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A toast may be offered in any setting and made to an individual or a group. Increase your confidence at your next social gathering by learning the ins and outs of this ancient tradition. Toasting to someone’s health or honor goes back to biblical times and can be found in most cultures including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Persians.

We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • 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!