Ever-Ready Refreshment

Have you noticed how we set our sights on the summer months for periods of rest and refreshment, for times to recharge? We take breaks from regular activities and make efforts to get away from home for a while, whether to a vacation destination or a trip to see family or friends. We long for a change and a chance to catch our breaths.

Sometimes that works for us and sometimes it doesn’t. Life may have other plans. We may not get to go on that getaway. Or sometimes we go, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t provide the rest and refreshment we desired and needed.

Whether our plans to refresh and recharge work for us or not, we can take comfort in the fact that nature’s ever-ready refreshment is within our grasp each day. And that, my friends, is a truth that inspires poetry. Hope my latest blesses you!

Ever-Ready Refreshment

Just outside my door I find it
nature’s own remedy,
a ready retreat
an instant vacation
the ever-ready refreshment I need.
When my body needs fresh energy
or my spirit needs a lift,
when my soul cries for God’s own touch
the great outdoors soon beckons me.
A few steps and moments later
the very air around me changes
as I pass from indoors to out,
as I breathe in nature’s tonic.

The miracles in God’s world around me
never disappoint,
as I listen for the song of birds
or hear the wind sashaying through the trees.
The sights, the smells, the sounds, the feel,
and yes, the taste of God’s ever-ready refreshment
set my weary heart to singing,
re-energizes me once again.
And I found it all
just outside my door.

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:25 NIV

What aspect of creation particularly refreshes you? The ocean? The mountains? Maybe the wide-open fields or the forest? Perhaps flowers? Do tell!

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out tomorrow. It’s not too late to receive it (though you won’t be eligible for the giveaway until the next issue.) 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.)

*My photo

Mother of the Bride: Spruce Up Your Smile!

Mother of the Bride, your smile will be working overtime come Wedding Weekend. Between all the meeting and greeting and the continual photos being snapped and video being recorded, your pearly whites will come into play more than you can imagine.

Since your smile is probably the most important part of your wedding day attire and since it will be getting near constant use, why not splurge on yourself and spruce it up a bit before the big weekend arrives? Not only will you feel more confident as you interact with everyone, but your sweet smile will shine even brighter in some of the most important and treasured photos of your life.

You can choose from several alternatives to teeth whitening. You can go with anything from the inexpensive (but not as effective) whitening toothpastes all the way through to costly professional whitening or bleaching done by your dentist.

When I’ve wanted to brighten my smile, I’ve settled for a method between the two—whitening strips. Of course, they don’t give the dramatic results that professional whitening/bleaching can give, but I’ve been pleased with the improvement they do offer while still being affordable. And affordable is always a word a mother of the bride is happy to hear, right?

So, MOB, check out your options and decide which is best for you and your situation. You may not need this particular spruce-up at all. But if you do, don’t hesitate to splurge on yourself. You’re the Mother of the Bride. You’re worth it!

*Flickr photo by dandeluca, Creative Commons License

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

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Bridal Portrait: Bride Seated with Bouquet on Train

Mother of the Bride, are you gathering some ideas for special bridal portrait shots of your sweet girl? Your photographer will have lots of great ideas, but most will welcome input on any particular shots you or the bride would like to capture. Whether taken during a special bridal portrait session or during the hours preceding the ceremony on wedding day, you’ll want lots of amazing shots of your gorgeous daughter-turned-bride.

Today’s bridal portrait idea features the bride seated near the floor with her bouquet displayed on the gown’s train. I don’t particularly care for the darker tones used in the photo above, but at least it gives you an idea of what a shot like this could look like. I like to imagine it in a prettier setting with more light and color in the shot. This particular shot would, of course, work best on wedding day so you wouldn’t have the expense of a bouquet on a separate day.

Of course, you can use this idea as well as a springboard for other photo ideas of the bride seated.  She could be seated on steps, on a fancy loveseat, or even on the floor or grass outside—all with her gown extended all around her, of course, for spectacular effect.

Why not run these suggestions past your daughter, MOB, and see if any of them appeal to her. If so, add the idea she likes best to the list you’re making for the photographer. Your little bride-to-be will be grateful for your help

*You might also like to read Bridal Portrait Idea: A Shot with Mom, Bridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots, Bridal Portrait Idea: Windows Plus Great Light, Bridal Portrait Idea: A Mirror Shot, Bridal Portrait Idea: Watching for the Groom, and Bridal Portrait Idea: A Stairway Shot.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in each quarterly issue, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a gift valued at $20 (shipping included) from Beigetone Soaps 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! (To be included in this issue’s giveaway draw, you must sign up by noon on Saturday Apr. 29.)

*Flickr photo by galeria_stefbu, Creative Commons License

Bridal Gown Trend in 2017: Illusion Lace Sleeves

Mother of the Bride, for several years strapless bridal gowns dominated the bridal attire landscape, but a different trend seems to have taken hold now—illusion lace sleeves. According to Belle the Magazine—The Wedding Blog for the Sophisticated Bride—illusion lace sleeves are here to stay.

The photo above is actually one I used a couple of years ago of a gown from Chatfield’s, a bridal shop that specializes in modest gowns, but it wonderfully illustrates the illusion lace sleeve trend that is popular currently. I love the delicate and feminine look this particular trend affords—so romantic and even vintage looking.

To see some other absolutely gorgeous gowns featuring the illusion lace sleeve trend, hop on over to Belle the Magazine’s blog post.  The dresses pictured there are all so elegant and stunning. I definitely love this trend!

If your daughter doesn’t have her gown yet, be sure and share this post with her, MOB. She might just find her dream dress—or at least a feature she wants to keep in mind as the two of you begin shopping for her dress. Enjoy this special part of the journey!

*You might also like to read Bridal Gowns with Modest Design—Try Chatfield’s! and New Trend in Wedding Gowns: Lacy Top or Sleeve.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a gift valued at $20 (shipping included) from Beigetone Soaps 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!

*Photo compliments of Chatfield’s

Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life . . .” Hugh Black

Yes, Mother of the Bride, as in other areas of life, attention to detail when planning a wedding makes all the difference. If you want to bless your daughter and the love of her life with a wedding celebration filled with joy, beauty, fun, and ultimately great memories, give attention to all the details.

Whether it’s making sure everyone knows their assignments on Wedding Day or ensuring  that each centerpiece is centered and setting level on the tables, the details all work together to provide a beautiful setting and to keep things running smoothly throughout the entire event.

Nothing is too small or insignificant for your attention. If you give attention to detail, it shows. If you don’t give it, that shows as well. Why not give your family and friends an experience that leaves them saying Wasn’t that a wonderful wedding? Wasn’t that a great party?

After Kristin and Shawn’s wedding, I actually received a note from one of her bridesmaids telling me how much she enjoyed the wedding weekend and how the attention to detail made everything perfect. A few months after Kelli and Jake’s wedding and after they had attended a friend’s wedding where apparently haphazard best summed it up, Jake thanked me for everything I did to make their wedding a smooth-sailing and beautiful event. What was the key? Attention to detail.

Go above and beyond, Mother of the Bride. Give attention to detail.

*You might also like to read Mother of the Bride, You Are Appreciated and Mother of the Bride – Needed and Loved.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in each quarterly issue, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a gift valued at $20 (shipping included) from Beigetone Soaps 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!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey