A Spring Poem: Morning Symphony

Morning Symphony

Much is reborn in spring,
Among them the morning symphony.
Nature’s music long muffled
By cold days and closed windows
Now greets me with gladness again.

The sweetness of the birds’ songs
Sends my spirit soaring,
Those pure, clear notes that nature sings
Point me to the Creator
To the grand Conductor
Of the magnificent morning symphony.

The cheep-cheep-cheep, the caw, the coo
The sliding chords and yodels
Take their turns with who-whoo-whoos
And leave me marveling at the glory.

Other sounds add different layers
Add interludes and accents,
A dog’s frenzied barking, a chattering squirrel
A train whistling in the distance
All keep me guessing what more
The masterpiece holds this morning.

And then soon I hear
The flutter of wings
A bird whooshing by overhead,
Next chiming church bells create a chorus
To which I’m compelled to add my voice.

No two days exactly the same
New music unfolds with each sunrise,
The morning symphony no longer muffled,
The voice of God,
A life-giving melody
Renews and inspires my spirit.
Yes, much is reborn in spring.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”
Psalm 40:3 NIV

*What do you like best about spring?

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out today. 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 Jacob McGinnisCreative Commons License

Wedding Bouquet That Sparkles: A Brooch Bouquet!

Mother of the Bride, here’s a brilliant (in more ways than one!) idea for the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets—use brooches! If your daughter wants a look that sparkles or somehow stands out from the ordinary, beautiful brooch bouquets may be just what she’s looking for.

I’ve pictured several styles in this post so you can see how versatile brooch bouqets can be. The bride might want to go with a clean elegant look that blends in with her white dress (as pictured above). Or she might want to take the more colorful approach you can see in the photos below. She might even want to go super casual and fun, as in the last photo. And you can see how easy it would be to color coordinate brooch bouquets to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.

A brooch bouquet also affords the opportunity to include a memento or memory of a loved one. Some attach a portrait brooch to the bouquet’s stem in honor of a special loved one who can’t be present. A brooch that has been passed down through the family or that has been given to the bride as a special gift can also easily be incorporated into the bouquet.

And just think of the possibilities for the bouquet after the wedding. The bride could keep it as a gorgeous memento from the big day, or it could be taken apart so the brooches could be worn or even given as special gifts.

MOB, this is an idea worth showing your daughter, isn’t it? Hope you have a sparkling wedding day!

*You might also like to read Bridal Bouquet Idea: Add Some Sparkle with Gemstones, Bridal Bouquet and Boutonniere Sheet Music Idea, Knitted Bridal Bouquet and More, and Wedding Décor: Craft It with Paper.

*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 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. p.s. If you sign up after Jan. 27th, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways but not in this current giveaway.

*Photos from top to bottom: Flickr photo by arripayCreative Commons License ; Flickr photo by nparekhcardsCreative Commons License; Flickr photo by emperialduo, Creative Commons License; Flickr photo by KristaCarolynGCreative Commons License

Wedding Photos with Bride and Groom in Background

Looking for great wedding photo ideas, Mother of the Bride? See if the photographer could capture a few with the bride and groom in bokeh effect (an out of focus blur effect), using them as the background of a shot of something or someone else in the wedding.

The happy-couple-as-background bokeh shot above is actually a shot of the chair décor, but notice how having the bride and groom in a soft blur as a backdrop not only makes the shot artsy but extra special as well. The above shot’s style is so much more interesting and gorgeous than a simple straightforward shot of the chair and its décor, isn’t it?

Possibilities abound for photos using this bride and groom bokeh effect. In addition to chair or pew décor as the focus of the shot, the photographer could also use the cake, champagne glasses, the parents of the bride and/or groom, the gift table, or a floral arrangement as the focal point of the shot. The ideas could go on and on.

So, MOB, talk with your daughter and see if she’d like to mention bride and groom bokeh shots with the photographer. Beauty awaits!

*You might also like to read Wedding Photo Idea: Groom Admires His BrideWedding Day Photo Idea: Bouquets in a BunchPhoto Idea: Bridesmaids Blow the Groom a Kiss!Wedding Photo Idea: A Shared Faith, and Wedding Photo Idea: The Corner Shot.

*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, comes out today. 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 charamelodyCreative Commons License

Holding Still for God

It was a God-given moment. Several years ago on a winter morning, I decided to brave the cold and take care of an outdoor chore so Don wouldn’t have to do it at the end of a long workday. As I stepped out on our back porch, a surprise awaited me.

A beautiful mockingbird perched on our nearby evergreen. I expected him to whoosh away as soon as he caught sight of me or heard the cat-like squall of the screen door. But he stayed, holding still, allowing me to marvel in his beauty from just a few feet away.

As he continued to linger, I thought wow, I wish I had my camera. Would he stay long enough for me to dash back in the house and get it? Would he be there when I returned? Would he hold still just awhile longer?

I took a chance and slid back inside, as carefully as my noisy door would allow. After grabbing my camera, I turned it on while still inside so there would be one less noise to startle my little outdoor visitor away.

In spite of another screech from the door, the bird remained perched in the same spot. I raised my camera, zoomed in, and took several shots while he continued to hold still. He looked this way and that, almost as if allowing me to work a little more magic with my camera. He eventually flitted away but not before I was thoroughly blessed by this unexpected God-given treat for the soul.

For a few brief moments, I was an artist capturing a subject—a subject who was willing to hold still and let me do my work. I can’t help but wonder if I do the same for God.

When God wants to work on me or just spend time with me and rejoice over his creation (yes, he wants to rejoice over me!), am I a willing subject? Do I hold still for him and cooperate with his plans? Do I allow him to work his magic?

May the Lover of our souls always find us willing to hold still for him!

“The Lord your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you; in his love he . . . will rejoice over you with singing.“ Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

*When did you last notice God working on you or rejoicing over you with singing?

*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.

*My photo

The Sounds of Spring: Sounds of Life

Early in the mornings, when I stick my head out the door or step outside for a few seconds to take in the beauty of the day, the sounds that greet me often capture my attention first. And right now, it’s the sounds of spring that fill the neighborhood. Yes, the sounds of life are once again in full voice.

These lively spring mornings stand in stark contrast to the silence that met my ears this winter during my early morning checks of the day. The sounds of nature seemed to freeze right along with the icicles hanging from the eaves of our home. Even God’s creatures knew when to hole up and snuggle in rather than venture out into the bitter cold.

But now the world has come to life again. Spring has turned up the volume, and I for one am loving the concert it gives each day.

The sound of birds may be my favorite. With their various melodies and calls, they soothe my soul or sometimes surprise me with sounds of a brawl. At other times, I’ll hear squirrels chattering or the steady background noise of a spring shower, and occasionally thunder will announce a coming storm. On other days, the sound of the wind tries to drown out things of lesser notice. And, of course, we humans add to the symphony with our excited proclamations of spring’s arrival and our too-early-in-the-season lawn mowing escapades.

Yes, winter is past. Spring is here. Life has begun anew. What a perfect accompaniment it was to our celebration of the Easter season. May our voices of praise to our Creator and Redeemer add to the sounds of spring, add to the sounds of life!

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad . . .  let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them . . . ” Psalm 96:11-12 NIV

*What’s your favorite sound of spring?

*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 Amazon 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! (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 timsackton, Creative Commons License