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

Any: Little Word, Big Impact

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

If you ever feel little or insignificant, take heart. Little things have a way of being real game-changers at times. For example, some of the littlest and seemingly least important words in scripture can impact our lives in giant ways.

In the past, we’ve looked at how the words us and let were used in two different verses. We discovered what a huge difference they made in expanding our understanding and application of those particular verses.

Today let’s focus on the word any in the scripture above. As the apostle Paul teaches how we can offer comfort to others because of the comfort God has given us, he opens wide our comfort-giving door.

We are not restricted to giving comfort to only those who are going through the same trials we ourselves have endured. No, God tells us through these words of Paul that “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (emphasis mine)

Who can we comfort? That’s right—those in any trouble.

And there you have it. Our little word with big impact. Any. No barriers, no restrictions. Wide open ministry doors.

The next time we start to hold back from comforting someone because we feel inadequate, because we’ve never experienced his or her kind of trouble or grief, let’s remember we have the very comfort of God to offer our hurting friend. Let’s remember the word any and walk through the door before us. It’s wide open.

“For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:5 CSB

*Who do you need to comfort this week?

*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 Daniel Mirlea on Unsplash

The Hope of Abundance After Testing

“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver . . . we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:10; 12 NIV

I imagine some of you reading these words today are going through fire and water right now. God is testing and refining you. And it hurts.

Maybe I don’t hang out with the right people, but I don’t know anyone who enjoys taking tests. Nor do I know anyone who lines up early to be first for the refining process.

And going through fire? Well that’s downright scary and packed with potential for pain.

As for water, at first we might think oh yes, I’ll take that one. But consider the resistance we face when we have to walk through knee-high, waist-high, or—heaven forbid—neck-high water even when it’s calm. Add huge waves or dangerous current, and going through water imparts its own brand of scary.

The experiences that refine us—the fire and water—many times are marathon trials to boot. Endurance tests. When caring for Don’s mother during the last several years of her life over a decade ago, at times the demands of hospital duty threatened to engulf me. I also shared in the ongoing pain of our daughter and son-in-law as they waited for years to have a child. And now I’m in the midst of another endurance test as I navigate the waters of caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s. No, refining isn’t easy.

Thank goodness the word but comes after the mention of tests and refining, of fire and water in the scripture above. Thank goodness God doesn’t leave us struggling through endurance tests forever. Instead, he brings us “to a place of abundance.” A place of great blessing.

So let’s take heart, friends. Let’s remember that as we go through the refiner’s fire, our place of abundance may be just around the bend. Great blessing is surely on the way.

“I am the LORD your God . . . Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10 NIV

*How has God blessed you with abundance after a time of trial?

*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 Maxim Tajer on Unsplash

Find Rest in God’s Promise of a Haven

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30 NIV

Storms are inevitable part of our lives. Why? Simple—we’re not in heaven yet.

Jesus, in fact, warned us of storms. He told his disciples, “‘In this world you will have trouble.’”(John 16:33 NIV) But in that same verse he also told them that in him we may have peace and that he has already overcome the world. In other words, he promised that he is bigger than the storms that come barreling into our lives.

The words of Jesus have certainly proved true in my life. Time and again, God has stilled the storms that have assaulted me. He hushed the waves that threatened me.

Even when I felt as if I might drown not long ago while in the midst of a very private and nearly unbearable season of life, God strengthened me until the storm’s fury subsided. He held me up until he calmed the angry sea of waves around me.

And just as the Psalmist stated, after the winds and waves lost their steam, God led me to the haven I needed, a haven of peace and relief. And he has continued to surround me with peace. He’s wrapped me in comfort and led me along a path of forgiveness. He’s graciously given what I’ve needed.

But even though God has faithfully carried me through all the storms of my life and ministered to me in their aftermath, I still haven’t reached the point where I welcome them. I’m not sure any of us do.

We can reach the point, though, where we don’t fear storms so much, where we know our God is bigger. We can reach a point where we trust him in the midst of a storm. A point where we’re at rest—at rest in his promise of a haven.

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NIV

*When did the Lord last lead you to a haven?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out tomorrow. 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 (Coulter Bay area of Grand Teton National Park)