Archives for January 2017

When Interruptions Derail Your Day

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I admit it—I don’t deal real well with interruptions to my plans. It tends to drive me crazy when I’m not accomplishing the things I wanted to. Anyone else identify?

I do try to battle my poor reaction to interruptions, though. I start my day by saying, “Lord, this day is yours and so am I. My times are in your hands.” But somewhere along the way, I find myself grabbing that time back. I hate it when I do that. I say one thing and do another.

Recently I read an entry in Sarah Young’s newest devotional book Jesus Always, and it gave me great—albeit convicting—insight into my struggle with interruptions. It also pointed out a better approach to dealing with them. And I found it very interesting that this approach emphasizes trust—the very word I chose as my theme word for 2017.

I’d like to share portions of that entry here today in case any of you fight a similar battle with yourself. I pray it blesses and helps you—and I pray I’ll remember to apply it to my life. Here it is:

“When things are not going your way, refuse to get flustered . . . Your desire to feel in control is often the culprit behind your frustration. You plan your day and expect others to behave in ways that expedite your plans. When that doesn’t happen, you face a choice: to resent the situation or to trust in Me. Remember that I am in control and My ways are higher than yours . . . Instead of getting agitated about setbacks to your schedule, use them as reminders: I am your Savior-God, and you are My beloved follower. Relax in My sovereign control, trusting in My unfailing Love.” Sarah Young, January 16 entry in Jesus Always (italics are phrases from scripture, Isaiah 55:9 and Psalm 13:5)

“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands;” Psalm 31:14-15a

*Do you struggle with dealing with life’s interruptions too?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is free and to the right. Your name won’t be included in the giveaway draw until the next issue comes out, but it’s not too late to receive this issue. Sign up today!

*Flickr photo by MOEVIEW is Aaron Molina, Creative Commons License

Gift Idea: Prayers for the Mother of the Groom

IMG_8654Mother of the Bride, have you thought about giving the mother of the groom a little gift of some sort? This didn’t occur to me when I was an MOB so you may not have thought of it either. But giving a small gesture of acceptance and friendship is always worth the effort, isn’t it?

One great gift idea for the MOG is the book Prayers for the Mother of the Groom by Traci Matt. Designed for use during the last two months leading up to the wedding (or MOGs could start earlier and go through it a couple of times), this book is a wonderful resource for Christian moms who desire to cover their sons, themselves, their families, and the entire bridal party in prayer as they all go through the life-changing event of a wedding.

Each of the sixty selections included feature an introductory paragraph or two about some aspect of the wedding or the changing family dynamic, and then Matt shares an in-depth prayer addressing the topic of the day. Matt’s prayers spring from the truths and insights she’s gleaned from the Word of God and from her own personal experience as both a mother of the groom and a mother of the bride. With each selection Matt also shares a feature called “Something Borrowed”—a quote applicable to that day’s topic.

In this nicely done self-published paperback book, mothers of the groom will discover an extremely thorough and heartfelt guide for their own prayers. Not every topic mentioned or every prayer prayed will apply to every MOG, of course, but each mom will be able to easily apply what pertains to her and skim over the parts that don’t quite fit her situation. With Matt’s wisdom and skillful and easy-to-read writing style, I think mothers of the groom will love using this book.

So MOB, does this sound like a gift you’d like to offer to your future son-in-law’s mother? If you can help the prayer effort going up for your soon-to-be son and your precious girl, I’ll be you’re all for it, right? Why not bless the MOG today with a copy of Prayers for the Mother of the Groom!

*You might also like to read Make the Mother of the Groom Part of the Team and Kicking Off the In-Law Relationship.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out tomorrow. Sign-up is free and to the right. Your name won’t be included in the giveaway draw until the next issue comes out, but it’s not too late to receive this issue. Sign up today!

*My photo

Winter Comfort

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Sometimes winter visits our souls at the same time it visits our neighborhoods. If you happen to be feeling the gray of the season in your spirit today, I pray that God will minister some winter comfort to you through the following poem I wrote several years ago. Be blessed, my friends, as you read:

The Wintertime

“O Lord, I need a touch from You
For it’s wintertime in my soul,
I feel so lonely and discouraged,
Extra stress has taken its toll.

Lord, it’s even winter outside
And the gray, cold days mirror my heart,
Father, please speak peace to me
And lovingly give me a fresh new start.”

As I finished my prayer
His voice I longed to hear,
But instead His touch I saw—
Snowflakes started to appear!

Silent snowflakes, pure and white,
Came drifting gently down,
Making the wintertime a wonderland—
God spoke to me without a sound.

“’I, even I, am he who comforts you…’” Isaiah 51:12a

*How has God comforted you during a wintertime of the soul?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of my book to use personally, to give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by [WW], Creative Commons License

Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts

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Mother of the Bride, since you will undoubtedly be attending more than one shower for your soon-to-be married daughter, you may be on the hunt for ideas. As ever—on the gift front or any other wedding-related front—I stand ready to help with ideas I’ve used myself or have seen others score a homerun with.

Since you may be shouldering most of the expense of the wedding, why not give yourself a break and give shower gifts that can be used at the wedding? Not only will your pocketbook thank you, but your daughter will too. She will love receiving elegant wedding-related items that may end up becoming keepsakes.

Some wedding-themed ideas that make lovely gifts include: Classic wedding photo frames that can be used on the cake tables or photo table (excellent places to display bridal portraits and engagement photos), an elegant cake server set, exquisite toasting flutes, pretty garters (one for keeping and one for tossing), a beautiful wedding photo album or scrapbook, or even a dated wedding-themed Christmas ornament.

Use one of these ideas, MOB, and you’ll make your daughter very happy with a beautiful keepsake gift—plus your shower gift will do double duty and help save on your overall wedding expenses. A win-win for everyone!

*You might also like to read Bridal Shower Gift Idea: A Wedding Towel Cake!

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (current or new) will receive a Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Since the readership of this blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from November 2013 helps you today!

*photo by Chris Humphrey

Wedding Planning Option: Rent Bridesmaids Dresses

17338406628_e567d1ceca_zMother of the Bride, did you know that some brides have their maids rent their dresses? The groom and his guys will probably be renting their tuxes so maybe your daughter would like to look at the rental option for her girls, too.

Bridesmaids dress rentals can be handled online and the process you follow depends on which company you go with. I haven’t had personal experience with renting bridemaids dresses, but the sites I looked at approach it in similar ways—you make your choice, place your order, they ship to you, and you ship back—postage paid and dry cleaning included. Check each company’s policies for specific details.

Two possible companies to go with are Vow to Be Chic and Rent the Runway, but you may find others with a simple Google search. You can take a closer look at how these two companies handle the process by following these links:

Vow to Be Chic “How It Works” 

Rent the Runway “How It Works”

Why not mention the rental option to your daughter, MOB, and see if she’d like to explore it. If so, you’ll be ready to start her on her search with this information I’ve shared today. My nephew Cody’s bride-to-be Kaitlynn is going with the rental option and told me all about it. Hope it works great for you, Kaitlynn, and for your sweet girl too, MOB, if she so chooses. Good luck to all!

*You might also like to read Green Wedding Trend: Rent and Borrow More Items.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by cat mayer, Creative Commons License