Church in a Condo? You Bet!

Have you ever had church in a condo? We enjoyed just such a time a few years ago during our family vacation to beautiful Colorado.

That Sunday started off extra sweet as Kelli and Jake made cinnamon roll pancakes for us for breakfast. (And yes, they tasted every bit as good as they sound!) But what was even sweeter is what happened next. Church happened. Right in the midst of our family. Right at the dining room table.

While everyone chatted, I slipped away for a moment. When I returned with my Bible, I was pretty sure my girls knew what I was up to since they had grown up with good ole Mom trying to jumpstart some kind of family share time during holidays or vacations. During their teen years, protests or groans usually ensued but not anymore.

No, this time a slice of heaven on earth—at least to this mom’s heart—transpired. I began our share time by reading one of my favorite Bible passages and then suggested that everyone else either share their one of their favorite scriptures or tell what God had been doing in their lives lately.

Along with my husband, one by one our daughters and our sons-in-law shared scriptures and stories of how God was teaching them something or encouraging them in some way. Bottom line? We had church. What a blessing to sit back and listen to our adult kids talk about the Lord and his Word. What a blessing to see our kids walking in the truth.

Church in a condo? You bet. No greater joy . . . no greater joy.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4 NIV

*Where’s the most unusual place you’ve ever had church?

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

*Hope this updated encore post from Aug. 2011 blessed you today!

*Flickr photo by ALM PortraitsCreative Commons License

Wedding Tasks Perfect for the Groom

Mother of the Bride, as you and your daughter attend to the multitude of details involved in throwing a wedding, don’t forget to put the groom to work. That’s right. It’s a good idea to put him in charge of a few tasks, too.

Your daughter’s intended undoubtedly has some passions or skills that you can put to good use while planning for their big day. Be sure to tap that resource. Lighten your load while giving him an opportunity to be personally invested in the celebration of his lifetime. It will even give him the chance to show off to his wife for the very first time.

Number one on the list of tasks perfect for the groom could be arranging for the getaway vehicle. What man wouldn’t like to be in charge of the vroom vroom? I asked both of my girls’ grooms to take care of the getaway transportation, knowing they would do their best to make it interesting or snazzy. They, of course, came through.

Other ideas might include asking him to help design the programs or invitations if he’s a computer whiz, or if he lives in a different town that you do, you could even send him to his local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s to pick up items that you need multiples of. If you can’t get everything at your store, he might be able to score the last five candles or the last white rose garland you need to complete your decorating.

Of course, the groom will also be in charge of selecting tuxes and helping his family arrange for the rehearsal dinner, but what other wedding tasks might the love of your daughter’s life be especially good at doing?

Don’t overwhelm him with tasks but do carefully select some ways that he could really provide some help. It will be a win-win for everyone!

*You might also like to read 9 Easy Way for the Mother of the Bride to Bond With the Groom, Fun Gift for the Bride to Give the Groom, and Building a Bridge to the Groom.

*Since the readership of the Mother of the Bride Blog is ever-changing, I hope this encore post from Nov. 2013 helped you today!

*Photo by Will Flowers

A Prayer for Your Summer Plus My May Blogging Break

As I mentioned in my Spirit and Soul Refreshment for Busy Lives post a couple of weeks ago, May can be one of the busiest months of the year. And this year is no exception for me. Probably not for you either, huh?

To do my part in allowing a little breathing room, I’m taking a blogging break the last half of this month. So no worries if it appears I’ve abandoned my blog over the next couple of weeks. I’ll be back with regular weekly posts sometime when June is bustin’ out all over. Let’s say June 6th. June should be in full bustin’ mode by then, right?

Before I break away, though, I’d love to pray for us all as we prepare to head into summer and all that it holds. May this prayer be a blessing to you as we gear up for the upcoming summer season. Feel free to keep it handy to give needed encouragement and refreshment as the days and weeks unfolds.

Pray with me, won’t you?

Lord, you are the Maker of every season and we thank you for the gift of summer. It’s a time to break from many of our normal routines and enjoy more time outdoors in your glorious creation, more time with our families and friends, and more opportunities for travel adventures. Thanks so much for such a wonderful gift.

Guide us, Lord, as we make plans. Help us not to pack so much into the fleeting weeks of summer that we end up feeling stressed rather than refreshed. And please grant your blessing, Lord, that all logistics for special activities and travels will flow smoothly so we can have truly refreshing times instead of those marked by frustration or disappointment. We don’t take mercies like this for granted so we ask humbly and thank you in advance.

Please protect us, Lord, as we do things like hike and swim and play sports. Watch over us, please, in our travels so that we will arrive safely at every destination. Protect us as well from our enemy Satan as he continues to try to undermine our relationship with you and with others. He doesn’t take a season off. Please surround us with your protection.

And finally, Lord, please bless us with lots of sweet times with you and with loved ones this summer. Grant us memories that will make us smile for years to come and also grant us periods of rest that will refresh and re-energize us to get back to normal routines in the fall. And may we shine the light of your love everywhere we go and in all that we do. May you be glorified in our summer, O Lord! In your precious name we pray, Amen.

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us” Psalm 67:1 NIV

*Do you have any special plans or activities that you’re looking forward to this summer? I’d love to hear about it!

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

*My photo (taken in the Cleveland Botanical Garden)

Summer Photo Fun: Name That Flower!

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Hey all, I’ve got another Summer Photo Fun challenge for you today! So far during this summer’s installment of Summer Photo Fun, I’ve invited you to caption a photo, name a location, and identify a bird. Today I’ll add one more challenge to the list!

Can any of you identify the flower pictured above? I saw this unusual wildflower while in Colorado a few weeks ago on the trip I made with my sisters. However, I saw it in a garden, not growing in the wild, so don’t let the Colorado location mislead you.

So what do you say, flower lovers? Can any of you name this particular handiwork of our Creator?

‘Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.’” Luke 12:27 NIV

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

*My photo

Summer Photo Fun: Identify This Bird, Please

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You didn’t think I’d let Summer Photo Fun go by without featuring birds in some way, did you? This time, though, I’m not just quizzing you like I did for my Name This Location post. I really need your help in identifying the subject of this photo!

I saw this bird on my recent trip to Breckenridge, Colorado with my sisters, and I’m not sure what kind it is. We were hiking and I was able to snap only a couple of photos before this little guy (or gal) flew off. I think it may be a flycatcher of some sort, but I’m not sure so I thought I’d see if one of you can identify it before I spend more time pouring over my bird book.

Any bird lovers out there who can help me out? What kind of bird is this? I’ll include my other shot below in case it might be helpful. Here’s hoping for an answer!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a

IMG_8991*My photos

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out this week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!