Archives for October 2013

Midweek Morsel: Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway!


I love tradition, especially ones that involve fun surprises or gifts. And today I’m talking blog traditions—giveaways, to be exact. Yay, right?

Each fall I host an appreciation giveaway for the subscribers to Life Notes, my free quarterly inspirational newsletter. One lucky subscriber will be awarded a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble in mid-November—the perfect time for me to give a gift of thanks. I so appreciate each and every subscriber, but darn it all, I am not independently wealthy and thus not able to give gift cards to everyone. Shoot, huh?

Here’s how it will work. All those who are currently subscribed to Life Notes will automatically be entered in the giveaway, and any new subscriber who signs up by 6 p.m. (CST) Nov. 13 will be entered as well. Sign up is to the right on the blog sidebar—and yes, it’s free! You don’t even have to leave a comment on this post. Just make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter. I will announce the winner in my November 14 Midweek Morsel post. 

For those of you who would like to comment, though—and I always enjoy hearing from you—tell me about one of your favorite fall traditions. Can’t wait to hear what you love to do in the fall!

“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3

*Flickr photo by stevendepolo

Fear of Success: The Plague of What-ifs


Have you ever been afraid of success? I know that question my seem odd at first glance, but as wonderful as success sounds and feels, many times it arrives with a whole new set of challenges to be conquered and/or skills to master.

I recently returned from a top-notch writers conference—the Maranatha Christian Writers Conference in Muskegon, Michigan—where I took a few important steps toward success. While there, I got to meet individually with several publishing professionals. A few were very interested in my book project and asked me to send them either the proposal and sample chapters or the manuscript. Yay, right?!

As exciting as these steps forward are, the what-ifs of actual success—and the steps getting there—also scare me a bit. What if those who requested my materials end up saying no after taking a closer look? Is more rejection ahead?

If someone does offer representation or a book contract, what if I make the wrong decision about that particular agent or publishing house? After signing a contract, what if I’m not able to meet the deadlines for edits or future books? What if I’m not able to do the edits to their satisfaction?

And it doesn’t stop there. The what-ifs keep coming. What if I’m called upon to use new skills while getting the book ready for publication or while marketing it? What if I have to go way beyond my comfort zone to market the book? What if my efforts aren’t enough? What if the book fails to sell as well as the publisher wants? Bottom line—what  if I fail?

In order to stop the runaway what-if train and keep my fears at bay, I must remind myself that if God opens the door for success, he will equip me to do the work. He will direct me and help me each step of the way. The same God who has faithfully walked with me to this point will continue to walk with me in the future. And he is enough for whatever comes.

How about you? Are what-ifs plaguing you today? Yours may not even be related to success, but the principle still applies. God will be with us come what may. And yes, he is enough.

“. . . ‘Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you . . .’” 1 Chronicles 28:20

*When have you been afraid of success? Did things work out okay?

*Flickr photo by Trekking Rinjani

Edible Favors—Yes, Please!


Mother of the Bride, if you and your daughter are looking for favors that will be a hit with nearly everyone, you can’t go wrong with edible favors. It’s an undisputed fact that wedding guests get excited about the special treats offered at the reception. Why not start their party experience off with a yummy favor?

Both of my girls chose to have edible favors at their wedding receptions. Kristin chose candy-coated chocolate candies packaged in pretty tulle bags, and Kelli continued the chocolate theme with yummy truffles of different varieties. What better way to while away the minutes waiting for the wedding party to arrive than by indulging in something delicious?

Possibilities abound when it comes to edible favors. Other chocolate treats might include chocolate covered strawberries, personalized chocolate bars, or chocolate kisses wrapped in foil matching the colors of the wedding.

Non-chocolate options might include cake or pie pops, fruit cups, waffle cones filled with popcorn, vintage candies, or homemade cookies. So many things can work with the right packaging or display. You might like to take a look at my Pinterest Wedding Favors board to see some of these ideas and along with a few more. Also check out Martha Stewart’s The Bride’s Guide for some more great ideas for edible favors.

Have fun brainstorming yummy favor options with your daughter, MOB. And the best part? You might have to sample several to make the best decision! :)

*What other ideas have you seen for edible favors?

*Photo by Will Flowers

Book for the Bride: The Bride’s Instruction Manual


Book alert, book alert! Remember The Groom’s Instruction Manual I told you about in my Building a Bridge to the Groom post?  Well, I’m not sure how I missed seeing it before now, but there is an instruction manual for the bride as well. Yippee!

The Bride’s Instruction Manual by Carrie Denny looks every bit as cute, fun, and helpful as its counterpart for the grooms. Twenty-three reviews had been posted on Amazon  when I last checked, and it had averaged 4.7 out of 5 stars. Looks like a winner, doesn’t it?

If my girls were still brides-to-be, I bet I’d be scurrying around to get them copies of this book. Sounds like it would give them help plus make them laugh at the same time. Yes, definitely a winning combination!

*If there was an instruction manual for mothers of the bride in this series that uses a touch of humor, what topics would you like to see addressed?

*photo from

Midweek Morsel: An Autumn Prayer

Fall 2011 255

Father, as we enjoy autumn this year, may the delightful characteristics of the season also color other areas of our lives. May the refreshment and beauty of fall radiate from us as it does in the world around us.

Help us to inspire vitality and fresh energy and offer real refreshment to all those whose lives we touch. May we offer comfort to those in need and always provide a safe haven where they feel wrapped in love and upheld with understanding. May we shine for you with a brilliance and beauty that’s a natural overflow of our walk with you, and may the beauty of our lives draw others to you, Lord.

 Father, may your glorious autumn season be seen in our lives this year!

 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

 *What characteristics of fall would you like others to see in you?

*My photo