58 In Weekend Whispers

My Life…A Gift To Be Used For His Glory // The Weekend Brew

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.
Use them well to serve one another. (1 Peter 4:10)

Today is my 49th birthday.

Gasp!

I’ve lived nearly half of my life (yes, I do plan on living to be 100!) and I have been abundantly blessed by the Lord in ways that I could not ever imagine.

July is not only my birthday month, but it’s also my 7 year blogiversary month. Yep, I’ve been at this writer thing for nearly 7 years. I wish I had the very early posts from when I first started out on TypePad under the name, “Moments for Moms”. I had such grandious plans to reach out to moms. What I realized back then was as a full-time working mom (who still is working full time), I did not have a moment to stop and write about how to have great moments with God.

So I scraped that one and started My Freshly Brewed Life back in 2008 with a passion to encourage the hearts of women of all ages.

I have had a passion for writing since I was young, but I never dreamed of where a simple desire to start a blog would take me. I have met so many beautiful woman through their on line homes and feel like I have hundreds of friends world-wide.

As I take a moment to reflect on all of the many gifts God has given to me in my 49 years, writing and being able to encourage others are two of the gifts that I treasure the most, next to my family.

Some days, I don’t know where I’m going, let alone what I’m doing. And this year so far has proven to be the most challenging of my writing seasons. I have yet to settle into a flow of writing again, but that’s okay. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that this writing thing must happen in it’s own time, but most importantly in His time. On those days when I lack words, I fall back on what I know.

lifeagift_800

[tweetthis]My life is a gift to be used for His glory to encourage others. @BarbieSwihart[/tweetthis]

Whether that be through word or deed, my life is not my own. I first belong to Him. I am thankful for all that He’s brought me through — the good, the challenging, the “I don’t understand what You are doing, Lord” seasons. Every year of my life has been stamped with His hand of blessing, protection and provision.

My life is a gift to give away to others.

God has given me the ability to write and encourage others along their journey. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, nor do I claim to be a Bible scholar with all of the glorious interpretations of scripture.

But what I do know is how God has moved in my own life.
What I do know is how God has brought me through to the other side of some seasons.
What I do know is how God remains with me through the valley seasons.
What I do know is that God loves me.
What I do know is that God loves you!

I am thankful for this gift that He’s given to me and pray that I will continue to steward it well. I am grateful for each and every one of you who visit here. You are treasures in my life. Whether we’ve been acquainted for 7 years, a few months, or are just getting to know each other, I count you all as gifts in my own life.

If I could give you one word of advice for your own life today, that would be this:

[tweetthis]When you don’t know what else to do, offer up the gifts He’s put in you to encourage others. @BarbieSwihart[/tweetthis]

What gift has God given you to encourage others with?

Thank you for joining us at The Weekend Brew!

theweekendbrewbutton1. Share a post, photo scripture — anything that breathes life and encourages.
2. Grab the button to use in your post or simply link back here.
3. Visit the person who linked up before you (and a few others along the way)!

 

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58 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Geisen
    July 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Amen! God blessed you with the gift of writing to encourage others and I am blessed to call you friend! Love you and happy birthday!
    Mary Geisen recently posted..Five Minute Friday ~ Favorite

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you Mary!

  • Reply
    Gail Golden
    July 3, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Happy birthday to you!
    Blessings,
    GG

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you Gail!

  • Reply
    Constance Morrison
    July 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks for being faithful to use your gift of writing to serve and to encourage others, Barbie.

    This hot summer afternoon brings back memories of making lemonade from scratch: squeezing out the juice, straining out the lemons, stirring in the sugar, measuring out the water, and plopping in the ice. The lemon and the sugar tend to be stronger in the bottom half of the glass, something to look forward to. So here’s to your 49th birthday, may it be even sweeter and stronger than the first half of your 100 year life. Happy birthday!
    Constance Morrison recently posted..Wildfires and Apologies

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      My kids have actually been making fresh lemonade all week! We are out of sugar now. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

  • Reply
    Constance Morrison
    July 3, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    oops– straining out the lemon seeds
    Constance Morrison recently posted..Wildfires and Apologies

  • Reply
    Wanda
    July 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Happy Birthday Barbie! You’ve got a lot to celebrate this month. It’s been a pleasure to benefactor of your beautiful writing gift. May you continue to use it in service to others. I pray that as you have refreshed others that you will be refreshed. Many blessings.
    Wanda recently posted..To See is My Desire

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      So thankful our paths have crossed through blogging Wanda. Praying you have had a blessed and beautiful week.

  • Reply
    susan@avintagefarmwife
    July 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Happy Birthday, Barbie! You ARE an encourager and I appreciate that so much. Wow! You have been blogging a long time-what a testimony you have all written down for your family. A treasure, for sure!
    susan@avintagefarmwife recently posted..How to Brighten Someone’s Day (and Your Own)

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it for so long. But I love that I get to encourage others through my writing. Thank you for your friendship Susan.

  • Reply
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser
    July 3, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Happy BirthDay to you!
    Your faith is so true!
    You make Jesus smile…
    and He’s crazy ’bout you!
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted..Your Dying Spouse 25 – Does God Play Favourites? {Five Minute Friday}

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      You made me smile when I read this Andrew. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Shirey
    July 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Happy birthday! Best wishes for many more – and many more years of writing and sharing your beautiful words of encouragement!
    Kathryn Shirey recently posted..Will Today Be Your Day One?

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks so much Kathryn. It’s been a joy to get to know you.

  • Reply
    Hannah Bollinger
    July 3, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday Barbie!! Lots to celebrate! Thank you for using your gifts of writing and encouragement — they truly have been a blessing to me. It’s so nice to read about the unfolding of your writing journey. You are an inspiration to me. When I started blogging 3 years ago, I had know idea how much my writer’s heart would come alive. There have been many joys, some challenges, and moments I have wanted to give up, but something in me just comes alive when I write. I hope to always write to glorify Him! Congratulations on 7 years of blogging and happiest of birthdays to you!
    Hannah Bollinger recently posted..Monday Devotions: Stillness and Thunder

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I am grateful to God to have stumbled upon our blog. Your writings actually remind me of those early days of writing. You too are an inspiration and I look forward to a long and growing blogging relationship.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    July 3, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Happy Birthday and blog anniversary, Barbie! You are a blessing to us all. Keep shining your light here.
    Elizabeth recently posted..If My people…

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks so much Elizabeth!

  • Reply
    Beth Willis miller
    July 4, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Barbie, many blessings for your birthday! You are such a wonderful encourager to me and so many others ❤️
    Beth Willis miller recently posted..supernatural peace…it is well…

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Thank you Beth. My desire is to always encourage those who read. Blessings!

  • Reply
    Betsy
    July 4, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Happy Birthday! Wow, you’ve been blogging a while. You’ve stuck with it, kept showing up and using your gift to bless others. That’s so admirable, Barbie. May the Lord continue to bless you, your family, your job, and your writing ministry. 🙂

    God has also been putting on my heart lately to take with I have and put it to work for Him: cooking, writing, speaking, discipling, listening, teaching, just spending time with people, smiling. Just to be aware of the little things I can do, trusting that He’ll transform my gifts. (Like those few loaves that Jesus used to feed thousands. I keep telling God, “I’ll bring my loaves to you.” )
    Betsy recently posted..When You Wish You Were Someone’s Favorite

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

      That’s such great advice Betsy, to allow God to use the little things in our lives to bless and encourage others. Praying you’re enjoying this 4th of July weekend.

  • Reply
    Michele Morin
    July 4, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I love this thought: “falling back on what I know.”
    This is the bedrock reason for absorbing the Word of God, making it part of our brain.
    Nothing else can silence the screaming banshees of untruth.
    So amazed at your long track record!
    Blessings and Happy Independence Day!
    Michele Morin recently posted..First Person, Singular

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      I am amazed myself Michele. These last couple of years have been the hardest and most challenging, but I believe God has more for me to do here. Thank you for your birthday blessings and support.

  • Reply
    Miranda
    July 4, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Miranda recently posted..The Best Essential Oils for Every Skin Type

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you Miranda!

  • Reply
    Nannette and the sweetheart
    July 4, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Hope you are enjoying a wonderful birthday ❤️
    Nannette and the sweetheart recently posted..Hurrah for the Red, White & Blue: Fun Flag Facts!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Thanks Nannette! I had a wonderful birthday and more celebration tomorrow.

  • Reply
    June
    July 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Happy birthday, sweet friend! and congrats on 7 blog years! You’ve created such a warm, welcoming place here, my friend. God bless you for using your gifts to honor Him.
    June recently posted..Inspired by . . . front porch ramblings

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you so much June. Always inspired by you!

  • Reply
    Mitzi
    July 4, 2015 at 8:07 am

    A very special Happy Birthday to you my dear. I wish I could say I even remember my 49th birthday, but alas I do not. At now 54 I can tell you that it is but a number and that it is what is what lay within your soul that makes your days wonderful. Dedicating your life to God and using your knowledge to help others see that ever shining light will keep you young for quite some time I’m certain. I for one am grateful for the ever growing friendship with you and I always look forward to your comments on my blog and most assuredly your new postings here. Wishing you all the happiness in the world and continued Blessings from God, not just today, but on all days as you continue with your writing journey. Hugs, xoxo
    Mitzi recently posted..The Star-Spangled Banner in Triumph Shall Wave

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you so much Mitzi. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you through your writing and gorgeous photos on your blog!

  • Reply
    Debbie Kitterman
    July 4, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Barbie – Happy happy Birthday to you! & Happy Blog-aversary too! I am so happy that you are celebrating such wonderful things this month. You are an inspiration and encouragement. I just started blogging and at times it seems intimidating and scary to share my thoughts an “life” with others in the blogging world, but I get to do what I love – write!!! Thank you for starting the weekend brew and using your life to glorify Him and encourage others! Birthday blessings 🙂
    Debbie Kitterman recently posted..My Latest Update

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you Debbie! Let me know how I can encourage you on your journey. I popped over to your blog and love the clean, white space.

  • Reply
    Laurie Collett
    July 4, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Happy Birthday! There is a song I like to sing as a special in church, particularly in June when we honor the graduates, called “Living Prayer” by Alison Kraus. May our life be a living prayer to Him! Thanks for the beautiful post & for hosting & God bless!
    Laurie Collett recently posted..Man Down!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 4, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks so much Laurie!

  • Reply
    Lori Schumaker
    July 5, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Hi Barbie,

    How is it that you seem to speak directly to me so often! I feel like God is using you as His personal messenger to me!! 🙂 I struggle so much with putting pressure on myself. I love to write and I love all the socializing that goes with it, however, my season of life is not congruent to being able to do as much as I would like. I feel this burning desire to share His love and freedom with others. I want nothing more than to share His hope. So then I get frustrated with myself for not finding the time. I worry that time is passing and maybe I’m getting too old. That I’m missing what God has intended because I need things like … sleep! Ha!
    Then in comes someone as wonderful as you, with the reassurance that this is in God’s timing right now. If it encourages one or hundreds, it is all up to Him. He will carve out the time He wants and He will give the words He wants for now. Thank you so much for this reminder … for speaking truth into my overwhelmed brain!!!
    Happy Happy Birthday! I hope your day was filled with much love and joy!
    Blessings and smiles
    Lori
    Lori Schumaker recently posted..Recharging at the Beach

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 5, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Lori, I am so thankful to know that the Lord is using my writing to meet you where your need is. I’ve been at this a long time and have had moments of frustration, lack of time, loss of words where I wanted to quit.But if you know that God is calling you to this, than stick with it. It will get better.

  • Reply
    Michelle Anderson
    July 5, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Happy birthday Barbie! I hope this year is the your best year yet!
    Michelle Anderson recently posted..Thankful_June29_July5

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 5, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Thank you Michelle!

  • Reply
    Holly Barrett
    July 5, 2015 at 10:22 am

    So thankful for all the encouragement you give all of us each week, Barbie. I’m prayerful that my writing does the same. Happy birthday!! Hope it was a fabulous day and a fabulous week. xoxo
    Holly Barrett recently posted..The Power of Telling a Story {Summer Blog Tour}

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 5, 2015 at 3:47 pm

      Oh yes, Holly! Your writing is beautiful and encouraging. The Lord is well pleased.

  • Reply
    Beth
    July 5, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Yes, I agree, Barbie, that when we extend the many gifts God gives us to others, we are the ones who are truly blessed. Happy Birthday, my friend! Thanks for the linkup and keep blogging away!
    Beth recently posted..Comment on Covering for My Spouse and WW Linkup by Summer – Homeschool Style –

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Thank you Beth!

  • Reply
    Kim Adams Morgan
    July 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Have a very Happy Birthday, Barbie. I’m not far behind you…November for me. Then that dreaded 50. 🙂 Blessings for a wonderful year.

    Kim
    Kim Adams Morgan recently posted..Saying Goodbye to a Pet Friend

  • Reply
    Jacquu
    July 5, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Barbie, I had to scroll through a lot of comments and link ups just to leave this comment, which goes to show that you are blessed woman and a blessing to so many others! Happy birthday, friend! I hope you had a great one! Thanks for always sharing from your heart. Blessings!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 5, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Oh I hope it wasn’t too much trouble. I should make it so that the most recent comments are at the top! Thanks for stopping by my friend!

  • Reply
    Jamie S. Harper
    July 6, 2015 at 5:27 am

    I started 7 years ago too. It has changed a lot in that time frame. I have too. I am always encouraged by your words.
    Jamie S. Harper recently posted..Ideals and Idols

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 6, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Jamie, I remember I followed you early on in your blogging. And yes, so many things look different now. But I am thankful we are both still plugging along!

  • Reply
    Brenda
    July 6, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Happy belated Birthday. 🙂 And, happy ‘blog-a-versary’. 🙂
    This is my first time visiting you.
    This is such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing.
    I love your last phrase: “When you don’t know what else to do, offer up the gifts He’s put in you to encourage others.”
    Best to you – as you enter your next year of life and your next year of blogging. 🙂
    Brenda recently posted..Alone in a Crowd

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 6, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Thank you for stopping by Brenda!

  • Reply
    Beth
    July 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Barbie. And happy blogging anniversary too! Your friendship is most certainly considered as a gift from God. Love you so much. xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Seasons, Chapters and Choosing Love

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 7, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Thank you friend! Love you much.

  • Reply
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels
    July 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Happy birthday and Happy Blog Anniversary! It is such an encouragement to stop by here each week. Thank you for hosting 🙂
    Kelly @RaisingSamuels recently posted..Social Butterfly Sunday #5

    • Reply
      Barbie
      July 7, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Thank you Kelly. I am glad you find this an encouraging place on your blog stops.

  • Reply
    Lux
    July 9, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Wow! 49 years of blessings, beautiful imperfections and adventure. Happy birthday!
    Lux recently posted..Dance In The Rain

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