Archives for 2024

Take Time to Get Energized

You know the feeling. The lift in your spirit, the yes in your heart, the light in your eyes. You’re doing something you love to do. And you get a little rush of joy. You’re energized.

Sometimes this burst of happiness happens in the midst of our regular work—and how fortunate we are if our work does this for us. Not everyone is so lucky.

For writers like me, many times we have to just plod along, laying down one sentence after another while stopping frequently to agonize over the right word choice. We’re not sure the piece is working and then bam—the right word, the right phrase, the right rhythm flashes through our minds and everything comes together. We feel exhilarated. Our hearts say yes!

More often, though, I would guess that such rushes of joy come as we engage in interests or passions that are not work-related. For me, I’ve found that taking photos—especially capturing something unusual or beautiful in nature—also makes my heart say yes and sparks a happy burst of fresh energy.

When this kind of satisfying joy and excitement pays us a visit, let’s soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest. Let’s pay attention to it and pinpoint the things that make our spirits take wing.

Once we’ve identified the things that energize us, wouldn’t it make sense to engage in those activities regularly? Those infusions of happiness will benefit not only our sense of well-being but our relationships and work as well.

After all, the lift in our spirits, the yes in our hearts, the light in our eyes are all worth the time we take to get that little rush of joy. So let’s do it. Let’s get energized!

“My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 NIV

*What energizes you?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free! 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 Clay Banks on Unsplash

Wedding Photos—Include the Venue Signs

Mother of the Bride, many wedding photographers pride themselves on telling a story with their photos. They make an effort to capture more than the standard shots and provide not only a timeline but the emotions of the big day as well. Their beautiful and meaning-filled finished products are works of art.

In the telling of your sweet couple’s wedding day story, ask your photographer to be sure to include the signs at your ceremony and reception sites. Having those locations identified through photos not only helps tell the story, but it will be a help in years to come when you try to recall the names of the venues. After all, these special places play an important part in one of the highlights of your family’s life.

And believe it or not, MOB, a good photographer can even make photos of signs look artistic. So scope out your venues and give your photographer a heads-up about the locations of the signs. Be a part of telling the whole story!

*You might also like to read Wedding Day Tip: A List for the Photographer and Bridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots.

*Photos by Chris Humphrey

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

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

Times of Crisis: Only God

Times of crisis come to us all. None of us is exempt. Some we see coming, some we don’t. But all have the potential to knock us flat—and keep us there if we don’t know where to turn.

I pray this will be someone’s answer today. Be blessed as you read, dear friends.

Only God

Impossible situations
With towering odds,
The questions all different
The answer the same—
“Only God.”
A job is gone
And money with it,
How will we manage—
Only God.
The tests are back
With devastating results,
Where do we turn—
Only God.
A marriage teeters
All hope is gone,
Who can restore it—
Only God.
Hearts are ripped open
With grief and despair,
How to stand now—
Only God.
Where is our hope,
Our strength, our peace,
Who can heal and redeem,
He alone is the answer—
Only God.

“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.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

*How has God been your answer recently?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free! 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 baronsquirrel, Creative Commons License

Wedding Invitations: Proofread Again and Again

Mother of the Bride, I have some very important advice for you today: Be sure to proofread the copy for the wedding invitation very carefully before sending it off to the printer. And after you’ve proofread it once, proof it again—and again. Oh, and did I mention proofreading it? You get the idea, right?

As you might have guessed, my oldest daughter and I experienced a proofreading fail while planning her wedding. Talk about a sinking feeling when we discovered the mistake—yes, on the actual invitations.

We had both proofread the invitation copy before sending it to the printer, but we still missed seeing a misspelling. Since our eyes were familiar with the name, they evidently sailed right past it as we read the copy. We failed to look the copy over very slowly and very carefully. And yes, it cost us. Lesson learned.

So, MOB, learn from our mistake and proofread like crazy. Both you and the bride proofread the invitation multiple times and then ask someone else to proofread it too. Believe me, being a stickler for details this time will save you valuable dollars and an extra helping of stress. Here’s to no invitation mistakes as you plan for your daughter’s big day!

*You might also like to read A Keepsake Photo of the Wedding Invitation.

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

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Jase LamCreative Commons License

Little Things That Make Us Smile

A cup of hot chocolate. A pretty journal. A sweet comment here or on one of my social media posts. All these things—little though they are—make me smile, inside and out.

I love how little things like this can set the tone for my day—or turn it around if things are going badly. In the midst of all the stresses we face in our lives today, a simple joy can lift our spirits or spur impromptu communion with our Father as we whisper a word of thanks.

One joy I experienced some years ago was the early morning visits of a pair of cardinals. They must have wanted to take advantage of my birdfeeder before any other competition showed up. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them during that semi-dark hour—and they certainly didn’t wait around for good lighting. They took off as soon as too much daylight intruded on their comfort zone.

But even though I couldn’t capture photos of their visits, I got to see them and enjoy their presence. I’m not sure why, but it made me happy just knowing they’d found my yard and made it part of their routine. It’s a little thing indeed, but they made me smile first thing in the morning. And that’s a very good thing, right?

Likewise, little blessings in our spiritual lives can set a happy tone for our days or lighten our loads on difficult days as well. Like the lift to my spirit the cardinals supplied, even small spiritual blessings can be all it takes to keep us encouraged and moving forward in our walk of faith.

Maybe a song ministers peace or comfort just when we need it. Or perhaps the sun breaks through the clouds when we’re longing for a touch from the Lord. And God’s Word? One sentence or verse can make all the difference on any given day.

Yes, it’s the little blessings that keep us going over the long haul, isn’t it? Let’s thank God today for the little things. The things that make us smile inside and out.

“Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.” John 1:16 GNT
*What little thing has brought you joy recently?

 

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. 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! 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 byJoeLodge, Creative Commons License