Shutterfly’s Free Printable Engagement Photo Props

Mother of the Bride, as your sweet daughter and her intended’s engagement photo session approaches, why not offer them a dynamite tip to help make things more fun.

Of course, you’ll want to offer some standard tips for a good experience—choosing the right photographer, outfits that flatter and express their personalities, a great location, and ideas for poses that will be meaningful to them—but my tip today might be something they are unaware of and would love to include in their photos.

Shutterfly offers free downloadable engagement photo props that can help a couple add their own personal touch to their engagement photos. These props are fun and creative and a few can even be customized. You’ll even see some that can be used in photos or for décor on the wedding day itself.

Share this post pronto with your darling couple, MOB. And be sure to tell them to read Shutterfly’s post to the very end for lots of great tips on how to use the props and for photo session tips in general. Then sit back and wait for the moment they share their amazing photos with you!

Read more on Shutterfly.com.

*You might also like to read Use Engagement Photo for Bridal Shower Invitation.

*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 with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. 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.)

*Photos by Shutterfly

Favorites from the Book of all Books: God’s Word

It’s always fun to talk books. Fun to share what we’re currently reading, fun to tell what our favorites are, and fun to pick up some great recommendations for future reads. Today let’s talk about the Book of all books—the Bible, also known as the Word of God.

As I tell the little ones in my nursery-age Sunday School class, the Bible is a special book. In fact, it’s the most treasured book I own, as well as my absolute all-time favorite to read. When it comes to other books, even the ones I fall in love with or am blown away by, none stay as close to my heart as the Bible. After I read others, I put them on a shelf and only think of them occasionally. I might pick them up again and reread them years later, but they don’t impact my life every day.

Not so with my Bible. I read it daily. I even try to memorize verses I especially need or love. Not only is the Word of God “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) in my life, it breathes fresh life into me like nothing else can do. It comforts me, guides me, encourages me, and gives me truth I can offer to other thirsty souls. To put it like the Bible itself does, “the word of God is living and active . . .” (Hebrews 4:12)

I’m sure the Bible is life-changing and precious to many of you as well. So today let’s share some of our “favorites” from it. What’s your favorite book within the Bible? Favorite story? Favorite verse? I hope you’ll take time to leave a comment and answer any or all of the questions. It’ll be fun to hear what’s especially meaningful to others, won’t it?

I think my favorite book has to be Psalms—maybe because I love poetic writing and music, but it’s also so full of refreshment and encouragement. My favorite story is the Christmas story. For me, it’s just hard to top the angel’s announcement of a Savior born to us all. And favorite verse? That’s a hard one. So many mean so much to me. But one I come back to time and again is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)

Okay, it’s your turn. Tell us your favorites from the Book of all books!

“They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” Deuteronomy 32:47 NIV

*The current 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.)

*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 Savio SebastianCreative Commons License

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

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—For Living a Life of Love

*To free some of my time for other things, I’ll now be posting only on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Hope you are blessed each time you stop by!

As we continue the monthly blog series featuring sentence prayers inviting God’s power, February is the perfect time to focus on love.

Do you long to live a life of love? I do. I want my life to be marked by a deep and abiding love for God and a genuine love for others. But that kind of life doesn’t happen automatically. I need God’s power to live love and I bet you do too.

May the following sentence prayers help each one of us grow the life of love we desire to live. Let’s invite God’s power into our lives!

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—For Living a Life of Love

  1. Father, empower me so that my life—my actions, my thoughts, my motives for everything—will be an overflow of my love for you and my love for others. (Matthew 22:37-39; 1 John 4:7, 11-12, 16, 19; 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:12)
  2. Lord, give me a heart to love you more. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Philippians 1:9
  3. Lord, help me see interruptions that sidetrack and delay me as opportunities to show love to someone. (Psalm 31:14-15; Ephesians 4:2)
  4. Since love is a choice and an act of obedience, Lord, please empower me to forgive those who hurt me or those I love. (John 13:34-35; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8)
  5. Father, help me to live and love unselfishly, putting the needs and desires of others before my own. (Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:4)
  6. Lord, help me to reflect your love through generous giving. (John 3:16; Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 9:11; 1 Timothy 6:18)
  7. Lord, help me to show my love through prayer—through praise and thanks to you and through intercession for others. (Psalm 18:1; Hebrews 13:15; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:1)

Friends, may God’s love shine through us in ever increasing measure!

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 NIV 

*Which of the above prayers (actions) do you find most challenging?

*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! (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 garryknight, Creative Commons License

Wedding Rings Photo Idea: Say It With Flowers

*To free some of my time for other things, I’ll now be posting only on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Be sure to use the Search feature and the drop-down menu in the archives to help you find topics you’re interested in. Hope my posts help you!

Mother of the Bride, are you gathering wedding photo ideas to share with your daughter? If so, be sure to share this idea of how to show off the wedding rings. It’s pure perfection.

Wedding rings nestled in the bridal flowers is not a new idea, but it is one of my favorites. The solid color and softness of delicate flowers provide the perfect backdrop for the sparkling beauty of wedding rings. Such a romantic way to feature the rings!

Saying it with flowers will not only make a wedding-ring shot pop with beauty, but it will pop with meaning as well as two important elements of the wedding are combined. This photo will be one to treasure since it features the rings symbolizing the joining together of two souls and the flowers which capture the joy and celebration of the big day itself.

I bet your sweet girl will love this idea, MOB. Have fun sharing it!

*You might also like to read Wedding Day First Dance Photo: Show Off Her Rings! and Wedding Day Photo Idea: Rings on a Starfish!

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

*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! (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 Selbe, Creative Commons License