15 Ways to Plant the Word of God in Our Lives

As believers, we need the Word of God firmly planted in our lives.

Scripture teaches that God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our paths (Psalm 119:105) and that it is a vital part of our spiritual armor in the fight against our enemy Satan and his forces of evil (Ephesians 6:17.) The Word is God-breathed and is useful in many ways, equipping us for good works (2 Timothy 3:16.) It is living and active and judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12.) No doubt about it, we need to be rooted and established in the Word of God.

Weaving the Word of God into the fabric of our lives may seem like a daunting task—after all, it IS a big book—but when we take things a step at a time and use a variety of methods, it is indeed possible. And remember, God will bless our efforts as we seek to grow closer to him and honor him with our lives.

Here are 15 ways to plant God’s Word in our hearts and minds:

  1. Read a passage of scripture every day, asking God to bless the reading of his Word.
  2. Be part of a Bible study group/small group on an ongoing basis. Study the Word.
  3. As you read the Word, underline words, phrases, and entire verses that really speak to you.
  4. Memorize scripture using a systematic plan for memorizing and reviewing. Use whatever plan and method works for you in your current stage of life.
  5. Find a translation you enjoy reading that has study notes/footnotes included.
  6. Incorporate scripture into your prayers. It’s a powerful way to pray and also reinforces the scripture in your mind.
  7. Sing the Word—either songs you create as you worship or praise songs you already know.
  8. Read books, magazines, and online content that include scripture.
  9. Listen to teaching from the Word.
  10. Read passages from the Word multiple times, emphasizing different words each time.
  11. Share what you’re learning from the Word with others in ordinary conversations,  Bible study groups, and blogs. Share scripture via social media.
  12. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring the Word to mind as you need it.
  13. Use the Word to battle Satan when he attacks or whispers lies to you.
  14. Apply what you’re learning from the Word to your life. Live the principles and wisdom you’re discovering.
  15. Become a teacher of the Word yourself in a Sunday School class or Bible study or through a writing or speaking ministry.

I hope we’ve each found something helpful here today as we seek to firmly plant God’s Word in our hearts and minds. I know God will honor our efforts and use his Word powerfully in our lives. May we bring him glory, honor, and praise!

They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” Deuteronomy 32:47 NIV

*Which of these methods is most helpful to you in planting the Word in your life? What other ways come to mind?

*Flickr photo by Lel4nd, Creative Commons License

9 Easy Ways for the MOB to Bond With the Groom

MOB seeing groom for first time

Mother of the Bride, now that your daughter is sporting an engagement ring, you may be wondering how you can develop a closer relationship with your soon-to-be son-in-law. Hopefully you’ve gotten to know him fairly well during their dating days, but officially becoming part of your family—well, that takes the whole dynamic up a notch, doesn’t it?

Never fear, MOB—here are nine easy ways you can bond with the groom:

  1. Spend time with the happy couple—have fun together! This may seem obvious, but with everyone’s busy schedules, you may have to be really intentional about spending time together. Don’t miss the big dividends this simple step can pay.
  1. Take a genuine interest in his job, his dreams, and his interests. Ask him about these aspects of his life and show him your support in whatever way you can. Praise not only his accomplishments but also his character.
  1. Treat him to his favorite food or restaurant. Make his favorite pie or cake or treat him to his favorite eating spot. Bond over barbecue or steaks.
  1. Include him in family traditions and help him get to know your extended family and friends. Traditions always serve as bond-builders so take advantage of this whenever you can. And as your soon-to-be son gets to know your other loved ones, you’ll both feel like he’s becoming part of the family. Another benefit is that everyone will feel more comfortable with one another on wedding day and that just adds to the joy!
  1. Become acquainted with his family and include his mom in some aspect of the wedding planning. He will appreciate every effort you make to get to know his family better and will be especially grateful for ways you can make his mother feel included in the biggest event of his life. The better you know his family, the more you’ll have in common.
  1. Conspire with him to plan a surprise for your daughter. If he asks your help concerning something he has in mind for the engagement, his wedding gift for her, the honeymoon, or some other surprise he has up his sleeve, welcome the opportunity to be involved. A shared secret is super fun and another great bond-builder. If he doesn’t come to you, initiate a surprise of your own for your sweet girl and recruit him to help pull it off.
  1. Ask for his help or advice in his area of expertise. This may or may not have to do with a wedding-related task. The important thing is he will feel affirmed as you seek out his knowledge or skill, and it will also give you a chance to get to know him on a different level.
  1. Pray for him. He may not know you’re bonding when you do this, but you will. As you pray for him, you’ll feel closer to him and that will naturally manifest itself in all your interactions.
  1. Show excitement about his plans for the honeymoon. He won’t tell you all the details, but be happy with him over any little detail he does share with you. Your excitement will boost his confidence and joy and he’ll be grateful for your support.

So there you go, MOB—start bonding away! You’ll both be glad you did. And your darling daughter will be so happy to see you grow to love and appreciate the love of her life. Definitely a win-win-win!

*Adapted from Chapter 10 of my book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

7 Free or Inexpensive Ways to Relax and Refresh

23530319910_151534d002_zAnyone feel the need for some relaxation and refreshment? Did I just see everyone’s hands shoot up? That’s not surprising. When dealing with even the ordinary stresses and demands of everyday living, we all reach a point when we need to step back and recharge.

Here are some simple—some free or inexpensive—ways we can relax and refresh in our day to day lives. Some of these will be things we just need a reminder of while others may be ways to renew that we hadn’t really thought of before. I hope you find several tips to try soon!

1. Change your environment. Go for a walk or a drive. Get out of the house or your office. Breaking free for a few minutes can give an immediate boost.

2. Unwind with your favorite hot drink. Go to a comfy spot and sit and sip in peace until every last drop is gone. No multitasking allowed. Just relax.

3. Take a leisurely walk down memory lane. Pull out some old photo albums or look through your photos and home videos on your computer or phone and enjoy those memories you’ve captured. Smile, laugh, sigh in nostalgia.

4. Snatch a nap. That’s right, an old-fashioned nap. Whether it’s a 15-30 minute power nap on a busy day or a more relaxed nap on a Sunday afternoon, catching a little extra rest is a luxury we can all afford, one we all deserve.

5. Soak up some nature. Enjoying the beauty of a sunset or flowers in bloom (or you fill in the blank) can refresh like nothing else. The glory of God’s creation has such a soothing power, doesn’t it?

6. Catch up on conversation with a loved one. Take time for a good catch-up session with a friend or family member. Share news, pour out worries, laugh at memories or at life’s latest funny turn of events. Let love refresh your spirit.

7. Spend some private moments with God. You might just want to be quiet in his presence or perhaps worship him in song. As in the tip above, you can pour out your worries or you might want to spend your time thanking him. Let the love of the Lord renew you for another day.

Now the question is will we take time to relax and refresh? Let’s make a point of taking time for personal renewal regularly. It can make all the difference, can’t it?

“‘in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” Exodus 31:17b NIV

*What are some other free or inexpensive ways to relax and refresh?

*Don’t miss out on the One-More-Chance Starbucks Giveaway. Deadline to enter is Feb. 10th!

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

*Flickr photo by K.H. Reichert, Creative Commons License

Holiday Blogging Break Plus Wedding Planning Help

7980406309_3524c3f3bd*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, here is an updated encore post I hope will be helpful to those of you who weren’t MOBs when I originally posted it last December.

Mother of the Bride, I’m taking a holiday blogging break until the first of the year, but I have a little gift for you—a gift of help! Allow me to point you in the right direction to find some great ideas and tips. Maybe at some point over the holidays, you’ll have a little time to wear your MOB hat. The chances may not be good, but you never know!

Three great sources of help are right here on my website. Glance over to the right sidebar and scan down until you see the Favorite Posts section. There you will find links to some important or super-helpful posts here on the Mother of the Bride Blog. Also, if you would like info or help on a certain topic, just use the search feature right under my picture on the header. It will pull up all kinds of help in an instant. You can check my Archives as well (the last item on the right sidebar.) Click on each year and then click on each month. When you click on the month, then you will see a list of the post titles. I bet you will spot some posts that will be especially helpful to you at this stage in your Mother of the Bride journey.

Another great source of helpful ideas can be found on my Pinterest page. I have eighteen wedding-related boards filled with terrific ideas for you. When you go over to check it out, be sure to follow me while you’re there so you won’t miss out on great new pins I post each week.

How’s that for some MOB help this holiday season? Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

*Find my annual Christmas poem over on my home page. Hope you enjoy—and see you in the new year!

*Flickr photo by top10things, Creative Commons License