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Archives for April 2022

Surrounded by the Lord

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Psalm 125:2 NIV

I love this verse. After rediscovering it several years ago, I personalized it and made it part of my early morning prayer each day. Before even getting out of bed, I gave the Lord my day and placed my times in his hands. Then along with a few basic requests, I added, “And Lord, as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so surround me with your peace and your protection.”

Sometimes the thought of being surrounded brings up negative images, but that’s certainly not the case here. Not for me—not when it’s the Lord doing the surrounding.

I suppose if someone didn’t love the Lord or was trying to run or hide from him, it would be a frightening prospect to be surrounded by the Almighty. But for those who know and love him and look to him for help, great comfort lies in the precious knowledge of his surrounding presence and care.

The image of mountains, so strong and protective, surrounding a little town paints the perfect picture of what the Lord does for us, his people. The Lord stands guard, ever watchful, ever ready to protect and guide. He provides majesty and beauty, adventure and stability. He keeps us nestled in his peace as we look to him.

Each day let’s picture ourselves surrounded by the Lord. Let’s relax in his care. Let’s snuggle down into that place of peace he has reserved for us. Let’s fix our eyes on him. Let’s be surrounded by his peace.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121 NIV

*When have you felt supernaturally surrounded by God’s peace?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by It’s No Game, Creative Commons License

After the Wedding: Thank Vendors Who Shined

Mother of the Bride, as your daughter’s wedding day unfolds, you will notice which vendors really shine in carrying out their roles. Hopefully they’ll all do a wonderful job, but one or two will probably disappoint. On the other hand, one or two will amaze. And those are the ones that will make your day.

So when a vendor does a top-notch job and goes above and beyond what you expected, why not send him or her a thank you note in the days following the wedding? Why not return the blessing? I guarantee you will make her day with your thoughtful gesture. After all, words of appreciation keep us all encouraged and motivated to do our best, no matter the work we do.

Here’s the note I sent the cake designer who not only crowned our daughter Kristin’s wedding reception with a taste of heaven but surprised us with a beautiful visual touch to all of our tables as well:

Emeline, I just had to drop you a note to thank you for the absolutely wonderful job you did on the cakes for Kristin and Shawn’s wedding. They were beautiful and out-of-this-world delicious! I also so appreciated the fresh flower petals you sprinkled around on the tables—that was such a special unexpected surprise. It added so much to the beauty of the tables. Thanks for going out of your way to do that for us!

God blessed in so many ways to help us have a wonderful wedding celebration, and you were one of those blessings.

Thanks again!
Cheryl Barker

Not only did my note bless this vendor (she sent an email thank you that same day), but it gave her another name she could add with confidence to her list of references. Remember, giving a glowing report when asked about a vendor’s services is another terrific way to keep showing your appreciation in the future.

Even though you may be ready to close the books, MOB, on your wedding responsibilities as soon as you pull away from the reception venue, take a moment to thank those who helped make your baby girl’s big day extra special. It’s your turn to bless them!

*You might also like to read Time-Saving Tip: Insider Info from Vendors and Wedding Savings Tip: Ask for Price Breaks.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Virginia L.Creative Commons License

An Inexpensive Bridal Bouquet: Baby’s Breath!

Mother of the Bride, baby’s breath often accents flower arrangements of all sorts, but has your daughter considered it for her bouquet? Show her the photo above and she may just decide to let it be the star of the show!

Not only will a baby’s breath bouquet be a more affordable option, it can be quite elegant-looking as well. Isn’t the bouquet above gorgeous? The green of the stems adds such a nice contrast, but I think a ribbon-wrapped bouquet with a brooch attached would be stunning, too.

Baby’s breath can also be used for the groom’s boutonniere, along with the bouts for all of the other men in the wedding party. Again, it would be a less expensive way to go but look classy at the same time. If you’d like to see an example of how baby’s breath would look for bouts, check out my “Weddings This and That” Pinterest board. You’ll find a great example there.

I love passing along inexpensive yet beautiful options when I see them, MOB. Hope you find several on your journey as a mother of the bride!

*You might also like to read Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridesmaids Bouquets and Bridal Bouquet Idea: Add Some Sparkle with Gemstones.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble 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! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Jin.DongjunCreative Commons License

Let: Little Word with Big Impact for Fear and Worry

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

Have you ever noticed how “let” is one of those little words in scripture (or anywhere for that matter) that can have great significance? A couple of years ago I blogged about the giant impact of the word “us” in Hebrews 12:1. Today let’s look at John 14:27 and focus on the little word let.

When Jesus spoke the words above to the disciples, he had just shared the Last Supper with them and told them he would not be with them much longer. He then spent time comforting them and telling them about the Holy Spirit, whom he promised he would send to them.

Jesus’ reassuring words at such a critical time in their lives still hold great comfort for us today, but they hold instruction as well. He told the disciples then and is telling us now not to be afraid, not to let our hearts be troubled.

By using the word let, do you think Jesus might have been showing us that we have some control over our anxieties and fears? He exhorts us not to allow them to overtake our hearts.

Experiencing pangs of worry or fear about life situations is natural and happens to all of us. It’s what we do with those initial feelings that matters in the long run.

Do we dwell on our worries and fears and allow them to grow larger by the minute, or do we honestly acknowledge them and then take them to the Lord in prayer? Do we spend time and precious energy imagining worst-case scenarios and desperately trying to think of fixes, or do we relinquish our burdens into our Father’s capable and faithful hands?

We don’t have to let anyone or anything steal the peace that Jesus promised us. It’s as real and available to us today as it was to the disciples. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s not allow our hearts to be troubled. Let’s give our worries and fears to him.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

*Sometimes anxiety can be a symptom of a physical problem. If you suspect that at all, be sure to see your doctor.

*Do you have a favorite scripture about worry or fear that you’d like to share?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble 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! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

Photo by Molnár Bálint on Unsplash