been spending less time on my online activities, and that includes writing on my 2 blogs. You could say, I zoomed out to see things in a better perspective. I’m also giving myself time to deal with the real world and some issues that need attention. In fact, these days, I just browse through the blogs I follow and read those articles that interest and inspire me. I read a lot, but choose which articles I comment on.

    Just to say, whatever you’re doing right now, go on with it. I know that it’s for the best of intentions. I hope to read more inspiring things from you in the near future.

    Blessings to you…
    Aileen recently posted..{Five Minute Friday}: Write

    • Barbie says:

      Thank you so much Aileen. Focusing in on the reality around us is so important. I get so lost sometimes in cyberspace. I hope to be writing again soon. And I’ll be over to visit you soon.

  17. Amy Jung says:

    Good for you…you’re an example to the rest of us. I just recently made a few decisions of my own like this. When too many “tasks” surround blogging, it becomes…well…a task. Let’s make it be fun and freeing again. I am happy to see someone stand up for cutting some of the time out of their online activities. You’ve inspired me here today!
    Amy Jung recently posted..Winter Provision

    • Barbie says:

      You are so right Amy. Blogging had become a task, something I check off my list. I had lost the joy in writing. So, I wait and trust that God will bring it back. Blessings!

  18. Lea says:

    I think it is all about balance Barbie and without it we suffer. I get all out of sorts when my life is out of balance, too much going on and feeling overwhelmed. And, blogs, FB and the internet can rob us of so much precious time if we are not careful. I pray you will find the perfect balance in your life but you are making the right decision to step away until such time you feel back in control. May the Lord bless you during this time and give you peace. Hugs to you!
    Lea recently posted..HELLO Monday!

  19. Rose says:

    LOVE this. Everytime I come here I feel my soul refreshed. I also have had that thought in my head although not reading Crystal’s latest book. It makes me feel like the Lord is really trying to impress upon His ladies that we need to start being Martha and let go of the “so many things”. A few days ago I posted on my FB this quote, maybe it will motivate you that this is the right thing:

    Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the blackberry, log off facebook, or not read a text. Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people may make us feel important, needed, or wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things. -from Joshua Becker

    Rose recently posted..About Rose Barnett

  20. Zohary says:

    Oh Barbie, I totally get it. I just finished Crystal’s book myself, plus I’ve been digging into Hands Free Mama and am trying to be more of that 🙂 There is a balance, it’s just a matter of truly letting the Lord lead and finding what works for you and not feeling guilty about all the other “stuff”. Looking forward to seeing where the Lord takes you on your writing journey and will be praying for peace and direction. XO
    Zohary recently posted..Meal Planning Simplified (A Life Simplified Post)

  21. I am so very happy for you! I pray you find rest, renewal, and restoration. Love you, friend.
    Michele-Lyn Ault recently posted..When God Wrecks Your Plans | Part 1

  22. Beth says:

    You truly are inspiring me to consider where I can make some changes and reductions. Thank you for that, friend. Keep following His lead. Love you.
    Beth recently posted..Three Word Wednesday: Come to Me

    • Barbie says:

      The process of simplifying is so hard, but so needed. I am really getting a lot out of Crystal Paine’s book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”. Hugs!

  23. ~Karrilee~ says:

    I love you, sweet friend! Praying for you… for Him in you and through you… grace to you – and freedom to follow not just your sweet tender heart, but to follow His lead for where He wants you to devote your time!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted..What Brings You Joy?

  24. Denise says:

    I know this need for margin well. I feel like I have been treading water for far to long and in the midst have lost my passion. So like you, I need to set aside those things that have drawn my gaze from my Bridegroom’s face and look back into those eyes of love and surrender fully to Him.

    May we both find that place where we feel His breath on our soul and the beat of His heart on ours.
    Denise recently posted..Sweet Silence

  25. Karin Madden says:

    Barbie – look at all these comments! You are such an incredible encourager. But, we can’t pour out what we haven’t let Him fill, can we. I love your boldness and how you follow His promptings. I’m thankful to have met you in this blog world. You know, I don’t follow many blogs for all the reasons you named. I love to hear people’s stories and I get swallowed up by the computer if I don’t set limits. I’m praying for clarity and rest for you, writer friend!
    Karin Madden recently posted..When We Drop The Mask

  26. Deb Weaver says:

    As an encourager, I also struggle with stepping back especially on Facebook even though it’s overwhelming. I don’t want to be detoured by the good when God calls me to His best.

    I set a goal of blogging at least once a week but with the events that unfolded with my Dad I have not written for weeks . . . and that’s okay.

    I’m in desperate need of just soaking in His presence, comfort, grace, and love right now and that’s where my energies will lie.

    May God gently but clearly lead both of us.

    Deb Weaver
    Deb Weaver recently posted..“My One Word: Purpose”

  27. Dear Barbie,
    Can you hear me clapping and cheering for you? Yes….I have had to learn the hard way, over and over, the need for margin….no worries about visiting as I know your heart….just do what you need to nurture and care for yourself…praying God continues to give you wisdom and courage to do what you need to do, my friend…hugs to you 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..Five Minute Fridays: Small

  28. Oh, Barbie, I understand this in so many ways. I used to feel so much guilt when I couldn’t stretch myself to read and encourage everyone I thought I needed to. During the two months of being silent online, God really did done a number on my heart. I have become so much more intentional with my time. (I still struggle at times, but it’s been a lot better.) I have found that when I use my time to glorify God and not to stress over what so-and-so expert says is best, God blesses my time online.

    Praying for you, friend! And I’m definitely adding Crystal’s book to my 2014 reading list! 🙂
    Kelsey Ferguson recently posted..On Why I’m Grateful Faith isn’t a Competition {#NewEveryMorning}

  29. Rachael says:

    I too, can get so overwhelmed with all of the above. Pushing delete has been hard but necessary in order to clean up my inbox sometimes. Other days I enjoy sitting and reading through posts for a few hours but NEVER do I get “caught up.” I applaud you, Barbie. May you find intense blessing and joy and peace as you create that margin. Love, Rachael@ Inking the heart
    Rachael recently posted..What Armor are You Wearing?

    • Barbie says:

      Thanks Rachael. The purging is going slow. He is allowing me the time I need to push delete. He’s so gentle with His leading. Hugs!

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