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Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Alina Gersib

29 Journal Prompts for Growth



These are unprecedented times. In the midst of the uncertainty the world can feel incredibly unfriendly, or it can feel like an opportunity is just on the horizon. We have a choice in the matter. A shift can be made in the way we look at the world and in the way our thoughts exist within our heads. I find that journaling is a powerful tool to assess our mental state and re-establish priorities.

It can feel intimidating to sit down in front of a blank page so here are 29 journal prompts which will help guide your process. Let these be a jumping off point for your own needs. If you feel resistant to the process that is okay, just press in and write. I find the times I least feel like writing are the times I usually need it the most. Once you start you may find a dam is released and you cannot stop. That is great, let things flow. Embrace the process and where you find yourself today.

1. On a scale of 1-10 how do you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally?

2. How did you sleep last night? What did you dream about?

3. If you close your eyes, do any parts of your body feel extra sore, painful, or weighty? Write about those areas.

4. What are 3 things you have coming up this week that you are excited about?

5. Write down 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell, and 1 thing you taste. Now write down 3 things you are grateful for.

6. When you think of your childhood what is the first memory that pops into your head?

7. What do you love/think is unique about your personality?

8. Do you have any goals for this next year, the next 5? What are they and do you feel like you are taking the steps to accomplish them?

9. Are you happy?

10. What color makes you instantly smile?

11. Write about a special memory you cherish with a family member or friend (bonus, mail it to them, it will brighten their day)

12. What was an activity you loved as a kid? Do you ever do it now, as an adult? If not, what’s holding you back from trying it again?

13. Who was your favorite teacher growing up? What did you appreciate about them?

14. What makes you feel safe and taken care of? How can you get more of this in your life?

15. What is an artform that speaks to you? Have you ever tried creating in that medium? If so, what was the experience like?

16. What were your parents like while you were growing up?

17. What would an ideal weekend look like for you?

18. What is one thing you could do today that would take some stress off your life?

19. When do you feel most at peace? What activities are you doing? Who are you with, or are you alone?

20. What is your favorite thing to eat? Who introduced you to the dish, or what about it do you love so much?

21. How often do you read? What do you like to read?

22. Where is home to you?

23. What activities make your heart come alive?

24. What is something you have always wanted to do? What is keeping you from doing it?

25. When was the last time you felt incredibly loved and seen?

26. What voices come into your head when you are making a decision? What is their tone, are they excited, judgmental, supportive, negative, etc.?

27. What is one thing you would change about yourself? Why do you want it to change? What are you lacking now without it?

28. What is something you have been putting off? Why are you putting it off?

29. Where do you go for support?

I hope these journal prompts can give you inspiration and direction to dig a little deeper with yourself and spur on a time of growth and healing.


Alina Gersib