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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

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

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