Wedding Day Photo: Black and White Bubble Shot

Mother of the Bride, I’ve got a great wedding day photo idea for you today. I hope you and the happy couple are keeping a list of must-have shots to share with your photographer. If so, you might want to add this to your list pronto.

If your daughter and her groom have decided to use bubbles during their send-off from the church or reception site, why not ask the photographer to use a black and white photo finish.

As you can see in the photo above, this shot done in black and white really causes the bubbles to stand out. I love how it almost makes them look like snow falling. I also love how the couple is kissing in the shot above. The perfect touch, right? If you ask your sweet couple to do the same, I’m sure they’ll be happy to oblige!

Show this photo to your daughter and her beloved, MOB, and see what they think. If they haven’t decided on what to use during the send-off, they may decide to go with bubbles just to get a shot like this!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photo Idea: Show Off the RingBridal Portraits: Include Some Artsy Shots, and Engagement Photo Idea: Playground Fun.

*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, will come 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! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by Corey AnnCreative Commons License

Let’s Cause Others to Rejoice

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:74 NIV

Do people rejoice when they see us coming? Does it make them happy to get to spend time with us?

If so, why? If you’re like me, it might be because you carry chocolate at all times. Ha! Hopefully, though, it’s something more meaningful than that. Maybe we always have a smile for others and freely share encouraging words. Or perhaps we’re good listeners. Think about yourself for a moment. Why do people rejoice when they see you?

On the other hand, if people don’t rejoice when they see us, why not? Could it be that we tend to have a negative attitude or are always criticizing others? Are they afraid we’ll slam them with a sarcastic remark or perhaps pass them by, treating them like they’re invisible?

None of us want to become a person that others dread interaction with or try to avoid. Instead I think we all hope to be someone that others are drawn to and want to be around. We all want to be liked.

The verse above from Psalm 119 holds one of the keys to being a source of joy for others. It tells us that if we put our hope in God, people may indeed rejoice when they see us.

This could be true for a variety of reasons. If we’re trusting in God and his Word, we may radiate a sense of peace and joy that naturally spills out onto others. We may have a reputation for honesty and dependability or inspire confidence and hope in others. We may have the wisdom of God’s Word stored up in our hearts, making us a welcome source of encouragement and advice.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to rejoice when they see me. I want others to see the love, the peace, the power, the wisdom, and the hope of God when they look at me. And the only way that can happen is to stay very close to him.

I bet you’d like others to see glimpses of the Lord in you as well. To be honest, we’ll fail at times, but that’s no reason not to try. Let’s surrender our hearts to him each day and let him fill us. Let’s cause others to rejoice when they see us coming!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9 NIV

*What do you want others to see in you?

*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! *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 Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Take Time to Get Energized

You know the feeling. The lift in your spirit, the yes in your heart, the light in your eyes. You’re doing something you love to do. And you get a little rush of joy. You’re energized.

Sometimes this burst of happiness happens in the midst of our regular work—and how fortunate we are if our work does this for us. Not everyone is so lucky.

For writers like me, many times we have to just plod along, laying down one sentence after another while stopping frequently to agonize over the right word choice. We’re not sure the piece is working and then bam—the right word, the right phrase, the right rhythm flashes through our minds and everything comes together. We feel exhilarated. Our hearts say yes!

More often, though, I would guess that such rushes of joy come as we engage in interests or passions that are not work-related. For me, I’ve found that taking photos—especially capturing something unusual or beautiful in nature—also makes my heart say yes and sparks a happy burst of fresh energy.

When this kind of satisfying joy and excitement pays us a visit, let’s soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest. Let’s pay attention to it and pinpoint the things that make our spirits take wing.

Once we’ve identified the things that energize us, wouldn’t it make sense to engage in those activities regularly? Those infusions of happiness will benefit not only our sense of well-being but our relationships and work as well.

After all, the lift in our spirits, the yes in our hearts, the light in our eyes are all worth the time we take to get that little rush of joy. So let’s do it. Let’s get energized!

“My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 NIV

*What energizes you?

*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 Clay Banks on Unsplash

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

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