Mother of the Bride: 9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself

Mother of the Bride, you deserve to pamper yourself every now and then on this marathon journey otherwise known as wedding planning.

Not only you deserve to do it, you need to do it. Just think—in addition to all the responsibilities of life you manage on a day to day basis, you’re now juggling wedding responsibilities as well. If you don’t take care of yourself during the journey, you may crumble before the big day gets here.

So to help keep you refreshed, recharged, and ready to help your daughter in every way possible, I give you 9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself. May they work their magic on you, dear MOB!

9 Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself

  1. Treat yourself to a couple of hours of relaxation in your favorite bookstore. Enjoy browsing the aisles or take a seat and do some reading while sipping on a delicious drink. Soak up the peace and solitude and then head out the door with a refreshed spirit—and maybe a new book or magazine!
  2. Spend a few minutes outside listening to the birds sing. Block out thoughts of to-do lists and various worries and focus completely on the calls and melodies of the feathered friends around you. Refresh with one of the most soothing and uplifting activities to be found. And it’s free!
  3. Treat yourself to an outing with a friend. Go to the movies or try the new ice cream place or restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Enjoy your friend. Laugh. Forget the demands of life for a few hours and focus on having fun.
  4. Relax with the new craze of coloring. If you enjoyed coloring as a kid, I bet you’ll love it now too. And if you didn’t really care for it in your younger years, you could still give it a try. Let creativity fill your senses and watch stress get crowded out.
  5. Take time for a stroll down memory lane. Spend an afternoon or evening looking through family photos or reading back through baby books and journals. Bask in the warm feelings nostalgia brings. Let joy and contentment bring you fresh energy and perspective.
  6. Indulge in floral therapy by keeping fresh flowers in your home. If you’re not the green thumb type (I’m not) and don’t have flowers blooming plentifully in your yard, treat yourself to inexpensive flowers from a greenhouse, grocery, or discount store that sells fresh flowers. Farmer’s markets might be another option. Let the amazing and delicate wonder of flowers refresh your spirit.
  7. Take a drive or bike ride in the country and get away from it all. Enjoy the scenery and scents of country life. Stop along the way to walk and take photos. Capture the beauty of the open countryside—wildflowers, birds, the sky, farms, cattle, pastures, crops, ponds, and streams. Whatever catches your eye. Thank God for his marvels in creation and for refreshing your spirit.
  8. Be intentional about taking rest. Schedule it on the calendar if necessary. It may mean leaving Saturday mornings open so you can sleep in. Or you may need to say no to Sunday afternoon commitments so you can luxuriate in the all-important Sunday afternoon nap. For others, it may be blocking off time to relax with a good book or a round of golf. Whatever form it takes, provide yourself with respites of rest.
  9. Treat yourself to a copy of my book Mother of the Bride. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but darn it all, I think you’ll love it. I believe it will truly pamper, encourage, and refresh you—with everything from the beauty of the cover and interior design to the wisdom, help, and understanding voice shared throughout. Through my book, I want to be your friend for the journey. Let me pamper you!

Of course, MOB, other possibilities abound for personal pampering, but these are some ideas you may not have thought of yet. I hope you’ll try most—if not all—of them and let them provide you with the occasional respite you desperately desire. Remember, you need and deserve it!

 *You might also like to read Relax and Refresh with This Wedding Story, An MOB Prescription: Movie Fun!, and Mother of the Bride Relaxation Time—with Coloring!

*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  “Strolic Furlan” – Davide Gabino, Creative Commons License

My Life in One Word: Blessed

Two sets of twin grandsons (left to right – Isaiah, Silas, Samuel, James)

(Fyi, I won’t be posting during Thanksgiving week. Everyone enjoy your time with loved ones!)

Have you noticed the challenge on Facebook over the past few weeks to describe your life in one word? Because of time restraints, I usually fly right past Facebook games and challenges, but this one caught my attention. This one was worthy of thought. And not just worthy of thought, but as a blogger always alert to new post ideas, I decided it would make a timely, thought-provoking blog post during this month of thanks. 

So how would I describe my life in one word? I had to think only a second before the answer came. My life in one word is blessed. At other seasons of life, the answer may have been different—as yours may be. But right now, the word blessed sums up my life pretty well.

I am blessed in my personal life. The picture above is evidence. Just look at those four sweet boys. Above and beyond blessings. In amazing answers to years of prayers, God blessed with two babies for our older daughter and her husband—and then blessed again with two babies for our younger daughter and her husband! Yes, God gave us two sets of twin grandsons! Double blessings doubled, huh?

Of course, I am blessed personally in many other regards as well. My husband and I will soon celebrate forty-two years of marriage, our daughters have been and continue to be two of the greatest blessings of our lives, and we have two wonderful and God-honoring sons-in-law as well as extended family relationships and decades-long friendships. Yes, I am extremely blessed by God.

In addition, I am blessed in my professional life. After years of hard work to position myself for possible book publication, God opened the door for my book Mother of the Bride to be published last year. A dream come true for sure. I also feel incredibly blessed to be part of the BroadStreet Publishing family and to be represented by Karen Neumair of Credo Communications, all godly folks who seek to glorify God through the books they help bring to life.

Through my work life as a writer and author, I’ve also made a host of new friends and acquaintances in the business. I feel incredibly blessed to be connected to such a fine group of people. We offer each other encouragement, support, instruction, and empathy as we understand the unique challenges and joys of the writing life. 

And finally—and most importantly—I am blessed in my spiritual life. The God of the universe is my Father, his Son Jesus is my Savior, and the Holy Spirit is my Counselor, my Comforter, and Friend. The Three in One loved me even though I was a sinner and they continue to love me unconditionally. They walk with me through life each day and I have the promise of life in heaven with them for eternity. I can know these things because God has given me the Bible, his Holy Word, to provide me with truth and to be my guidebook through life.

God has also blessed me with the spiritual gift of encouragement, and through the abilities he’s given me to write, he has allowed my written words to touch many lives—some I won’t know about until I get to heaven.

Yes, friends, I am blessed. And no matter what may come in the future, I pray I’ll always be able to see God working in my life. I pray I’ll always see his blessings.

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

*How would you describe your life in one word?

*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.)

*My photo

Mother of the Bride Book’s Birthday Giveaway and a Blogging Break

*7-24-17 – Winner is Laura! Congrats, Laura! I’ll get your winnings to you soon!

Last year at this time I was in the midst of celebrating the launch of my book Mother of the Bride. Since July 1st was the official launch date, I consider that the book’s official “birthday” too. So now my book baby is one year old!

If you weren’t a mother of the bride last July, you probably missed all the hoopla. I hosted a big giveaway here on my website, my family sent me flowers, and friends and fellow writers wished me well and shared the book via social media. Later in the month, I had a launch party at our local library. After all, the birth of a book calls for lots of celebration!

I think a first birthday calls for some celebration too so how about another giveaway? One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of my book along with a set of the Wedding Inspiration cards I developed a few months ago (see below.) For those who are reading this but are not mothers of the bride, you don’t have to be a mother of the bride to enter. The book and cards also make perfect gifts, and I love to see the book donated to church and public libraries as well. For a description of the book along with endorsements, I’ll link you to the Books section of my website.

Now for the giveaway. Here’s how it will work—and you must follow the instructions to qualify for the entries. You may list all of your entries (as outlined below) in one comment:

*1 entry for leaving a comment on this post here on my website. The comments on Facebook are greatly appreciated, but to be entered in the giveaway, you must leave a comment here.

*2 entries for Liking my Cheryl Barker, Writer Facebook page (tell me in the comments.) If you’ve already Liked the page, just say so. That definitely counts!

*3 entries for sharing the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter (tell me in the comments.)

*4 entries for subscribing to Life Notes, my free quarterly inspirational newsletter (tell me in the comments but be sure to confirm your subscription when you get a confirmation email.) Sign-up is to the right under “Free For You”. (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) If you’re already a Life Notes subscriber, you bet that counts. Just mention it in your comment.

*Giveaway is open to US residents only due to customs and mailing costs.

*Drawing will be done by Random.Org.

Enter by noon CST July 22nd, and I will update this post with the winner announcement as soon as I’m able, depending on travels, etc.

I won’t be posting here again until August 1st. Yes, that’s a long blogging break, but July is going to be a super busy month for me so I’m being kind to myself and taking a break. I’ve learned it’s okay to do that!

For “mother of the bride” help in the meantime, check out my list of Favorite Posts and also the drop down menu in the Archives. You’ll find both of these on the sidebar. (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find them.) I encourage you to check out my Pinterest boards for some great ideas as well. Have fun with all of that, MOB, and I’ll see back here on August 1st!

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early August. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 cash (summer mad money!) 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.)

Left to right: Life Lessons from the Mother of the Bride, A Mother of the Bride’s Prayer, A Bride’s Wedding Day Prayer, Praying for Newlyweds, and For the Newlyweds.

Kick Off the Holiday Giveaway!

11377205686_d2fd287fe8_zNow that Thanksgiving has come and gone, let’s kick off the holiday season with a little giveaway. You may remember that I’m doing most of my giveaways through my Life Notes newsletter now (sign-up is free on the right sidebar), but I can’t let the Christmas season go by without playing Santa here on my blog. It’s just part of who I am! :)

This Christmas I’m giving away a $15 gift card to Starbucks as well as a signed copy of my book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride. Most everyone enjoys getting a gift card to Starbucks, and if you’re not a mother of the bride, you can give the book as a gift or donate it to your public or church library. I would love to see the book make its way into more libraries!

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post by noon (CST) next Monday December 5th. I’ll announce the winner the next day in my regular Tuesday blog post. (Because of high shipping costs, you must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible to win.)

Any comment will do, but maybe you could tell me what you will do with the book if you win. Are you a mother of the bride who will hang on to it for dear life? Will you give it as a gift? Will you donate it to a library? Maybe you will keep it for future use. Or maybe you just want a copy of my book and don’t have one yet. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a mother of the bride to enjoy reading it! Lots of personal stories included and wisdom that can be applied to a variety of situations.

You may earn an additional entry if you’re a current or new Life Notes subscriber (sign-up is free on the right sidebar), and you can earn another entry if you Like (or have already Liked) my Cheryl Barker, Writer Facebook page. Just mention if you’ve done these things in your comment to get your extra entries!

Now here’s to a blessed holiday season to one and all. May you each feel our Savior’s presence in a wonderful way this Christmas season!

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NIV

*Flickr photo by Daniel Y. Go, Creative Commons License

Summer Photo Fun: My Book Launch Party!

IMG_6652Summer Photo Fun wouldn’t be complete this year without featuring one of the most exciting events of my summer—my book launch party!

To be honest, this summer has been an intense one for me, filled with all the work necessary to help launch and market a book. So when Mother of the Bride finally made its way out into the world, believe me, it called for a party!

So today, friends, enjoy a few shots from that special celebration. I’m still in awe and still praising God for allowing me to share Mother of the Bride with the world. May it bless many!

IMG_6670Visiting with long-time friend Pam and my husband’s cousin Lyssa.

IMG_6684Heather, a friend from church, looking at my website.

IMG_6655The cake turned out great! Thanks, Becky!

IMG_6690My dad, flanked by long-time friends Lynn and Diane and Larry and Paula, chose one of the door prize winners.

IMG_6719I read a chapter about the father of the bride to help keep the men in the crowd interested :)

IMG_6807Signing books was part of the fun. Thanks, Norma, Janet, and Becky for coming!

IMG_6761Teri, Cara, and Phyllis looking at the my book with interest. Yay! :)

IMG_6791Two of my sisters, Janice and Carolyn, live within driving distance so could come celebrate with me. I also talked them into serving the cake and punch!

IMG_6738A huge thanks to my daughter Kristin and son-in-law Shawn for being my tech-team extraordinaire throughout my publication journey and also for allowing me to share so freely about their lives in my book. My mother of the bride experience started with them! (Since my other daughter Kelli’s due date is drawing closer, she and her husband Jake couldn’t travel to be with us.)

Thanks for sharing in my joy today, friends!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice;” Romans 12:15a

*How can I celebrate with you? What blessing has come your way this summer?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter comes out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photos by Shawn