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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.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

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.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


WHAT????

Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”


Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Alina Gersib

7 Steps to Reframe Stress

Updated: Oct 23


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

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