Add Beauty to Wedding Venues with Candlelight

Mother of the Bride, as you and your daughter discuss décor options for the ceremony and receptions sites, don’t overlook the beauty of candlelight. No two ways about it, candlelight works. Yes, other décor possibilities are beautiful, too, but candlelight has a magic all its own.

Candlelight adds beauty, serenity, and romance to every area it graces. This may be one reason candelabras have been such a traditional decoration for the front of the church. As the bride and groom exchange vows, they are flanked not only by the elegance of their attendants but also by the beauty of candlelight.

If your daughter doesn’t want the traditional candelabra-look for the ceremony, maybe she could have clusters of pillar candles positioned at various places up front. Or she might want votive candles lining certain areas. Possibilities abound. Just be sure to suggest that she include the magic and beauty of candlelight somewhere in the vision she has for her ceremony. Candlelight works wonders at a welcome area near the guest book as well.

Candlelight transforms a reception site, too. Whether candles are part of the guest table décor, a magical touch at the cake tables, or positioned in windows or other key areas, candlelight amps up the beauty factor at the reception big-time. As the evening goes on, the beauty grows as outside light fades and the candlelight becomes more prominent. It will make the wedding wonderland you’ve created absolutely gorgeous.

So MOB, do everyone a favor and encourage your daughter to offer the beauty of candlelight to all who join her and her beloved for their big day!

*You might also like to read Wedding Photo Idea: Moms Light Unity Candle Together and Centerpiece Idea: Flower Ring and Candle.

*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.)

*Hope this slightly revised encore post from March 2014 helps you today!

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Winter Trees and the Church: Beautiful Support

This may sound odd to some people, but I see a unique beauty in the naked trees of winter. Many would describe them as stark, drab, or depressing. I, on the other hand, think they have a beauty all their own when winter strips them of their leafy glory.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the leafy glory of trees as much as the next person. Watching trees bud out and turn green in the spring holds a special excitement for all of us. Summer then brings lush, full trees to pleasantly fill our landscapes before autumn arrives and sets them ablaze with color. I delight in each of these seasons and the changes they bring to trees.

But I think trees are beautiful in winter as well. Some might think it’s like looking at skeletons, but I see what looks like arms and fingers reaching for and pointing to God. I love looking out and seeing the intricacies of the branches. Winter allows us a view of the support system of the leaf laden trees we enjoy the rest of the year. Without the drab looking branches, there could be no beautiful leaves.

Winter trees actually remind me of other support systems in our lives as well. Just think about our bodies and all that’s working together beneath the surface to keep us up and running. The same can be said for just about every company, group, or organization we might name.

Consider the church. Many programs and people are highly visible, but there are just as many or more serving behind the scenes. And it’s the behind-the-scenes-type activity that makes it possible for the more visible ministries to take place. Everyone needs to do their part to keep things running smoothly—and more than that, to enable growth.

What role are you filling in your church—or life in general? Are you a part of the highly visible, leafy-glory, or is your role a part of the vital support system that’s needed? Maybe a little of both? Just keep in mind that neither is better. Both are needed and valued.

So take another look at the winter trees. Beautiful, huh?

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

*What support systems in your church, workplace, or organizations are you most thankful for?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out Feb. 1st. 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 Oakley Originals, Creative Commons License

*I hope you enjoyed this revised encore post from January 2008!

Summer Photo Fun: Butterfly Beauty


As we continue Summer Photo Fun, I’ve got some butterfly beauty headed your way today. Butterflies flitting through the air and lighting on one flower and then another seem almost magical, don’t they? They definitely deserve to be featured in one of my Summer Photo Fun posts.

So friends, enjoy the exquisite and delicate beauty of one of God’s amazing creations today. Enjoy some butterfly beauty!

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24

8-7-12 737


Engleman Aster and butterfly




*Which is your favorite photo? Have you ever visited a butterfly garden?

*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!

*My photos

Sometimes the Wonder Is at Home

High hopes and firm expectations of a marvelous week fueled our packing and quick-as-possible exit from home a few weeks ago. As we escaped the confines of our small community in our rather ordinary region of the country and headed towards the mountains—towards the promise of beauty and wonder and grandeur galore—God surprised us with an early taste of the refreshment we sought.

Not more than a half-mile outside of town, unexpected movement not far off the roadway captured our attention. In a split second, Don and I both saw it—a fawn leaping through an overgrown field. No momma in sight, just the baby. Our first wildlife spotting of the trip.

We had to laugh. Here we were headed to Colorado to surround ourselves with the beauty of the mountains (and our kids!) and to see the wonders of God’s creation—wildlife included—and we saw a little miracle bounding through a field not five minutes from home. In that moment, God reminded me that sometimes the wonder is at home.

Not only did He give that reminder as we left for our much-anticipated week in the mountains, He bookended our trip with the same reminder as we traveled home. Believe it or not, less than twenty minutes from our house, we spotted in the light of our headlights four or five deer dashing across the highway in front of us. After a week filled with exciting encounters with the wildlife of the Rocky Mountains, God seemed to say again, “Remember, sometimes the wonder is at home.”

Even though over the next few days I experienced the normal let-down most of us feel after a vacation and even though the beauty of the mountains feeds my spirit like nothing else, what comfort I found in the knowledge that wonder and beauty can be found at home, too. What comfort in knowing that God—and the beauty of His creation—are ever-present, no matter where I am.

How about you? Are you in need of such a reminder? Take a moment and consider your life. Consider the world around you. And remember—sometimes the wonder is at home.

“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.” Psalm 9:1

*Flickr photo by Jeffery™, Creative Commons License

**Don’t forget to enter the “Back At It” Giveaway 2! You must comment on that post by noon Aug. 28 for a chance to win.