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Archives for June 2017

Casting a Shadow

Shadows. They can be scary, can’t they? They hold the unknown. They sometimes even hold danger.

In life, we encounter shadows of a figurative kind. The menacing ones seem gigantic. Things like cancer, terrorism, financial problems, loss of loved ones, and divorce. Shadows like that can nearly suffocate us.

But not all shadows in life are negative. This time of year—in the heat of summer—shadows provide shade and welcome relief. We don’t run away from them. Instead we run to them. Some we welcome with open arms.

Loved ones cast a comforting shadow when we’re hurting. Mentors provide the shade of experience and encouragement as we try to grow. Friends offer the shelter of companionship when we’re lonely or needing some fun. And the Word of God stands ever-ready to give us whatever kind of refuge we need. No, not all shadows are negative.

The question we need to consider is what kind of shadow are we casting today in the lives of those who know us? What would they say about our influence or our impact on them if given the opportunity?

Do we bring others (or maybe just certain people) down by our negative or critical attitudes and words? Do we add a dark cloud of worry wherever we go? Or instead, do we lift people’s spirits with our happy dispositions and words of encouragement? Do we cast a ray of sunshine instead of an unwelcome shadow?

If you’re like me, it may be a mixture of both. Sometimes our families get an up-close and personal taste of the negative side of our personalities. Hopefully, those are balanced out by all the positive influences we bring into their lives.

Let’s make sure our shadows—whether with family or with the world in general—are the kind people run to, the kind that provide shade and welcome relief.

Let’s cast shadows that people welcome with open arms.

“O LORD, you are my God . . . You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” Isaiah 25:1a, 4a

*Who has cast a positive shadow in your life?

*My photo

“Show Off the Ring” Engagement Photo Idea

Mother of the Bride, one of the fun parts of being an MOB is always being on the lookout for great engagement and wedding photo ideas. Funny, isn’t it, how after becoming an MOB, your eyes and ears perk up to a whole new world of sights and sounds you barely noticed before. And you know what? I have fun presenting you with a small part of that whole new world!

Today I’m super excited to share this “Show Off the Ring” engagement photo idea because I absolutely love it. I love how the couple is holding hands and how the ring is the central focus of the photo. I love how the dark clothes the bride and groom-to-be are wearing provide a dramatic color contrast for the light color of the ring. It’s perfect for making the ring stand out and truly sparkle. The bokeh effect in the background also adds to the ring being the star of the show, doesn’t it? And to top it all off, this is a super simple shot to make happen.

If you love this simple yet dramatic way to show of the ring as much as I do, MOB, why not send this blog post link to your daughter and let her take a look. I’m predicting she’ll love it as well and suggest it to their photographer when the time comes. What fun it will be to see the shot come alive with your sweet girl and the love of her life! Enjoy, MOB!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photo Idea: Show Off the Ring and Wedding Day First Dance Photo—Show Off Her Rings!

*Flickr photo by shaunanyi, Creative Commons License

Let’s Give Ourselves a Time Out—For Gratitude!

Too often we wait until November, the month of thanks—or even the very end of the year—to focus on things we’re grateful for, but let’s take a time out to do it today.

After all, we should have thankful hearts all year long, right? Sometimes we let life blaze past us, forgetting to truly appreciate and express gratitude for the blessings in our lives. So let’s do our best from now on to continually cultivate thankful hearts—and we can start by being intentional about it today.

Since we’ve almost reached the midpoint of 2017, let’s each give some thought to the top ten things we’re most grateful for so far this year. Limiting it to this year will help us focus our thoughts on the most recent events in our lives rather than thinking of the general things that always come to mind when giving thanks.

Here’s my Top Ten Gratitude List thus far for 2017:

  1. I’m thankful for being able to trust God for the outcome of a big personal prayer concern as well as some work-related concerns. So grateful for the peace and rest I find in trusting him.
  2. I’m thankful for the times we’ve spent with our daughters, sons-in-law, and two sets of twin grandsons. So thankful for sweet baby smiles and little boy laughter, for snuggly cuddles and precious hugs. Thankful for trips to the zoo and for seeing baby milestones achieved.
  3. I’m thankful my dad, my sister Carolyn, and I got to go meet the newest member of our extended family—Jaxon, my niece Joanna’s baby and my sister Janice’s first grandbaby.
  4. I’m thankful for God’s Word and how he has used it to guide me and to strengthen and encourage me and how he’s allowed me to share it with others through my writing.
  5. I’m thankful to have reached one of my main author marketing goals for the year—participating in bridal fairs.  This has been a challenge because of high vendor fees, but God has led me to two so far on the lower end of the expense spectrum.
  6. I’m thankful for safe travel in all my trips to see our grandkids and also travel associated with my writing. For example, on one trip to Little Rock, I had three close calls on the interstate. I don’t take safe travel for granted.
  7. I’m thankful for the beautiful job Stephanie Wheatley of Wheatley Design did on the Wedding Inspiration cards I developed. Also very thankful for God’s leading in this project as well as my daughter Kristin’s help with various aspects of it.
  8. I’m thankful for good health for Don and me through cold and flu season. Also very thankful that God kept our grandbabies protected from the flu.
  9. I’m thankful for a quick getaway to Branson with Don in May. It had been over five years since we had been there. It was so good to enjoy Silver Dollar City once again—a place where my entire family has many great memories together.
  10. And finally, I’m thankful Don is carrying a lighter teaching load in summer school this summer. Since his Microbiology class is filled beyond capacity, he could never have kept up with all the extra work that causes plus teach Anatomy & Physiology the way he normally does as well.

So there’s my top ten—how about yours? I think you’ll find that when you get started, it will be hard to stop at ten!

“Come and see what God has done, the amazing things he has done for people.” Psalm 66:5 NCV

*What are you grateful for so far in 2017?

*Flickr photo by RnD.de.Portraits, Creative Commons License

Let Bridesmaids Bouquets Perform Double Duty

Mother of the Bride, does getting twice the use out of the bridesmaids bouquets sound good to you? I thought it might. As long as you’re spending the money on beautiful bouquets for your daughter’s maids, you might as well let them perform double duty, right?

Bridesmaids bouquets can be easily repurposed as table décor at the reception. Simply give the bridesmaids instructions as to where they are to place their bouquets as soon as they arrive at the reception. Or have a designated person gather the bouquets (after any photos of the maids holding them) and then run ahead to the reception and place the bouquets for you.

At my daughters’ weddings, we used the bridesmaids bouquets on the groom’s cake table (as seen above) and also on the gift table. The bouquets came in particularly handy on the cake tables. No need to purchase any other kind of décor to accent the cake. Place a bouquet or two near the cake and dress up the table further with a framed photo or two of the happy couple and the cake table is good to go. (By the way, we used my girls’ bridal bouquets on the main cake tables.)

The wonderful thing about bridesmaids bouquets is that they can be used anywhere you need a touch of beauty. You could place them next to the guest book at the reception site or on a photo table if your sweet couple chooses to have one of those. They could even be used as centerpieces on some of the guest tables if you’re doing a variety rather than the same centerpiece on every table. And you may think of other spots where they’d work beautifully as well.

So MOB, why not make plans for the maids bouquets to do double duty? A win-win for sure!

*You might also like to read Quick Tip: Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB Buck, Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets and Christmas Gifts for the Bride.

*Photo by Flowers Photography

Wedding Registry to Consider: Blueprint Registry

Mother of the Bride, have you or your daughter heard of Blueprint Registry yet? I just recently happened upon it so it may be new to you as well. And if so, this may be something your daughter and her beloved may be interested in.

Blueprint Registry is an online registry that allows a couple to add gifts from any retailer as well as import existing registries and also create a honeymoon fund/cash registry. It has a unique blueprint approach where couples shop/register by room and guests can then see how and where their gift might be used in the couple’s home.

I haven’t talked with anyone yet who has personally used it, but it’s getting rave reviews from industry leaders. And those endorsements are easily seen on the home page.

MOB, I encourage you to hop over to Blueprint Registry’s website and take a look. I’ll list some of the links to specific info so you can find what you need as easily as possible. Be sure to share this post with your daughter. Blueprint Registry could be just what she and her hubby-to-be are looking for!

Blueprint Registry homepage  

Info About Blueprint Registry

How the Registry Works 

Benefits of Using the Registry 

*You might also like to read Wedding Registry Roundup.

*My photo