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

Mother of the Bride’s Wedding Day Advice for the Bride

Mother of the Bride, would you like to give your daughter some invaluable advice for her wedding day? No, not advice about marriage but advice for the big day itself. Advice that can change a jam-packed day from a blur to a beautiful experience and memory. Yes, somehow I knew you would.

Here’s what to do: Find a few moments during the wedding weekend to pull your bride-to-be aside and give her some final motherly instructions before she becomes a married woman.

Tell her to enjoy her wedding day, to be present in the moment. Encourage her to delight in every detail, to capture the magic of the moments and imprint them on her heart. Remind her to drink in the beauty that surrounds her, starting with her groom and with the love they share. And then remind her to savor the love of family and friends and enjoy each moment with complete abandon.

Mother of the Bride, let your love and wisdom bless your sweet girl one more time. And may you all have an unforgettably wonderful wedding celebration!

*You might also like to read Mother of the Bride – Needed and Loved and Mother of the Bride, You Are Appreciated!

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber 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 of my nephew Cody and his bride Kaitlynn by *Stephtphotography 

God’s Mercy Meets Us in Our Desperate Need

“ . . . may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” Psalm 79:8 NIV

Have you been there before? That place of desperate need? I sure have.

I’ve been there when the need is my own, and I’ve been there when the need is a loved one’s. And if you’re like me, you feel a loved one’s desperate need almost as intensely as if it were your own.

The Psalmist—Asaph in the verse above—knew that place of desperate need, along with all Israel according to the context of the passage. And whom did Asaph turn to on behalf of Israel in their time of desperation? He turned to God. To the only One who could sustain and rescue them.

Do we do the same when life goes spinning out of control or when all seems hopeless? Do we call on God first or do we expect family or friends to have the answers? Do we attempt to dull the pain with drink or pills? Do we latch on to junk food and try to eat our way to peace or maybe get the credit card out and go to town—in more ways than one?

None of these measures can truly sustain or rescue us, can they? None can supply the mercy—the rescue—we need in our place of desperation. Only God can do that. God is our answer.

God may use our friends or members of our families or people we don’t even know to help us in our times of trouble, but any goodness or wisdom in these servants of his comes from him. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Provider of all we’ll ever need.

Next time we find ourselves in that place of desperate need, let’s remember to turn to him first. As we do, he will come to us as well—for his is a mercy that meets us. He has the mercy we need.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 NIV

*When has God met you with mercy in a time of desperate need?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. 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.

Wedding Day Photo: Moms Light Unity Candle Together

Mother of the Bride, will your new Mr. and Mrs. use a unity candle in their ceremony? If they’re still undecided, you might show them the photo above and see if they might catch the vision for something similar for their own wedding.

Having you, MOB, and the groom’s mother light your daughter’s and son’s respective candles while holding hands provides not only a sweet wedding ceremony photo, but it also sets the tone for the families to be united right along with the bride and groom. If you and the groom’s mom share this feeling of unity, why not showcase your joy and commitment with a beautiful photo like the one above?

Some couples want both the moms and dads involved in the lighting of the unity candle. Our daughters and their grooms fell into that camp. This approach can also provide a great photo opportunity. Just let your sweet couple put their own creativity to work to decide exactly how it could be done and what kind of shot they’d like the photographer to take.

So MOB, if the unity candle decisions haven’t been made yet, why not use this photo to start the conversation? May unity, love, and joy abound for your families!

*Also take note that the mothers in this photo are wearing dresses of different lengths—and unity can still reign, right?

*You might also like to read Wedding Photo Idea: A Shared Faith.

*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, came out last week. 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.

*Flickr photo by Corey AnnCreative Commons License

Night Shoot Engagement Photos

Mother of the Bride, when your darling daughter and the love of her life start talking about engagement photos, they might want to consider a night shoot.

Lights always make for beautiful photos—whether city lights, candlelight, twinkling lights, stars, or sunset. Lights add a special touch of romance. And what better time for a touch of romance than for engagement photos?

If your happy couple would like to have some daytime shots as well, check with your photographer and see if he or she would be willing to split the photo session into two 30-minute sessions, one night shoot and one day shoot. You never know unless you ask, right? He may charge a small extra fee to split the session, but it probably wouldn’t be too much more.

So MOB, why not suggest an engagement shoot at night? If you do, I see fantastic photos—and a very pleased couple—in your future!

*You might also like to read Engagement Photo Idea: Frame That Moment!Engagement Photo Idea: Playground Fun, and Engagement Photo Idea: Bike 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, 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 photos by Christopher.F PhotographyCreative Commons License