Feeding and Nurturing the Young

Have you ever spotted birds at work feeding their young? I have several times since I like to watch and photograph birds when I get a chance.

When we visited my parents one Memorial Weekend over a decade ago, I got to observe a particular bird’s parenting skills over and over. Mom and Dad lived in Missouri then and had a couple of birdhouses on their property. Bluebirds had built a nest in one. I hoped to share a picture of the daddy bird’s parenting prowess (he was easiest to spot because of his bright blue color), but darn it all, the shot is too blurry to use here on the blog.

This daddy blue bird took his responsibility very seriously. He worked tirelessly to feed his little namesakes. Time and again he’d come flying in from a distance to land atop the bird house and rest a moment before scooting through the little hole to where his young ones waited. Within seconds, he was out again, taking only a minute’s reprieve before he was off scouting more food. He was a dedicated parent.

Have you spotted anyone feeding the young lately? You may be in the midst of feeding the young at your very own house—and I’m not just talking physical sustenance. As parents, we need to feed our children spiritually, too. Even when our kids are grown and gone, we still have opportunities to pour truth into their lives and eventually into our grandchildren’s lives.

Have we in the past or are we currently filling our kids’ or grandkids’ hearts and minds with the Word of God as we “sit at home and when [we] walk along the road” (Deuteronomy 6:7)? Have we exposed them to the spiritual teaching available in our churches?

We can also help nurture and feed other young ones besides those in our own families. Think of all the children in your circle of influence. Consider also the spiritually young, those who have only recently come to faith. They need us who are more mature in the faith to take our responsibility seriously. They need us to work tirelessly to help them grow and become strong in the Lord.

Let’s demonstrate some parenting prowess. Let’s be faithful to feed the young.

“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Psalm 34:11 NIV

*How are you feeding the young in your circle of influence?

*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 by Sister72, Creative Commons License

New Year’s Blessings For You, Mother of the Bride

As we begin a new year together, Mother of the Bride, may I pray these blessings from the Word of God over you? 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 —

“‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.’” Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

“May the LORD answer you when you are in distress . . . May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:1, 4 NIV

“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 NIV

“May the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good for doing his will . . .” Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Amen and amen. Have a blessed 2023 and a blessed wedding celebration!

*You might also like to read Spirit and Soul Refreshment for the Mother of the Bride and A Prayer for Weary Mothers of the Bride.

*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

*Flickr photo by LadyDragonflyCC – Tinsel Time!!!Creative Commons License

Wedding Planning Help + Holiday Blogging Break

Mother of the Bride, with Christmas inching ever closer, I’ve decided to take a blogging break until after the first of the year. Like you I’m sure, I want to focus on faith, family, and friends over the next few weeks. We need to make the most of our precious time and do what’s really important, don’t we?

So allow me to go ahead and wish you and yours a very merry Christmas—and I wish all the best to you and your daughter as you continue preparing for her big day. May the following help you in that endeavor!

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 Search bar. Simply type in any topic you’d like to find some ideas or info for and see what comes up!
  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 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, comes out in early February. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by DaDaAceCreative Commons License

Comfort and Encouragement for You This Christmas

*I am taking a blogging break the rest of the month. God bless you and yours this Christmas season!

For some of you Christmas may be different this year. Some of you are hurting. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially. I pray my words today will be a balm to your spirit and soul this Christmas season. And never forget—God sees you. He loves you and sent his Son to be your Savior and ever-present Friend.

And now, from my heart to yours:

I’m thinking of you this season, friend,
Knowing your heart must ache,
While others fill their homes with cheer
You must be struggling to just feel normal.
Life’s changes hit fast and hard sometimes
And often knock us to our knees,
It’s okay to take time to rest and heal
It’s okay whatever you’re feeling.
While in the midst of heavy-hearted days
May the joy of Christmas come through at times,
May Christmas peace surround and support you
May you notice things to be grateful for.
And with these thoughts I’m sending love
And hoping both offer some comfort and peace.
May God’s tender touches be yours this season, my friend.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

*Feel free to share with those you know who are hurting this Christmas but please include attribution “written by Cheryl Barker.” God bless one and all!

*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 mseckingtonCreative Commons License

Old West, Flyer-Inspired Wedding Stationery

Well, Ma of the Bride, is your little bride-to-be cookin’ up some rootin’, tootin’ fun for the day she’s gettin’ hitched? If so, why not add to the Old West rustic fun with some invitations that match the style of the wedding?

Typography style stationery that looks like flyers from the Old West will be the perfect addition to an Old West/cowboy/rustic themed wedding. Regional or era-appropriate wording like “Y’all come” or “gettin’ hitched” can add to the overall fun, too, on everything from save-the-dates to invitations to the RSVP cards. The happy couple can get as down-home as they’d like or reign it in a bit, whatever suits their particular personalities and styles.

The typography style flyer-invitation might be something that the bride or groom or another family member or friend could design fairly easily, too. Saving money is always a plus, isn’t it, MOB, not to mention the personal touch that will always be remembered.

So Ma, if your sweet gal is cozyin’ up to the idea of an Old West, cowboy, or rustic-themed wedding, show her this idea and see if it tickles her down-home fancy. Ya’ll have fun now!

*If you’d like to see some other western invitation ideas, check out the Western Wedding Invitation page on Zazzle. You might also like to read Rustic Wedding Idea: Boot Bouquets.

*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! 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 Sarah Parrott, Creative Commons License