Tuning Our Ears

Do certain sounds capture your attention while escaping the notice of other people? For example, a distant cry of “Mom!” may find you turning your head instinctively. Or if you’re my little grandsons, the sound of the garage door opening is not just another outdoor sound, but it means that Daddy is home. And they hear it every time. Their ears are tuned for it.

While hiking and exploring recently in Colorado, my ears perked up to the songs of nearby birds, but my traveling companions didn’t take particular notice of them. For them, birdsong was just a pleasant part of nature’s backdrop, but for me, it signaled a chance to capture some photos of birds I may not regularly see. Since I enjoy taking photos, my ears and eyes are tuned to opportunities, just like my grandsons’ ears are tuned to the sound of their daddy coming home.

We tune our ears—and our eyes for that matter—to the things and people important to us, don’t we? Since we have different loved ones and different interests, it follows that our ears will be tuned to different things for the most part.

For those of us who are believers—children of God—let’s ask ourselves if we’ve made sure to tune our ears to his voice. Whether he’s speaking through his Word, through the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, through the wind or the waves or the birds singing overhead, or through the timely word of a friend, do we hear him? Do we take notice? Are our ears tuned to God?

Let’s tune in. We don’t want to miss hearing from our Savior and our God!

“. . . love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 30:20 NIV

*What helps you tune in to God’s voice?

*The new 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.)

*My photo

Remembering Trust

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We are now over two months into 2017 so I decided this would be a good time to remember and reinforce my theme word for the year. That word is trust.

In order to spend some time reflecting on and further cementing trust in my heart and life, I thought I’d write an acrostic for it. And if you chose a word for the year, why not write an acrostic of your own? Who knows what God might show us through this exercise? Here’s what I came up with. Hope it blesses you today!

Remember to Trust

Timing is God’s specialty so exercise faith and let him do his thing.

Rest in the knowledge that God knows the future and will bring about what is best.

Urge one another not to worry but to keep your eyes on the Lord.

Sing songs of praise and worship daily, expressing your faith out loud.

Take God at his word and believe in his promises.

If you didn’t choose a theme word for the year, I’d be happy to have you join me in focusing on trust. God may use it to comfort us or challenge us or more likely do both. And we can rest assured it will all be for our good.

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:10

*Besides writing an acrostic, what are some other ways we can reinforce our theme words?

*Flickr photo by Kansas Poetry (Patrick), Creative Commons License

2017 Theme Word: Trust

15004178998_fdf4bb1e5c_zThe launch of a new year means different things to different people, but for me it means it’s time to focus on a new theme word for the year. I’ve never been big into New Year’s resolutions, but the past several years, I’ve chosen a theme word to help guide me through the year. It’s a practice I highly recommend. I can honestly say it has benefited me time and again.

This year the word the Lord kept bringing to my attention in the waning weeks of 2016 was trust. It wasn’t a word that was on my theme-word radar so to speak. Initially the words balance and simplify came to mind, but as I asked God to guide my choice, the word trust kept popping up, first in one place and then another. Isn’t it great how God gives us direction as we seek his guidance?

I’ve got to admit when I sensed God directing me to the word trust, fear tried to sneak in. Why was God leading me to the word trust? Is something bad going to happen? Is God trying to prepare me to trust in him? Of course, I immediately realized I would have to trust him even with this. I shouldn’t run from the word trust. I needed to follow his lead and yes, trust him come what may.

So, I don’t know how the word trust will play out in my life this year, but it will be interesting to see how it offers me direction, comfort, peace, and yes, perhaps even challenge as the year goes on.

Right now when I think of trust, I think of believing, resting, or staying faithful, and I know it will be good to grow in all of these areas. But who knows, God may have something in mind that hasn’t even occurred to me. After all, he works like that quite often, doesn’t he?

One thing is certain, though—God is trustworthy. So with trust as my word for the year, I’ll go forward fully trusting in him and the good work he will do in my life. Join me?

“LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12 NIV

*Have you chosen a theme word or an anchor verse for 2017?

*The next 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 SFB579 Namaste, Creative Commons License

Organizational Email Tip for Wedding Planning

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Mother of the Bride, today I have a simple but powerful organizational email tip that will make wedding planning easier for you and the bride. That’s right. Simple, easy, and powerful all rolled into one. Interested? I thought as much!

Here it is: Both you and the bride set up separate email accounts for anything wedding-related. Just think of how much easier it will be for each of you to keep track of everything when all of your wedding planning correspondence flows into a specific email account. This can include notes and links you email to yourself for handy reference as well. All of the information you need in one easily accessible spot. Simple idea? Check. Easy to set up? Check? Powerful when implemented? Check, check.

So, MOB, don’t waste any time—contact your daughter and set up your new wedding email accounts today. You’ll be glad you did!

*You might also like to read Get It In Writing, A Planning Journal for Your Mother of the Bride Notes, Mother of the Bride Memory Boosters for Shopping, and Mother of the Bride—Info Source for Gift-Givers

*Flickr photo by BettaLivingUK, Creative Commons License

A Blogging Change Plus Words to Inspire

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Hey everyone, the time has come to change things up a bit here on my blog. I’ve been blogging twice weekly since September 2007, and in June 2013 I started posting twice weekly to my Mother of the Bride Blog as well. Since that’s a lot of blog posts to keep up with and since I’ve reached a point where I need to devote more time to other projects (and people—like my grandchildren! :) ), I’ve decided a change is needed.

So from now on, I’ll post weekly—generally on Tuesdays—on both of my blogs. I won’t officially have Midweek Morsel posts anymore, but some of my weekly posts may resemble the Midweek Morsel posts of the past. I like the variety that shorter posts offer in the midst of some longer ones. And sometimes a short post is exactly what you—or I—need at a given time.

One thing that I hope doesn’t change is that you’ll always find refreshment, nourishment, and inspiration here. When you leave here, I want you to feel encouraged in some way. If we keep our eyes on the Lord together, that’s sure to happen, right?

So be encouraged today my friends with this Inspiration acrostic. May God use it to bless you indeed!

In God we find our strength and hope.

Nothing is too difficult for my God to handle.

Silence can soothe and energize so step back and soak it in.

Prayer and peace go hand in hand so give your worries to God.

Indeed my God loves me and stands ready to help me.

Refresh your spirit in the boundless beauty of God’s creation.

Alter your attitude to turn your day around.

Thankful hearts provide the perfect soil for joy to grow.

Invest in people and make a difference today, tomorrow, and forever.

One small act of kindness can be the first ripple of a day—or a life—redeemed.

Never underestimate the power of a smile.

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf.” Psalm 66:5

*Where do you find inspiration?

*My photo