Wedding Planning Tip: Post-Wedding Inventory

Mother of the Bride, one of the smartest things you can do in the days following your daughter’s wedding is to take inventory of all the décor and supplies you have left. If you are planning to save items for another daughter’s wedding or for friends or family members’ use, a list of available items will be a lifesaver.

If you make a detailed list, you won’t have to waste time looking for things and unpacking them in order to get a count. When it comes time for your next daughter’s wedding or when a friend asks to borrow something, you’ll know exactly what you have left and how many of each item. What a huge help and timesaver.

To take inventory, simply make your list as you go through the leftover supplies when you’re preparing to store them after the wedding. When you and your helpers packed up everything as you left the reception, things most likely got disorganized. Instead of storing them like that, group like items together and take a count as you go.

Make note of how many white rose garlands you have left. Jot down the number of crystal candle bases you have available. Write down everything. You never know what might be useful to someone later.

Yes, MOB, there are a few duties to attend to after the wedding and taking inventory is one of them. Give yourself a few days reprieve and then dive in. Don’t neglect it. It will end up being a blessing to you and to others as well.

*You might also like to read After the Wedding: Thank Top-Notch Vendors and Prediction: A Special Memento for the Couple.

*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, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber will receive a $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 DoNotLick, Creative Commons License

Table Décor Finishing Touch: Fresh Rose Petals

Mother of the Bride, here’s a quick decorating tip for your daughter’s big day—ask your florist to sprinkle fresh rose petals on all the tables at the reception. Guest tables, cake tables, photo tables, buffet tables. They look beautiful everywhere. All it takes is a few scattered here and there.

Fresh rose petals add the perfect finishing touch—a splash of color and oh so delicate. They might even provide a whiff of fragrance. Plus the lush look of fresh rose petals just can’t be duplicated with the silk variety.

At our daughter Kristin’s wedding, it was actually our cake baker and not our florist who added the final cake decoration of fresh roses and then surprised us by scattering petals from some of the same roses on all the tables. Not only was it gorgeous, but it helped tie all the décor together by incorporating the flowers from the cake. Thanks so much to Emeline from Grandeur Affaires: Nibbles Café in Tulsa, OK for adding so much to the overall beauty of the reception.

So check with your daughter, MOB, and see if she might want to add this delicate final touch to the tables at her wedding. Tell her I highly recommend it! :)

*You might also like to read Wedding Table Décor: Add Pizzazz with Confetti, Table Décor for Rustic Weddings, and Bride’s and Bridesmaids’ Bouquets as Cake Table Décor.

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.)

*Since the readership here on my blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from October 2013 helped you today!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

Revisiting and Refreshing Our 2014 Theme Words

DSC05212Remember the theme words many of us adopted at the beginning of the year? Now that a third of 2014 has come and gone, maybe we should each revisit our words and the focus we adopted for the year and see how we’re doing. Anyone game for a little evaluation and renewal of good intentions?

My theme word for 2014 is guard. I admit I don’t think of it as often as I should, but the Lord has brought it to mind several times to help steer me in the right direction when I’ve needed wisdom for certain decisions or situations. Since one of the purposes of a theme word is to help guide us through the year, my word guard is fulfilling that role.

I’ve done fairly well applying the word guard to some areas of my life so far this year, but in other areas, I haven’t let it play much of a role. And that’s not because of a refusal to let it impact those areas, but instead because of a lack of awareness. I forget to apply my theme word. And even in the areas where I’m doing pretty well, I could benefit from an even deeper ongoing remembrance of it. How about you? Are you thinking of specific areas of strength and weakness in regard to your theme word the way I am?

Also, at the beginning of the year, I predicted that areas I hadn’t yet thought of where being on guard would be needed would come to light as the year went on, and that’s proven to be true. Recently, as I read the “My Identity” chapter in Prayers for a Woman’s Soul by Julie Gillies, I saw that Satan, the enemy of our souls, is ready and waiting for opportunities to steal our identities in Christ from us. That old deceiver wants to snatch the truth of who we are as children of God and replace it with his lies. And oh how often I’ve let him do that! I need to not only be on guard against his tactics, but I also need to proactively guard my identity by planting the Word firmly in my mind and heart and by recalling it often.

As we’ve revisited our theme words today, I hope each of us has been encouraged by our successes, prodded to action in areas of weakness, and made aware of new areas of application. Refresher courses are a good thing, aren’t they? What do you say—let’s renew our focus. Let’s allow our theme words to do their jobs!

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

*Do you have a theme word for 2014? Have you seen benefits yet?

*My photo

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out today. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Don’t miss out on the Going Natural Giveaway! Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. Wednesday. See post for details.

Failing To Reach a Goal

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I failed to reach some of my goals last year—and a couple of them were high on my list. Anyone else have the same experience? No one likes to fall short of achieving her goals, but since my theme word for 2013 was finish, this particular falling short stings a little more than usual.

The biggest goal I failed to reach last year was finishing my book. I almost made it, but I didn’t quite complete the task. I finished writing it, revising it, and sending it through to my critique group, but I didn’t get the final edit and polish done by year’s end.

As mid-year arrived, I was on track and felt confident that I would finish the project so I put it on hold during the summer. I didn’t even want to attempt a final read-through while my husband was on his summer break and life was more hectic than usual. I would finish it in the fall when I could concentrate without so many distractions.

What I didn’t fully anticipate was the amount of time and work it took to be ready to attend a writers conference in late September. Nor did I realize that the writing advice I would get there would show me that my manuscript needed more work than what I had been planning on. The final read through I thought I’d do turned into another edit and polish.

And then life happened as well. Within days after submitting my book proposal and polished sample chapters in mid-October to agents and an editor who had expressed interest at the conference, my mom was in a car accident. Shocked and heartbroken, we watched her die a few days later.

In November, in the midst of grief, I got back to work on the manuscript, but I also had the good fortune of being offered representation by a literary agency while another agent also showed interest. I had to take time to communicate with the interested agents, pray, research, and contact other authors the agency represented to find out what their experiences thus far had been like.

All of this helped me achieve another goal of signing with an agent, but my work on the manuscript was interrupted again. And then of course, the last two weeks of December was devoted to family and Christmas break. Year’s end came, and alas, I had failed to achieve my goal of finishing my book.

I know I’m not alone in failing to reach a goal—so what do we do when it happens? If you’re like me, you’ll kick yourself for quite awhile. After all, it’s natural to feel aggravated at yourself and disappointed with missing your mark. But after we work through our initial discouragement, what do we do then?

The way I see it, we have three choices. 1) We can walk away in defeat and abandon the goal altogether  2) we can pick ourselves up and keep going for it or  3) we can reevaluate and see if we need to alter the goal in some way or perhaps break it up into more manageable pieces.

Which will you choose when you fail to reach a goal? I choose to press on. The goal is worth achieving, and I’m almost there. Distractions and roadblocks will most certainly keep occurring for all of us, but if we persevere and call on God for help or for guidance in reevaluating, success will surely come—even if it’s not what we first envisioned. Let’s not walk away in defeat. Let’s press on.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2 Chronicles 15:7

*How do you stay determined to reach your goals?

*Flickr photo by Omer Unlu, Creative Commons License

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early February. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Guard: Theme Word for 2014

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Like many of you, I’ve chosen theme words for the past couple of years to help guide me through the year. In 2012, my word was focus, and last year I chose finish. Keeping those words in mind helped me immensely, especially in my writing life.

My word this year is guard. When I began considering and praying about what word should be my guide-word this year, the word guard came to my attention time and again. Others did as well, but guard has resonated with me the most. Don’t you love how God guides us as we seek his wisdom?

I don’t know all the reasons I need to focus on guard this year, but I do know as my writing life moves forward, I need to guard my time and my heart carefully. I need to be on guard in making wise decisions and guard against feeling pressured into making decisions I’m not comfortable with.

Guard will be a good guide word in my personal and spiritual life as well. Among other things, I need to guard my health. I’ve learned from experience that when I push too hard and get too busy and stressed, my body lets me know it. Spiritually, I need to guard against Satan and the traps he tries to ensnare me in most often. I need to be alert to new ones, too. Our adversary will do anything he can to make us stumble and fall or strip us of our joy in the Lord. And of course, I always need to guard my tongue. I have a feeling that’s an area where I’m not alone.

As the year goes on, I’m sure I’ll see other areas where being on guard is needed. In fact, I probably won’t know the full impact of this particular theme word until the year is out. The Lord knows about it all right now, though, and I’m thankful he’s preparing me for whatever may come this year by guiding me to the word guard for 2014. I’m thankful to have a God who not only watches over me but equips me as well.

“. . . guard what has been entrusted to your care.” 1 Timothy 6:20

*What would be a good theme word for you this year?

*Flickr photo by Keoni Cabral