Times of Crisis: Only God

Times of crisis come to us all. None of us is exempt. Some we see coming, some we don’t. But all have the potential to knock us flat—and keep us there if we don’t know where to turn.

I pray this will be someone’s answer today. Be blessed as you read, dear friends.

Only God

Impossible situations
With towering odds,
The questions all different
The answer the same—
“Only God.”
A job is gone
And money with it,
How will we manage—
Only God.
The tests are back
With devastating results,
Where do we turn—
Only God.
A marriage teeters
All hope is gone,
Who can restore it—
Only God.
Hearts are ripped open
With grief and despair,
How to stand now—
Only God.
Where is our hope,
Our strength, our peace,
Who can heal and redeem,
He alone is the answer—
Only God.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

*How has God been your answer recently?

*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.

*Flickr photo by baronsquirrel, Creative Commons License

Theme Word 2024: Balance

“. . . it’s a matter of striking a balance.” 2 Cor 8:13 GW

What does starting a new year mean for you? For me, it means it’s time to focus on a new theme word. I’ve never been big into New Year’s resolutions, but this is the twelfth year now I’ve chosen a theme word to help guide me through the year. It’s a practice I highly recommend. I can honestly say it has benefited me year after year.

The word the Lord impressed on my heart for 2024? Balance. I never know all that the Lord has in mind when guiding me to a new word, but this year maintaining balance in my life seems especially important.

My responsibilities and the demands on my time have been much greater for quite some time with my husband’s Alzheimer’s impacting our lives, but I’m also still working part-time as a writer and author (with a new book contract and all that entails too.) I’m also continuing to serve as president of the Fellowship of Christian Writers group I belong to. Throw in trying to be an involved grandmother to two sets of twin boys along with maintaining other family and church involvement, and as you can imagine, my to-do list never gets caught up.

With all that in mind, I need God’s guidance, wisdom, and help in maintaining the balance he wants me to have. One that will not shortchange special times or moments spent with my husband as I try to fulfill my other responsibilities and desires. But also one that allows me to keep those things going in a way that brings glory to God. So yes, balance is what I need right now. Balance as God guides. And as the year unfolds, I may find that God has even more applications for balance in store.

If you haven’t done so yet, why not choose a theme word for 2024? I can guarantee that having an over-arching word—a quality, an attitude, or an action—to focus on will help give you direction and help you grow throughout the year. 

You’re welcome to join me in focusing on balance—it’s something we all need, isn’t it? But I encourage you to give it some thought and prayer first. God may have another word in mind for you. Why not ask him? He is faithful to guide!

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV

*What is your theme word or anchor verse for 2024? I’d love to know!

*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.

*Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Wedding Planning Help and a Holiday Blogging Break

Mother of the Bride, with all things Christmas in full gear now, 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 as you do just that!

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 Daniel Y. GoCreative Commons License

Find Rest in God’s Promise of a Haven

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:29-30 NIV

Storms are inevitable part of our lives. Why? Simple—we’re not in heaven yet.

Jesus, in fact, warned us of storms. He told his disciples, “‘In this world you will have trouble.’”(John 16:33 NIV) But in that same verse he also told them that in him we may have peace and that he has already overcome the world. In other words, he promised that he is bigger than the storms that come barreling into our lives.

The words of Jesus have certainly proved true in my life. Time and again, God has stilled the storms that have assaulted me. He hushed the waves that threatened me.

Even when I felt as if I might drown not long ago while in the midst of a very private and nearly unbearable season of life, God strengthened me until the storm’s fury subsided. He held me up until he calmed the angry sea of waves around me.

And just as the Psalmist stated, after the winds and waves lost their steam, God led me to the haven I needed, a haven of peace and relief. And he has continued to surround me with peace. He’s wrapped me in comfort and led me along a path of forgiveness. He’s graciously given what I’ve needed.

But even though God has faithfully carried me through all the storms of my life and ministered to me in their aftermath, I still haven’t reached the point where I welcome them. I’m not sure any of us do.

We can reach the point, though, where we don’t fear storms so much, where we know our God is bigger. We can reach a point where we trust him in the midst of a storm. A point where we’re at rest—at rest in his promise of a haven.

“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NIV

*When did the Lord last lead you to a haven?

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

*My photo (Coulter Bay area of Grand Teton National Park)