Use Vision Boards to Bring Weddings to Life

Mother of the Bride, when it comes to preparing for a wedding, it’s too easy for you and your daughter to overthink the details. Even if you have the invitations, ceremony details, menu, and attire nailed down, it’s still tough to feel 100% confident in every decision when you can’t visualize everything all together.

Why not suggest the following vision board ideas and plan to her? As she creates it, she can share it with you so you can know exactly what she has in mind. But first, share this post with her!

For the Bride:

To sort through your thoughts and focus on the most important elements of planning a wedding, vision boards are lifesavers. Designing a wedding vision board helps you slow down and lay out every idea—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re a fan of cork boards or streamlined digital formats, vision boards are effective because you’re dedicating time to bring the mental images you’ve been envisioning to fruition.

So, what’s the best way to start a vision board? Let’s narrow down the process to the three stages below.

Stage 1: Figure out your goals and inspiration

If all of your ideas are saved on Pinterest or folders on your Desktop, a digital vision board is probably the way to go. There’s a lot less manual work involved in these, and most future brides and grooms will appreciate how easy it is to move things around.

However, if most of your ideas are cutouts from magazines or printed out, a traditional format like a corkboard or foam poster board might be best.

If you feel really stuck, sometimes it helps to draw inspiration from your favorite leaders, authors, poets, etc. The free printable quote cards below can be fun and meaningful reminders you can add to a vision board (or just use to inspire yourself when you’re feeling stuck.) You can download these quotables right here.

Stage 2: Prep your physical and mental space

To make your vision board creation process as enjoyable as possible, clear the space around it. No one wants to be envisioning one of the most beautiful, meaningful days of their lives when they’re in a cluttered space. The preparation has to be mental, too. With new restrictions and mandates due to the pandemic, it’s easy to let stress get the best of you (even though micro weddings can be just as magical as a huge extravaganza.) Relax and clear your mind before diving into a vision board project so you can view prospective plans with a positive mindset.

Stage 3: Organize materials and start creating

Whether you need to gather all of your saved image files, Pinterest boards, or magazine clippings, it’s helpful to gather and organize all of your vision board assets in one place. Then, the fun can begin and you can start creating.

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track with your wedding planning goals when using Pinterest is by having a checklist. This checklist below is perfect—and you can download it for free right here.

If there are certain parts of your wedding you’re still struggling to nail down (like a family tradition you don’t know how to incorporate), play around with different ways to include it on your board. When you have all of the components of your ideal wedding laid out before you, either physically or digitally, you have the power to make the decisions that are best for you.

Do you wish you had a digital vision board template to get you started? Check out the free template below. You can access it right here.

Vision boards are lifesavers for couples who want to plan out all the details but need some structure for all their ideas. Plus, if you have budget constraints or challenging restrictions due to the pandemic, vision boards allow you to be more creative with your problem-solving strategy. You can seamlessly collaborate and bring your ideal wedding to life when you’re using a vision board as a tool.

Organizing a wedding is an exciting, detail-oriented endeavor and you’ll want to make sure you’re on the same page as your partner and your wedding planner/coordinators. Like any wedding planning tool or tactic, there are dozens of ways to go about using vision boards. I hope these vision board ideas have been inspiring. Happy planning!

*Thanks to Zola and their original post  as well as Siege Media for providing me with content for this helpful post!

*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, came out today. 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.)

Small Seeds, Big Results

“‘. . . a mustard seed . . . the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.’” Mark 4:31-32 NIV

We’ve all heard the phrase “little but mighty.” These well-known words are an apt description for many people and situations, and they can certainly be applied to seeds and planting too.

In scripture, Jesus used the example of the mustard seed to show how something great—something big—can come from the smallest of seeds when planted. The humble little mustard seed can grow until it is one day large enough to provide shade for birds. What a perfect example of how something little can become something mighty.

Small seeds that yield big results are not only seen in the world of gardening and farming, though. They can be witnessed in finances, education, in developing talents and abilities, in building self-confidence, and in spiritual transformation as well as many other things.

Whenever and wherever seeds are planted, growth—yes, miracles—are bound to happen. A little boy who’s given a toy microscope as a child grows up to become a research scientist. A little girl receives a set of colored pencils for her birthday and one day opens her own graphic design business. A troubled teen accepts a New Testament during a Gideon distribution at school and later that year asks Jesus to be his Savior. Yes, planted seeds become miracles.

What small seeds can we plant in the coming days, weeks, and months? It might be as simple as an encouraging word to a struggling soul or a verse of scripture shared on social media. Perhaps we could give a scholarship to a camp, conference, or event that will be life-changing for the recipient. The possibilities are limitless.

Let’s do it. Let’s plant small seeds that could become mighty things. Let’s provide shade—or nourishment or inspiration or any number of other things that someone somewhere needs today. Let’s be part of a miracle!

I planted the seed . . . but God has been making it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV

*What seeds have been planted in your life that have become mighty things?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks 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.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by Kapitalist63, Creative Commons License

The Divine Lookout

Are you on the lookout for a certain item at all times? Some of us are always quick to notice a good recipe while others gravitate toward a great coupon, a super bargain, or maybe a giveaway or an e-book temporarily offered for free.

Some of us also stay alert for less tangible things like a recommendation for an amazing book or tips on a particular area of interest. Since I’ve started blogging, I’m always on the lookout for new material for blog posts. In fact, my family and friends now live with the reality that some of their interactions with me might just make their way to the blog!

But we’re not the only ones on the lookout. God is on the lookout, too. He’s on the lookout for people. He is our Divine Lookout.

Consider these scriptures to see who God searches for:

“‘. . . who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 30:21b

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’” Isaiah 6:8a

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a

And we must not forget the parables in Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son—all of which illustrate God’s continual efforts to go after and save the lost or to scan the horizon, waiting with open arms to welcome a returning child.

Where do each of us fall in the sights of the Divine Lookout? Are we among those who are lost, who have never given our hearts to him in faith, or is he watching for us because we have strayed away? Maybe he’s seen that we are fully committed to him, and he stands ready to imbue us with his strength. Or possibly we’re the ones who will answer his call for devotion or go in his name to the place where he sends us.

Let’s never hide from the Divine Lookout. Let’s always be ready to be found or answer his call. There’s no better place to be than with him.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

*I hope you were blessed by this encore post from Sept. 2011!

*Flickr photo by Dave Morrow’s Custom CreationsCreative Commons License

Obscured Vision

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Is anything obscuring your vision today? Anything interfering with seeing something clearly? Perhaps foggy conditions or unwanted objects marring the perfection of your view? I can relate. I’ve had a couple of view-related nuisances to deal with lately, too.

I love to take photos, and a couple of years ago something started marring many of the images I shot. First I noticed a dark spot in several of my photos as I looked at my camera’s display screen, and of course those spots showed up in the actual prints as well. This frustrated me to no end. I didn’t want any dark spots ruining my photos.

When I finally got a chance to take the camera into a camera shop, they told me a fiber had become lodged in the lens. It would be quite expensive to fix so I decided to live with it until I’m ready to get a new camera.

Since then the fiber has changed positions from time to time, but it really only presents a problem if it happens to be on a light-colored area of any particular shot taken from a particular angle. And so, I adjust to it. I shoot from a different angle, focus on a different area, or accept the fact that I won’t be able to get the shot I want. I don’t like the sometimes obscured vision I have to contend with because of this photographic intruder, but I deal with it.

Believe it or not, around the same time my camera started giving me fits, a floater started interfering with my eyesight as well. I’ve had to wear glasses since I was in third grade so I’m used to my vision being obscured when I’m not wearing the fix. But this was something new. Something the glasses couldn’t fix. Something I didn’t like. But as with my camera’s lens, I’ve learned to live with it.

Obscured views aren’t limited to physical vision, however. The eyes of our hearts can also experience obscured vision. Unwanted objects and conditions can get in the way of seeing what the Lord wants us to see or can keep us from seeing things clearly. Our view is hampered. Our mental, emotional, or spiritual vision is marred.

So what kinds of things might interfere with the vision of our hearts? Perhaps unwanted fears and worries, perhaps grief or pain or illness. Pride or unforgiveness might be the culprit or possibly even feelings of guilt or low self-esteem. Stubbornness or sin can play a role. Bottom line, Satan will use any number of tactics to keep us from experiencing all that the Lord desires for us. Yes, our enemy will rob us of abundant life every chance he gets.

The good news is that with God’s help, we can make changes and adjustments to fix or improve our mental, emotional, and spiritual vision. We can ask God to help us remove or see around the hindrances to the view of life he wants us to have.

If the cause of our hampered view is rooted in a physical problem, we can see a doctor and get the physical help we need to start seeing life clearly again. If our heart vision is being marred by mental, emotional, or spiritual factors, we can deal with them by putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), which includes, among other things, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, and the Word of God. We can also seek out wise counsel and the prayer support of friends.

Yes, friends, we can take a stand—and gain the victory—against obscured vision, against the evil one who seeks to discourage and deceive us by distorting and obstructing the clear vision God wants us to have. Our God can handle any roadblock the devil throws at us. And our God stands ready to help.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19a

*When has God helped you regain the clear vision he wanted you to have?

*My photo (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

In Spite of the Fog

2057431392_f8278c42fbWhat’s the first window you look out of each morning? With the blinds still closed in my bedroom and no windows in the adjoining bath, I usually head over to the next room (my office) before glancing out at the new day. I love to lift the blinds there first to get an early morning view of the birdfeeder. The other morning, however, I had to do a double-take.

Instead of clear skies and the soft morning light I expected to see, thick fog met my early morning check of the day. What’s up with this? The weatherman hadn’t mentioned fog on the late news the night before. But then again, Mother Nature outwitted the forecast last week as well.

I left the fog in all its ghostly glory for a short time to attend to a few little tasks before heading to the kitchen. Since it was still cold outside, I poked my head only out the door to bask in some early morning moments with the world around me — and with the Creator of it all.

The fog certainly obscured my vision, cutting short the distance I could survey, but I couldn’t help but notice that this unexpected weather phenomenon had a beauty all its own. The pure white of the cloudy visitor felt soft and gentle and welcomed me to relish it in a new way. With not being able to see the vibrant images I’m accustomed to, the sounds around me seemed to ring out more clearly. The melodies of the birds quickly captured my attention. As ever, their songs lifted my spirit and made me smile.

And then it dawned on me. In spite of the fog, in spite of obscured vision and the uncertainty of the beyond, the birds still sang. Their voices rang out strong and unhindered. They didn’t let the fog stop them from singing.

How much more should I continue singing the praises of my Creator, the praises of my Savior, when the fogs of life’s situations envelop me? Oh, that my voice will ring out in praise and thanksgiving even when I can’t see clearly, even when I’m confused or uncertain. And maybe, just maybe, my song will lift the spirit of someone else. Let it be so, my Lord!

“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1

*When have you sung praises to God in spite of fog in your life?

*I hope this revised encore post from March 2009 was a blessing to you today!

*The latest 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!

*Flickr photo by mysza831, Creative Commons License