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It is summer in Houston, and last night our bedroom A/C went kaput! My first reaction was to grumble, but then I reminded myself to “choose happiness!” I was thankful we had a guestroom to sleep in that had cool air and a fan. As we crawled into an unfamiliar bed, I was quickly reminded of the times I preached to others: “Every good hostess should sleep in her own guestroom for one full night. You will immediately see what is missing!”

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

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