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As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

  • Alina Gersib

10 Ways to Show Up for Friends



In the past few weeks I have received multiple texts from friends who are hurting and struggling. COVID has not been easy. I wanted to make my friends feel better and so I brainstormed a few ideas to brighten their day.

1. Handwritten Note – There is something special about receiving a handwritten note. The effort and intentionality that goes into it shines through.

2. Communicate with Their Preferred Way in Mind – Some people love talking on the phone, others texting, while others like facetime. Know what their preferred method is and talk to them in that format, even if it may not be your favorite. The priority is to make them feel most comfortable.

3. Just Be There – When someone is going through a difficult time, they may not need advice. Instead just show up and listen. Let them vent, talk, or cry.


4. Plan an Outing – Plan a special outing or even a girl’s trip. Check nearby cities’ COVID guidelines and follow them while you are there. Going out of town will be a way to get friends out of their “norm,” and shaking up a routine is sometimes exactly what is needed if they are feeling stuck.

5. Do Not Assume They Know – Tell them that you love them, miss them, cherish their friendship. Whatever it is, no matter how long you have been friends or how many times you have told them in the past, we all like to be reminded we are important.

6. Care Package – Send them a care package with some of their favorite treats. Chocolates, a bath bomb, and facemask would make for a relaxing evening and time to rejuvenate.


7. Send Flowers – If you live close by leave flowers at their door, or if they live in another city then find a local delivery service to leave their favorite variety.


8. Them First - A childhood psychologist once said, “If you are hugging a child never be the first one to let go, you do not know how much they need it.” However, this rings true for adults, too. Their love language may be physical touch and holding them could be the therapy they need. So, when you hug them, do not be the first to release.

9. Text Them – A simple and easy way to let someone know you are thinking about them is to send a text. It never ceases to brighten my day when someone dear to me texts to say they are thinking of me.

10. Ask – It may not always be possible to supply an answer or solution to someone’s problems. However, the simple act of asking them and letting them know you hear and see their hurts is a way for them to not feel so alone.

-Alina Gersib

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