Archives for 2020

A Still Heart: Guest Post by Author Julie K. Gillies

Our minds can easily slip into overdrive when we evaluate all the what-ifs, attempting to figure out every detail and obsessively calculating our next step. It’s a temptation we face when we feel deeply concerned about a direction our life is going, or when we aren’t happy with a situation we’re facing. Some of us are wired this way; we’re natural over thinkers. Some of us indulge when we’re feeling unusually apprehensive. Either way, this excessive mental activity takes a toll, feeding our worries and stirring up anxieties until our peace evaporates completely.

In the midst of this, God invites us to make a decision that goes against our instincts. When everything in us is whirling and calculating, He encourages us to be still, to step away from every worry and all our mental activity and know Him. Be with Him. Rest in Him. It’s a bold step, but not as risky as it may seem, because “the Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (Psalm 145:8).

Our hearts can truly rest in Him knowing He is at work so our minds don’t constantly have to be. Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” When we still our hearts and minds, meditating on who He is and all His awe-inspiring qualities, our inner beings experience the relief of a quiet, peaceful heart.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)

Lord, I’m sensing that I need to stop all my mental activity: worry, anxiety, fear, all the what-if’s, and just be still. God, everything in me wants to work it out or else stress out, but instead I am going to still my heart and my thoughts. I am going to allow myself to be in Your presence and rest in You, knowing You are gracious and compassionate. Knowing that You will work out Your plans for my life. Help me to center my heart and my thoughts and my very life on You. Help me to live vitally connected to You and still on the inside, so that I can always hear You and walk in the power of Your amazing peace. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.

Excerpted from Prayers to Calm Your Anxious Heart: 100 Reassuring Devotions, Harvest House Publishers. Used with permission.

 

 

Julie K. Gillies is the author of Prayers to Calm Your Anxious Heart: 100 Reassuring Devotions, From Hot Mess to Blessed, and the devotional Prayers for a Woman’s Soul. She is the joyful wife of Keith, mom of three adults and Grammy of five. She loves baking from scratch, any day without humidity, and hanging out with the entire family, especially on days when her house is clean. For FREE resources and to connect with Julie, visit: www.JulieGillies.com

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“Something Old” Attire Ideas for the Bride

The something old tradition lives on, Mother of the Bride. Since tradition is such a big part of weddings—even those that have some non-traditional elements— it’s not surprising that most brides still want to incorporate the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue tradition into their bridal attire. Today let’s focus on the something old aspect.

The something old element of bridal attire provides not only a cool vintage factor, but it packs an emotional punch as well. Most something old items belong (or belonged) to the bride’s mother, grandmother, or some other beloved family member. The item is special because of the person and/or previous wedding it represents. Something old items are usually treasured belongings.

Here are some ideas for something old that you can share with your daughter. Some are very standard and traditional while others may be new to you:

*A bridal gown that has been handed down from you, the mother of the bride, or even from the bride’s grandmother. Since everything vintage is very much in style now, your daughter might just like this idea!

*A bridal veil worn by a family member or family friend from a previous generation.

*A necklace or bracelet that has been in the family for years. Rings aren’t the best option since the bride won’t want another ring competing with her wedding ring in any way.

*Hair combs from a bygone era are a good option, too. Depending upon the bride’s hairstyle, these can be used without a veil since the veil is worn only during the ceremony.

*A slip or petticoat that you or another family member wore years ago on her wedding day. My daughter Kristin wore the slip I wore on my wedding day even though she needed a fuller petticoat over it. She wanted to wear something I had worn, and I loved that she wanted to do that.

*A vintage brooch (again from a family member or friend) used as bouquet jewelry. A brooch can be added in the flowers themselves or attached to the stems.

*A handkerchief or small bride’s Bible that can be attached somehow to the bouquet and carried by the bride. If the bride has an item like this, she’ll have to keep it in mind when choosing the style of her bouquet.

Run these ideas past your daughter, MOB, and see if any of them appeal to her. Or maybe they’ll inspire some other ideas for her. Whatever she chooses will forever hold a special place in her heart and will fulfill tradition at the same time. Another win-win on the wedding front!

*You might also like to read Bridal Accessory: Pearl Drop Earrings, Accent Bridal or Bridesmaids Sash with a Brooch, and Simple Wedding Attire Expense Tip.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Sherry’s Rose CottageCreative Commons License

Change Your Outlook: Focus on Pros Instead of Cons

Have you noticed how almost every situation or circumstance in life contains both pros and cons? Sometimes when we’re battling with the cons, it can be difficult to see the pros, but it’s always possible if we try. If nothing else, we can see how the negative situation can help us grow in some way—patience, perseverance, forgiveness, trust in God, etc.

I had to put this principle to work several years ago concerning our neighborhood. If I wasn’t careful, I let a couple of cons—and I don’t mean crooks, I mean negative things—really get on my nerves and suck the joy out living where we do. And it was nothing horrific—just a lack of consideration.

So to keep the negative thinking at bay, I tried to remember the positive things—the pros. When I stepped outside at the right time in the morning, I could hear church bells calling children to school. And nothing says “fall” like being able to hear the high school marching band practicing a few blocks away. We also had some nice neighbors (and still do) and were in a convenient location for the most part. As I looked at the pros, I was reminded how good we actually have it in our neighborhood.

Are you faced with a situation where it might be helpful to balance the cons out with the pros? A situation where some time spent looking at the positive might change your outlook? I’ll fess up to another. I have an ongoing struggle with my attitude concerning our community and all the things it doesn’t have to offer. Maybe I need to make a trusty list and look at the pros, huh?

“. . . if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

*When has focusing on the positive helped change your outlook and attitude?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Wiertz SebastienCreative Commons License

Wedding Eve Gift from Bride to Mother-in-Law

Mother of the Bride, you and your daughter both have new in-law roles you’ll soon be taking on. As you become mother-in-law to the man who has captured her heart, she’ll become daughter-in-law to the first woman who held his. Both are very special roles that deserve attention.

One way your daughter can nurture the new relationship she’s developing with her groom’s mom is to give her a special gift on the eve of the big day. She may already have thought of it, but if not, why don’t you make the suggestion. It’s just one more way you can help start her marriage and new role with the in-laws off on the right foot.

Possibilities abound for meaningful mother-in-law gifts. Some brides give a lovely framed photo, a personalized bracelet or heart necklace with accompanying message of thanks, or a beautiful vase etched with personal message. Others might give a small personalized keepsake box or music box. These are just a few ideas. Whatever she chooses to give will be sure to touch her new mother-in-love’s heart.

Below you’ll find some links that you can share with your sweet girl, MOB. I bet she’ll quickly spot the perfect idea for her groom’s beloved mom. So share away and be part of the blessing!

MyWedding.com

The Knot – Scroll down to Wedding Gifts section.

American Greetings

Etsy

*You might also like to read Kicking Off the In-Law Relationship, Make the Mother of the Groom Part of the Team and Gift Idea: Prayers for the Mother of the Groom.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photo by yuyun fan on Pixabay

Wedding Photography: Candid Shots of the Guests

Wedding photography is not complete, Mother of the Bride, without some great candid shots of the guests. All brides, grooms, and their families want to remember who joined their wedding day celebration. Asking the photographer to capture photos of the guests as they naturally interact with one another is the perfect way to do it.

The photo above is a super sweet shot of Rob and Kaden, our neice’s husband and son (now a recent high school graduate!), and the one below shows a loving moment between our nephew Aaron and his wife Monica. It’s one of my favorite candid shots from our daughter Kristin’s wedding. As Monica places her hand on the back of Aaron’s neck, he reaches out to touch her as well, wrapping his hand around the back of her leg. I love how the photographer spotted this moment of mutual love expressed and immortalized it for us.

So, MOB, in addition to all the standard photos the photographer will be taking, ask him or her to capture lots of candid shots of your guests as well. Hugs, laughter, surprise, and special moments of all kinds will abound that day. Try to make them a permanent part of your daughter’s wedding day story.

*You might also like to read Wedding Day: Sweet Family Moments in Store and Wedding Day Tip: A List For the Photographer .

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Photos by Chris Humphrey Photographer