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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

3 Tips for Interpreting Personality Test Results



If you are looking for a tool to identify key motivators in life, to shed light on why certain occurrences bother you and others do not, or searching for examples of what a good career fit might be, a great jumping off point is to take a personality test. These tests, like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, DISC, or Big 5 Personality, are different psychological approaches that help explain aspects of our personality. Each test’s purpose varies with some tilted towards business and how you interact at work and others focusing on your main desires and how you relate with the world around you. Personality tests are an insightful avenue that allow us to take a step back from ourselves and receive insight into the ways we operate from a trusted source.

When I first took the Myers-Briggs test I felt like someone truly “got me” and understood how my brain worked. It was cathartic to feel like I was not alone. Upon taking the Enneagram a few years later I had a similar experience, but in a different capacity. Both spoke to a part of me that needed their wisdom yet the guidance they imparted impacted me in different ways. When it comes to personality tests every one of them is unique. Each test has truth and wisdom to give, however some are more suited to analytical individuals while others for more creative people. There may be some tests you enjoy and others you do not agree with as much. Take what is helpful from each but do not get caught up in the flurry of information. Here are a few helpful tips to remember while reading your results:

1. It's not about the identity - It is important to remember that the purpose of taking these tests is not to solidify an ego identity. In fact, depending on the day or what environment you are in before taking a test, your results very well may vary if you retake a test. Do not be caught up on the results, instead focus on the areas that resonate with you and see how you could apply them to your lif

2. Do Not Become One Sided - It can be easy to overly identify with the strengths of your given type while at the same time internalizing the weaknesses and letting them become “off limit” areas in your life. The tests are a tool to illuminate blind spots. Once you see what a personal weakness is, do not run from it or play the victim. Learn to recognize your weaknesses and come up with a plan to grow in those areas.

3. Apply the Information – When it comes to personality tests it can be enjoyable to simply read the results to get a little uplift and then go about your day. Though there is nothing wrong with this, if you only approach the knowledge you gain from this perspective you will miss out on the whole picture. It is important to take your time with the information and compare it to your life. Are you currently living a way that matches the picture of health for your type? If not, what are some areas you could shift? Take some time to journal or think over how to incorporate the material into your daily life.

As you learn about yourself you will more easily be able to connect to others and share your gifts, talents, and thoughts with the world. Let these resources be a pathway to deeper understanding and growth in your life.

-Alina Gersib

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