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

Christmas Poem 2018: The Marvelous Mix of Christmas

Yes, Virginia, I did write another Christmas poem.

Some of you may be wondering how long I can keep this tradition up—and sometimes I do too. I started writing original Christmas poems for my Christmas cards way back in 1982 and have not missed a year since. It hasn’t always been easy (in fact, writing poetry is pretty challenging), but God has always been faithful each year to give me a message to share with my friends and family. And I am ever so grateful.

I’ll be taking a blogging break as we all focus on the holidays the next few weeks. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones and have a chance to get refocused and recharged for the new year. I will see you back here then.

May you experience “The Marvelous Mix of Christmas” this year in every way, my friends, and may this year’s poem bless you in a special way!

    The Marvelous Mix of Christmas

Christmas is a marvelous mix
A medley of tradition and faith,
A beautiful blend of heaven and earth
A merry and holy holiday.

A marvelous mix of magic
Of music in the air,
Of snowflakes, angels, and twinkling lights
Of sweet surprises shared.

A marvelous mix of memories
From childhood through present day,
Starring friends and family dear
Ever in our hearts they’ll stay.

A marvelous mix of ministry
Of reaching out to others,
Giving and serving with good will to all,
All become sisters and brothers.

Christmas—a marvelous mix of miracles
Begun by a Babe and his star,
Still ripples down through the ages
Bringing Light and Life from afar.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5 NIV

*How are you experiencing the marvelous mix of Christmas this season?

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

A Blogging Change Plus Words to Inspire

IMG_8618

Hey everyone, the time has come to change things up a bit here on my blog. I’ve been blogging twice weekly since September 2007, and in June 2013 I started posting twice weekly to my Mother of the Bride Blog as well. Since that’s a lot of blog posts to keep up with and since I’ve reached a point where I need to devote more time to other projects (and people—like my grandchildren! :) ), I’ve decided a change is needed.

So from now on, I’ll post weekly—generally on Tuesdays—on both of my blogs. I won’t officially have Midweek Morsel posts anymore, but some of my weekly posts may resemble the Midweek Morsel posts of the past. I like the variety that shorter posts offer in the midst of some longer ones. And sometimes a short post is exactly what you—or I—need at a given time.

One thing that I hope doesn’t change is that you’ll always find refreshment, nourishment, and inspiration here. When you leave here, I want you to feel encouraged in some way. If we keep our eyes on the Lord together, that’s sure to happen, right?

So be encouraged today my friends with this Inspiration acrostic. May God use it to bless you indeed!

In God we find our strength and hope.

Nothing is too difficult for my God to handle.

Silence can soothe and energize so step back and soak it in.

Prayer and peace go hand in hand so give your worries to God.

Indeed my God loves me and stands ready to help me.

Refresh your spirit in the boundless beauty of God’s creation.

Alter your attitude to turn your day around.

Thankful hearts provide the perfect soil for joy to grow.

Invest in people and make a difference today, tomorrow, and forever.

One small act of kindness can be the first ripple of a day—or a life—redeemed.

Never underestimate the power of a smile.

“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf.” Psalm 66:5

*Where do you find inspiration?

*My photo

An Artist without Limits

IMG_3582As you feast your eyes on the varied canvases God paints for us day in and day out, are you ever inspired in your own creative tendencies? I am. Words, phrases, or sentences sometimes come to mind as I stop to notice a gorgeous sky or the beauty of a perfect flower.

Below you’ll find my latest poem—one example of just such inspiration. Hope it blesses you. And remember, even though you may not be a writer or an artist, each of us is creative in one way or another. Let God’s beauty spark your own creative juices!

The Endless Artistry of God

Your artistry, O Lord, is endless,
your creativity without limit,
no two skies are ever the same
no two clouds identical.
Even on winter days
when the green of leafy trees
no longer dances with the sky,
you grant us a new view of beauty,
a gorgeous glimpse
of blues and puffs of white
through the dark lace of naked branches.

Never do we need to fear
continual sameness in our lives,
we can simply step outside
and discover the special treats
you craft for us each day.
Varied sights, sounds, smells
all await us as gracious gifts,
gifts of your artistry,
gifts of your unlimited creativity,
gifts of your love and power.
Oh Lord, my Lord, your artistry is endless.

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

*What artistry of God has inspired you recently?

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

*My photo