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

Bridal Portrait Shot: Watching for the Groom

Mother of the Bride, isn’t this photo gorgeous and precious all at the same time? I may be a little biased since the bride is my sweet daughter Kristin, but this particular pose of watching for the groom conveys so much—grown up beauty and the promise of joy as well as little girl excitement and overflowing love. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Notice how Kristin’s photographer, Chris Humphrey, chose a beautiful spot for this shot and took advantage of perfect afternoon sunlight coming through the windows. You might ask your daughter’s photographer if he knows a location where he might be able to get a similar shot of your bride-to-be.

So MOB, when it comes time for your daughter’s bridal portrait day—one of the most delightful wedding planning days you’ll experience, by the way—keep your fingers crossed for a “watching for the groom” shot. I promise it will immediately become a favorite!

*You might also like to read Bridal Portrait Idea: A Shot with Mom, Bridal Portrait + Fancy Sofa = Perfect Bridal Portrait, Bridal Portrait Idea: A Stairway Shot, Bridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots, and Bridal Portrait Idea: A Mirror Shot

*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.)

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from July 2013 was helpful to you today!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey Photography

Easter Acrostic: From Sorrow to Joy

Easter—the holiday that takes us from the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy in the span of only two and a half days.

We remember the Last Supper our Lord had with his disciples and feel the pain of his betrayal. We recall his prayerful agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and then relive the horror of his arrest and crucifixion. We feel the grief his loved ones and followers felt.

But then the joy comes. We remember and rejoice in the fact that death did not win. God raised Jesus from the dead—our Savior lives! And because of him, we who are believers will live eternally with him in heaven. What joy!

May the following Easter “From Sorrow to Joy” thoughts bless your celebration this year. Happy Easter, friends!

Easter: From Sorrow to Joy

Ever remember his body and blood shed for us.

Again read the scripture and tell the story of those history-altering, life-changing days.

Stand at the foot of the cross and weep over the price he paid for our sin.

Thank God for raising Jesus from the dead, for giving us a Savior who lives today.

End fearful and defeated thinking and be filled with the joy and hope of eternal life.

Rejoice in Christ’s victory over Satan and let our lives overflow with praise to God!

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” Matthew 28:5-6 NIV

*Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If not, ask him to forgive your sins and be your Lord. Give him your heart today!

*The next 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.)

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

*Flickr photo by Dale Simonson, Creative Commons License

Our Savior’s Prayers

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For the next few days, as we meditate on our beautiful Savior and on all he did for us through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, let’s consider some prayers he prayed during the last hours before his crucifixion. While you read these prayers of Jesus, ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply them to your own personal life.

 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.’” John 17:1

 “‘My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one . . . Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth . . . May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.’” John 17:15, 17, 23

 “‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’” Matthew 26:39

 “Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’” Luke 23:34

 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice…’My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” Mark 15:34

 “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’” Luke 23:46

 Won’t you join me this Easter in committing our lives into the Father’s hands? A blessed Easter to all!

*Which of these prayers of Jesus most resonated with you today?

*I hope this encore post from April 2011 blesses you today!

 The next issue of Life Notes, my inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in each quarterly issue , comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a gift valued at $20 (shipping included) from Beigetone Soaps 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!

 *Flickr photo by Kimber Photography, Creative Commons License

Gardeners, Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers!

3370451864_6fff8307b4_zMother of the Bride, do you or your daughter love to garden? If so you might like to grow your own flowers for her wedding. Not only would it add a unique personal touch to your celebration, but it could save money and create a great memory as well.

I know it might sound a bit far-fetched at first, but why not enjoy your passion while accomplishing a task for the wedding? Some moms and brides love to sew and fashion their own dresses for the big day. Others love to cook and provide much of their own food for the reception. If you love to garden, why not plant and nurture your own flowers and then take joy in displaying them on Wedding Day?

I admit I’m not a gardener and don’t have first-hand experience with this. But I do know that people craft wedding flowers and table décor from silk flowers as well as from paper. So if they can do that, why not put your gardening skills to work for you and have some fun, too?

Maybe you feel confident in your gardening abilities but not so much when it comes to designing the arrangements or bouquets. If so, you could do the growing and find a floral designer to finish the job. You’d still be giving the wedding your personal touch.

If you’re interested in giving it a shot, here are a few resources to help get you started:

Better Homes and Gardens—Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers 

Gardenista—DIY: Secrets of Growing Your Own Wedding Flowers

Bridal Guide–How to Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers

*You might also like to read Wedding Decor: Craft It with Paper, Wedding Idea that Sparkles: A Brooch Bouquet, and Knitted Bridal Bouquet and More.

*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 September 2013.

*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!

*Flickr photo by Robert S. Donovan, Creative Commons License