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

Savings Tip for Wedding Expenses: Borrow

All MOBs’ ears perk up when they catch wind of a way to save some money, and I’m sure you’re no exception, Mother of the Bride. Be sure not to overlook the value of today’s tip: Borrow when you can!

You’ll be amazed at how many dollars you can save by borrowing. And you’ll be equally amazed at how many items can fall into this category.

Some items you might try to borrow include cake knife and server sets, champagne buckets, white rose garland, hurricanes and other glassware for candles, a wedding arch, pew bows, extension cords, flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillows, and plant stands. If the bride doesn’t mind, you might even be able to borrow a veil, headpiece, or bridal slip. After all, she needs something borrowed for the big day! And you might even be able to borrow a small purse to match your ensemble, MOB.

So MOB, make a list of items and then check with friends and family. Someone might have just what you need. Be especially sure to check with friends who’ve hosted weddings themselves recently. One of the things I was happy to do during my post-MOB days was loan items to fellow MOBs eager to save dollars where they could.

Be bold, MOB. Ask to borrow when you can!

*You might also like to read Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets,  Quick Tip: Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB Buck , and Making Her Beautiful—Bridal Primping on a Budget.

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from April 2014 is a help to you today, MOB!

*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, will come out in early May. 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.)

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Guest List Help: Don’t Forget the Father of the Bride

Mother of the Bride, when you’re thinking of people to include on your portion of the guest list for your daughter’s upcoming wedding, don’t forget to ask for help—from the father of the bride. That’s right, here is one of the tasks where you need to get his input and find out his desires.

Don’t assume that you know who the FOB would like to invite to the wedding. You might be surprised by just exactly who he wants—or doesn’t want—to invite to join you for the festivities. He may want to invite his co-workers but not his boss, or he might like to include his golfing buddies but not the fellow members of the civic group committee he’s serving on.

Also be sure to get his input on the total number of guests to invite. Unless the bride and groom are paying for their own wedding, you need to be on the same page with the FOB on this important decision since it will impact the cost of the wedding. If you avoid hard feelings over unexpected financial stress, everyone will be happier when wedding day arrives.

MOB, maybe you could even make the guest list conversation fun and make a date out of it. Go for coffee or dessert and take your pad of paper along. Brainstorm names with the father of the bride and enjoy something yummy while you’re doing it. Another win-win on the wedding planning front!

*You might also like to read Budget Agreement with the Father of the BrideWedding Day Emotion: Father-Daughter Dance Songs, and Wedding Day: Grab FOB for Impromptu Portrait

*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 early 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.)

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from Mar. 2014 blessed you today!

*Flickr photo by Corey Ann, Creative Commons License

Wedding Budget Tip: Prioritize and Trim

Mother of the Bride, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking of all the expenses coming at you while planning a wedding. The whole process can start to feel like a runaway train you can’t seem to slow down. Soon you can find yourself engulfed in emotions like panic and dread instead of excitement and joy.

Here’s a wedding budget tip that can help: Prioritize and then trim. Talk with the bride and groom and have them decide which elements of the wedding are most important to them and  which elements are the least important. And then plan your spending from there.

Devote the bulk of your budget to the things the couple cares the most about and plan for minimal amounts to be spent on the others, possibly even forgoing some things altogether. If your daughter and her beloved want an amazing venue, a live band, and top notch photography, maybe they would be willing to have an hors d’oeuvres buffet rather than a sit-down dinner and scale back on flowers and favors. They might even decide they don’t need ceremony programs at all. You get the idea.

MOB, take the pressure off a bit—prioritize and trim. The results will be unique to your own situation and will help put the brakes on that runaway train, giving wings to joy instead. Why not give it a try?

*You might also like to read Budget Agreement with the Father of the BrideA Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow, Bridal Primping on a Budget, and Christmas Gifts for the Bride.

*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 this week. 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 cafecredit, Creative Commons License

Bride and Bridesmaid Bouquet Savings Tip

Mother of the Bride, are you interested in saving money on the floral expense for your daughter’s wedding?

Silly question, right? Every MOB is interested in saving money. I heard a great tip about wedding flowers a few years ago while watching Wedding Wednesdays on Katie so I wanted to share it with you here.

Simply ask your daughter if she would be willing to select flowers with large blooms for the bridesmaids bouquets and possibly even her own. Large blooms means less flowers needed overall for the bouquets. And less flowers means less expense. And of course, less expense means welcome relief for the parents of the bride!

I realize the bride-to-be may have her heart set on particular flowers already, but if not, suggesting those with large blooms is a terrific idea. Like the gerber daisies pictured above, large-bloomed flowers can make beautiful bouquets. Peonies, dahlias, hydrangeas, and sunflowers are also some other great options.

So go on, MOB, ask away—and have fun saving a little money! 

*You might like to read this piece by Anne Chertoff that features lots of great ideas for saving money on the wedding flowers. 

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. 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.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by shelleyelizabeth, Creative Commons License