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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 Steps to Reframe Stress

Updated: Oct 23, 2020


As I was washing the dishes the other day, I felt an almost palpable sense of anxiety all around me. My mind was racing through a list of to-do’s, and I was frustrated about being stuck cleaning a messy kitchen. As my thoughts were spiraling me into a negative head space, I realized I needed to reset my mental state. After I reframed the task, I actually began to enjoy washing the dishes! I wanted to share my process so anyone else struggling with excessive stress can use the steps to allow their minds to rest.

1. Body Scan – If you are feeling stressed or anxious, do a quick body scan starting at your head and going down to your toes. Notice any areas that feel tense or restricted. When I am stressed, I clench my jaw, grind my teeth, and tense my shoulders. Figure out where you hold your stress so you can easily identify these warning signs in the future.

2. Take Some Deep Breaths – Once you notice which areas of your body are holding tightness, take a few deep breaths and imagine sending your breath to the tense areas and work on actively relaxing them.

3. Let It All Out – If you have a laundry list of things to get done, do not simply muse over them in your head. Grab a pen and paper and write everything down. The process of seeing what needs to be accomplished on paper will usually assist in prioritizing tasks so you do not feel so overwhelmed.

4. Be Fully Present – Become focused on the task you are doing. Give it your full attention. Are you washing dishes? Feel the warmth of the water, the texture of the dishes, and listen to the sound of the brush. Try to actively immerse yourself in each moment.

5. Call It Out – I am a big believer in the power of words. If you find yourself struggling with negative thought patterns it is helpful to call them out by name and identify exactly what they are. Putting a name to what you are feeling makes it feel more manageable.

6. Speak Affirmations - Speak to the feeling you just identified. Specifically, that you are bigger than the emotion. Phrases like, “In this moment I feel incredibly angry, but that is okay. I am allowed to be angry and I am also allowed to let it go.” Sometimes giving an emotion recognition and then the permission to leave is what is needed for release. It may not work right away, or you may have to tweak the phrasing periodically for it to continue working but finding affirmation is a powerful tool to stop negative thought patterns in their tracks.

7. Zoom Out – As a perfectionist, I can get caught up in the little details and making sure everything is just right. However, thinking with the intent of “perfection” is not really a recipe for rest and peace. I have learned that when I feel stressed or anxious about something if I zoom out and think about the big picture a year from now, the issue does not feel as overwhelming. Or if the issue does feel big, then I know it is something that needs to be prioritized. When we are in the moment things can feel much larger than they are but viewing them a little way out gives us perspective and insight into the situation.

I hope that these 7 ideas help you relieve some of the anxiety that can come with long to-do lists and lots of responsibilities. When we learn to reframe our thoughts, even if there is a lot going on, it can put our mind in a state of ease while accomplishing tasks.

Alina Gersib