Different Songs, Different Gifts

I went bird crazy a decade ago.

That’s right. Since then I’ve spent time looking for them, listening to them, and taking pictures of them. Pretty amazing coming from me since I’ve been afraid of having birds fly near me in the past—which, by the way, might have something to do with watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds when I was young. Did that scare anyone else silly?!

I’m not sure what started my fascination with birds. Maybe it was the birds’ contribution to the beautiful morning symphony I enjoy so much each day, or maybe I can blame it on the new camera I got for my birthday the year my bird-craziness started. It was just a point and shoot but it had a great zoom lens. So I went on the prowl for opportunities to zoom. And birds made the perfect subject.

While trying to capture some good shots, I also began tuning my ears to listen more closely to the various birds’ songs. I’ve always loved the sound of birds singing but until then I had not paid attention to their particular sounds and melodies. It was so much fun beginning to recognize a few.

I discovered that not only does each type of bird have its own signature look, it has a distinctive song as well. Some warble, some coo, some chirrup, some tweet. Some may be more pleasing to the ear than others, but it’s the variety that makes the symphony so amazing. It’s the differences that keep it interesting.

The same is true in our lives, isn’t it? We each have our own singular appearance and unique voice. We each have our own God-given abilities. Some create, some serve, some organize, some teach. Some may garner more attention than others, but it’s the variety that makes our world work. It’s the differences that keep us intrigued.

Yes, the birds have their various songs and so do we. Are we using the abilities—the voices—God has given us? Have we embraced the roles we’re gifted for? Let’s sing our different songs!

“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” 1 Corinthians 12:17 NIV

*How has God gifted you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regular issue, comes out in early November. 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 check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

An Autumn Prayer

Friends, I pray that the following prayer will be a blessing to you and a joy to our heavenly Father this fall. May God bless each of you as you draw close to him!

“Father, as we enjoy autumn this year, may the delightful characteristics of the season also color other areas of our lives. May the refreshment and beauty of fall radiate from us as it does in the world around us.

Help us to inspire vitality and fresh energy and offer real refreshment to all those whose lives we touch. May we offer comfort to those in need and always provide a safe haven where they feel wrapped in love and upheld with understanding. May we shine for you with a brilliance and beauty that’s a natural overflow of our walk with you, and may the beauty of our lives draw others to you, Lord.

 Father, may your glorious autumn season be seen in our lives this year!”

 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

 *What characteristics of fall would you like others to see in you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regular issue, comes out in early November. 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 check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

God’s Countless Outfits of Beauty

Outfits of Beauty

Beauty dresses in countless ways
With outfits never the same.
Sometimes she sweeps across the skies
With heaven’s own hues unfurled,
Other times she drapes the landscape
In breath-taking mountains majestic.
But sometimes beauty comes up close
Approaching on butterfly wings,
Granting a glance at her delicate side
Displaying miraculous design.
No end can be found
To the outfits of beauty
They’re as infinite as their Creator,
And he shares them all
With all of us—
His gift dressed in countless ways.

“How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all . . .” Psalm 104:24 NIV

*What outfits of beauty have you noticed lately?

*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. *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.

*My photo

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

Wedding Cake Table Idea: Display Engagement Photos

Mother of the Bride, want to add another aww factor to the cake table besides the cake itself? Display one or more of the happy couple’s engagement photos! It will be elegant but simple at the same time. Can’t beat that!

Featuring an engagement photo on the cake table not only adds a sweet and romantic touch to the cake table décor, it gives you one more way to use and share those special photos that you’ve already spent money on. It’s always a plus when one expense can fulfill more than one purpose, isn’t it, MOB?

If possible, match the frame to the cake or other décor on the table to help pull the whole look together. The silver frame in the photo above is the perfect complement to the white wedding cake, silver cake stand, and the silver champagne bucket and cake server set used at my daughter Kelli’s wedding. In the photo below, the brown wooden frame is a perfect match for the chocolate groom’s cake chosen by my daughter Kristin’s groom for their wedding.

If simple, elegant, and already paid for sounds like a good combination to you, MOB, see if your daughter and her beloved would like to display some of their engagement photos on their cake tables. Everyone will enjoy!

*You might also like to read Preparing to Decorate: Reception Venue Visit, Wedding Table Decor: Add Pizzazz with Confetti. and Table Decor Finishing Touch: Fresh Rose Petals.

*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 May. 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 above by Flowers Photography; photo below by Chris Humphrey Creative Services