Lavish Gift of Love

Have you ever wanted to lavish a costly gift on someone—whether financial, emotional, or an investment of time and effort—but felt a little unsure about it?

I’m not referring to using your resources in an irresponsible way, one that would leave you unable to pay your bills or meet your current obligations. No, I mean questions you may have about whether it’s right to splurge on someone you love when millions around the world are so needy, when there are so many worthy causes that could benefit from your investment.

Consider this example from the life of Jesus. Matthew tells us in his gospel (ch. 26:6-13) about one—identified as Mary in the John 12:1-8 account—who lavished her love on the Savior just days before his crucifixion.

During a banquet given in his honor, Mary came to Jesus and anointed him with a jar of very expensive perfume. She drew immediate criticism, however, from the disciples. They called it a waste. They pointed out that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

Jesus saw it differently, though. He said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” (Matthew 26:10-11 NIV)

He also said she would be remembered for this act of love wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world. Jesus approved of her lavish gift of love.

Today the same is true. Worthy causes and desperate need will always be present, but we won’t always have our loved ones with us.

I’m not suggesting we forget the poor or hurting. Of course, we should give to help those in need. But I think we can also feel free to lavish a costly gift on a loved one occasionally. After all, it’s a beautiful thing to show someone the depth of our love. Just ask Jesus. I think he would approve.

“. . .love one another deeply, from the heart.”  1 Peter 1:22 NIV

*What lavish gift of love have you received?

*Hope this slightly revised post from March 2013 blessed you today!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) 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.)  p.s. Sign up by 4-24 to get in on this issue’s giveaway. If you subscribe after that date, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Aih, Creative Commons License

Mother of the Bride—An Info Source for Gift-Givers

Mother of the Bride, did you know one of your MOB roles requires you to be the go-to source for all kinds of gift-giving information? As your daughter’s wedding day draws closer, friends and family will call on you time and again for insider info. You will be asked everything from where the couple is registered to what colors they’re using in their master bath.

Instead of hemming and hawing because you’re clueless on some of the answers, why not be prepared with an inside-scoop list? Grab your MOB planner/journal—and also the bride-to-be—and make a list of the following items and their answers:

*Where is the couple registered?

*Couple’s address after the wedding

*Names and addresses of ceremony and reception sites

*Dates and places of bridal showers

*China brand and pattern

*Crystal brand and pattern

*Flatware/silverware brand and pattern—formal and everyday

*Dishes (everyday) brand and pattern

*Cookware

*Living room colors

*Kitchen colors

*Bedroom colors

*Bathroom colors

*Size of bed

*Favorite themes or collections

*Hobbies

There you have it, MOB—your personal gift-giving ideas cheat sheet. Now all you need to do is fill it out. Enjoy your insider-info role!

You might also like to read A Planning Journal for Your Mother of the Bride Notes, Mother of the Bride – Needed and Loved, and You Are Appreciated, Mother of the Bride!

*Hope this slightly revised post from May 2014 helped you today!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, 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 (new or current) 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.) p.s. Sign up by 4-24 to get in on this issue’s giveaway. If you subscribe after that date, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*Flickr photo by vidalia_11, Creative Commons License

5 Inexpensive Ways to Pamper Your Bride-to-Be Daughter

Mother of the Bride, I know this won’t come as a big surprise, but there are times when wedding planning can be stressful—for both you and your darling bride-to-be daughter. Much of the planning is fun and exciting, but since the tasks involved in wedding planning are in addition to the regular demands of life, stressful moments become unavoidable.

 As moms, we hate to see our kids stressed out and that doesn’t change when your daughter becomes a bride-to-be. She is still your little girl and you’ll still want to help alleviate her stress. So what’s a mother of the bride to do?

 Here are 5 inexpensive ways to pamper your sweet girl and thus reduce the stress she’s feeling: 

  1. Surprise her with her favorite homemade cookies. No, she is not too old to pamper her with cookies. Something special from Mom’s kitchen is always the ultimate comfort food, isn’t it?
  2. Treat her to a bath bomb or bubble bath designed especially for relaxation. When you’re at her apartment or house next, leave it in her bathroom when she’s not looking. It will be sure to put a smile on her face and bring a contented sigh when she uses it.
  3. Take responsibility for the wedding planning task currently causing her the most stress. Either ask her directly or ask the groom-to-be for his insight and do the task yourself or arrange for someone to take care of it or assist her with it. Your help will be a sweet balm to her!
  4. Say stress relief with flowers. Surprise her with fresh flowers from a discount or grocery store. Nothing lifts the spirits like beautiful fresh flowers, plus they offer soothing beauty for several days.
  5. Send chocolate to the rescue. Can there be a post about pampering and stress relief without including chocolate somehow? Treat her to her favorite chocolate truffles or some other chocolate treat you know she loves, something she doesn’t usually buy for herself. She will love you for it!

So go ahead, MOB, pamper away. Not only will you bless your daughter, but you’ll feel blessed as well as you help your sweet girl!

*You might also like to read Mother of the Bride: 9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself, A Wedding Favor That Pampers: Beigetone Soaps, and Relax and Refresh with This Wedding Story.

*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 February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks 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.) p.s. It is too late to get in on this issue’s giveaway, but if you subscribe, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*Flickr photo by RebeccaVC1, Creative Commons License

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—Into the Lives of Your Loved Ones

Happy 2019, everyone! As I bring you the next installment of my current blog seriesjoin me, won’t you, in kicking off the new year with sentence prayers inviting God’s power into the lives of our loved ones.

Not only will praying these sentence prayers be a powerful way to impact the beginning of the year for the ones you love, but you can make them ongoing prayers that will help shape their lives for years to come.

So as you pray for your family members and dearest friends, may these petitions to the Lord make an eternal difference in their lives!

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—Into the Lives of Your Loved Ones

  1. Father, please bring the little ones I love to faith at an early age and give each of my loved ones a heart to live for you, to be hungry and thirsty for you and your house, your Word and your people. (Luke 18:16; Acts 20:24; Psalm 42:1-2; John 2:17; Jeremiah 15:16; Romans 1:11)
  2. Father, help them to live out your greatest commandment and love you with all their hearts, with all their souls, and with all their minds. (Matthew 22:37-38)
  3. Lord, empower them to obey your second greatest commandment and love others as they love themselves. (Matthew 22:39)
  4. Lord, be their strong support through each new day and through every stage of their lives. (Psalm 18:2; Deuteronomy 31:6)
  5. Father, please bless my loved ones with Christian mates, ones who will love you above all and love them the way you intend. (2 Corinthians 6:14; Matthew 22:37-38; Ruth 1:15; Ephesians 5:21-33)
  6. Lord, for those who are married, help them keep their eyes on you and their arms around one another. (1 Chronicles 16:11; 1 Peter 4:8)
  7. Lord, be their light, teaching them from your Word and guiding them in all their decisions. (Psalm 119:105; John 8:12)

Let’s be a life-changing force in the lives of our loved ones as we invite God’s power into their lives. Lord, be glorified in them!

“. . . we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling,” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

*Which of these prayers for your loved ones resonates most with you right now?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early February. 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 and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Mike Monaghan, Creative Commons License

Blessings in the New Year for the Mother of the Bride

As a new year begins, Mother of the Bride, may I pray these blessings from the Word of God (NIV version) over you? I want the very best for you this year as you prepare for one of the best days in the life of your family. So from me to you —

“‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.’” Numbers 6:24-26

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress . . . May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:1, 4

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

“May the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good for doing his will . . .” Hebrews 13:20, 21

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way . . .” 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Amen and amen. Have a blessed 2019, Mother of the Bride, and a blessed wedding celebration!

*You might also like to read Mothers of the Bride Need Prayer and Wisdom and Encouragement for the Mother of the Bride.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, 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 February. 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 LadyDragonflyCC – Tinsel Time!!!Creative Commons License