Making Our Lives Count: Laura Bush’s Words Still True Today

Several years ago when the tenth anniversary of 9/11 drew near, we heard, saw, and read many reminders of that horrific time. I came across one that year that I think bears repeating here. I hope you will agree.

Woman’s Day Editor-In-Chief (at that time) Elizabeth Mayhew introduced their September issue with a quote from an essay former First Lady Laura Bush wrote for their magazine on the first anniversary of the attacks. I love what Mrs. Bush had to say:

“You don’t have to walk into a burning building or wear a badge to rescue someone. You don’t have to go to medical school to help a person feel better, or walk on the moon to change this earth. You simply have to care about what happens in our country. To me, we can all honor the lives lost on September 11 by making our lives count even more.”

What great perspective Mrs. Bush offered back in 2002—and it’s still true today. Instead of feeling hopeless and helpless in the face of overwhelming times, we can make a difference. We can make our lives count. Sometimes we just need to think about it a bit and then become more intentional in our efforts.

So what can we do to make things better for our nation? We can vote regularly in elections and pray for our leaders. We can treat others with kindness and respect. We can volunteer through our churches and civic organizations when crises come or to help with ongoing projects. We can support our military and their families and volunteer at our communities’ schools. We can also recycle and try to incorporate other earth friendly practices in our lives. The possibilities abound.

In like fashion, we as Christians should be making our lives count for the Lord as well. We can grow closer to him each day, becoming a beacon of hope and good news for those around us. We can live our faith in front of our families and friends in good times and bad, setting an example for our children and grandchildren. We can pray for and encourage others. We can get involved in mission projects and actively support missionaries. We can be ready to share the good news of a Savior as the Lord gives opportunity. Yes, we can make a difference eternally.

Let’s heed the wisdom Mrs. Bush offered on that first anniversary of 9/11. Let’s make our lives count even more.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV

*What else can we do to make a difference in our nation or for Christ?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. 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.

*I hope this slightly revised post from Sept. 2011 blessed you today!

*Flickr photo by włodiCreative Commons License

Pre-Ceremony Wedding Day Prayer Idea: The Mother of the Bride Prays for the Bride

Mother of the Bride, before your precious daughter says I do on her wedding day, why not send her off into her next stage of life with a prayer? What could be more meaningful than a prayer falling from the lips of the one who has loved her, watched over her, taught her, and encouraged her from the moment she was born? Yes, dear MOB, you are that treasured. Your prayer will bless her in a way that no one else’s can.

On the big day, after your little-girl-turned-bride is all dressed and waiting with her bridesmaids for the appointed time to get into place, have everyone get in a circle and hold hands while you pray for your darling daughter and the love of her life.

You may want to give your prayer some thought ahead of time and make mental note of the things you want to mention so you won’t forget something important to you. After all, your brain may be on overload by the time you reach go-time. Or on the other hand, you may prefer to let it all come naturally in the moment from the overflow of your heart. Do what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way.

One thing is certain—your prayer asking for God’s blessing and protection and for encouraging their total, sold-out commitment to each other and to God will undergird your sweet girl with strength and love and send her off into her new life with the complete support and blessing of her mom. What better gift could be given? I only wish someone had suggested it to me when my girls got married. We missed this special time together because I simply didn’t think about it. But you don’t have to miss it, Mother of the Bride. Now you’ve heard the idea!

So MOB, gift your daughter—and yourself—with this once in a lifetime moment and memory. And rest assured that God will use your send-off prayer in mighty and wonderful ways!

*You might also like to read A Prayer for the Newlyweds, A Prayer for the Bridesmaids’ Luncheon, and Wedding Resource: Prayers 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 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.)

*Stephtphotography photo of my nephew’s beautiful bride Kaitlynn and her sweet mom Shannon

Wedding Expenses: Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

At the beginning of a new year, many of us are looking for ways to trim down, both physically and financially. Saving money always feels good and getting the most value for our money makes us smile as well. Sometimes we get downright giddy over a good deal!

Want to know how to get the most bang for your MOB buck, Mother of the Bride? Here’s my tip: Put your checkbook away and use your credit card when paying for wedding expenses.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating racking up charges that you don’t have the money to cover. But since you’re going to be making lots of purchases—and some of them very big—why not take advantage and rack up the points on your credit card so you can purchase free flights or other free items?

In other words, let the money spent on the wedding work twice for you—once to make your sweet daughter’s dreams come true and the second time to make your dreams come true. Another win-win on the wedding front!

*You might also like to read Wedding Planning Tip: Ask for Price Breaks, Wedding Savings Tip: Make It Yourselves!, A Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!, Let Bridesmaids Bouquets Perform Double Duty, Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts, 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 on Thursday Feb. 1st. One lucky subscriber 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. New subscribers this week won’t be included in this giveaway but will be included in all future giveaways. 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 Images Money, Creative Commons License

Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts

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Mother of the Bride, since you will undoubtedly be attending more than one shower for your soon-to-be married daughter, you may be on the hunt for ideas. As ever—on the gift front or any other wedding-related front—I stand ready to help with ideas I’ve used myself or have seen others score a homerun with.

Since you may be shouldering most of the expense of the wedding, why not give yourself a break and give shower gifts that can be used at the wedding? Not only will your pocketbook thank you, but your daughter will too. She will love receiving elegant wedding-related items that may end up becoming keepsakes.

Some wedding-themed ideas that make lovely gifts include: Classic wedding photo frames that can be used on the cake tables or photo table (excellent places to display bridal portraits and engagement photos), an elegant cake server set, exquisite toasting flutes, pretty garters (one for keeping and one for tossing), a beautiful wedding photo album or scrapbook, or even a dated wedding-themed Christmas ornament.

Use one of these ideas, MOB, and you’ll make your daughter very happy with a beautiful keepsake gift—plus your shower gift will do double duty and help save on your overall wedding expenses. A win-win for everyone!

*You might also like to read Bridal Shower Gift Idea: A Wedding Towel Cake!

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (current or new) will receive a Starbucks gift card 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!

*Since the readership of this blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from November 2013 helps you today!

*photo by Chris Humphrey

A Peek at Mother of the Bride’s Chapter Titles

Google+ BannerMother of the Bride, would you like a closer look at the contents of my recently released book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride?

This is not a complete list, but here are many of the chapter titles you’ll find in Mother of the Bride. Hope they spark your interest!

*First Things First: Start with Fun

*Sleep—What’s That?: The MOB Brain Stuck in Overdrive

*When God Is Your Wedding Planner: Finding the Ultimate Coordinator

*Whose Wedding Is This: Finding a Balance

*To Have and To Hold . . . Until She Gets Married

*Mother of the Bride: No Job for a Weakling

*Father of the Bride: Make Room for Daddy

*The Man of Her Dreams Becomes Your Son: Coming to Grips with the Groom

*Bye, Bye, Comfort Zone: Diving into Unfamiliar Waters

*Lean On Me: The MOB’s Support Team

*Life Goes On, Too?: It’s Not All about the Wedding

*When Dreams Become Disasters: The Dreaded Horror Stories

*The MOB Dress: Time to Splurge on You

*Coming Down the Homestretch: Make a List and Hang On

*And Then There Were Tears: Expect a Meltdown

*Letting It Unfold: Enjoy the Wedding Weekend

Also, as a special gift at the back of the book, you’ll find all the vendor worksheets you’ll need, MOB, to help you with your planning. I pray that Mother of the Bride will be a blessing to you!

*Find links where you can buy the book on the sidebar to the right!

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

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