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

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

Blessing One Another in the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone!! I hope you soaked up every last ounce of Christmas joy over the past couple of weeks and are ready to start the adventure of a new year.

If you’re like me, you probably feel the need to take a deep breath after the holidays and regroup a day or two before heading full-steam into the opportunities and challenges that a new year holds. So to that end, I thought we might dedicate this post to blessing one another as we turn the corner into 2012.

My hope is that when you visit my blog you’ll be blessed every single time. Genesis 18:5 sums up my desire very well: “Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.” My prayer is “O Lord, ‘Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.’” (Deuteronomy 32:2)

Do you have a scripture, a prayer, a quote, or maybe a word of encouragement to offer the rest of us? Has God used something to encourage, strengthen, or inspire you at some point and now you’d like to pass it along to others? Please share it in the comments and let’s bless one another as we walk into 2012!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

*Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Trust In Him

IMG_2626Poetry, like music, can minister to weary or hurting hearts, and every now and then the Lord puts it on my heart to write a poem for someone going through a heartbreaking or agonizing time. I’m always thankful to be able to offer a bit of comfort in this way.

I wrote the first variation of the poem below for some friends many years ago. It flowed from my own experience of a dark and difficult time. I pray that it will encourage and strengthen someone in a special way today and remind all of us that we can always “Trust in Him”.

Trust In Him

When times of crisis come your way
You know you can trust in Him,
When the burden is more
Than you can bear,
Continue to trust in Him.
When you don’t understand
All that is happening to you,
You know He does—
Trust in Him.
When you feel like the joy
Has gone out of your life,
He still wants you to trust in Him.
And when you finally feel
Like God has forgotten you,
He’ll show you He hasn’t—
Trust in Him.
Then one day
When you look back on this time,
You’ll be glad you trusted in Him.

“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:4

*When have you looked back and been glad that you trusted in God?

*My photo