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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

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!

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