Archives for January 2014

Midweek Morsel: God Welcomes All


Consider this great picture painted in scripture of how God welcomes all into his house, into his family.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! . . . Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young—a place near your altar, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.” Psalm 84:1, 3-4

Just as the birds found a home in God’s holy temple, everyone is welcome in God’s house today—at his altar, near his throne, indeed near his heart and in his family.

No one is too lowly or insignificant to be wanted by God. After all, everyone is lowly when it comes to approaching God. His love and acceptance of us is not based on who we are but on who He is. He is the Lover of our souls, and he wants all of us to come to him in faith. He wants to be our home. Have you made him yours?

“I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” Psalm 61:4

*What else speaks to you from the scripture passage above?

*Flickr photo by Geraint Rowland

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

Comfy Shoes—Add This to Your Wedding Day List


Mother of the Bride, your attire for Wedding Day will not be complete without bringing a back-up pair of comfy shoes. Whether slippers, flip-flops, or casual flats, you need to have a pair of comfortable shoes on hand for some well-timed relief from the dazzling heels you bought to go with your gorgeous MOB dress.

Comfy shoes can be worn during the pre-ceremony prep and for reception venue clean-up as well as for the last couple of hours of the reception when dancing is fully underway. Guests probably won’t start arriving at the ceremony any earlier than thirty minutes prior, but to play it safe, you might want to slip on your MOB heels at least forty-five minutes ahead of start-time.

As far as the party goes, once the photographer snaps photos of the traditional dances, you might as well get footloose and fancy free and dance in comfort. No one will care, and it will, in fact, add to the fun atmosphere to see the Mother of the Bride unwind a little. Of course, only your closest family members will hang around to help with the clean-up so no worries about looking put together then. Who knows, you may even be barefoot by that point :)

My comfy shoe of choice for both of my girls’ weddings was my favorite flip-flops. Since they had May and July weddings, flip-flops worked great for me, but if your daughter is getting married in a cold-weather month, slippers may be in order. No rules here, though, MOB, so whatever works for you is the right choice.

So go ahead—add comfy shoes to your list right now while you’re thinking about it. Your tootsies will thank you come Wedding Day!

*Have you found a particular brand of shoes that are especially comfortable?

*Flickr photo by Wicker Paradise

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

Winter’s Beauty

IMG_4274The wonder of God’s world is filled with poetry. It seems only fitting to capture that poetry on paper. I did just that not long ago. Hope you enjoy!

Winter’s Beauty

Winter has a beauty all its own.
Look past the plummeting temperatures
and the landscape stripped
of nature’s green bounty.
Open your eyes and also your heart
to loveliness left us in wintertime.

From the warmth of your nest
from your personal snow globe
gaze on winter in slow motion,
snowflakes falling in graceful rhythm.
Drink of next morning’s sunshine
resting on blanketed brilliance
gleaming in surprise patches of glory
giving rise to spontaneous praise.

Another week, another storm
drops ice instead of snow,
this time we hear it falling,
we hold our breath and hope.
We pray its havoc to escape
but can’t help to stand in awe
of the wonderland of frozen beauty
it sculpts with perfect precision.

Winter’s trees speak silent testimony,
naked branches reaching Godward
stretching, straining with all their might
to touch him, praise him, offer him all.
If this is not beauty, what is?
As if not enough an added glory
Blesses through branches bared,
bonus chances to observe the birds
more visible with leafy dress gone.

When winter hits our vulnerable hearts
its beauty at first feels hidden,
but soon its tender marks peek through
as God ministers with his mercies
drawing especially near us
whispering his love, showing he cares.
Yes, winter has a beauty all its own.

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright . . .” Psalm 112:4a

*What beauty of winter do you especially love?

*My photo

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

Attention to Detail


Attention to detail is the secret of success in every sphere of life . . .” Hugh Black

Yes, Mother of the Bride, as in other areas of life, attention to detail when planning a wedding makes all the difference. If you want to bless your daughter and the love of her life with a wedding celebration filled with joy, beauty, fun, and ultimately great memories, give attention to all the details.

Whether it’s making sure everyone knows their assignments on Wedding Day or ensuring  that each centerpiece is centered and setting level on the tables, the details all work together to provide a beautiful setting and to keep things running smoothly throughout the entire event.

Nothing is too small or insignificant for your attention. If you give attention to detail, it shows. If you don’t give it, that shows as well. Why not give your family and friends an experience that leaves them saying Wasn’t that a wonderful wedding? Wasn’t that a great party?

After Kristin and Shawn’s wedding, I actually received a note from one of her bridesmaids telling me how much she enjoyed the wedding weekend and how the attention to detail made everything perfect. A few months after Kelli and Jake’s wedding and after they had attended a friend’s wedding where haphazard best summed it up, Jake thanked me for everything I did to make their wedding a smooth-sailing and beautiful event. What was the key? Attention to detail.

Go above and beyond, Mother of the Bride. Give attention to detail.

*Who might you call on to help you give the attention to detail that’s needed?

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

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

Midweek Morsel: The One Who Stills Storms


“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30

One thing I love about scripture is how we can pray it back to the One who gave it. His words can guide our prayers and express our hearts’ deepest desires, requests, fears, joys, and thanksgivings. Won’t you pray back the verses above with me today?

“O Mighty God and Heavenly Father, thank you so much for being a God who is able to still the storms in my life to a whisper. Thank you for hushing the waves that threaten to engulf me.

Lord, the calm you’ve blessed me with is such a welcome relief and lifesaver, and I rejoice in you and your good gift. Thank you for guiding me to the haven I so desperately needed. Thank you for being the One who stills storms.”

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39 KJV

*When has God calmed a storm in your life?

*Flickr photo by Dave

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