Archives for June 2016

Get It In Writing


Mother of the Bride, here’s a quick tip when making plans with vendors: Get it in writing.

You’ve probably already discovered—and gratefully so—that reputable vendors use written agreements or contracts when dealing with their clients. This ensures that all parties know exactly what service is being provided for what price.

What may not occur to you until a problem presents itself is that all of the verbally agreed upon details most likely won’t be a part of a vendor’s standard contract. This doesn’t mean that those items can’t be added.

Protect yourselves from any forgotten or even purposefully neglected instructions. Think of the details that are important to you and to the bride and make sure they are included in the contract. If they’re not listed in the contract the vendor gives you, ask that they be added.

For example, if the photographer advertises a certain number of images shot for a certain price, be sure that number appears on the contract. If the caterer agrees to allow you to take left-over food home, make sure you get that in writing.

Having a written record of your agreements with the vendors will save you the grief of unmet expectations and will also provide some recourse financially if vendors fail to follow through in some way. Yes, Mother of the Bride, get it in writing—you’ll be glad you did.

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post has been helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in September 2013.

*Flickr photo by Maria Reyes-McDavis, Creative Commons License

Guest Blogger Jane M. Tucker: A Part of God’s Mosaic

Bowl Plaza mosaic*Today’s post is written by my friend Jane M. Tucker. She is the author of Lottie’s Gift.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1)

Hebrews chapter eleven describes many people who accomplished great things by faith in God. I have sometimes heard this chapter called the “Hall of Heroes,” or the “Faith Hall of Fame.” These titles conjure images of a museum where the portraits of Bible heroes like Abraham, Moses and Rahab hang on the walls. Gold name plates nailed to the picture frames tell who they were, and what they did.

The idea feeds my pride. Someday, I’ll be as great as they were. Someday, I’ll deserve to hang in that hall, too. It isn’t a healthy way to approach my faith walk.

Because the Hall of Fame idea is a trap for me, long ago God gave me a different visual: A mosaic, made of millions of different stones, each one reflecting His light with infinite beauty. In the Master’s hands I am a stone, tumbled to a high polish by time and trial, until I am fit to take my place among all the other precious and unique stones in His timeless design. The idea of a mosaic is reflected in Hebrews 12:1: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (emphasis mine).

The mosaic image holds three advantages for me:

  • I measure myself rightly. I’m not so much a portrait, grandly set apart in a gallery for all to see. I’m a stone, precious to my maker, but not more so than His other precious stones.
  • I see myself in relationship with other believers. Our triune God is all about relationship. One lovely stone is admirable, but it gains even more beauty when placed with all the others to form a greater whole.
  • I remember that God wants everyone to join his family. A missing mosaic tile is instantly noticeable. God needs all his precious stones if his artwork is to be complete.

Now, let me be clear: The portrait painter and the mosaic artist are only metaphors for a God we cannot fully describe. Metaphors clothe the intangible with concrete images, but they are limited. Martin Luther called God a mighty fortress, and David called Him a rock, and those metaphors also have their limitations.

What metaphor for God speaks to you today?

When she’s not gallivanting around New York, Jane M. Tucker works and plays in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three nearly grown kids. She writes about the people and places of the Midwest on her blog, Postcards from the Heartland. Jane’s novel, Lottie’s Gift, about an Iowa farm girl with a big gift for music and the sister she loves with all her heart, is available on and at CrossRiverMedia.

*Photo by Jane M. Tucker

Use Engagement Photo for Bridal Shower Invitation

3603572456_1c7fcaf33f_oMother of the Bride, are you helping plan a bridal shower for your daughter? Or do you know the girls planning the shower well enough to make a suggestion? If so, here’s an idea you might want to pass along—or incorporate into your own plans if you’re one of the hostesses.

Why not use one of the engagement photos on the invitation? The photo on the invitation above is fairly small, but I’ve seen a bridal shower invite done that uses the entire top half of the invite to feature the engagement photo. The details of the shower were then listed beneath it.  

I love this idea—how about you? Not only does it make the invitation gorgeous and meaningful, but it utilizes the expense for the engagement photos in one more way. Gotta love that, right, MOB?

*You might also like to read Bridal Shower Cake: A Cupcake Wedding Dress!, Bridal Shower Idea: A Cooking Class!, and Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts.

Midweek Morsel: Loving Others, Showing Them God

7452197640_7c4d4e9aea_zDid you realize that when you show love to others, you are in fact showing them a bit of what God is like? Since the Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8b), it follows that God can be reflected through our loving acts and words towards others.

In the book Bittersweet—Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, author Shauna Niequist points out this truth especially as it applies to loving the heartbroken. Consider these words of hers and recall if this has been your experience as well:

“I believe deeply that God does his best work in our lives during times of great heartbreak and loss, and I believe that much of that rich work is done by the hands of people who love us, who dive into the wreckage with us and show us who God is, over and over and over.”

What a privilege to show God to a hurting soul, huh? Let’s remember that our expressions of love to the heartbroken can have deep and even eternal impact. Let’s show them love. Let’s show them God.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7a

*During your times of heartbreak, has someone reflected God to you through their loving deeds?

*Flickr photo by lucidtech, Creative Commons License

Dream Like Crazy

13026914033_d92fcaf0b0_zDo you have a dream? If so, be encouraged by my post today. Over seven years ago I wrote a piece called “Dream Like Crazy” for my very first Life Notes newsletter, and the dream I shared in that piece is in the process of coming true right now. That’s right, my first book will be released on July 1st!

So won’t you read “Dream Like Crazy” today and rejoice with me at how God is honoring the dreams of little ordinary me. Hope it encourages you to pursue those dreams of your own!

Dream Like Crazy (written in November 2008)

Are you a dreamer? I am. When I sleep, I dream like crazy, but for the past several years, I’ve become a dreamer of a different sort. I’m a writer now, and writers have to be dreamers. Not only do we have to dream up ideas and words, we must have vision—dreams and goals—if we hope to have our work published.

My writing dream didn’t start until I was 40 years old. Just as the world was telling me I was over the hill, I saw a new hill to climb. And even though I’ve had to take a couple of detours along the way, I’ve been climbing slowly but surely ever since. One step at a time.

The dream to touch other lives through my writing has grown over the years. When I began, I just hoped to have some articles and poems published, but within a few years, a desire to write a book took root as well. Now I have more than one book project tumbling around inside my mind and out onto my keyboard. I continue working at my ongoing goal of having more of my work used in various publications, compilation books, and on greeting cards, but now my dream encompasses seeing books of my own published as well.

A book sounds like a pretty big dream for a small-time gal like me, doesn’t it? Especially given the fact that my over the hill 40th birthday is now a distant memory. You know what keeps me pressing on, though? I believe God has given me my dreams and called me to write. I’m just following his lead.

As far as traditional book publication goes, I know the odds are stacked against me. In the publishing world, the market is more competitive than ever before. Some might say, “Why bother? Why go to all that effort? You’ll probably never get a book contract.” And you know what? They may be right. If so, I’m okay with that. I still feel incredibly blessed to have any of my work out there touching the lives of others.

Even so, I’m not ready to give up my dream of book publication. Those voices could be wrong. Jesus said, ‘”…with God all things are possible…'” (Matthew 19:26), and after all, God is the One who has given me my dreams as well as the ability to write. I’m just getting ready for his blessing. Just doing my part to see my dreams become reality!

*Do you have a dream? Take it to the Lord and get ready for His blessing!

*Sign-up for my free Life Notes newsletter is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Moyan_Brenn, Creative Commons License