7 October Stress-Busters

After posting 7 September Stress-Busters last month, I thought it might be nice to offer month-appropriate stress busters each month throughout this next year. Stress certainly doesn’t take a vacation, so many of us might benefit from some fresh stress-busters at the beginning of every month, huh?

May the following stress-busting strategies come in handy in October when you find yourself in need of refreshment and relief. Be blessed, friends!

October Stress-Busters

  1. Enjoy a fun fall activity with some favorite kiddos in your life. Visit a pumpkin patch, collect colorful leaves, or carve pumpkins for Halloween. Enjoy the season like a kid again!
  2. Decompress with the beauty—and awesome autumn scents—of candlelight. Light candles in various spots in your house so their soothing beauty and comforting aromas will refresh you as you move from room to room.
  3. After the leaves change color, go on a walk in the woods (or your favorite tree-lined street or park.) Let the awesome oranges, reds, and golds fill your spirit with joy.
  4. Spend an entire day (or morning or evening) in your favorite comfy pants and cozy socks. As you change into your relaxed attire and let it comfort your body, take off the stress of the day or week as well. Let your spirit and soul relax and be refreshed.
  5. Plan a coffee or lunch date with friends and treat yourselves to some special foods or drinks offered during fall. Get that pumpkin spice latte or apple cinnamon muffin. Slow down and savor a taste of autumn.
  6. Watch for an especially cool evening and start a fire in the fireplace or firepit. Sit for awhile and soak up its warmth and relaxing beauty. And don’t forget to roast some marshmallows or make some smores. Fully enjoy this evening respite.
  7. Let the cool evenings of October give you permission to curl up on the sofa with your favorite hot drink and a good book (or a must-see tv show.) Lose yourself—and your stress—in a compelling or funny story. Enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor.

Along with these stress-busting strategies for October, let’s not forget to turn to the One who knows every stress we face and is willing and waiting to take the load from us and let us relax in his arms. No better place to be—no matter the day or month!

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble 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! (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 dan.kristiansen, Creative Commons License

Wedding Tasks Perfect for the Groom

Mother of the Bride, as you and your daughter attend to the multitude of details involved in throwing a wedding, don’t forget to put the groom to work. That’s right. It’s a good idea to put him in charge of a few tasks, too.

Your daughter’s intended undoubtedly has some passions or skills that you can put to good use while planning for their big day. Be sure to tap that resource. Lighten your load while giving him an opportunity to be personally invested in the celebration of his lifetime. It will even give him the chance to show off to his wife for the very first time.

Number one on the list of tasks perfect for the groom could be arranging for the getaway vehicle. What man wouldn’t like to be in charge of the vroom vroom? I asked both of my girls’ grooms to take care of the getaway transportation, knowing they would do their best to make it interesting or snazzy. They, of course, came through.

Other ideas might include asking him to help design the programs or invitations if he’s a computer whiz, or if he lives in a different town that you do, you could even send him to his local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to pick up items that you need multiples of. If you can’t get everything at your store, he might be able to score the last five candles or the last white rose garland you need to complete your decorating.

Of course, the groom will also be in charge of selecting tuxes and helping his family arrange for the rehearsal dinner, but what other wedding tasks might the love of your daughter’s life be especially good at doing?

Don’t overwhelm him with tasks but do carefully select some ways that he could really provide some help. It will be a win-win for everyone!

*You might also like to read 9 Easy Way for the Mother of the Bride to Bond With the Groom, Fun Gift for the Bride to Give the Groom, and Building a Bridge to the Groom.

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from Nov. 2013 helped you today!

*Photo by Will Flowers

The Divine Lookout

Are you on the lookout for a certain item at all times? Some of us are always quick to notice a good recipe while others gravitate toward a great coupon, a super bargain, or maybe a giveaway or an e-book temporarily offered for free.

Some of us also stay alert for less tangible things like a recommendation for an amazing book or tips on a particular area of interest. Since I’ve started blogging, I’m always on the lookout for new material for blog posts. In fact, my family and friends now live with the reality that some of their interactions with me might just make their way to the blog!

But we’re not the only ones on the lookout. God is on the lookout, too. He’s on the lookout for people. He is our Divine Lookout.

Consider these scriptures to see who God searches for:

“‘. . . who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 30:21b

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’” Isaiah 6:8a

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a

And we must not forget the parables in Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son—all of which illustrate God’s continual efforts to go after and save the lost or to scan the horizon, waiting with open arms to welcome a returning child.

Where do each of us fall in the sights of the Divine Lookout? Are we among those who are lost, who have never given our hearts to him in faith, or is he watching for us because we have strayed away? Maybe he’s seen that we are fully committed to him, and he stands ready to imbue us with his strength. Or possibly we’re the ones who will answer his call for devotion or go in his name to the place where he sends us.

Let’s never hide from the Divine Lookout. Let’s always be ready to be found or answer his call. There’s no better place to be than with him.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

*I hope you were blessed by this encore post from Sept. 2011!

*Flickr photo by Dave Morrow’s Custom CreationsCreative Commons License

Bridal Bouquet Roundup

Mother of the Bride, have you asked your daughter yet if she knows what kind of bridal bouquet she’d like to have? You two may have just started your wedding planning journey together, but it will be time to select flowers before you know it.

In addition to the beautiful fall colors featured above, options abound when it comes to the big-day bouquet. Will your daughter want something traditional like roses or will she perhaps interested in something less conventional like the gemstone bouquets some brides select now? Will she want something colorful or something in softer colors that will be an elegant and beautiful complement to her gown?

To help you both consider many of the options that are out there, I’ve put together a roundup of the bridal bouquets I’ve featured here on the blog (see links below.) I hope you both find it helpful and fun to look through these options. And MOB, your darling girl might even discover her dream bouquet. Good luck!

Bridal Bouquet Idea: The Roses Have It!

Single Bloom Bridal Bouquets 

Bridal Bouquet: Classic and Elegant Calla Lilies 

Wedding Idea That Sparkles: A Brooch Bouquet! 

White or Cream Bridal Bouquet: Add a Touch of Color 

Bridal Bouquet and Boutonniere Sheet Music Idea 

Inexpensive Bridal Bouquet Idea: Baby’s Breath! 

Bridal Bouquet Idea: Add Some Sparkle with Gemstones 

Knitted Bridal Bouquet and More 

*Since September is an exceptionally busy month for me this year, I’m taking a short break and will be back on the 26th. Why not take a look at my list of Favorite Posts (sidebar) and read some posts from there. Blessings!

*Flickr photo by Flower Factor, Creative Commons License

Rock-Solid Words of Hope

Many around the world are in need of hope today. Their situations look bleak if not impossible. They are struggling to hang on to hope.

Right here in our country, countless folks in Florida and Texas are dealing with the aftermath of hurricane force winds, tornadoes, and the floodwaters that came with Irma and Harvey. Some may feel that all hope slipped away with the winds and waters that wreaked such havoc on their lives. And in yet other parts of the country, people are battling wildfires.

Others of us may be in need of hope right now for different reasons. If you fall into that group, this post is for you as well as for all of those struggling to regain their footing after their foundations literally got blown or washed or burned away.

The truest and most powerful words of hope I can share with you come straight from the Word of God. God’s Word is a firm foundation. His promises are rock-solid. May the following scriptures inspire fresh hope and strengthen your faith today, my friends!

“. . . I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“‘There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope.’” Hosea 2:15

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:14

“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him . . .” Romans 15:13

Praise God for the hope we have in him!

*Which of these verses speak to you most powerfully today?

*Since September is an exceptionally busy month for me this year, I’m taking a short break and will be back on the 26th. Maybe you can take a look at my list of Favorite Posts (sidebar) and read some posts from there. Blessings!

*Flickr photo by Our Enchanted Gardens, Creative Commons License