When You’re Forced To Slow Down & An Invitation


I’ve been pretty silent in this space over the last month or so. I feel as if my blog is in survival mode, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I am thankful, so thankful, for the amazing featured writers who have loaned their voices to my space over the last month — actually, over the last several months, and for my new Weekend Brew co-host, Mary Geisen.  I am not sure this blog would be moving forward without my beautiful friends.

As a reader, I know you come here to read my words, and I want you to know I value your time and effort. I appreciate the grace and acceptance you’ve extended as I’ve opened my space up to others. I am a big community girl, and believe it takes a village to keep a blog running sometimes. I want to thank you for welcoming my guests and continuing to encourage my heart in a season where I am struggling to find my voice and keep my feet on solid ground.

When I got laid off October 1st, I welcomed what I thought would be a week or two of “down time” — time to get some things done around the house, to rest and to just chill and not have to worry about getting up and going anywhere specific each day. But after 45 days of pretty much doing nothing, I’ve found myself going numb. It’s hard to keep walking forward into an unknown future, without any direction other than the assurance that I know the One who knows my future.

I’ve been spending way too much time on social media of late, and really, not reading much of anything. I sit and scroll through posts on Facebook and Twitter without fully engaging, and attempt to read the blogs that are in my reader, but I’m emotionally tired to the point that It’s hard to keep up. I am overwhelmed and it’s easier not to engage. My readership has dropped significantly over the last month and that’s okay. I’m not out to have a popular blog. I strive to be real and authentic, and right now, it’s just hard to form words to write and to consume words to read. I apologize if I’ve not visited your blog or interacted with you on Facebook. I’m trying hard to find balance in this season. All I really want to do is curl up on the couch with movies and chocolate.

As the holidays are nearing, one thing I don’t want to do is lose sight of Jesus. I want to make good use of this down time and purpose to lean into the call to be present in the moment

[Tweet “Sometimes a forced slow down is what is necessary to cause you to run into the arms of Jesus.”]

TheGreatestGift_300During the month of December, I am going to be very intentional with my time so that I do not miss out on the blessing of the season.  Beginning December 1st, I will be reading through Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift and intentionally celebrating Advent and the coming of Jesus. I want to fully embrace the season and unwrap all that Jesus is.  I would like to invite you to join me.  If you don’t already have the book, you can purchase it in hard copy or for Kindle on Amazon. Lifeway Christian Stores will have it on sale tomorrow and Saturday for $11.99, and if you live near a Lifeway store, you can get it on sale the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving for just $10.

Although I am not promising a set posting schedule for this book in December, I do hope to post each Monday my thoughts on some of the readings, but will be more active on my blog’s Facebook page, if you want to follow along there.

During the month of December I will continue to host featured writers and co-host The Weekend Brew with the beautiful Mary Geisen. Beyond that I am not sure if I will write at all. I am hoping to have better clarity and direction from the Lord as far as my writing and this blog come January.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, notes, Voxer messages, etc. I truly appreciate you!





*photo credit


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

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12 Responses

  1. I hear you – I lost my academic job over three years ago, and before I was able to find another one, became too ill to work.

    Becoming used to having a lot of pain and only a little energy has been a trial. One can only watch so many DVDs when one is unable to move, especially when one was a ten-mile-a-day runner for twenty years.

    It has sometimes brought me closer to Jesus, but I’ve found that the closeness is a choice. If I accept what I can do, and work around them, He’ll be at my elbow. If I resent circumstance, and petulantly say that I can still do everything I once could, He’ll stand aside and watch me.

    He’s hoping I’m right, I think, but knowing I’m not, and He’ll be there to pick me up.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted..Did You Notice Them? – Five Minute Friday

  2. I bought the book last year – and I think I need to pull it out and read it. I understand how it feels to not know where you’re supposed to be! Praying for you, Barbie! Shalom!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I agree…God teaches us more when we slow to listen and feel more deeply. Low brings slow…not fun…but shapes our soul and life. Praying God blesses you as you count blessings and read truth. I will check ann’s book out. Did not know of that one! Thank you. Jennifer
    Jennifer recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions Early

  4. Mary Geisen says:

    I read Ann’s book last year and was blessed by taking the time to stay in the moment of the Advent season.

    I will pray for you and all who participate in the book study. As for co-hosting TWB, it is my pleasure. I love how God brought us together. Love you friend!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Where Does Grace Find You?… {Devotional for ALLIN}

  5. Beth says:

    I am hoping to read with my husband and will try to engage with you and others as much as I can. But I too want to be more intentional with my time. I expect to spend less time on social media throughout December. Holding you in prayer, dear friend. Love you. xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Just do something

  6. I just wanted to leave a note to hopefully encourage you. Hold tight to Jesus during this time, trust Him in your trials. I have a post up this week called “When Trusting God Is All That’s Left.” and sweet sister, I have been in your shoes, for different reasons and our God is great and mighty and good and all powerful and He is a WONDERFUL Counselor…please lean deeply into Him during your hard time. It will get better…keep the faith. 🙂 Praying for you this am. xoxo Nicki (And I LOVED this “it’s just hard to form words to write and to consume words to read,” soooooo been there…prayers from a sister in Christ today.)

  7. Mitzi says:

    Oh Barbie…I’m so sorry to hear that you are struggling. I went through this about 5 years ago. Like you, I was excited at first for the down time…thinking I would get so much done…then came the depression…as time wore on & no job was in sight, I eventually began my journey to embrace that being a full-time homebody was apparently on the agenda. Then my mom became sick, hospitalized, followed by her passing and at that time I realized that this was God’s plan. Had I found work I would not have been able to be there for my mom when she needed me most. Had I found work, I would have been juggling work with the stress of grief. At that point it all began to make since. God has a plan for your life…you just don’t know what it is yet. Keep your head held high & trust in Him, for the plans He has for you are going to be truly outstanding. Hugs, xoxo
    Mitzi recently posted..Counting Blessings

  8. Dear Friend, I have been where you are…way too often…and chose to unhook for a while to get my focus back on my Jesus…not saying that’s the answer but just knowing I needed to because of lack of my own self-discipline. I feel like I have come to know you as a friend not just a fellow blogger. Please know i am praying for you friend. You have been a constant source of encouragement to me. Thanks for your transparency!
    Adoption Mama recently posted..Our Special Friends

  9. Blessings and hugs Barbara- just stopping by from the #bloggercaregroup and I’m so blessed to meet you. Lifting you up before our Father right now that He will shelter you under His wings and renew your strength. I am blessed beyond words by your intentionality and courage to rest and put Him first!
    Cindy Barclay recently posted..God Wants You To Know the Answers

  10. June says:

    I’m praying Micah 7:8 over you today, my friend. I love Advent! Our culture has done it’s best to take the JOY and anticipation out of Christmas, making it all so commercial. Advent centers us and draws us into the arms of Jesus, the Babe in arms. I won’t be reading along, but I am looking forward to reading your posts as part of my celebration and JOYful anticipation of His coming!
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . greater than all the gods

  11. Cynthia says:

    You are no different than the rest of us. We all need to be more interntional with our time. Yep~ And, we all need to ask ourselves if what we are doing and saying are in line with the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes, we just go through life and wonder what happened to yesterday. What happened? We weren’t focused on the Lord. We must turn our thoughts and actions around, intentionally, all day, every day, in order to follow Him. And, I know that He knows exactly what we are going through and the struggles we experience in trying to stay on His path. Yep! But, the beautiful thing is that He loves us! Everyday, in the midst of trouble and chaos, we can rejoice in knowing that He cares for us and loves us. I have faith that the right outcomes are in His hands. It may not be what we want it to be, but it is the road He wants us to take, which can be a hard pill to swallow. Praying for you and yours. Please, pray for me and my family, too. Love and joy! Cynthia
    Cynthia recently posted..Giving Thanks

  12. Barbie,
    This is so true: “Sometimes a forced slow down is what is necessary to cause you to run into the arms of Jesus.” I’ve experienced this through job loss, infertility, RSI and other issues…I’m sorry you are going through this …it is very hard…I’m praying God will encourage your heart and reassure you that He has good plans for your life….((hugs))

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