Budding: New Growth in Spring and in Life

Have you noticed them yet this season? Budding trees. They whisper promises of things to come, slip us reminders of spring’s unfailing relief from winter’s frigid toll. One day they nudge us and say, “Look at us. New growth! There’s hope after all . . .”, while on another they call out, “Look at us! We’re budding! What will you become?!”

I love how the seasons speak to us on deeper levels and give us encouragement to grow or rest, to persevere or hope. Spring has the privilege of bringing hope to weary souls and inspiring us to branch out or reach for new heights. It works wonders in our world and in our hearts, and each year its work in our lives might be a little different.

The image of growth in spring has influenced how we see so many things. We’ve all heard people say, “He’s a budding artist” or “She’s a budding musician”, and they’re usually referring to children or teens. But I can’t help but notice, in the natural world, that even old trees bud year after year. New growth and the promise of things to come grace them as well.

And to be honest, probably none of us reading this post today are children or teens. We’re all older trees, if you will, though some of us are indeed older than others. The good news is that old trees bud! We’re not only capable of growth, it’s expected.

So what’s budding in our lives as we head into spring this year? What evidence of growth can be seen on our branches? Are we mastering a new skill or using some new technology? Are we displaying strength or peace in the face of adversity? As believers, are we looking more like our Savior each year?

If you don’t feel like you’re growing right now, it’s not too late to start. Get out there and start budding! Rejoice in the promise of things to come!

“In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.” Isaiah 27:6 NIV

*Is there something budding in your life right now? If not, what would you like to see bud?

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from March 2011 blesses you 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 and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by James BoweCreative 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

Groom’s Cake Idea for the Coffee-Loving Groom

Mother of the Bride, has your future son-in-law decided on a design for his groom’s cake yet? If he’s not into all the wedding details, it may be the last thing on his mind. If that’s the case, this where you and your darling daughter come in. He may need some ideas to choose from.

If the man of the hour is a coffee lover (or some might say a coffee nerd or coffee snob – ha!), the coffee cup idea pictured above above may be perfect cake design for him. Coffee beans and chocolate curls spilling out of the cup or mug and flowing over a double layer cake will catch the eye of all. He might even have a favorite coffee mug he’d like to feature on his cake.

You could even add an extra special touch to the groom’s cake table and have coffee brewing nearby. Let a heavenly aroma turn getting a piece of the groom’s cake into a total experience. I bet the coffee-loving groom will think of other things to add to his table as well. In fact, if you’re not careful, he may go a little overboard!

So there you go, MOB—one more clever idea to share with the bride and groom. If coffee is not quite the right thing for this particular groom, maybe this idea will spark another idea that’s perfect for him. Whatever is decided, I’m sure it will fun and yummy too!

*You might also like to read Groom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!)Groom’s Cake Idea: Favorite Professional Sports TeamGroom’s Cake Idea for the Military Man, Groom’s Cake Idea: Show State Pride, and Groom’s Cake Idea: A Chessboard!

*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 and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by TN Something Special Cakes, Creative Commons License

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—In the Lives of Unbelievers

A new month means a new installment in my monthly blog series featuring sentence prayers inviting God’s power and this month we’ll focus on unbelievers.

Most of us have family and friends who have never come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Our hearts ache with the knowledge that they don’t have the same sure hope we do of eternal life in heaven with the Lord when our lives on this earth are finished. We are concerned as well for casual acquaintances and entire people groups around the world.

Through our prayers we can help prepare the way for unbelieving hearts to be open to the good news of a Savior for all. Here are some prayers that can have an eternal impact in the lives of those you’re concerned for. Let’s be faithful to pray—and ready to share!

7 Sentence-Prayers Inviting God’s Power—In the Lives of Unbelievers

  1. Lord, soften the hearts of unbelievers in my world and beyond and help them become seekers with a hunger and a thirst to know the truth—to know you. (Ezekiel 36:26; Matthew 5:6; Acts 16:30)
  2. Father, send out workers into the harvest field—people who will share the good news of salvation in Christ—and please bring about your divine appointments with those who need to hear. (Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 10:2; Acts 8:26-39; Romans 10:15)
  3. Lord, remove the blinders and lift the veil of darkness and spiritual blindness so they can see and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 3:14-17; John 3:16; 20:31)
  4. Holy Spirit, convict unbelievers of their sin and their need for a Savior. (John 6:44; 16:7-8; Romans 6:23)
  5. Father, open doors for spiritual conversation with those who don’t know you and give me the words to say, helping me to speak the truth in love. (Matthew 10:18-20; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:5-6)
  6. Lord, place a hedge of protection around your planted Word so that the devil won’t steal the truth and hope of eternal life that it can bring. (Mark 4:15; John 5:24; 17;17; Colossians 1:25-27)
  7. Lord, open their hearts to respond to the message you’ve sent to them, giving  them ears to hear. (Acts 16:14; Mark 4:9)

As you make these prayers your own, may God work in hearts in a mighty way, bringing all to salvation!

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLV

*What other sentence prayers can you add?

*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 and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by dtcchc, Creative Commons License

Anyone Snowed Under?

Any of you ever find yourselves snowed under? This was the sight that greeted me several years ago when I opened our door the day after a blizzard buried us in its immobilizing winter white. With temperatures below freezing and more snow on the way, our bushes and lawn didn’t fully see the light of day for quite a while.

I have a feeling that some of you might be snowed under. Snowed under by things other than winter’s icy calling card. Burdened by things longer-lasting or even more immobilizing than a foot or two of snow.

Some of you may feel weighed down by a burden of grief. I’ve certainly been there. Others may find yourselves buried under a pile of work or unpaid bills while some of you are bearing the weight of others as well as yourselves as you struggle to keep up with parenting or caregiving duties. And it might just be a combination of several things causing some of us to feel overwhelmed.

Are you feeling like you may never see the light of day? Be encouraged. Remember that we have One who wants to bear the weight of our burdens for us. We have One who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

So turn to him. Tell him you’re snowed under and ask for his help. Then relax in his arms and be at peace, my friend. Be at peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

*What burdens you most in this season of your life?

*Hope this slightly revised post from February 2011 blesses you today!

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out Feb. 1st. 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.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo