Mother of the Bride, Pay the Blessing Forward

Mother of the Bride, has someone provided some sort of help to you during your wedding planning process? Has someone given you the benefit of her MOB experience or loaned you some needed items or offered a listening ear? Has someone has been a blessing?

Well now you can pay that blessing forward, MOB. When a friend, family member, or casual acquaintance provides a breath of fresh air in our lives, it’s just natural to want to bless someone else in the same way.

What can you do for another mother of the bride now or in the future? Could you loan someone your copy of your favorite wedding planning book or refer them to helpful website? Or maybe gift the new MOB with a copy of my book Mother of the Bride? Maybe you could be your MOB friend’s shopping buddy for a day—which is always fun, wedding planning or not, right? Or do you have a beautiful cake knife and server set or champagne bucket someone else could benefit from? What about the always needed and helpful white rose garland or glass candle bases?

Mother of the Bride, possibilities abound when it comes to blessing another MOB so why not stop and consider what you have to offer. And then do it—offer your help. You’ll be rewarded with a big smile and many thanks as well as the personal satisfaction of making someone else’s load a little lighter.

So go ahead, MOB—pay it forward!

*You might also like to read Post-Wedding Inventory , Mother of the Bride Pep Talk: Encouragement For You, and 9 Quotes to Encourage and Help You on Your Mother of the Bride Journey.

*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 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.

*Flickr photo by Buttontree LaneCreative Commons License

Our Continuing Debt of Love

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another . . .” Romans 13:8 NIV

Sometimes as I’m reading the Bible a verse will capture my attention, leaving a deep impression on me and a desire to share it with you. The above scripture is just such a verse. Read it again carefully and let the words sink in.

Loving others is a debt we’re never to fully pay. As followers of Christ, we’re always to be about the business of love, continually making payments on our debt of love.

So let’s ask ourselves what payments we have made lately. How have we shown kindness, acceptance, forgiveness, unselfishness, grace, compassion, or affection? How have we loved one another?

More importantly, how will we pay our debt of love from this moment on? If you feel like you’ve fallen short in the past (and who doesn’t), no worries. Remember, it’s a lifetime mission. And there’s no better time than now to start making regular payments. Let’s be about the business of love!

“‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’” John 15:12 NIV

*To whom can you show God’s love today?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, 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 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.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by seyed mostafa zamaniCreative Commons License

Make the Mother of the Groom Part of the Team

4197459050_4ec8e9f299_zMother of the Bride, have you reached out yet to help the Mother of the Groom feel included in some way in the wedding preparations? Remember, the wedding you’re helping your daughter plan is a very big deal to the mother of your little girl’s beloved, too. This is a major milestone and celebration in the life of their family as well.

True, unless the groom’s family is helping in a significant way financially and thus in charge of certain aspects of the wedding, you and your daughter will take care of most of the wedding preparations. However, you can enlist the MOG’s help for certain things.

Here are a few ideas to help make the Mother of the Groom feel like she’s part of the team:

1) Ask her to be in charge of providing the card box/container to use on Wedding Day for any wedding cards guests may bring.
2) Invite her to help decorate the church and/or reception venue the day before the wedding.
3) Ask if she can provide some needed items such as cake knife and server set (since one will be needed for the groom’s cake as well) or a champagne bucket.
4) If a problem arises with some aspect of the wedding prep, is there some way she might be able to help? If so, call on her.
5) Is there an errand she can run? For example, if you need to find multiple items of a certain component of the centerpieces, can she check to see if more of the items you need are available at the store in her location?

MOB, these are just a few possibilities for including the MOG. I’m sure you’ll be able to think of others. The important thing is to just reach out, to make her feel included. The joy will be that much greater during Wedding Weekend if you’ve built a bond ahead of time. Don’t miss out on this special blessing!

*You might also like to read Kicking Off the In-Law Relationship.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Or Hiltch, Creative Commons License

Look Beyond the Weakness


Sometimes we have a tendency to label or pigeonhole people according to our perceived view of their weaknesses or flaws.

Just think of how we identify others at times, either in our thoughts or in actual conversation. We say things like oh, she’s the heavy one, the homely one, the ditzy one, the gossip. Or he’s the string-bean, the nerd, the boring one, the loser. Unfortunately, unless we’ve taken time to look beyond the weaknesses or flaws, we tend to think of them in terms of these not-so-flattering labels.

Even Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, has been remembered down through the ages as doubting Thomas. Yes, he did in fact express doubt when told about the resurrection of Jesus, and that event is detailed in John 20:24-29. Unfortunately, that’s how most of us remember him.

However, Thomas also displayed great courage. When Jesus wanted to return to an area where the Jews had previously threatened to stone him, the other disciples questioned Jesus about wanting to go back. Thomas, on the other hand, said, “‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” (John 11:16b)

Maybe it’s time that we look beyond Thomas’s weakness and notice his strength—and maybe it’s time we do that for others as well. Let’s take time to look past whatever weakness or failure we see at first and look for the best in one another. Let’s be overheard saying things like oh, he’s the brave one, the funny guy, the giver, or she’s the creative one, the kind one, the peacemaker.

Yes, let’s look past the weaknesses. Let’s look through eyes of love. Let’s look beyond.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up . . .” 1 Thessalonians 5:11a

*What do you hope people see when they look beyond your weaknesses?

*Flickr photo by Flood G., Creative Commons License

Building a Bridge to the Groom


I recently got to hang out with a brand new mother of the bride—what fun! It was double the fun because this new MOB happens also to be one of my very best friends. Jeneal and I don’t get to see each other very often so we had lots of catching up to do and also lots of wedding talk to accomplish in a few short hours.

Jeneal wanted my help in selecting a few items to send to her daughter to help kick off their long-distance wedding planning relationship. We met at Barnes & Noble along with our other good friend Teri, gathered up a variety of wedding planners, books, and magazines to peruse before deciding the best fit for Jeneal’s daughter Liz, and then deposited ourselves in the store’s Starbucks Cafe to ooh and ah and giggle to our hearts’ content. The other customers knew without a doubt that a mother of the bride and her friends were on the premises. What can I say? We were excited :)

Jeneal made her choices and then thought of one more thing she’d like to send—a little something for the groom. She hasn’t had a chance to get to know her daughter’s beloved yet since she and Liz live in different states. She thought why not make a gesture—you know, build a bridge to this new son-in-law-to-be. My friend is a wise and thoughtful woman, huh?

After we looked at a few books especially for the groom, she decided on the one pictured above, The Groom’s Instruction Manual: How to Survive and Possibly Even Enjoy the Most Bewildering Ceremony Known to Man. Since it takes a humorous approach and has illustrations, we thought it was the perfect choice for the male species in general and the best bet for one that Jeneal doesn’t really know yet.

I don’t know if the groom in question has read the book yet or not—or even if he will—but I can almost guarantee you that he was super pleased that his future mother-in-law thought of him and made an effort to include him in the celebratory package to her daughter. A small gesture can not only speak volumes, but it can build a bridge as well, can’t it?

*What can you do to build a bridge to the man who’s captured your daughter’s heart? If you already know him, how can you build on the relationship you already have?

*Phot0 from Barnes & Noble