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Archives for January 2018

Wedding Expenses: Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

At the beginning of a new year, many of us are looking for ways to trim down, both physically and financially. Saving money always feels good and getting the most value for our money makes us smile as well. Sometimes we get downright giddy over a good deal!

Want to know how to get the most bang for your MOB buck, Mother of the Bride? Here’s my tip: Put your checkbook away and use your credit card when paying for wedding expenses.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating racking up charges that you don’t have the money to cover. But since you’re going to be making lots of purchases—and some of them very big—why not take advantage and rack up the points on your credit card so you can purchase free flights or other free items?

In other words, let the money spent on the wedding work twice for you—once to make your sweet daughter’s dreams come true and the second time to make your dreams come true. Another win-win on the wedding front!

*You might also like to read Wedding Planning Tip: Ask for Price Breaks, Wedding Savings Tip: Make It Yourselves!, A Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!, Let Bridesmaids Bouquets Perform Double Duty, Wedding-Themed Shower Gifts, and Christmas Gifts for the Bride.

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out on Thursday Feb. 1st. One lucky subscriber 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. New subscribers this week won’t be included in this giveaway but will be included in all future giveaways. 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.)

*Flickr photo by Images Money, Creative Commons License

Hear the Call to Worship

Chime! Chime! Chime! On weekdays, not more than a dozen blocks from our house, children arrive and begin their school day at the local Catholic church and school. When I’m lucky, I happen to open my door or step out on my back steps and hear the church bells ringing in a new school day, signaling the time to begin.

I don’t know their schedule, but I like to think they are starting with moments of worship and prayer. As they hear the chiming of the bells, I hope they are gathering to acknowledge the Creator of the world, gathering to say prayers to their heavenly Father.

I know for me, when the rich ring of the beginning bell wafts through the air, I hear a call to worship. I hear my Father saying, “Think of me! Think of me!”

And I do. I think of him. I think of the glory of the morning and of the world around me. I think of how worthy he is to be praised. I think of how blessed I am to have such a loving and faithful heavenly Father. I think of him, I think of him.

On days when I’m caught up in something else and miss hearing the ringing of the bells, I still feel the call to worship as I look at the beauty of my Lord’s creation or as I think of blessings he has poured into my life. Each work of beauty, each sound of nature, each blessing he has granted is like a church bell chiming, “Think of me! Think of me!”

How about you? What calls you to worship? What calls you to think of him? Whatever it is, take time to answer his call. Take time to think of him.

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? . . . LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:3-4, 9 NIV

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out on Thursday Feb. 1st. One lucky subscriber 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. New subscribers this week won’t be included in this giveaway but will be included in all future giveaways. 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.)

*I hope you enjoyed this newly revised post from February 2011.

*Flickr photo by vxlaCreative Commons License

Groom’s Cake Idea: Favorite Professional Sports Team

Mother of the Bride, are you and the happy couple talking cakes yet? And more specifically, the groom’s cake? If so, this suggestion might help you hit a wedding planning home run if the groom decides to run with it. Do you see a theme developing here?!

If your future son-in-law has a favorite professional sports team, he might love featuring it in some way with his groom’s cake. He could request that your cake baker design a team jersey and hat cake (as in the photo above), or he might rather feature the team’s mascot or a simply the team’s name and logo on a big sheet cake. Or he might have a different idea entirely once you spark his imagination.

So grab the soon-to-be newlyweds, MOB, and show them this idea. The groom may love it—and you will have knocked it out of the park with your suggestion! Fingers crossed for you!

*You might also like to read Groom’s Cake Idea: Favorite Team Cake Pops Groom’s Cake Idea for the Wrestling FanGroom’s Cake Idea: His Favorite Set of WheelsGroom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!), Groom’s Cake Idea: Alma Mater Pride, and Groom’s Cake Idea: A Chessboard!

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

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out February 1st. 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.)

*Flickr photo by aalphotos, Creative Commons License

Winter Trees and the Church: Beautiful Support

This may sound odd to some people, but I see a unique beauty in the naked trees of winter. Many would describe them as stark, drab, or depressing. I, on the other hand, think they have a beauty all their own when winter strips them of their leafy glory.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the leafy glory of trees as much as the next person. Watching trees bud out and turn green in the spring holds a special excitement for all of us. Summer then brings lush, full trees to pleasantly fill our landscapes before autumn arrives and sets them ablaze with color. I delight in each of these seasons and the changes they bring to trees.

But I think trees are beautiful in winter as well. Some might think it’s like looking at skeletons, but I see what looks like arms and fingers reaching for and pointing to God. I love looking out and seeing the intricacies of the branches. Winter allows us a view of the support system of the leaf laden trees we enjoy the rest of the year. Without the drab looking branches, there could be no beautiful leaves.

Winter trees actually remind me of other support systems in our lives as well. Just think about our bodies and all that’s working together beneath the surface to keep us up and running. The same can be said for just about every company, group, or organization we might name.

Consider the church. Many programs and people are highly visible, but there are just as many or more serving behind the scenes. And it’s the behind-the-scenes-type activity that makes it possible for the more visible ministries to take place. Everyone needs to do their part to keep things running smoothly—and more than that, to enable growth.

What role are you filling in your church—or life in general? Are you a part of the highly visible, leafy-glory, or is your role a part of the vital support system that’s needed? Maybe a little of both? Just keep in mind that neither is better. Both are needed and valued.

So take another look at the winter trees. Beautiful, huh?

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

*What support systems in your church, workplace, or organizations are you most thankful for?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out Feb. 1st. 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 Oakley Originals, Creative Commons License

*I hope you enjoyed this revised encore post from January 2008!

Idea for Wedding Card Box: A Hatbox!

Looking for another wedding card box idea, Mother of the Bride? If your daughter would like something other than a wedding theme for her card box (as in the wedding cake card box), why not suggest a pretty hatbox for collecting the cards?

When my daughter Kristin got married, I asked the groom’s mother if she would be in charge of providing the card box. My sister Debbie had provided one for her son’s wedding so I thought it would be a nice way to include our groom’s mom—plus relieve us of the task. Smart, huh?

Even though Linda admitted to not be very arts and craftsy (I’m not either), she happily agreed to do it. She recruited the help of a friend, and they came up with the hatbox card box pictured above. So clever and pretty!

To make the hatbox idea work for a wedding, just incorporate the wedding colors on the box as well as some gorgeous flowers and pretty ribbon. Add a corded handle and personalize with the happy couple’s names, and you’re good to go. It will definitely make an attractive and unique addition to the gift table.

Hope the hatbox idea appeals to you and your daughter, MOB. And if you’re lucky, the groom’s mom will take care of it for you!

*You might also like to read Wedding Card Box Idea: A Wedding Cake!

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $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.

*My photo