Archives for April 2014

Risking the Awkward


Do you ever hold back from doing a certain thing—something you either want to do or feel like you should do—because you feel awkward? I certainly have. And truth be told, most of us probably fail to act on good impulses time and again.

Not long ago, my friend Elaine at Peace for the Journey wrote a blog post called The Unspoken Blessing (well worth the read, by the way). It made me think of the many times I’ve left words unspoken—usually because I would feel awkward speaking them. I left a comment for Elaine and told her this:

“One of my heart’s desires, Elaine, is to encourage others. . . Even so, I miss times of speaking blessing into the lives of those around me. I’ve noticed sometimes that happens because the other person isn’t really comfortable with receiving spoken love and blessings — and so I hold back at times so neither of us feels awkward. I need to risk the awkward.”

If you’re like me, you need to risk the awkward, too. We need to go ahead and speak words of love even if it feels unnatural in some relationships. We need to voice our admiration and let it be an encouragement. And sometimes we need to offer words of comfort even when we’re afraid we’ll say the wrong thing.

Sometimes we need to risk the awkward in even more uncomfortable situations—like when it’s time to confront or to hold someone accountable. We also need to risk awkward rejection at times in order to be a witness for the Lord. Of course, it’s best to enter situations like these with much prayer, depending on the Spirit’s leading throughout.

Risking the awkward applies not only to our words but to our actions as well. Sometimes we hold back on acts of love or service or gratitude because we’re afraid—afraid of looking silly or offending or that our overtures will be unwelcome in some way. How many opportunities have we let slip by us?

Is it time to set our fears of rejection or personal discomfort aside and risk the awkward, in both word and deed? If we do, I think we’ll find that most of our fears don’t even materialize or that the results are much less uncomfortable than we’d thought they’d be. We’ll probably even receive welcome and positive responses. And then we’ll wonder why we didn’t do or say certain things earlier.

How about it? Let’s risk the awkward!

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

*When was the last time you risked the awkward?

*Flickr photo by Freddie Peña, Creative Commons License

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

Gift Idea: The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual


Looking for a fun little something extra to stick in with your shower or wedding gift, Mother of the Bride? You might feel like a gift of china, cookware, or flatware doesn’t have a keepsake feel to it so you’d like to personalize your gift a bit. Maybe a pretty frame or a Christmas ornament or something like today’s idea—a book!

What fresh-from-the-altar couple wouldn’t love to have a copy of The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual: Essential Information, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice for the First Year of Marriage? I haven’t read the book myself, but reviews point out lots of helpful advice served up with a touch of humor, including amusing diagrams and pictures. The Newlywed’s Instruction Manual is another offering in the Owner’s and Instruction Manual series—two of which I’ve featured previously here on the Mother of the Bride Blog (see links below).

 Anything to help make all the adjustments in the first year of marriage a little more lighthearted has to be a win, right, MOB? Go for it!

*You might also like to read Book for the Bride: The Bride’s Instruction Manual and Building a Bridge to the Groom .

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

*Photo from

Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!


All MOBs’ ears perk up when they catch wind of a way to save some money, and I’m sure you’re no exception, Mother of the Bride. Be sure not to overlook the value of today’s tip: Borrow when you can!

You’ll be amazed at how many dollars you can save by borrowing. And you’ll be equally amazed at how many items can fall into this category.

Some items you might try to borrow include cake knife and server sets, champagne buckets, white rose garland, hurricanes and other glassware for candles, a wedding arch, pew bows, extension cords, flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillows, and plant stands. If the bride doesn’t mind, you might even be able to borrow a veil, headpiece, or bridal slip. After all, she needs something borrowed for the big day! And you might even be able to borrow a small purse to match your ensemble, MOB.

So MOB, make a list of items and then check with friends and family. Someone might have just what you need. Be especially sure to check with friends who’ve hosted weddings themselves recently. One of the things I was happy to do during my post-MOB days was loan items to fellow MOBs eager to save dollars where they could.

Be bold, MOB. Ask to borrow when you can!

*You might also like to read Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets ;  Quick Tip: Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB Buck ; and Making Her Beautiful—Bridal Primping on a Budget

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

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Midweek Morsel: Healing Refrains of Nature


Spring took its sweet time getting here this year, but as always, it did arrive, didn’t it? During any winter season—but especially during a particularly extreme one—what  comfort in knowing that spring will indeed burst forth at some point and put winter to bed once again. Such blessing in counting on spring after winter.

Consider these words of Rachel Carson, American biologist and writer (1907 – 1964) describing the healing found in the refrains of nature:

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”

We can count on spring. We can count on the dawn. We can count on the Creator of it all. In him is infinite healing indeed.

the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.” Psalm 32:10b

*Which refrain of nature refreshes your spirit the most?

*My photo

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

Wedding Table Décor: Add Pizzazz with Confetti


Mother of the Bride, would you be interested in a simple and inexpensive way to add pizazz to the tabletops at your daughter’s wedding reception? I thought so. I haven’t met an MOB yet who’s not ready to grab hold of a simple and inexpensive idea and run with it!

One of the fastest, simplest, and least expensive ways to add sparkle to the tables at the reception is to scatter a little confetti. There are lots of options to choose from. You can use classic confetti in one of your daughter’s wedding colors, or if she has used a theme of some sort for the big celebration, you might be able to find something that would complement it perfectly. For example, if she has a beach theme, you might be able to find seashell confetti. Of course, many confetti styles are designed especially for weddings so those can be fun, too. We used the tiny little hearts above for my daughter Kristin’s wedding.

If you’re concerned that confetti might not look elegant enough for a wedding, never fear—you  can use confetti and still retain a classic and sophisticated look. Just be sure to use a light touch. Now is not the time to overdo with décor. You want to employ balance as you decorate to achieve the greatest beauty. All it takes is a little confetti scattered here and there to add a little color or sparkle to the myriad of white tablecloths spanning the reception hall.

So, MOB, check with your bride-to-be and see if she’d like to add some pizzazz with confetti. It’s just one more way to make the day—and the party—shine!

*You might also like to read this post about adding a finishing touch with fresh rose petals.

*Flickr photo by Chris Humphrey

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