The Weekend Brew: My Writing Story

When I was a child, I was at a loss for words.  Not because I didn’t have them, but because I never felt I had a voice.  My opinion didn’t seem to matter much and when I did speak, I often felt unheard and shut down. So I would cower in a corner, keeping my thoughts to myself, hoping that one day someone would come along that would truly listen to what I had to say.

As I grew older, my love for words grew through writing.  There is something magical about stringing words together that make sense, that create poetry, that collide in your heart and fill you with a sense of purpose. In high school, English was my favorite subject.  I loved the creative writing projects and I also wrote some pretty amazing poetry back in my younger years.  My dream in high school was to pursue journalism, but my parents couldn’t afford to send me to collage.  Instead of pursuing scholarships and financing, I opted to attend a one year business college and became a legal secretary. That career lasted for over 14 years.

Fast forward about 10 years ago.  Our church leadership had a prophetic conference and one of the prophets came and prophesied over the leadership of our church (of which I am on staff, and therefore a leader).  When it came to be my turn, the prophet stated that she saw me ministering to hundreds of women.  I about fell off my chair.  I am sure I would had spit coffee out of my mouth had I been drinking it.  I do think I laughed out loud.  Me, a public speaker?  Um, no thank you.  But, I did what any mature church leader would do when they receive a prophetic word that although not quite up their alley, is not all that far out there.  I put it up on a spiritual shelf, and forgot about it.

Six years ago (this July), I was talking with my Pastor who had recently began blogging.  I was sharing with him how much I would love to share my heart through writing, and that perhaps I could accomplish this through blogging. He encouraged me to start and see where the Lord would take it.  I started out on Typepad, blogging under the name “Moments for Moms”.  I soon realized that as my kids were older and didn’t care to have their photos plastered all over my blog, that blogging about my life as a mom may not be the road I should take.  What I did know was this: I wanted to write about what I was learning in my every day journey with the Lord.

I continued to pray and ask the Lord if blogging was in my future.  At this time, I had recently concluded a bible study based on Nicole Johnson’s Fresh Brewed Life.  I cannot tell you what this study did for my heart, waking up my soul to receive all that God had for me.  Soon after, the Lord dropped the name “My Freshly Brewed Life” into my spirit, which is where I am today.

My goal from day one has always been to first bring God glory through my writing, and secondly to encourage the hearts of women along the way.  When I first started blogging it was just me, the screen and a handful of readers.  But I was very intentional in finding like-minded blogs written by women full of passion who loved God, their families and blogging.  I love to connect and so taking the time to read other blogs and commenting is still a high priority for me to this day.  I have met so many beautiful souls through blogging and I cannot imagine my life without them.  Oh yes, remember the prophecy about me having a ministry to hundreds of women? Well, there are several hundred who subscribe to my blog in one form or another.  I realize a fraction of that actually read, but I have to smile at the fact that God knew 10 years ago that blogging/writing would be in my future, and that He would use little ole me to share His light, truth and love with many.

Last December, I self published my first book, Coffee Talk With Jesus: Intimate Chats With the Savior, which is based on a 31 day series I wrote in October 2012.  My heart for this book is that women would come to realize who they are in Christ and stop believing the lies that would tell them otherwise.  Shortly afterwards I changed my blog URL to my name (although you can still access my blog via My Freshly Brewed Life, at least for now).

It’s been a fun journey, this one of baring my heart and soul through writing.  At times, it has been a hard journey.  I have had to work through the “I’m not good enough’s”, the “no one cares” and the comparison trap multiple times. But there is so much joy to be found!  If I could give a new blogger/writer some advice, it would be to be the you that God created you to be, to be authentic and to take the time to connect with others.

*This post was written as a prompt from my (in)courage writing group, as we were challenged to share our story of how we came to write.


TheWeekendBrewButtonNow it’s your turn to share encouragement here at The Weekend Brew.
1. Share a post, photo, scripture — anything that breathes life and encourages.
2. Grab the button to use in your post, or simply link here.
3. Visit the person who linked up before you (and a few others if you have time).


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

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80 Responses

  1. Alia Joy says:

    I always love hearing how people discovered writing. I am glad you followed that desire to write and share and connect and to see the fruit that has come of it. You have always been an encouragement because you’re right, it’s not an easy choice to write and share and deal with all of the things that go with it. Writing (good true writing) pulls things out of us, refining us as we go. Thankful for you, Barbie, and your voice in this space.
    Alia Joy recently posted..Five Minute Friday:Write

    • Barbie says:

      Thank you Alia! I believe I am in that place of refinement now. Thankful for friends like you who continually encourage!

  2. You are such a wonderful writer my friend. I had a prophetic word YEARS ago that I would minister to a lot of women. That was before there was probably even such a thing as blogging (ha), but I’m sure that was part of the group she was seeing.

    I still haven’t read your book! I must do that!!!!

    I love your writing style and I love your heart!

    Your Sister,
    Beth @ My Destiny recently posted..It Gives Life

    • Barbie says:

      I love how God brings these words to fruition in our lives. Thank you for being an example to me of a woman who not only believes the Word, but writes truth and brings glory and honor to the Lord. Have a lovely weekend!

  3. Mary Geisen says:

    Barbie – I’m so glad I stopped by today. We each have a story that is so unique because God planned it that way. I pray that I may also minster to others and encourage them in their walk with God. I love how God led you to writing and how you are honoring Him and His mission for your life. Blessings to you!

  4. Beth says:

    You are so beautiful. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful friend and I’m so grateful for you. It was a delight to learn more of your writing story. And I was so happy to see you ended up in an (in)courage group because I remember you saying that the ones you wanted were filled. Sending hugs your way. Love, love you.
    Beth recently posted..Friday Randomness (Vol. 14)

    • Barbie says:

      Thank you Beth. Actually, God opened up the door for me to join both groups I wanted to. We will see if I can keep up. I so appreciate you and your encouragement. Have a blessed weekend.

  5. Joanne Viola says:

    Barbie, it was such fun to see how you came to blogging. You are truly a woman with many talents & I am so glad to have found you in this world of bloggers. I have been blessed by your words so many times. May our God continue to place many more words, beautiful crafted & strung together upon your heart for you to share with all of us! Blessings!!
    Joanne Viola recently posted..Write On My Heart

  6. Beth says:

    I’m not sure how I did that, but I linked up an old Friday Randomness post. Could you delete me at #2? Sorry about that.
    Beth recently posted..Friday Randomness (Vol. 14)

  7. I love this write from you today, Barbie. Praying for your continual refreshment! I also so get a giggle out of the comment about putting that on “the shelf”. Why is it when God speaks we do that? It’s so true. I think half the time we are so appalled by the fact that our God really does want to share a direction BUT we so cower and run. SO glad He is faithful and not holding His breath for my faithfulness…but also glrateful He is able to transform me and US to exactly who He knows we will be. Eventually. lol Love and hugs~
    Dawn St Amand Paoletta recently posted..New Name, New Home- Enthusiastically Speaking!

  8. Loved reading your story, Barbie! You are such a blessing to all of us and I’m so grateful that God put writing on your heart. I’m with you about the words….love, love, love them. But especially love that we get to share them with one another. Much love!
    Holly Barrett recently posted..Write

  9. As a child growing up in an alcoholic home it was often hard to feel that my words were heard. And when a diary I was keeping was found under my bed I was shamed and made to rip it up and told once again not to talk or write about the family secret. And for a very long time I didn’t and the mess just swirled inside. I did go to college and graduated with a degree in journalism, but it would still be years before I would start writing “real.” And, Barbie, God does indeed want us to share our words…and in so doing help set other captives free. Thanks for the link up and blessings for your weekend. xxoo
    Sheila at Longings End recently posted..View from Longings End…with snow on the ground I’m longing for summer

    • Barbie says:

      We have so much in common Sheila. I didn’t share, but I also grew up in a alcoholic home. So thankful God desires to use our words to encourage others and bring healing.

  10. Joan says:

    When I was a child, I couldn’t STOP talking – LOL, but as I grew older, I discovered that the things I would say were so much clearer when I wrote. Through writing I am able to get all my thoughts out without interruption. It is amazing the doors that God has opened through the internet to be able to reach many people for Him. His word can spread now in ways never dreamed of before! I’m so thankful to be in this ministry for Him with bloggers like you!

    Blessings, Joan
    Joan recently posted..Planting in Tears

  11. Mimi says:

    I really enjoyed reading your writing story. I loved seeing how God worked in and through your life. Visiting from {in}courage writers.
    Mimi recently posted..Vicky’s Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

  12. Erika says:

    What a beautiful story. I love how intentionally you have pursued this writing call.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope to one day be able to tell a similar story to the Glory of God alone.

    Blessings to you and yours!
    Erika recently posted..Write {five minute friday}

  13. Barbie, I am overjoyed reading your story. I am blessed by the way you have been revealing your heart lately and it gives me courage. I do believe you are following God’s plan for you. We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Your testimony is inspiring.
    Laura Connell recently posted..Christianity today: God’s design for sex

  14. Jedidja says:

    Barbie, My wish is that your book should by translated in Dutch 🙂 I love your story. You are so precious. My youth is similar to yours. With this difference. I wrote because my mother was psychic ill and often she could not be at home. So, I found the gift of writing in the solitude of my youth. I write historical books for young people: History of Europe. About the early days of Christianization. Love between a pagan girl and a Christian boy. 🙂

    Sweet hug
    Jedidja recently posted..Ik, een parel?

  15. Kelley says:

    thanks for your encouragement to new bloggers such as myself! 🙂 I’m excited to learn more about writing!

  16. child of God says:

    I love your story! Keep sharing. 🙂
    child of God recently posted..Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

  17. Nikki T says:

    Hi Barbie. I’m stopping by from the (in)Couraging Writers group. So wonderful to read this post and learn about your heart for writing and the path God has taken you down. Lovely!
    Nikki T recently posted..Hobby-less among Hobbyists

  18. I love this story- thank you for sharing, I never knew your story and how you got into writing. And I am glad you did. So blessed by you.
    Jennifer peterson recently posted..Writer

  19. Amy P Boyd says:

    I, too, struggled to feel like my voice was heard or my words mattered when I was growing up. I tried to write then but still did not have the words until God begin to work in me. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.
    Amy P Boyd recently posted..Exploring My Writing Story

  20. So glad you took that step of faith years ago and started blogging. May God continue to use this space to encourage others 🙂

  21. June says:

    Dear, Barbie, you never cease to inspire me and minister to my heart. Blessings, my friend.
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . Friday Finds

  22. Patty says:

    I love the depth behind this post. I am so glad to hear your history and to see God’s fingerprints all over it. I am grateful for you. You are one of the treasured gifts of my venture into the blogging world. I truly thank God for you and spontaneously pray for you often. This “how I became a writer” story of yours isn’t over … it is at a point where you will look back and remember in years to come with fondness. God is moving in wonderful ways in and through you. I am glad to have a seat on the sidelines to watch Him move in your life.
    Patty recently posted..Write

  23. I love meeting people who love words. I find words irresistible. I loved this post, so encouraging!
    Jenn @Home is Where… recently posted..7 Quick Takes -life edition

  24. Barbie,
    I’ve read your words loads of times and I love the positive encouragement which flows from them. Exciting to hear about your writing journey.
    Amy L. Sullivan recently posted..#ServeChat

  25. Denise says:

    I remember the days in my youth; I was shy and never felt like I had the right words at the right time; I was a much better listener then! Ha! However I could always put my thoughts into words (English was my favorite subject too!), and even now, though I have grown out of shyness, I am much better writing my thoughts than speaking them (never have had the gift of gab!). I am thankful for women (like you!) who have inspired me through the years, and for the friendships made along the way.

    Excited! I just ordered your book; can’t wait to read it!
    Have a weekend full of joy and love Barbie!
    Denise recently posted..Love Them Anyway

  26. Jill Foley says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Everytime I come here I think of Nicole Johnson’s book….I read Fresh Brewed Life several years ago. Now I know the connection is intentional : )
    Jill Foley recently posted..Mountains, Hills and Trees

  27. Jen says:

    Barbie – It is such a beautiful thing when we share our testimony! It is then, He gets all the praise! I have been tip-toeing with you into those places doors have been locked too long! I want people look at me…knowing my writing, parenting, breathing even….is not of my greatness, but simply a gift from God! Also loved your testimony and how prophetic words can encourage us to do things we might not otherwise do, in and of ourselves! Praising Him together with you today, my friend! ~ Jen
    Jen recently posted..The Day They Turn 18

  28. Rachael says:

    Barbie, I am so glad you do write. You are one of those like minded bloggers I love reading. I am digesting your book one day at a time and it is amazing how God meets me through your words in such a personal way. You are a blessing. I am thinking sometime in March or end of February for coffee time. I will let you know and maybe we could coordinate something. I grew up in Gilroy and am familiar with that area. How far is that from you? Blessings! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart
    Rachael recently posted..Holy Trust

    • Barbie says:

      Rachel, Gilroy is not far at all. About 45-60 minutes. That would be so exciting! I am off on Mondays, or we could do a Saturday, or a Sunday after church. Eeek! Can’t wait! And I pray my book will minister to your heart tremendously.

  29. Thank you for sharing your story, Barbie.

    I identified with much of it.
    Elizabeth@BeautyObserved recently posted..How Fun! Vol. 11

  30. Rose says:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! It’s as if you put into words everything that I think and feel when it comes to writing and blogging. I have just started my journey in blogging and being a mom of littles I wonder if I even have time for it. I don’t want to ignore my kids or my home or take on too much but writing is like a dove gliding through the air on a beautiful early summer’s day. It’s freeing and it reveals what God has taught you as well as what you so much still need to learn. Fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t matter, you can influence so many. Yes, I believe it’s very much a ministry if you allow Him to use you.

    And thank you for the advice too on connecting with others who blog. I have this inner feeling like I have to get my blog BOOMING from day one (or at least a month into it) to be successful, useful. But isn’t it about the people, not the numbers? I’ll be following you.
    Rose recently posted..What’s So Important About “the small stuff”? [Quote]

    • Barbie says:

      Hi Rose! Thank you for stopping by. My best advice to you is to write from the overflow of your life. Give your littles all the love and attention they desire. There will be time for the writing. And in the scheme of things, it really isn’t about the numbers. It’s about the relationships, the community built through writing. I never met such a richer community. Take the time to get to know others and get to know your readers. I will follow you back! I love to encourage new bloggers! Hugs!

  31. Barbie…I feel like I know you a little better today than yesterday. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story. God is so amazing how He works in our lives. I blog but still find it weird that I write or dare to call myself a writer, although I have journaled my life since I was 12 years old. It’s a wonder. And thank you for the link up, too. Have a blessed weekend friend.
    Naomi@WhatJoyIsMine recently posted..Friday Foods: Chunky Chicken Soup

    • Barbie says:

      Naomi, I love that you journal. It’s something I lack the discipline it, but am getting better, in writing down my thoughts since I started blogging. Thank you for linking up!

  32. What a beautiful story, Barbie! It is amazing how God works in the lives of His children, giving them the desires of their heart as those desires become aligned with His will. Thank you for sharing your heart, for all you do to His glory, and for hosting. God bless you.
    Laurie Collett recently posted..Transitions: Triplets of Workmanship – God’s Enemies to His Ambassadors

  33. I love your story – how God planted something in your heart and found a way for it to take root and bloom riotously! You have created a wonderful space for women to come for encouragement – and TLC:)
    bluecottonmemory recently posted..When Logic Can’t, Love Goes Straight to the Heart

  34. well done!
    answered the prompt and shone some Light =)
    reminding me of ADONAI’s word of sending me ‘to the uttermost’ –
    reflecting on that and wondering how it would look, when one day H SP drew attention to my blog stats –
    the ‘viewing’ audience / readers – from the ‘uttermost’ places of the World! amazed. & Blessed!
    He’s a Word Keeper for sure ! =) His means. His way. His purpose. His Story!
    Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea recently posted..SONGS ON SUNDAYS:: YOUR LOVE IS A SONG 9.2.14

  35. Jennifer says:

    I loved learning more of your beautiful story, Barbie. Oh, how He believes in you, adores you–and I am so grateful for how you trust Him and bless me!
    Jennifer recently stuff gathered up, for His girls

  36. Elizabeth says:

    You are growing in the gifts of God. You are a woman of endurance and steadfastness. You are amazing!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Snowy week thanksgiving ~

  37. I don’t know that I’ve ever written my story about how I started writing. Words have always just been a part of who I am. I was an avid reader as a kid and from there I turned into an avid writer.

    I loved hearing your story and seeing that prophecy come into being. How lovely it is, to answer God’s call on your life in such a unique and blessed way!
    NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner recently posted..On Being A Writer

  38. Missy says:

    Barbie, I am blessed by your obedience to the prophetic call to write and speak life and encouragement into the lives of your readers. I pray God always reminds you how valuable (and beautiful!!!) your voice is!
    Missy recently posted..They Will Come

  39. Diana Denis says:

    I can’t believe I almost missed this post! I love everything about it…the prophecy, you thinking it was funny and I realize He must’ve seen my face when He dropped that word on the prophet. Because I can’t imagine my life as a writer without you! Love, Love, Love this! Always grateful for you, your honesty and your encouragement. <3
    Diana Denis recently posted..When your ONE WORD takes you to your knees

  40. Barbie,

    Oh my stars! This so touched me. I relate on such a deep level with this story. I only found your blog and “met” you a few short weeks ago, however, upon the first bit of reading, I felt God impress upon me a connection. And as I read more and more, I see the connection in our stories. Thank you for being an inspiration!

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori Schumaker recently posted..Recharging at the Beach

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