Sow in Tears, Reap with Joy

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” Psalm 126:5-6 NIV

What does it mean to sow in tears? I’m sure there’s more than one way to interpret these verses, but one thing I think of as I read them is prayer.

We sow seed as we pray for those who have never come to faith in Christ. We sow as we pray for those who have drifted away from God and as we pray for the needs of our churches. But how earnestly do we intercede for these deep needs?

When was the last time our tears flowed or we experienced internal anguish as we prayed for a family member, a friend, or someone else’s loved one to give his or her heart to the Lord? Or to come back to him? When was the last time we wept over a people group deluded by a false religion? When was the last time we sowed in tears? I admit these questions convict me, and I wonder if they do you as well.

If we’re not careful, our prayers can be half-hearted or superficial. To sow in tears we must take time to care. We must open our hearts and love people. If we do this, their separation from God will surely drive us to our knees—and to tears.

So yes, when we care, we will feel sorrow, but the Word tells us we will also “reap with songs of joy.” And when it comes to the salvation or restoration of a soul, one song of joy will be worth a thousand tears.

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people . . .” Romans 9:2-3 NIV

*When have you reaped with songs of joy after sowing in tears for someone?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. 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.) *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 MarLeah JoyCreative Commons License

Fall Wedding Idea: Caramel Apple Favors!

Mother of the Bride, are you and your daughter still looking for a favor idea for her upcoming fall wedding? If so, you came to the right place today—and just in time, too, since there’s no time to spare at this point, right?

Caramel apples can provide the perfect fun and yummy treat for your guests to take home—or eat right there at the party if they’re so inclined. As long as they’re wrapped in cellophane (as pictured above), they’ll stay mess-free until your happy apple-eaters decide to dig in.

Lots of fun options are possible with caramel apples.  Add a little pizzazz by rolling the apples in variety of toppings after they are dipped. Sprinkles, nuts, candy-pieces, coconut—whatever strikes the fancy of your bride-to-be and her sweetheart. They’ll be easier to wrap, too, if they’re dipped in something other than just caramel. I’ve even seen plain apples sitting atop a container of caramel and then wrapped together in cellophane. Tie the bags off with pretty color-appropriate ribbon and you’re set!

Nothing says a fall party like caramel apples, MOB, so why not suggest it to your daughter? Have fun at your fall wedding!

*You might also like to read Summer or Fall Wedding Favor Idea: Jars of Honey, Edible Favors—Yes, Please!, Sculpted Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns for Fall Wedding Decor, and Fall Wedding Bouquet Idea.

*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 with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by moralesmegan25Creative Commons License

Wedding Savings Tip: Ask for Price Breaks

Mother of the Bride, did you know that savvy MOBs ask for price breaks?

You may be familiar with the verse of scripture that says “. . . ye have not because ye ask not.” (James 4:2 KJV) Yes, this verse is about asking things of God, but I think the principle holds true in other situations as well—wedding planning included. If we don’t ask for price breaks, we may not get them.

Every little bit saved helps when putting on the event of a lifetime so be bold when asking for discounts, MOB. Mention to vendors or shop owners/managers you’re speaking with that you’re trying to keep expenses down and are looking for the best deals you can find. Ask them what kind of discounts or price breaks they offer. If they don’t have any standard discounts, you can suggest one that might be appropriate to the situation.

Here are some examples of price breaks that might be offered or that you might be able to negotiate:

1) A percentage discount if paying in full or paying early.

2) Matching a competitor’s price.

3) Discount if giving a vendor business in two or more areas—renting tuxes from the shop where you buy the bridal gown or bridesmaids dresses, ordering the wedding cakes from the caterer in addition to the food for the reception, ordering bridesmaids dresses from the same shop where you buy the bridal gown, etc.

4) Discount for floor model or last item in stock.

5) Discount if wedding is being held in off-season.

6) Ask what they can do for the price you have in mind. They might give you a better deal to get your business.

7) If an item is not currently on sale, ask when it will go on sale—then grab it as soon as it goes on sale.

Good luck, MOB, as you ask for these and other price breaks. Remember, we have not because we ask not. So go out there and ask away!

*You might also like to read A Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Quick Tip: Getting the Most Bang for Your MOB Buck, and Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow!

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

*The current 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 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by 401(K) 2012Creative Commons License

Life on a Higher Plane

Living in small-town Mid-America, we don’t usually have to worry about air traffic control. In fact, we don’t even have to worry about ground traffic control. Ha! However, one morning several years ago when I looked out my front door, I couldn’t believe the activity overhead.

My upturned gaze spotted the jet stream of no less than five planes as they criss-crossed the cloudless blue sky. All of a sudden, another world—a busy world I don’t usually think about—captured my attention.

Since we live about seventy-five miles from the nearest major airport and don’t have many visual reminders of airline activity, the day-in and day-out business of flying the friendly skies isn’t often on my mind. But the sight above me that morning changed all that in an instant.

I got a peek at life on a higher plane (excuse the pun), and it evidently is not only a friendly place (if we believe the ads) but a busy place as well. What’s more amazing is that what I saw is just the tip of the iceberg.

If we had eyes to see and conditions that allowed it, we’d see that this busy scene overhead is taking place across the entire country—and even the world. People are on the move. Life is happening above us at all times.

Another world high above—a heavenly world—captures my attention daily as I worship the Lord and come to him in prayer. But sometimes I forget about all the activity going on around him. Life is happening there. Angels and saints must be on the move at all times. They most certainly are experiencing life on a higher plane!

What’s even more amazing is that if we’ve placed our faith in Christ, if we’ve asked him to be our Savior, we will one day join that heavenly world. We, too, will live life on a higher plane. And that’s some overhead activity I don’t want to miss. That’s the kind of busy I won’t mind!

“Then the angel showed me. . . The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. . . There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:1, 3, 5 NIV

*What are you particularly looking forward to in heaven? If you’ve not yet placed your faith in Christ, I encourage you to do so today!

*The current 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 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.) *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 Al Pavangkanan, Creative Commons License

Wedding Planning Help During Blogging Break

Mother of the Bride, I’m taking a summer blogging break—but not before I leave you with some great wedding planning help. I’ll be back with my regular twice-per-month posts starting August 17th, but in the meantime I hope you’ll find lots of helpful ideas and info below, referring back to it as you have opportunity.

Here are five resources from yours truly:

  1. Read my book Mother of the Bride: Refreshment and Wisdom for the Mother of the Bride. Allow me to be your friend for the journey!
  2. Look through the list of Favorite Posts on the sidebar and click the links to the ones that spark your interest. (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find the sidebar items.)
  3. Use the drop-down feature in the Archives to spot some posts that might be especially helpful to you at this stage in your Mother of the Bride journey. You’ll find the Archives on the sidebar too so use the directions above to find it if you’re on a mobile device.
  4. Check out my Pinterest pageAmong other things, it features eighteen wedding-related boards!
  5. Glance through the roundup posts I’ve written. They are listed below. Roundups can be very helpful:

Wedding Photography: Bridal Portrait Roundup

Roundup: Popular Mother of the Bride Blog Posts

Bridal Bouquet Roundup

Wedding Cake Roundup

Wedding Registry Roundup

Wedding Photo Ideas Roundup That Star the Groom

Finally, if your daughter is in the beginning stages of gathering ideas and investigating her options, try Martha Stewart WeddingsReal Simple Weddings, and Brides.  And if she wants a rustic wedding, check out Rustic Wedding Chic.

Hope this helps you and your sweet bride-to-be daughter, MOB!

*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 with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early August. 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.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Photo by Chris Humphrey Photographer