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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

7 Simple Practices to Connect with God on Busy Days


Whether it’s rushing from work to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store, because all you have in the fridge is a sad apple, eggs and some questionable greens… most days seem to skew more towards busyness than peace. During Covid-19 your day to day life may have slowed down. However, now that things are opening up again and life is finding a “new normal” it will be all too easy to slip back into old patterns of busyness. Below are 7 simple practices for you to try that will create space to connect with God on even the busiest of days.

1. Set Your Intentions Each Morning

Your attention will go towards your intentions. At the start of each week I try to roughly plan out the tasks I want (or need) to get done during the week. I do not like assigning certain items to specific days, because some days I may not feel up to the task assigned. Instead what I’ve found to work best is to take it one day at a time. In the morning as you’re waking up, assess how you feel and think about your day. What do you want to cross off your weekly list, today?

Do you want to hit the gym, try that new recipe, vacuum the house? If you plan to tackle a few items each day, your list of to-dos will keep shrinking and you won’t feel as stressed. This frees up your mind to not chatter at you over tasks that need to get done and instead allows you to go about your day knowing everything will be accomplished.

2. Find Quiet Places to Connect with God

“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Mark 1:35

Over and over again in the New Testament Jesus goes off by himself to pray. He knew that his energy, guidance, and peace would come from connecting with God individually. If you aren’t taking the time to recharge from the ultimate source of life, then you will be filled up by counterfeit sources that will constantly leave you searching for more.

There’s something sacred and special about sitting with God. Whether you’re praying or simply appreciating the world around you. Find a pocket of time in your day to reconnect, even if it’s just for five minutes.

3. Take A Few Minutes to Pause and Reset

After a day of work, it can be all too easy to zone out on your drive home, rush to get inside, and just settle onto the couch to scroll on your phone. Instead of mindlessly going about these tasks, break up the pace by intentionally taking a moment after you park (especially if you just finished a commute in Houston) to catch your breath. Slow down for a few minutes and revisit the intentions you set for the day. It’s far easier to stick to your intentions if you give yourself a moment to re-center after work. Not only that but by taking a moment to yourself before going inside to your spouse or roommates, you can sort through your emotions from the day and only bring the good into your home.

4. Slow Down While You Walk

If you’re anything like me, it’s all too easy to get caught up on the destination and miss out on what’s happening right in front of your nose. The phrase “stop and smell the roses,” is spot on. You’ll be astonished how much beauty jumps out at you if you slow down your pace as you’re walking.

5. Gratitude

There’s nothing quite like showing appreciation to set your mind on things above. When we pull ourselves out of our moment and give appreciation for the things around us or in our lives we realize the blessings that exist. Even during difficult seasons, there is always something to be grateful for. I have found that journaling or speaking out loud the things I’m thankful for makes them even more powerful.

6. Give someone a compliment

Nothing connects me to my humanity and to God quite like giving another person a compliment. When we slow down and take the time to really look at someone else, we see them with eyes of wonder. Speak that wonder into their life and you’ll be surprised about how good it makes you feel, too.

7. Stretch Your Body

We all have beautiful, strong, capable bodies that deserve some extra attention after, or during, a hectic day. Take a moment, even if it’s just as you’re sitting in your car at a red light, to stretch your body. I love activities like yoga, swimming, and stretching that make me appreciate the body I was given and connect me to my creator.

These are some simple ways I’ve found that help ground and reconnect me to God on busy days. Try them out and see what works for you. Above all else, remember that no matter what the day in front of you looks like, breathe deep, you can do it!