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

Biblical Blessings for the Mother of the Bride

Mother of the Bride, I’d like to pray some blessings from the Bible over you as we’re beginning a new year this week.

As you help your daughter plan her wedding, I’m sure you’ll need an extra measure of God’s strength and blessing. I want the very best for you this year as you prepare for one of the best days in the life of your family. So from me to you —

Blessings from the Word of God, the Bible (NIV):

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—” Psalm 67:1

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.” Genesis 27:28

“From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.” Psalm 3:8

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

I hope these blessings encourage you, MOB. Keep looking to the Lord!

*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 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.

*Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

My Gift to You: A Christmas Prayer

*Fyi, I’ll be taking a blogging break until after the first of the year. Hope you have a joy-filled Christmas with your loved ones. See you back here on January 2nd, 2024!

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others . . .” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

I’d love to gift you with a prayer this Christmas season, friends. May these heartfelt words offered to the Father on your behalf bring comfort and joy to you today and help you worship the One who alone is worthy of worship and praise!

“Father, you know each one who will read this prayer. You know our needs, our joys, our hurts, our desires. May you surround us with your all-encompassing presence and peace this Christmas season. Meet each of us, please, at our point of need or rejoicing. We know you’re ever willing if we will only turn to you.

Thank you for walking with us through every experience of life. Thank you for being the loving and mighty God who sent Jesus to be our Savior. Thank you, Father, for the extravagant love you showered down on us on that holy night in Bethlehem and for the love you keep showering down upon us each day. We love you. We honor you. We worship and adore you. And not only during the Christmas season but each day throughout the year. In the glorious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” Matthew 2:10-11 NIV

*Do you have a special prayer request this holiday season? Please feel free to share.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out in early February. 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 Alan Cleaver, Creative Commons License

A Thanksgiving Offering to the Lord

Happy Thanksgiving week! As we consider the many ways God has blessed us this year, may the following Thanksgiving offering I wrote many years ago help us all give full voice to our thanks. Hope you’re blessed by it, friends!

A Thanksgiving Offering

“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 NIV

Think of your many blessings, tell God daily you’re grateful, talk about what he’s done for you, and thirst for a life that pleases him.

Humbly give glory to the most high God, honor him for his deeds, hold his name in high esteem, and help others like he has helped you.

Acknowledge the Giver of all you have, appreciate the gifts he gives, ask for his continued blessing, and adore him every day.

Name God’s mercies in your life, notice him at work around you, nourish your spirit with thoughts of him, and never forget his kindnesses.

Keep as memories God’s wonderful deeds, know his limitless grace, kneel before him in love and devotion, and knit your heart with his in times of sweet communion.

Sing because of his love so amazing, sacrifice your praise to him, see the Light behind the clouds, and simply live for his glory.

Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

*What would you like to give thanks for today? I’m thanking God for an above and beyond blessing he gave me last week. I signed a book contract for the Christmas devotional book I’ve been working on! B&H Publishing is going to publish it and it will hit store shelves Fall 2025! Thank you, Lord, for this great blessing!

*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.

*Flickr photo by John-MorganCreative Commons License

A Thanksgiving Gift for the Mother of the Bride

In our busyness, though—whatever it may entail—let’s not fail to experience true thanksgiving of the heart. I don’t know about you, but I have much to thank God for this year. He is worthy of all my thanks and praise.

I pray this little gift—a poem of mine—will help you express your heart to God today too. Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thankful Hearts

With thankful hearts we come to you
With thankful hearts we bow,
You’ve blessed in double measure, Lord,
You keep giving even now.

Your goodness overwhelms us
Your love it doesn’t fail,
You walk with us through good and bad
Over every hill and vale.

And in return we give to you
Hearts filled with thanks and love,
And ask you, Lord, to pour them out
As gifts to others from above.

“let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 NIV

*What would you like to give thanks for today? I’m thanking God for an above and beyond blessing he gave me last week. I signed a book contract for the Christmas devotional book I’ve been working on! B&H Publishing is going to publish it and it will hit store shelves Fall 2025! Thank you, Lord, for this great blessing!

*You might also like to read A Mother of the Bride’s Thanksgiving Prayer.

*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.