44 In Community/ Faith/ Weekend Whispers

Clearing The Clutter To See The Beauty // The Weekend Brew

This morning I awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside my window, the rays of the sun shining brightly through my window, and my 12 year old boy sleeping next to me. All of these were reminders to me that His mercies are new every morning.  As I lay listening to the birds and thanking God for the sunshine and the gift of my children, I realized how much I desired to hear, feel and see the beauty of God all around me.

[tweetthis]My life has become so cluttered that I am unable to hear, feel and see the beauty in every-day living. @BarbieSwihart[/tweetthis]

When you come to a point in your life where you are unable to manage the weight of the clutter all round you, it’s time to re-evaluate, take inventory and seek the Lord on ways to lighten the load. In a world where we can microwave a dinner in less than 10 minutes, drive thru to pick up our morning brew and leave a Facebook status in less than a minute, I am beginning to see how much I crave simplicity.

You are going to notice some changes around here as I lean in to the whisper of God concerning this space. This blog is a huge part of my life, and something I know He’s called me to. Not for me. First for Him, that He would receive glory as I partner with Him to share words of hope and encouragement. But also for you, that you might receive fuel for your journey and hope in times of discouragement.

In order to clear the clutter, I have to be willing to go back to the basics.

There will be no bells and whistles here, at least for a while. Some may see this as a drastic step back when it comes to blog design. Believe me, I’ve played through the scenario in my mind of the mass exodus that could happen. But that’s okay. I want God’s beauty to shine here, not anything of my own making. I am willing to take a risk in order to focus more on my writing, The blog is a bit of a mess right now as I hit an unexpected bump in the road with images not loading. But I’m learning that sometimes a mess will become messier before beauty can been seen.

[tweetthis]Sometimes a mess will become messier before beauty can been seen. @BarbieSwihart[/tweetthis]

I will be working to add images as quickly as possible, as well as a footer where you can find a few important things. But overall, this new look is being created so that I can have a place of distraction free writing, and to give you a place of distraction free reading. Each and every one who visits here is important to me. I hope you will continue to visit.

There are other areas in my life where God is calling me to clear the cluttered mess and simplify. I hope to share some of those areas with you in future posts.

How is God calling you to clear the clutter in your own life?

We are so thankful to have you at The Weekend Brew!

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44 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Geisen
    June 19, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Beautiful! The design is looking great and I know everything will fall into place here at your blogging home. I am also being called to a simpler, less cluttered life and realize that until I establish a new rhythm, now that I am retired, it will not happen. I am working on it. We can help each other! Hugs and love!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Five Minute Friday ~ Fear

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks Mary! I am thankful you are by my side in this crazy journey of life.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    June 19, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I love the changes!
    Elizabeth recently posted..Friday Favs…Tips for a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget-part four

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth! Have a beautiful weekend.

  • Reply
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser
    June 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I tend to be a minimalist, both in my writing and in personal ‘style’ (though not in the number of dogs we have…24!), so the new look is, like, groovy, man. I really dig it.

    The header’s boss.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted..Your Dying Spouse 20 – Fear of Death

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Thanks so much Andrew! The header is not responsive yet so I’ll be making a few minor changes. Glad you like it!

  • Reply
    Lori Schumaker
    June 19, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Barbie,

    It was so nice to find your blog and I love the minimalist look! We moved into our home a few months ago and have had construction projects left and right. We are putting a pool in the backyard right now and everything is. a . DISASTER! So, you can see why I love your “Sometimes a mess will become messier before beauty can be seen.”
    🙂 Ha! It is definitely a truth in the shaping of lives, as well. As we grow, improve, and embark on new journeys, chaos can ensue, but as we find our new normal, the beauty becomes evident!
    Thanks so much for hosting this link-up!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori
    Lori Schumaker recently posted..11 Strategies for Dumping Emotional Baggage

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Lori, I can imagine the mess in your day-to-day right now, but I bet it will be so beautiful when the house is complete. Thanks for joining in the Weekend Brew Community.

  • Reply
    Betsy
    June 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I love your new look, Barbie, and also your vision for clearing the clutter. That is something I want to do as well. One area of my life in which I want to clear the clutter is in social media. I want to engage, but I need to seek God regarding the wisest way for my to do that right now. Maybe just a few times a day to check in. I don’t know. You’ve got me thinking. Beautiful new look and beautiful post. Will be tweeting later to share!

    Blessings to you, sweet friend.
    Betsy recently posted..Paralyzed by Fear? God is With You!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Thank you Betsy. I hear you about social media. I can get sucked in and pretty soon I’ve wasted hours in my day. I am in the process of cleaning the clutter on all of my social media outlets as well. I don’t want to unfollow anyone, but sometimes it becomes necessary. Praying God will show you what He wants you to do as you strive for simplicity in your own life.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Shirey
    June 20, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Love the new look! I went through a similar exercise to declutter my life a couple years ago. I was in a place where I couldn’t see the path ahead – it was completely dark around me. I took some time off because I knew I needed time to clear my head and clear the clutter. I decluttered the house, spent time in scripture and prayer, and enjoyed some silence. The decluttering was so freeing – taking out carloads of trash/junk from my house not only cleared the rooms of clutter but also cleared my mind. As I got through that process, God began to unveil small next steps. Praying for your journey and that the decluttering will lead to greater insight.
    Kathryn Shirey recently posted..We Get Knocked Down, But We Get Up Again

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks so much Kathryn. I keep telling myself as far as the house is concerned that I don’t have much to get rid of. But oh, I do! Have a blessed weekend.

  • Reply
    Michele Morin
    June 20, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Less is definitely more.
    I am also in a de-cluttering phase of life, while at the same time trying to be vigilant about guarding against NEW clutter sneaking in. Our hearts are so prone to wander, and we can manufacture a God-replacement out of anything, it seems. Blessings on you as you simplify and re-prioritize. Thanks for hosting us here in this friendly space.
    Michele Morin recently posted..A Higher Education

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I love having you here Michele. And I love that you reminded me that our hearts are prone to wander, thus the “wandering” part of my new tag line, of which I’ll share more later!

  • Reply
    Debbie W.
    June 20, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Barbie love the design and I’m TRYING to work on clutter. Geesh I’m retired but I had grandsons 4 days this week. I know God wants me organized. Trying to find some time to do something every day to get clutter free. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I can’t wait for my grandkids to come spend weekends with me. I only have one, and he’s just 9 weeks, but oh I’m looking forward to those days.

  • Reply
    bluecottonmemory
    June 20, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I love the new look! In my home, I’ve been uncluttering since January – going through papers, making a little pile for a little yard sale – but a slow, unrushed uncluttering. Take your time, Barbie. Don’t be rushed. If it’s God’s pace and plan, it will work out beautifully! Shalom, Barbie!
    ~Maryleigh

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Great advice Maryleigh! Have a blessed weekend.

  • Reply
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels
    June 20, 2015 at 6:50 am

    The new design looks great, and your reason behind it is even better. Thank you for hosting and hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted..My Sing-Along Bible by: Stephen Elkins (Book Review)

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by Kelly.

  • Reply
    Miranda
    June 20, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I like the new look. As soon as I clicked over here I knew something was different. It is refreshing.
    Miranda recently posted..How Can You Encourage Your Kids?

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Miranda. It’s a work in a process and hasn’t been smooth, but I’m sure it will all be worth it. Thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Hannah Bollinger
    June 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    It’s so refreshing to know you, Barbie. Even if it’s from afar! I love that you are listening to what God is speaking to you. His beauty has always shone through every time I come here and read your words that minister to me. And simplicity is beautiful. Many blessings to you this week-end!
    Hannah Bollinger recently posted..To Really Follow Jesus

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Thanks so much Hannah! What great encouragement. I am thankful I stumbled upon your blog. It is truly blessing my heart.

  • Reply
    Julie Lefebure
    June 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I love the changes, Barbie. And I love your heart. I won’t be leaving anytime soon. I appreciate so much your honesty and your integrity. Your posts encourage me each time. Clutter is one of those words I think we all can relate to. I’m with you in this journey. I’m decluttering my home, room by room. Have a blessed weekend!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted..3 Sentences That Transformed Our Marriage

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Thank you Julie! You are a blessing. I have yet to tackle my home but it’s coming real soon.

  • Reply
    Marsha
    June 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Barbie, I love your new clean look! It makes me want to do the same thing….maybe someday. I have enough irons in the fire without trying to redesign my website. Anyway, love, hugs, and many prayers coming your way as you navigate the waters God has for you. His unfathomable grace is always keeping us afloat on the waves, grace upon grace upon grace.

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      AMEN Marsha! So thankful for his grace.

  • Reply
    Jeannie Pallett
    June 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Barbie, I love the simplistic easy reading feel of your new blog layout. Your words are deep and rich and there is no need for all the bells and whistles as you put it, especially when we come to read your words. Getting ready for a new season in life and asking God to show me what needs to go in every area of life so I can enter the new season fresh, clean and with an open heart to receive what He wants to give.
    Jeannie Pallett recently posted..Faith and Fishing

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Jeannie. I will be praying for you as you enter this new season, that God would give you the strength to let go of unnecessary clutter in your own life.

  • Reply
    Lea
    June 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I’m thinking that we all could profit from a little more simplicity and getting back to the basics of life. Blessings to you!
    Lea recently posted..Friday Favorites

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Lea. Always a joy!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    June 20, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Sweet Barbie,

    I am so glad you are setting your heart here, to Love God and lead others in that. It draws others into the fellowship that bends towards companionship. Praying as you make changes to feel Him increase as you decrease.
    Thank you for providing a place to gather.

    Bless you!
    Dawn recently posted..An Invitation of Grace

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 20, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you for encouraging my heart on this journey Dawn!

  • Reply
    Denise
    June 21, 2015 at 1:22 am

    What a blessing it has been to realign my priorities since retirement. I am de-cluttering many areas (with many to go!!) of my life, and discovering the areas that have just been waiting to surface, Praise the Lord for giving me the drive and determination (and opportunity) to be at a place I have dreamed of for so long!! Big blessings and so much love to you Barbie, as you simplify and rearrange the significant things in your life! Love you! ❥¸.✻
    Denise
    Denise recently posted..Audience of One

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 22, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      I am many areas in my life that need decluttering Denise. May be both see a little better once all the clutter is gone. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea
    June 21, 2015 at 6:25 am

    luvd the opening line as that is exactly what drew my attention this early morning – the singing birds!
    defining and implementing what matters – so freeing…
    thanks for sharing and blessings in it 🙂
    Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea recently posted..FRIDAY FIVE: RIGHT NOW 19.6.15

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 22, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you Sharon! Have a blessed week.

  • Reply
    Laurie Collett
    June 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Barbie, your writing shines with His beauty and needs no bells and whistles! I’m trying desperately to declutter, but as you say, it gets messier before it gets simpler. Thanks for the great post & for hosting & God bless!
    Laurie Collett recently posted..In Living Color:Triplets of Light

    • Reply
      Barbie
      June 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      Laurie, thank you so much for your encouragement. Have a great week.

  • Reply
    Dolly@Soulstops
    June 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Barbie,
    I completely relate to the messy becoming messier before the beauty….and sometimes the process gets repeated…actually usually…Thankful for grace and God’s presence…Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..When you mow a lawn…(& unexpected grace)

  • Reply
    Lisa notes
    June 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    So grateful for those times when we realize we need to clear out the clutter. I’m in Denver this week with my husband’s business travel, and it’s been nice to have less clutter (in many ways) cleared away from me. It does make seeing the beauty easier! Thanks for the encouragement, Barbie.

  • Reply
    nicki schroeder
    June 25, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Clutter is overrated. Simplifying is where it’s at! 🙂
    nicki schroeder recently posted..The Queen of Cranky Pants

  • Reply
    Mindy
    June 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I love the new look and also am craving simplicity in many areas of life. On blogging, I felt as if I was starting to try too hard and straying from the direction of what I felt/feel God asking of my heart. I look forward to following your simplicity here as I strive for my own. Just reading last weekend’s post but wishing you a happy “this” weekend : )
    Mindy recently posted..A Simple Saturday

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