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My Freshly Brewed Life: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Giving Thanks Challenge

When I heard about the Giving Thanks Challenge hosted by South Breeze Farm, I just knew that I had to participate.  I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Often, I focus on the big rocks, those things that make you go "Wow, look at how good God is".  But I am realizing more often than not it is the little things, those things that are easily overlooked in my life, or the familiar, those things that I can often take for is those things for which I am truly thankful for.

So I am going to dive into this.  I will keep a running tally on my sidebar.  I may do a blog post here and there, as the Lord leads if I feel there is something that I want to share more about.

Would you consider joining in this challenge?  He is so good and I would love to hear of His goodness towards you in these next 30 days.  Be sure and visit South Breeze Farm to find out more and to link up.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
(Psalm 105:1-2)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Days 19-21

I'm catching up on the last few day's of Katie's 30 Day Blog Challenge.

Day 19:  Something You Miss

I miss my custom kitchen my hubby built in our old house.
I miss early mornings with just me and God.
I miss being able to play on the floor with my kids.
I miss date nights with my sweetie (it's been a while).
I miss my grandmother.

Day 20:  Nicknames

I was named after my mother.  Barbara is my given name. 
To keep from getting people confused, I was called Barbie growing up.
Other than when I worked as a legal secretary, I have continued to go by Barbie. I think it fits me.

Some of my friends have called me "BB" or "Babs".

Day 21:  A Picture of Myself

I am pretty camera shy and don't have many pictures of myself.  Here is one:

This picture was taken when I was about 22.
My hubby laughs at my crooked pinkie!

I hope you're all having a great week. I haven't been very good at visiting all of you but promise to do better!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Days 17 & !8

Oh no, I'm getting behind.  I guess one day isn't too bad!

Day 17:  Something I'm Looking Forward To

I am looking forward to.....
Starting up my ladies Bible study again in January.  I am currently looking for material.  If anyone has any suggestions, I would welcome them.

Day 18:  Something I Regret

I have learned not to live a life of regret.  Although there are some things I wish I had done differently in my life, I believe that everything, good or bad, has allowed me to become the person I am today.  

I hope this wasn't a boring post!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 16

Day 16: My Dream Home
(I am late linking up today!)
My Dream Home.  I thought I had it.  For 16 years.  It was a place where I raised my children.  A place that we were able to make our own.  A place where my husband's carpentry handiwork was displayed throughout.  It was a 3-bedroom home which we turned into a four bedroom with a huge master suite.  It was a place were we built a Prayer Room, a place I could go to be alone with the Lord, to read His Word, to pray and to paint.  We were looking forward to completing some of the unfinished work.  However, that dream home is no more.  Due to the economy, my husband's job loss and some past poor financial decisions on our part, we had to give it up.

If there is one thing I've realized over the course of the last year, a house does not make a home.  It is simply a dwelling place.  It's a place where family and loved ones gather. It's a place where stories are shared and laughter is heard.  It's a place where tears are shed, but where strength is found.  It's a place where the presence of the Lord dwells, a place where worship and Bible Study is given high priority.  It's a place where mistakes are sometimes made, but where forgiveness is always offered.  It's a place of safety and shelter, where love, joy, peace and laughter abound.  You see, that is what makes a home to me.  My new dream home is all of these things and so much more! 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...The rain has finally made it's way here.  I am not much for storms, but I love a nice light, steady rain.  Everything smells so fresh and the best part is my car gets washed!

 (Photo Credit: We Heart It)

{2}...Remind me NOT to drink caffeine after 7:00pm if I am not doing anything.  It usually doesn't affect me if I am running around.  But last night my daughter brought me Starbucks at about 9:00pm and I didn't go to sleep until after 2:00a. 

{3}...Do your kids have staring fights in the morning?  My daughter (10yo) is just refusing to eat, and my son (7yo) won't eat because she isn't and they are staring at each other making each other mad.  Any indication as to how my morning is going to go?

{4}...My daughter is going to let me read her copy of "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.  I can't wait to get started!

{5}...This morning I will be going baby shower gift shopping with my mom for a friend.  Then home to make sure my son (16yo) is getting his school work done.  Then tonight off to the Apple Store to replace the internal battery in my laptop, which is apparently dead (won't run without the plug).

Have a great day everyone!  Be sure and head over to Carrissa's to link up!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 15

Day 15:  Bible Verse
There are so many Bible verses that I love.  I can't possibly list them all here.  These are some of my favorites:
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’  Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed.  Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”  (2 Chronicles 20:17)
This verse reminds me that I don't have to fight my own battles.  That it is the Lord who fights for me.  I love standing still and watching God win on my behalf. 
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
I love this verse!  It is a constant reminder that God has a unique plan and purpose for my life. And that no matter my circumstances, I have a hope and a future in Him.  He will bring it to pass!
I am my beloveds, and his desire is for me. (Song of Solomon 7:10)
This verse just brings a smile to my face.  To know that I am the beloved of the Lord and that He desires me.  WOW! 
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.   (Romans 8:38)
Such a reassuring verse, to know that there is absolutely nothing that I could ever do to cause God to love me any less than He does right now.  I will never be separated from His great love! 

Visit Katie's Journey for more favorite scripture verses and to link up to the blog challenge!


Blog Challenge - Day 14

Day 14:  A Picture I Love

(Photo courtesy of Heather Armstrong Photography)

This picture was taken of my oldest daughter, Alyssa, as part of her senior portfolio a couple of years ago. I love how the photographer incorporated her love for books and her big blue purse into the setting.  I love the background.  I love everything about this picture!

Be sure to stop over to Katie's Journey for more of the 30 Day Blog Challenge and to link up.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 13

Day 13:  Goals
I've never been much of a goal setter.  There are things in my life that I desire to accomplish, but sometimes I think I aim too high.  Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I can tend to get impatient when I don't reach those goals when I think I should.  I can tend to be hard on myself.  Nonetheless, here are some of my goals that I hope to reach before the year is out, or at least get close:
  1. Read my Bible every day.  This is something I am still working on.  It's getting better.
  2. Spend more time in the House of Prayer. I love meditating on His Word in the context of day and night worship and prayer.
  3. Tell my husband and each of my children that I love them each day.
  4. Lose 25lbs before the year is over.
  5. Make weekly menus and do grocery shopping each week without fail.
  6. Learn to take better pictures.
  7. Laugh often.
  8. Exercise more.
  9. Be more organized at home and at work.
  10. Read at least one book a month.
There you have it.  If you aren't already participating in Katie's 30 Day Blog Challenge, what are some of your goals?

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 12

Day 12:  What I Believe

I believe.....
Walking through hard places makes you stronger.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
Jesus has the cure for cancer.
You have to take risks and be willing to fail.
My heart is changed by being in the presence of God.
Random acts of kindness can change someone's life.
I am a good wife and mother.
I have a unique purpose to fulfill while on this earth.
I am blessed.
I am a blessing to others.
(*This one could have gone on forever.)

Visit Katie's Journey for more of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.


30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 11

Day 11:  Favorite TV Shows

I don't get much TV time.  But when I do, these are some of the shows I love to watch:

I cry like a baby every time. 

This show makes me hungry, but also provides great
culinary tips and tricks.

This show is hilarious. I can't believe what some people wear.

Visit Katie's Journey for more on the 30 Day Blog Challenge!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 10

Day 10:  Something You Are Afraid Of

Missing God's plan for my life.
Not fulfilling my dreams.
Being alone.
Leaving this earth too soon.

Visit Katie's Journey for more of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.


30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 9

(I apologize if this is a double post.  This was someone dated
for Monday instead of today!)

Day 9:  A Picture Of Your Friends

My two best friends in the entire world!
On the left is Laura.  She is beautiful inside and out.  She's a very gifted artist and photographer.  You can check out her blog here.  I do not know where my life would be without her in it.  She is a woman of amazing strength and grace.  I love hanging out with her, watching long movies together, having coffee, and just sharing about the deeper things of God.

On the right is Kristin. She moved to Arizona about 3 years go and I miss her terribly. We were drawn together many years ago through worship (both singing on worship teams) and from the moment we met we were inseparable. She sings like an angel and has truly been an angel to me here on earth. We shared pregnancies, witnessed each others children being born and have walked together through hard times.  We always enjoyed drinking coffee together, sharing a bagel, walking around the lake and shopping. I was fortunate to visit her in Arizona over the summer.

Me and Debbie from Heart Choices!
When I visited Kristin in Arizona, I took Laura with me, and we were very fortunate to meet Debbie of Heart Choices. Debbie's was one of the first blogs I followed.  She is always so encouraging and life giving. I know that when I visit her blog, God will speak. I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet one of the bloggers I love in person. I love her to pieces!

Visit Katie's Journey for more of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.



Aimee at This Beloved Life was doing this and I thought it looked like fun! 


I am: content
I know: that God loves me!
I want: to make a difference in someone's life
I have: unfulfilled dreams that God is resurrecting
I wish: I could take my kids to Disneyland
I hate: cancer
I miss: my grandmother
I fear: not fulfilling God's purpose for my life
I feel: tired
I hear: my son hunting for food in the kitchen
I smell: popcorn
I crave: moments alone with my Jesus

I search: for approval. I am working on this.
I regret: nothing. Everything I've gone through has made me stronger
I love: hugs and kisses from my kids
I care: for the brokenhearted
I always: sleep longer than I should in the morning
I believe: that good things are on the horizon
I dance: when no one is watching
I sing: because He brings me Joy!
I don’t always: read my Bible. I miss a day here and there.
I truly desire: to be used to bring hope, encouragement and healing to others
I like:  coffee, chocolate, romantic movies, long talks with friends, date nights with my hubby
  I write: to please God and no one else

I lose: when I don't seize the moments God gives me
I win: because God loves me and I love Him
I try: to stay organized
I never: thought I would have a blog, let alone three!
I am grateful: for God's unfailing love
I listen: to worship music 24/7
I am scared: to weigh myself in the morning
I need: to get more sleep
I am happy that: my son is doing better in school
I tag: anyone who would like to play


Monday, October 18, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Not too many random thoughts floating through my brain this morning.  Here is a short and sweat post!

{1}...It's finally Fall here.  It rained a bit yesterday and is supposed to rain again today.  Time to get out the footsie socks and turn on the heater!

{2}.. I was going to make pork chops in the crock pot today.  However, I forget to defrost them.  What to have for dinner?

{3}...I finally nailed down a plan for my weight loss efforts.  If you want to check out one of my other blogs and follow along, I would love to have you!

In Pursuit of His Best

{4}...I am currently looking for a place to take a Water Aerobics class. The doctors say it will help with my joint pain.  By the way, one of my blood tests came back abnormal.  It's the one that measures the amount of inflammation in your body.  So next week I will be seeing a Rheumatologist.  Please keep me in prayer.

{5}...I had a small garage sale with a friend over the weekend.  I netted about $40. The best part was at the end of the day we were able to give away all of the clothes we had left, and some other things, to a family wanting to mail them to relatives in the Philippians.

Have a wonderful day and be sure to visit Carissa for more of the Miscellany Monday.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 7

Day 7:  Favorite Movies

Here are some of my favorite movies, in no particular order:

I am loving the 30 Day Blog Challenge at Katie's Journey.  Pop on over and have a look!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 6

Oops, I missed a day. I hope that's okay.

Day 6:  Something That Makes You Happy

I love how my children love me!  These notes always bring me smiles!

Visit Katie at Katie's Journey for more of the 30 Day Blog Challenge!


How Do You Measure Success?

Are you successful?  By what means do you measure your success?  How do you define it?  The dictionary defines success in this way:
  • the attainment of popularity or profit: the success of his play.
  • person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity: I must make a success of my business.
  • archaic the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims: the good or ill success of their maritime enterprises.
I am featured over at 5 Minutes for Faith today, talking about how we measure success.  Won't you stop on over and have look?  I would appreciate it if you would leave me a note here or there to let me know you stopped by. 


Thursday, October 14, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 4

Day 4:  Your Parents

My parents are two of the most loving, humble and giving people that I know.  Although I was not born again growing up,  my parents' example taught me so much about faith, love and sacrifice.  My father grew up in Mexico.  When He came to the states, he worked as a Chef for a local restaurant for many, many years.  It was the only job he ever knew.  And he was darn good at it.  My father would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it.  As children growing up, he worked extra jobs just to make sure we had the things we needed.  He often would apologize for not being able to give us more.  But he gave what he had out of a heart of love and sacrifice.  He gave what mattered.  He gave love.

My mother is an amazingly strong woman.  I was fortunate to have had her at home most of my childhood (before she went to work).  I admire her for the sacrifices she's made for others, and for her strength and humble spirit.  Mom has had some health issues in the past, a couple of which could have taken her life.  I am so very thankful to God that she is still here with us today. 

My parents are a true examples to me of two people who have weathered the storms in life and have truly taken the term "til death do us part" to heart.  Thank you, mom and dad, for leading by your hearts and helping to show me the way of faith, hope and love in my own life.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 3

Day 3:  Your First Love
I went through my adolescent years without knowing Christ.  I remember as a teenager, I couldn't wait to have my first "boyfriend" and "fall in love".  There was one time in particular where I really believed I was in love.  It came with the swarm of emotions that I always thought it would -- butterflies in my stomach, not being able to eat, wanting to always be with him, etc.  However, that relationship, and a few others that followed, only led to heartache and years of wondering what was so wrong with me that no one could love me.

But then I met Jesus.  He came to me gently, and unexpectedly.  He came with such warmth.  There was a light and truth about Him that I could not deny.  I accepted Him into my life, not fully comprehending this type of love that He had to offer to me.  I remember how excited I was in those first days of our relationship.  I could not wait to spend time with Him.  I would even go without food for a chance to sit and talk with Him, just the two of use.  He changed my world and secured my future.  I am eternally grateful.

It has taken me a long time to understand the kind of love that God has for me.  Hurts from the past have clouded my perception of my loving Heavenly Father at times.  I have not fully come to a place where I can comprehend it.  But I can honestly say that He is my "first true love", for without Him, I could not have known the love of man who came at such a needed time in my life and rescued me from further heartache; or the love of a child -- unconditional, always pointing me back to the Father.  Or the chance to love myself. 
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
(Song of Solomon 6:3)
Be sure and stop by Katie's blog at Katie's Journey to link read about more "first loves".


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 2

Today is Day 2 of Katie's 30 Day Blog Challenge.  I know I got this posted late, but better late than never, right?  

Day 2:  The Meaning Behind My Blog Name
Before I started blogging I thought of what I would name my blog.  Since I love coffee, I automatically thought that my blog would have the word "coffee" somewhere in the title, with a picture of a steaming hot cup of coffee in the header.  But as I visited other blogs, I found that there were several that had the word "coffee" in them, or a general coffee theme.  So I started to ask the Lord what He would have me to name my blog.  I came up with "My Freshly Brewed" life.  I think it still fits with a general coffee them, but my blog has become much more than that.  It's a place where I hope to serve up freshly brewed glimpses of hope, encouragement and joy as I share what the Lord is teaching me in my walk with Him.

So there you have it.  I hope you will visit Katie at Katie's Journey to read about others who are participating in the 30 Day Blog Challenge.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Friendship Goodies & TAG, You're It!

Windy Poplars
It was so much fun participating in the Fall Friendship Swap at the Windy Poplars. I received this wonderful package of goodies from Bobbi at Grammy's Coffee Break

We absolutely love the basket and the cinnamon scented Potpuri.  It really makes our home smell like Fall and the holidays.  I love the "Blessings" sign and the "Give Thanks" napkins, which I've put in my kitchen as a constant reminder of how truly blessed I am.  And the kitchen apple towel, how cute is that!  There were also some candles, plastic "candy dishes" as my kids call them and other goodies.  It was so much fun.  But the best part of the Fall Friendship swap was that I got to meet another wonderful Blogger in Bobbi.  I hope you will pop on over to her blog and say hello!

In other fun news, Kelley over at Daily Sips has tagged me in this fun game.  I am to answer the following eight questions.  Then, I am to tag 8 other people and ask then eight different questions.  Let's see if I can keep the game going!
  1. What is your favorite part of your day?  My favorite part of the day is my drive into work.  I get to stop for coffee (on most days) and listen to the music I want to listen to.  It's calm and quiet after driving the kiddos to school.  I also get to utilize this time to pray.
  2. What is your favorite meal?  Hmm, I love to eat so this is a hard one.  I would have to say that right now I am loving meat on the BBQ - Steak, tri tip, ribs!  Yummy!
  3. What is your morning routine?  I get up about 6:30a.  Have about 15 mins of quiet time then hit the shower.  I get my youngest two kids (10 and 7) up for school about 7:15a, get them breakfast, make their lunches, make sure they get dressed and groomed on time.  We are out the door at 8:10a and then I am off to work!
  4. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?  This is a hard question too.  There are so many places I would love to visit.  I think I would have to choose a romantic trip to Hawaii with my husband.  We went there on our honeymoon and although we've visited again with family, I would love to go with my hubby again, just the two of us.
  5. If you could do any home improvement to your house without money being a problem, what would you do?  Well, we use to own a home, but had to short sale just recently.  Now, we are renting.  If the owner would allow us to do anything, I would have to say I would love a deck and landscaping in the backyard.
  6. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?  Loving Jesus more than I do today, enjoying a couple of grand babies, preparing for my youngest child's graduation from high school, and hopefully still working the job I love at my church.
  7. Do you have a hobby?  Blogging!!!!!
  8. Why did you start blogging? My Pastor actually suggested that I start a blog because he knows how much I love to write.  I never dreamed what a blessing it would be to me.  I have been so encouraged by so many, and have had the opportunity to encourage others as well.
 And now, I am going to tag the following people:
Hannah M. @ Clicked And Capture
Here are your questions:
  1. What is one spiritual gift that you desire and why?
  2. How can you make a difference in someone's life today?
  3. What is one of your favorite scripture verses and why?
  4. What is your idea of a relaxing evening?
  5. If you are a coffee drinker, what is your drink of choice at your favorite coffee shop?
  6. When do you do all of your blogging?
  7. What's on your Thanksgiving menu this year?
  8. What is on your Christmas list this year? 


Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...Last night I watched Earth with my family.  It was an amazing movie, all about God's beautiful creation. I saw animals and amazing things I have never seen before!  I would highly recommend this movie if you haven't already seen it.  The footage is amazing!

{2}...I discovered a new coffee creamer that I absolutely love!  It's called Italian Sweet Cream. It has the sweetness that I am looking for in my coffee, yet it's not overpowering like some of the flavored creamers.  

{3}...This morning I will be going to have my blood sugar retested, as well as a few other tests they are running.  Please pray that things go well!

{4}...My 10yo daughter was bothered by a loose tooth all weekend.  It was pretty much hanging on by a thread.  I could have pulled it had she let me.  She didn't eat lunch today because it bothered her so much.  She fell asleep on the couch after church and when she woke up, she found her tooth laying next to her.  Isn't that just like Jesus, to take care of something so huge to her so as not to cause her distress.  He really cares about the smallest of things.

{5}...This weekend our church held a Creative Arts Conference and I got to witness first hand the healing power of art.  Several people were physically or emotionally healed through others art work.  More about that to come soon!

Have a blessed Monday friends!


30 Day Blog Challenge - Day 1 (Intro, Recent Picture, Interesting Facts)

I thought it would be fun to join Katie in her 30-Day Blog Challenge.  During the next 30 days, all participating bloggers will link up their responses to a particular blog directive.  This is a fun and great way to meet other bloggers!

Day 1: Introductions, Recent Picture & Interesting Facts

Hello!  Thank you for visiting my blog!  My name is Barbie and I live in California with my husband of 22 years and our four children, ages 19, 16, 10 and 7.  I work full time for the Senior Pastor and Children's Pastor at my church and love my job.  My entire family is involved in ministry and we love ministering in our House of Prayer through worship and prayer.  I started blogging in June of 2009 and am so thankful that I did.  I have met some fabulous women on this journey!  I hope you will visit me again soon!

Now for some interesting acts about me:
  1. Jesus is everything to me.
  2. My favorite color is purple.
  3. I am highly addicted to coffee!
  4. I love chocolate, although it doesn't love me.
  5. I type about 85wpm.
  6. I can still take shorthand at about 35wpm (comes in handy sometimes).
  7. I don't like to bake.
  8. I love to cook though.  I only wish I had more time for it.
  9. I am a "coupon clipping wannabee". I just don't see how someone can save so much money with coupons.  Please tell me your secrets.
  10. I wish I had learned to sew.
  11. I would love to learn to play the piano.
  12. I love to paint.
  13. I have never broken a bone.
  14. My husband and I got engaged after knowing each other for just 8 weeks.
  15. I dream of writing a devotional book one day.
Be sure and visit Katie's blog to find out more about the 30-Day Blog Challenge and to link up!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lovely Photo Wednesday & Aspire Photo Challenge - JOY

JOY in the most simplest form!

Combining my Love Photo Wednesday post with my Aspire Photo Challenge today, after I realized the picture I picked for LPW brought me so much JOY!  Click on the buttons below and link up!

Lovely Photo - Wordless or Not-So-Wordless Wednesday at Aspire

Aspire Photo Challenge


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Monday, October 4, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1}...Nilla Wafers.  I love them.  I actually haven't bought them in a while and yesterday I had some. Yummy! Have you ever tried them with peanut butter?  Heavenly!

{2}..Our Fall weather has finally arrived.  This morning I had to put on a light jacket while I took the kids to school.  I can see the trees blowing from a light wind, and the air smells crisp and clean. Time to curl up under the comforter with a good book and a hot cup of coffee!  Or, snuggle up to some nice fall leaves, like this

(Photo Credit:  We Heart It)

{3}...This weekend I was able to finally get into the garage and unpack some boxes.  The four that I managed to unpack were largely donations.  However, they would not take my large box of VHS movies.  I have one other thrift store who might take them.  Otherwise, I guess I will have to throw them away.

{4}...I finally got my hair done this weekend.  The gray was taking over.  Feels good to have a nice new hairdo. 

{5}...I had the wonderful experience of painting during our Sunday morning worship service and am always amazed at what God accomplishes through me.  

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints."  (Ephesians 1:18)

{6}..Speaking of art, my church is hosting its very first Creative Arts Conference this weekend.  If any of my blog followers or stalkers are in California and would like to attend, you can register and find out more about it here.  Space is limited and is filling up quickly!

Well, that's it for now!  Have a blessed Monday!