Preprinted Labels For Use At Bridal Fairs

Mother of the Bride, today I have a tip to pass along to your darling daughter turned bride-to-be. And the sooner you pass it along the better. Why? She needs this tip before attending bridal fairs during the early stages of planning.

When your daughter goes to bridal fairs and wedding expos—and hopefully you’ll get to go with her—she’ll be asked to write down her contact info time and again. Vendors will be offering giveaways and special offers and she will need to list her contact info to qualify for them. Of course, there will also be vendors she leaves her contact info with because of her strong interest in their services.

Instead of repeatedly handwriting her contact info, tell her to bring along a sheet of small pre-printed labels that list her name, address, phone number, and email address. She will be so glad she did—and so will the vendors. From personal experience when signing and selling my books at bridal fairs, many times I can’t make out some of the handwriting that is left for me to decipher.

I actually got this idea from a bride at one of the bridal fairs where I was a vendor. When she whipped out her contact info labels, I saw immediately what a huge help the labels were. I complimented her for being so well prepared and was super excited when she was the one who actually won the giveaway I offered that day. She deserved it for making life easier for both herself and us vendors alike!

So pass along this idea pronto, MOB. It will be one more time your girl thanks her lucky stars for having such a great mom!

*You might also like to read Bridal Shows—Both Fun and Practical!

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out next week. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble 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.)

*Flickr photo by Aurimas Adomavicius, Creative Commons License

The Trickster


No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That’s a picture of a shirt hanging in a garden. My dad’s shirt in his garden in Missouri a few years ago, in fact. I actually took this shot on a July visit, but as long as anything was left growing in the garden through early fall, the shirt stood guard.

Back then we never knew what project Dad might be at work on or what problem he might be solving when we arrived for a visit. Kelli will never forget the year she and I pulled in the drive and caught Grandpa on the tail-end of a squirrel skinning. He was stretching the hide on some kind of contraption out by the wood pile. The shirt in the garden is tame by comparison but still a sight that made me take a second look and start asking questions.

As some of you may have already guessed, this was Dad’s version of a scarecrow. He’d been trying to trick some pesky garden-eating deer into thinking someone was standing there—and it worked.

Not just the sight of a potential enemy kept the deer away, but the scent as well. I didn’t realize scent was part of Dad’s scheme until I heard one of the grandkids announce one morning, “Grandpa’s stripping down outside!” Come to find out, it was just his shirt (thank goodness!) He was replacing the one that had been hanging in the garden for a few days with the sweaty one he had been working in. Tricky, tricky Grandpa. The result? My dad outwitted the deer.

Too bad deer aren’t the only ones susceptible to trickery. The Bible teaches we have an enemy, an enemy to our souls, who is doing all he can to scheme against us—to keep us from knowing God, to keep us from living for him. Ephesians 6:11 speaks specifically of the devil’s schemes, and 1 Peter 5:8 instructs us to stay alert because “[our] enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Sometimes he’s hard to recognize, though. The apostle Paul taught that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Are we wise to Satan’s schemes in our lives? Or is he managing to outwit us with his tricks and his masquerades? Like my dad, let’s put our problem-solving skills to work and outwit the enemy instead.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

*What are you doing to stay alert to the tactics of the enemy? How do you take your stand against him? What has God taught you about dealing with Satan?

*Hope you were blessed today by this updated encore post from October 2008!

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

*My photo

Feelings of Unworthiness: A Tactic of the Enemy


Have you ever heard that voice inside your head say who do you think you are to be ________. You fill in the blank. That old and ever-on-the-job enemy of ours, Satan, likes nothing better than to cause us to doubt ourselves and walk away from the work God has given us to do. That’s right, that voice is his and that of his cohorts.

Satan has tried repeatedly to get me to give up writing. When he wants to undermine my writing ministry and work, he’ll say things like, “Who do you think you are to offer spiritual help or words of wisdom and encouragement? You’re not worthy of such a task.”

And you know what? Apart from the grace of God and his forgiveness and cleansing, I am indeed unworthy.

The fact is I mess up. I have issues. At times I struggle with doubt, confusion, and pride. Sometimes I blow it with sinful attitudes, harsh words, and selfishness. My relationships are not always all they should be. And because of these failures, Satan would have believe I’m unworthy to write and share God’s truth and messages of life. He wants me to believe that I’m not worthy of my task of Refreshing Spirits, Nourishing Souls.

But who, in fact, am I? I’m a child of the King. A servant called by God to write of the hope we have in him. Satan wants me to forget that. He wants me to quit writing of God’s love and hope and joy and truth. 

And even though the enemy delights in reminding me that I’m far from perfect, God’s Word tells me that I am forgiven, that I am loved. I’m called and equipped by God. And because Jesus paid the price for my sins and washed me white as snow, I am indeed worthy—worthy to be in God’s family, worthy to do the work he’s called me to do.  

And so, I will keep on writing for him. The enemy loses. I am a worthy child of the King.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

*Do you ever struggle with feelings of unworthiness? What does Satan want you to think you are unworthy to do or to have?

*Flickr photo by PetteriO, Creative Commons License

Unlikely Wedding Supply: Bungee Cords!


Bungee cords for a wedding? You bet! As you and your daughter plan her décor and gather the supplies, add some unlikely bungee cords to your list. Take my word for it, they may prove to be the solution to a decorating dilemma.

Bungee cords are perfect for securing tulle—or any other fabric—to columns, posts, or poles in desperate need of decoration. At my daughter Kelli’s wedding party venue, we had to contend with three support columns spaced across reception hall. The only way to make it work was to dress them up and make them part of the décor.

We knew that tulle could do the trick, and the venue’s event coordinator passed along the bungee cord tip. They could accommodate both a streamlined or a looser look. Lucky for us, my husband just happened to have bungee cords on hand amongst his Grand Canyon biology field trip supplies. I guess that’s one time it paid to have a biology teacher filling the role of Father of the Bride, huh? :)

Be prepared for anything, Mother of the Bride—add bungee cords to your list!

Flickr photo by srqpix

*What other unlikely decorating supplies should MOBs add to their lists?

Not Immune


After all these years of knowing and walking with God, you’d think I’d be immune. Immune to moments of doubt. Immune to thoughts that slither their way into my mind and whisper it all seems too good to be true.

Slither is an apt word here, isn’t it? After all, the author of those kinds of doubting thoughts is the old serpent himself—our enemy Satan. He likes to cause God’s children to doubt. He’s been doing it from the beginning, ever since he ensnared Eve in the Garden of Eden. Remember how he said, “Did God really say . . .” (Genesis 3:1)

Essentially that’s what he says to me when he plants insidious seeds of doubt in my mind. Did God really say he knows every bird in the mountains, that not one sparrow falls to the earth apart from his will? How is that possible? Did he really say he’s numbered the hairs of your head? How can he know billions of people on earth that intimately? Is he really preparing a home for you in heaven? Doesn’t everything you believe seem a little too good to be true?* (see scripture references below)

In truth, when I look at everything from my own human understanding, these things are too good to be true. I can’t wrap my finite mind around the vastness and power of God. I’m sure this is one reason we’re told in Proverbs to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding (3:5). I don’t know about you, but I can get into trouble when I lean on my own understanding, limited as it is.

And so, as the Word exhorts me to do, I “live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) “I remember the wonders he has done” (Psalm 105:5a) and how he has shown himself real in my life. I trust that “All Scripture is Godbreathed”(2 Timothy 3:16), and then I put on the armor of God and “take [my] stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11b). I am not immune to the traps of the enemy so I must do battle.

Are there are other areas—traps other than doubt—where I’m still susceptible as well? Most definitely. I suppose as long as there is breath in this human body of mine, I will not be immune to falling into sin.

It helps to be on guard, though. It helps to know my weaknesses and to be ready for the unsuspecting darts of temptation the evil one lobs at me. I’ve also got to remember that he’s not above trying to trip me up in ways I’d never think I’d fall.

What about you? Are their areas of your life where you’re not immune? Are you on guard against the devil’s schemes?

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12

*Psalm 50:11; Matthew 10:29-30; John 14:3

*What are some ways you guard yourself against the enemy?

*Flickr photo by frielp