Sweet Fellowship

Oh how sweet it is to find a group of people who get you, huh? People with whom you can enjoy meaningful fellowship. On a professional level, I’ve found this with Fellowship of Christian Writers, the writers group I meet monthly with in Tulsa, and also through writers conferences. On a personal and spiritual level, I’ve found this throughout my life with other believers in Christ, whether through the local church or a ministry or mission group.

Today let’s consider and rejoice in the fellowship we share as God’s children. As we read the following Fellowship acrostic, let’s thank God for each aspect of fellowship made possible because of our bond in him. And let’s fellowship!

Finding others with common passions and goals and joining them.

Enjoying time together and encouraging one another in every way.

Listening to the burdens as well as the delights of fellow members of the body of Christ.

Learning from others’ knowledge and experiences and sharing your own.

Owning possessions with open hands and giving liberally to those in need.

Worshiping the Lord together in song, in prayer, and in words of testimony.

Serving alongside one another to minister to others and share the love of Christ.

Helping each other in time of need or to achieve a common goal.

Inviting new folks to join in your activities and groups.

Praying together for needs, common concerns, and for people to come to faith in God.

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 

*What aspect of fellowship do you most enjoy? Which aspect do you struggle with the most?

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 Pepe Pont, Creative Commons License

Most Important Part of the MOB’s Wedding Day Attire

MOB&FOB waiting our turn

Mother of the Bride, have you started shopping for your dress for the big day yet? You’ve probably discovered that this particular task doesn’t move to the front burner of your mind until decisions are made about colors, style of bridesmaids dresses, style of the wedding itself, and many other more pressing issues as well. As in so many other facets of life, we moms usually see to our own needs only after everyone else is taken care of.

When the time does come to find the attire that will make you shine, be sure to remember an important piece of fashion advice from Ann Taylor, a 17th century British poet and children’s author. Believe it or not, her advice still rings true today. Here it is—simple and within the means of all:

“The most important thing to wear is a smile.”

Isn’t that good to know? Doesn’t that relieve some of the pressure to find the perfect dress? Mother of the Bride, just go out there on Wedding Day and flash your beautiful, joy-filled smile. You’ll make others feel at ease and happy, too!

*You might also like to read Spruce Up Your Smile.

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post has been helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it in July 2013.

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

*Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer

Engagement Photo Idea: Playground Fun


Mother of the Bride, here’s a great engagement photo idea if your daughter and future son-in-law are a playful and fun-loving couple: a little playground fun! Not every couple would enjoy this adventure or look natural in the shots, but you know your girl and her guy—could they pull it off?

My daughter Kelli and her love Jake pulled off playground shots with ease. If there’s adventure or fun to be had, they’re right in the middle of it. If your sweet couple lives life likewise, have your daughter suggest playground shots to their photographer.

Slipper slides or swings, monkey bars or rope swing, whatever is handy will do. Be sure to request shots in both color and black and white. Sometimes black and white takes a photo to a whole new level of awesome.

So MOB, pass along this super-fun idea. Bet it will wind up on the photo table at the reception!

*Here’s another winning engagement photo idea—Frame That Moment! You might also like to check out my Engagement Photo Ideas Pinterest board.

*Photo by Will Flowers

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Summer Fun: Distracted by Cake


The dawn of June means summer is here—and I say we kick it off with some fun! Sometimes the best refreshment for our spirits and souls can be found in funny thoughts and silly stories. Yes, we need the spiritual refreshment and food found in God’s Word and in our own inspiring and encouraging thoughts shared with one another, but sometimes nothing hits the spot better than chuckles and belly laughs, right?

Here’s a fun mental image for you: little ole me distracted by—cake! For those of you who know me, either personally or through blogging and Facebook, that’s not too hard to picture, is it? Throw chocolate into the equation, and the level of distraction reaches epic proportions.

Distracted by cake is a phrase I coined one day while—you guessed it—I was thoroughly engrossed in eating a yummy cupcake piled high with enough frosting to put anyone in a sugar coma. At the time, I was also trying to play a game with Don, Kristin, and Shawn. The key word here is trying. Who in the world can concentrate on strategy, rules, and turns while giving a cupcake the attention it deserves?

After making an error not at all characteristic of my competitive prowess, I complained, “Darn, I can’t believe I did that. It’s not fair—I was distracted by cake!” As you can imagine, I didn’t get a lot of sympathy. All that met my ears was gleeful chuckles and gloating remarks about getting my head back in the game. They had a point. A cupcake had been my downfall. Maybe I’m too easily distracted?

It’s okay every now and then to let ourselves get distracted by the joys of living, isn’t it? And there’s no better time than summer to remember that. Let’s be ready to have some fun this summer. Let’s enjoy the unexpected moments of pleasure that come our way. Let’s get distracted by cake!

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15

*What fun, joy, or yumminess have you been distracted by lately?

Flickr photo by zigazou76, Creative Commons License

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!

*What advice can you give about teeth whitening? Have you found a product or a method you’d highly recommend?

*Flickr photo by Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons License

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