Archives for February 2015

Midweek Morsel: Covered


Anyone anywhere covered by a blanket of snow right now? Here in our corner of the nation’s breadbasket, we got a little snow earlier this week but haven’t really seen much of the white stuff this winter. However, I know some regions of the country have been hit hard with heavy snowfalls in recent days and weeks. And they’ve been the kind of heavy snows that can be hard to dig out of.

Of course, there are those of us who may be covered by other things today. Even weightier than snow. Some are covered by the burdens of grief, debt, pain, fear, or broken relationships while others of us in happier seasons are feeling blanketed with joy, excitement, gratitude, renewed strength, or love.

Whatever our differing situations, whatever we’re covered with today, isn’t it good to know that we can all be covered with the love of God? That because Jesus shed his own blood to pay the price for our sins, we can all be covered with forgiveness and salvation if we’ll only call on him? Isn’t it good to know we can all be covered by his grace, covered with the hope he gives?

Yes, we can all be blanketed with the peace that can only be found in the Lord. And that’s something that weighs light. Something we’ll never want to dig out from under.

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Psalm 32:1

*When have you felt blanketed by the peace of God?

*My photo from a previous winter.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Unique Wedding Cake Idea: Word Search Cake!


Mother of the Bride, if your daughter is looking for a unique wedding cake idea, show her this Word Search cake! It’s possible she’s never seen one. I hadn’t until I ran across this photo.

Just think of all the ways a Word Search cake can be customized to fit the couple. They can have it done in one of the colors of their wedding, their names will make it one of a kind, the other words they choose to have highlighted can be special or memorable to them in some way, and they can also go with a topper and/or base décor of their choosing if they’d like.

Also, since this may be the first time many of your guests have ever seen a Word Search cake, it’s sure to be a conversation starter. I can almost guarantee that every guest will comment on it as they catch sight of it. By the time the bride and groom arrive at the party, nearly everyone will have made their way over to the cake table to get a closer look.

So MOB, wouldn’t it be fun to show your daughter an idea she’s possibly not seen yet? Go for it with the Word Search cake!

*You might also like to read Cake Idea for the Rustic Wedding, Wedding Cake Idea: Beautiful Brooch Accents!, and Wedding Cake Pops Equal Fun!

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Whipped Bakeshop, Creative Commons License

A Coach and a Daddy, Too

3796854172_9f0ee0c2d8_o*Since we’ve been traveling more often in recent weeks to help take care of our grandbabies, I’ve been sharing encore posts more often than usual. Today I’m featuring one from February 2009. Our lives have changed since this was written. Both Don’s mom and my mom are now gone, and my nephew Gavin is almost a teenager. The lesson to be learned from the story can still speak into our lives, though. Hope it blesses you!

Don’t you just love it when life surprises you with something you’ve never seen before? I experienced just such a moment this past weekend. While Don was off work on Saturday and could be with his mom at the hospital, I slipped out of town to tend to a must-do errand and also spend some time with family.

Mom and Dad had gone to Tulsa to see my nephew Gavin’s basketball game, and even though I arrived a little late, I managed to get in on the fun, too. Since our girls never played organized basketball, I had never seen a team of 5 and 6 yr. old boys and girls out on the court showing off their skills — or lack thereof :)

Of course, they all looked as cute as could be, especially one little guy who wore a sweat band and rocked and bounced to and fro, trying his hardest, I imagine, to imitate the big guys he sees on television. I spent most of my time trying to get a good picture of Gavin in action, but between not knowing the ins and outs of my camera yet and my batteries running out, I failed to get the shot I wanted. And speaking of shots, Gavin made a basket — before I got there! Darn!

I soon noticed the coaches running up and down the court with their players, offering direction up close and personal. The expected collisions and falls took place, of course, and it was during one of those that I saw a sight I’d never witnessed before while watching high school and college ball. In the midst of several little bodies that managed to wind up on the floor, one little girl must have needed some extra attention because her coach was quickly on the scene, reaching down to help her. The next thing I knew he gathered her up in his arms and carried her off the court. She wrapped her legs around his waist and clung to him for comfort.

You know, that coach must have been a daddy, too. He may not have been her daddy, but he was definitely a daddy. He knew what she needed, and he gave it willingly. Sometimes all a daddy has to do is reach out a hand to comfort or guide or walk alongside his child. But other times more is needed. Sometimes we need to be carried.

Those of us who have daddies who are there for us, who are willing to reach out their hands to us or even carry us, are truly blessed. I realize not everyone is so lucky. But we are all fortunate on another count. We all do have a Father, a heavenly Father, who longs to fill that role for us. At times in scripture, the name “Abba” is used for God. My NIV Bible text notes tell me that “Abba” is Aramaic for “Father” and expresses an especially close relationship to God. In other words, it’s like calling God “Daddy”.

So the question is, are we allowing God to be more than our coach — more than one who offers direction and encouragement? Are we allowing him to reach down into our hurts and touch us with his helping hand? Do we let him pick us up and carry us when we need it? Do we lean into him and cling to him for comfort? If not, let’s make that choice today. Let’s allow him to be our Abba — our Daddy.

“…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15b

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Elizabeth Buie, Creative Commons License

Burlap Ring Bearer Pillow and Flower Girl Basket


Mother of the Bride, if you’re helping your daughter plan a rustic wedding, why not add an extra touch of rustic by using burlap for the ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket?

Chances are you’re already using burlap in some of your décor so a burlap pillow and basket will fit right in. They’ll add the perfect complementing touch, in fact. Like with any color or décor decision, featuring burlap in a variety of places will really help pull the look together.

The photos above and below show how accenting the burlap with lace adds such a pretty and feminine effect. For someone who can sew, the pillow and basket could be fairly easy to make, and if you’re designing and making your own, the possibilities are wide open as to the detail you could use.

So MOB, suggest to your daughter to take rustic a step further and go with burlap on these important ceremony accessories!

*You might also like to read Cake Idea for the Rustic Wedding, Table or Mantelpiece Décor Idea for a Rustic Wedding, and Rustic Wedding Bridal Shoes: Boots—What Else?


*Flickr photo at top by Mannia&Titta, Creative Commons License, Flickr photo at bottom by Lori Hartman Designs, Creative Commons License

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Giveaway Winner Plus Jesus’ Idea of the Greatest


Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away so it’s time to announce the winner of the Steaming Hot Valentine’s Day Giveaway. The just-about-to-get-warmer winner is Kira! Congrats, Kira! I’ll get the gift card to you as soon as possible. Hope you enjoy!

For the rest of us, here is a little insight into love in honor of Valentine’s Day: Jesus thinks love is pretty great. The greatest, in fact.

When a Pharisee who was an expert in the law asked Jesus which commandment was the greatest, Jesus answered with two commandments, both of them hinging on love. This is what he had to say:

“Jesus replied: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” ’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”   (Matthew 22:37-40)

Not only at Valentine’s Day but all year long, let’s remember Jesus’ words about the greatest commandment. Let’s make sure our lives hinge on love.

*What can you do this week to hinge your life on love?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by .jennifer donley., Creative Commons License